Grayden has been fighting off a virus this week. The other night Keith and I woke up to the sound of running footsteps, throwing up grunts, and then quiet moaning. It all happened so fast. When we finally realized what was happening, we jumped out of bed and ran to the bathroom where he was.
The scene that greeted our arrival was a nasty one. I'll spare you the intricate details. Just imagine spaghetti and meatball throw-up EVERYWHERE. You've all been there, I'm sure. It was the in every nook and cranny, high and low, in between, no space spared kind of everywhere.
Needless to say, he had made a valiant effort to reach the toilet but didn't get there in time.
After the initial shock of seeing the damage wore off, my eyes went to the sight of my 6 year old son. Standing in a pool of vomit, pale, scared, arms wrapped around his chest, and moaning quietly.
As Keith sprung into action and headed for clean-up supplies, Grayden slowly lowered his head in shame and said,
"I tried to get to the toilet mom."
My heart ached for him.
Tenderly and firmly I looked him straight in the eye and said,
"Oh Grayden we know you tried. It's OK buddy. We all make mistakes. I forgive you."
We all DO make mistakes.
Even with good intentions and well-organized plans, we have mishaps. I make these kinds of mistakes quite often.
I forget to pick up Keith's dry cleaning when he asks me to.
I burn Cole's breakfast toast.
I shrink Keith's favorite sweater.
I spill my bowl of cereal all over the couch.
I forget its pajama day at preschool and my son is the only kid wearing regular clothes.
My list of mistakes could go on and on.
The wonderful thing about mistakes is they provide a perfect opportunity to live out Ephesians 4:32
"Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you."
Mistakes make room for kindness.
Mistakes make room for compassion.
Mistakes make room for forgiveness.
I'm so guilty of reacting in anger when my kids make little mistakes. I'm so guilty of hanging it over their heads. I'm so guilty of hearing the words of Ephesians 4:32 but not doing them.
Thankfully the other night, by the grace of Christ's forgiveness in my own life, I reacted with kindness, compassion, and forgiveness to Grayden's mistake.
For once he saw Ephesians 4:32 lived out, a demonstration of the way in which Jesus forgives us.
My prayer is that I will be a doer of the Word and live out Ephesians 4:32 more often when my little ones and my husband make mistakes. I want them to see Jesus in me. I want them to see His kindness, compassion, and forgiving heart in how I react to mishaps. So they won't question that He is the God they should serve AND so that they react to others' mistakes (especially mine) with the same kindness, compassion, and forgiving heart.
Join me and let's pray this for ourselves and for our kids.
From our blatant sinning to our little mistakes & mishaps you react in kindness & compassion. You forgive us again and again. Your love is perfect. Today I pray that my kids would see Ephesians 4:32 lived out through me. Fill me with Your Spirit, equip, and empower me to react to their sin and to their little mistakes with a compassionate, kind, and forgiving heart. May I never shame them in anger. Rather, may I demonstrate Your love again and again and again. Likewise, I pray they would love others in this same way. I pray they would react to others' mistakes with Your kind, compassionate, and forgiving heart. May they be doers of the word, not just hearers. May they grow in the Spirit and live out Ephesians 4:32!