Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Imperfect Parenting at its Best

How is it that one little wrong choice can make me feel lousy about the other 99% of my day? I can go throughout the day feeling good about my choices, thinking that I am a fairly good wife and mother, make healthy choices, exercise and clean the house. Then one little mess up will leave me in a world of guilt, speaking negatively to myself and wondering if I will ever change.

Yesterday was one of those days (I suppose minus the healthy eating if I’m honest – but I still felt good about the day). I took my youngest girls to lunch with my daughter’s preschool friend, spent the day doing profitable activities without the television blaring in the background and utilized naptime to exercise and pray. Rather than wasting time after school wandering mindlessly around my house wondering how much longer until my husband finally walks in the door, my girls and I organized their closets. It was one of those days I felt like repeating over again… until that moment.

Once we were done in the girls room (it had taken a little bit longer than I anticipated), I realized my middle daughter would be disappointed that she missed her favorite television program. To solve the problem, I decided we would just leave the television off (PBS only would be broadcasting for another half hour anyway). My 8-year-old daughter came down and asked if she could turn it on. I informed her that we were just going to leave it off today. A few seconds later, I heard my 5-year-old crying and yelling that she wanted to watch TV. (Arrrggghh!)

This is my moment of shame. The moment where I decided to let the venom flow from my mouth and spew all over my children. I knew it was the wrong choice immediately because we all know how untrue the little chant “sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me” is. Why is it I can’t take the words back that I speak or at least stop and think before it’s too late? I can attempt to cover the evil with sound reasoning (at least to my ears) but I can't get past the truth of the sin in my life that my words revealed.

I feel like I will never gain self-control in my life. I know this is a lie. Self-control is a Fruit of the Spirit and therefore, can be attained. I simply fail daily in some area of my life where self-control would lead to victory and end up feeling like a loser (which I know is another lie).

It was too late to take back my words. They were spoken and they caused my oldest daughter pain. I was now faced with another choice. Did I attempt to justify my words and condone in my head why it was legitimate for me to act like a jerk? Or did I take the moment to confess my sin and ask for forgiveness from my daughter and from God? There was only one choice to make to redeem my day. One choice that could pull me out of the pit I had jumped into.

I talked to my oldest and asked for her forgiveness. After some tears (and letting go of a lot of guilt on my part), I received forgiveness and realized God can use my imperfection for His good. “But he said to me, ‘My grace is enough for you. When you are weak, my power is made perfect in you.’ So I am very happy to brag about my weaknesses. Then Christ's power can live in me.” ~ 2 Corinthians 12:9 (NCV)

1 comment:

  1. Tristi I think you and me are so much alike!! I'm am glad God brought you into my life!! No one is perfect so we just have to try and be our best. <3