I'm blogging daily in April. Learn more about the series here.
|Look, they still all fit on my lap!|
Yesterday was a classic grace interruption because it had everything to do with receiving grace, giving grace, and letting grace have the final say. The kids had begun their school work and everything was going fine. Sometimes they complain, but as far as school goes, they are usually pretty agreeable about doing whatever needs to be done. Yesterday, however, one encountered a bump in the road and had to think a little about some math problems. By the end of the page, I knew the child needed to burn off a little steam so I suggested we do ten jumping jacks together to shake off the frustration. On a common day, that is a perfect idea, a little silly and different. Not yesterday!
At this suggestion I got, "No, I'm not going to do that." They sat stubbornly in their seat and would not get up to join me. It turned from a fun suggestion into one of those times when the kid is being defiant and disrespectful, so they have to do what I am asking for reasons of obedience. Ugh. In the end, said child was sent to to their room.
After a few minutes, I went upstairs. Now, for those of you who know me well, I've confided in you that I get angry easily, especially in scenarios with my children like the above. (I am much more patient with other people's children!) Through these several minutes of parent-child combat, the Lord was helping me to keep my cool. In the past I would have stomped my way upstairs to help the child understand the situation by yelling and commanding. This time, I was feeling calm and collected, because I knew the yelling wouldn't help and I'm trying to learn maturity!
I calmly enter the room. As is this one's custom when they're feeling emotional, they were hiding out under the bed. Ugh. "Please come out from under the bed." "No."
After a couple of kind pleas, I gave up. I don't remember what I said. I didn't yell, but I definitely slammed the door HARD on my way out. So much for keeping my cool, and maturity, and all that. Sigh.
Returning to the kitchen to work with my other student, I decided I would just wait for their sibling to come down on their own. As I waited I was thinking about how to respond when they did. The Lord was interrupting me by grace, impressing upon me the need to not do what I wanted, which was make the child understand all of the wrong and then kinda speak to them rudely for the next little while because they deserved that. Rather, the Spirit was prompting me to let grace reign. I needed forgiveness for slamming that door just as much as my child did for being disrespectful and defiant.
It was not long before they came back downstairs and sat down at the table.
I welcomed them back with a hug, taking the opportunity to interrupt their day with a little grace!
The jumping jacks were still undone, and under weak protest were completed. Language Arts took a little longer than usual to get going, but for the most part that tense scene was over and done with and did not taint the rest of the day as it would have if I had been un-interrupted by grace and stuck to my usual pig-headed ways.
At some point mid-Language Arts I apologized for my immature, angry door slamming. The child never officially said sorry and I didn't demand it, but their change in behavior expressed it. And, to tell you the truth, yesterday was a really great day!
Grace. What a life-changer!
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.