And I went on a rampage. I started tossing toys, candy wrappers, shoes, broken pencils, popsicle-stick-art-projects... And tender emotions-- into the garbage.
I said (or...um...maybe ranted) things like:
How many times do I need to remind you to hang the jackets up as soon as we walk in the door?
Do you think I enjoy scratching stickers off of windows !?!
Why in the world would you clean your rock collection in the bathroom sink--that is the only bathroom I actually got cleaned today!?!
Really??? You thought that was clean--clearly that shirt needs to be washed !?!
Really??? You thought that was dirty--do you think I have time to wash clean clothes !?!
And on...and on...and on.... And on.
They stared at me with confused, blank, teary faces. I wish I could say that I turned things around before bedtime.
But it wasn't until the next morning that I was ready to face who am I when I don't let the love of Christ control me. I couldn't avoid the mantra that kept playing over and over in my mind:
We just studied that passage. But why am I continually the one who--
I want to be the one who--
And so came the next morning. And at breakfast I asked for their forgiveness.
Me: "I just want to tell you that I shouldn't have said those things in the way I said them last night."
Our child who is most like me: "But you did..."
Me: "I know...and I'm really sorry...will you forgive me?"
Thankfully, there was a resounding YES and hugs and much grace given. But I read this recently in Nancy Wilson's book Building Her House and it was so convicting:
It's easy to excuse the outburst or criticism with so many rationalizations.
But--there is a difference between patient teaching-training and frustrated criticism. And there is no excuse for sin. And that's really what it is. And the kids can see them-- Those rats in my cellar...
I don't want to be a wife and mommy who tears down my house with my own hands (Proverbs 14:1).
Praise God who gives grace and forgiveness. Praise God who redeems my failures. Praise God who changes hearts and heals hurts. Praise God...who sees the rats in my cellar...and still doesn't give up on me.
My prayer for today and tomorrow...and pretty much forever--