how to · prayer

Asking your kids for forgiveness

It’s been a normal day of Monday Mayhem. By normal, I mean complete chaos. I wonder if the Bangles knew exactly what they were doing when they sang “Manic Monday”. It’s like it sent the universe into Monday craziness forever. Deep sigh.

It all started this morning…. this sounds like a good story, doesn’t it? I took my crew out for some quick errands. We were gone for a total of two hours. I returned home to find our new puppy (around 9 months old) had pooped once again in her dog crate. We have discovered that she is suffering from separation anxiety. The dog crate is located in my bedroom. So there she was, covered in poop. Poop in the crate, poop on my wall, poop on my carpet. Poop. Poop. Poop. Y’all, I am a stay-at-home mother of four boys under the age of 8. I do NOT have time for dog poop on my carpet and walls.

Chaos ensued and there I was cleaning up poop, entertaining a one year old, getting groceries out of the van, splitting up fights among the older two, finding a kindle for a three-year-old, preparing lunch. Whew. Breathe with me. Somewhere in the midst of all the chaos the older two went crazy. I sent them to their rooms to chill. This was not without grumbling and complaining and defending their own honor. I opened my mouth to tell them to be quiet and stop talking and something terrible happened. A moment that completely caught this Momma off guard. I yelled the despicable… “Shut up!”. I could NOT believe what just came out of my mouth. I have never told my kids to “shut up”. I don’t allow my children to say “shut up”. What was happening?

In the moment I pretended things were completely normal and quickly followed up with “I am not going to say it again, go to your room”. I went to my office and sat, stunned at myself. How did I even get to a point that it so easily came up out of me? I will not use the excuses of Monday Mayhem, although it was certainly in full swing. I am a firm believer of Luke 6:45 “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks”. I had set myself up for failure. In all of the craziness, my patience was waning, and my frustration was growing. I never once stopped to have a chill moment or even ask my Father for peace, patience, joy, wisdom….the list is endless. I needed the Holy Spirit to guide me. I didn’t ask for His help.

After I took a few moments to calm down and collect myself I asked the boys to come talk to me. I explained that I said something that Mommy and Daddy don’t approve of and I needed to ask for forgiveness. They obliged. We talked about obeying our parents and even sometimes Mommy does things that are not good and needs to ask for forgiveness. Forgiveness from others and from God. They nodded in agreement and within seconds completely tuned out whatever else was going on. Life returned to normal.

Parents, we mess up. A lot. Okay maybe not you, but I sure do. I need to admit my short comings and work on being the best possible version of myself. I can’t do that alone and must rely on the Holy Spirit. He is my compass. When I miss the mark, I need to repent. God has entrusted these beautiful children to me. I can not pretend that I know what I am doing every step of the way and never have a failing moment. They are there. It doesn’t mean that I am a terrible person or mother. It means that I had an “uh oh” (mommy language).

These moments are great in showing our kids what mercy and grace truly looks like. These are teachable moments of the goodness of God. The goodness of discipline and correction. Don’t be stubborn and pretend that you are a perfect parent.

Stop calling yourself a failure. You had an “uh oh”. Repent. Ask your children for forgiveness and move on. When you discover a shortcoming, ask the Holy Spirit to reveal why it happened and wisdom for correcting yourself. Think of it as parenting yourself. Ha! When your children disobey we ask ourselves why this behavior occurred and pray for wisdom to discipline. It’s the circle of life folks. Now go hold up your Simba and praise God for his mercy that never ceases. We got this.

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