Friday, May 4, 2012

Wrath and Forgiveness

Warning: this post will not be pretty.  I have some serious things to admit and it's going to be downright ugly.  You've been warned.

Part 1: The Bad Morning

This morning Destiny had to be at school at 6:00 a.m. to go to Richmond for her band festival/King's Dominion trip. So the whole family got up early so I could get everyone out the door.  It was going so well...*sigh*...that didn't last.  All it really took was Emily starting to talk back, and the morning started rolling downhill like a lead barrel.

I'm tired.  I'm just mentally and physically exhausted.  I'm not getting any sleep because I have 8 million things going through my mind.  How am I going to get it all done?!  My Nana and my parents will be here in less than a week.  I need to clean (desperately), wrap up my classes, and get ahead at work since I'll be out for a day and a half (and then going on my honeymoon a week later).  I have last minute stuff to do for the wedding, my hair needs to get cut tomorrow, and I need to have my brakes replaced tomorrow, too. AAAAAAHHHH!

All of that is really just a pre-excuse for the ugliness that's about to flow through my fingers and onto this keyboard.  Really.  I began to really lose my temper with Emily and Ryan (especially Emily).  All I asked was that they get dressed and they're fighting with me!  We need to leave!  Why is there a fight?  Why is there whining?  Why are you talking back?  This thing with Emily talking back and raising her voice is getting really old.  She started this morning and I told her she was going to have to get a spanking...and she ran. :/

There's not much that will make me angrier than trying to chase a screaming child around the house to give them a spanking before 6 a.m.  I don't spank very often, but this has been going on for some time and really just needs to stop.  I actually stayed pretty calm during that (well...relatively anyway).  So don't worry...this is not going to turn into a "why I beat my child" blog.  No...I think I actually did something worse.

I finally got everyone into the car about 15 minutes late, and let me tell you I was HOT!  Steaming, red, fire HOT.  I stomped into the 7-11 to go to the ATM to get Des money for her trip and I stomped my hind-end back out.  When I got to the car I could here Emily screaming and whining before I even got into the van and horrible, ugly, venomous thoughts crept into my head and what came out of my mouth when I flung the door open was, "YOU HATEFUL CHILD!  WHY ARE YOU STILL SCREAMING?!"

Oh yeah...Mother of the Year over here.

First, telling a child not to scream while screaming is just bass ackwards.  Second, her sister had been getting onto her about being disrespectful and, while trying to help, was actually just making matters worse.  Third, and most importantly, I called the poor child hateful!!  And guess what?!  That's not the worst thing that went through my head!  Yup.  You heard me right.  I actually censored myself and that's what came out.  You wanna see sin?  It's a few lines up and in ALL CAPS.

I apologized for my words when I got out of the car.  I told her it didn't excuse her actions, but I chose very bad words and I don't at all think she's hateful.  As a matter of fact, that child can be one of the most loving, insightful, cuddly people I have ever laid my hands on.  She has a beautiful little soul.  And all those mean and nasty things I thought but didn't say?  Those weren't true either.  I had a demon on my shoulder this morning whose name was "Wrath" and his claws were dug in there deep.  It was UG-LY.

So...that was how the morning started

Part 2: Mommy Issues

My relationship with my mom has been rocky at times.  We have both said and done things we deeply regret, and every now and then we still have some words.  (Oh Mama...if you're reading this, I swear it gets way better, but this is gonna be yucky for a minute.)  I have found myself replaying history with people sometimes and repeating some of the things my Mom said to me, knowing how horrible and awful the people would think it was.  I was scarred by some of the things.  I thought I had let it go, but somewhere hidden, deep inside, I still let it fester....

Until today.  Today, I felt the weight of my guilt over what I said to my poor little Emily and tears welled up in my eyes.  Not only was I ugly to my daughter, I have been utterly unwilling to extend grace to my mother and that compounded the guilt.

I have no idea what my mother was going through at any point in her life when she said or did certain things.  I also have conveniently forgotten anything I may have been doing or saying at the time that may have exacerbated the situation.  All I've managed to remember is my own hurt, and I've let it simmer and rot deep down in my heart for years.  I just feel dirty.

Conclusion: I Have a Point, I Swear

If you've hung on this long, really like me, and I'm appreciative.  I've come to a few conclusions.

  1. Saying evil things to our children is not okay no matter what we're going through.  Nothing I have said will change that.  However...
  2. We need to be willing to extend grace and forgiveness to those we know love us, and learn to get past the hurt and love them back...fully and completely because
  3. Perception is everything.  There are always two sides to a story, and then there's the truth, which usually lies somewhere within the middle.
I don't know if Emily will remember what I said today when she's an adult.  Will we be having an argument one day and then she'll spit out all the nasty things I ever said to her?  Like the second oracle in "The Never Ending Story" will I walk up to the mirror that shows my true self and run away screaming in terror?

I can only hope that she'll choose to remember all the love I gave her, too, and all the times I supported her. I know from this day forward I will choose to try to remember all the wonderful things people have done for me instead of focusing on the harm they may have caused me...and that especially applies to my mother.

Happy early Mother's Day, Mom.  I love you very dearly.


  1. Wow. This was raw and beautiful. God uses our children as instruments to sanctify us. I'm sorry you had a tough morning! I hope everything goes as it should this weekend.

  2. Thanks Jamie. :) It was one of those really, really rough times that God totally uses to expose something in us that he needs us to fix. I hate that I said that to Emily, but I'm almost glad it happened because I don't think I would have seen the hardness in my heart otherwise. Does that make sense?

  3. Totally. I love you. You're an awesome mommy. And you're an awesome daughter. I'm thankful to know you <3

  4. Awww...thanks Jamie. :) I'm thankful to know you, too!!! <3