Saturday, January 16, 2016

My Best Teachers

So there are those days...where we feel like we actually have a grip on this thing called life and we are maybe a half a step ahead of the game. Occasionally that happens anyway...or so I'm told. Ha! Then there's most days...never enough time, never enough things crossed off our list, never enough patience to go around. We tell ourselves over and over how little things don't matter, not sweat the small stuff. Little stuff can wait. But to practice that is another story. 

In the past 2 years, there have been so many times this event has happened and slapped me in the face....and just this week, I wondered "when am I going to learn?" When life feels rushed, hectic, who usually bears the brunt of that frustration? Around here it would be our kids probably. Instead of fixing it within ourself, it somehow seems easier to be short or snap at them. Obviously something I'm not proud of, but am going to say I'm not alone in this predicament. And I finally am left wondering, when am I going to take a lesson from my children while I still have time? While they are still young and innocent and more perfectly practice patience. 

This plays out in our house over and over again. And it makes me well with tears while sometimes feeling like a knife is twisting in my heart at the same time? Another time we are short with the kids...yell at them. And when the dust settles and I, of course, feel terrible. I try to remind myself to muster up the courage to go tell them I'm sorry, cause I am. And most likely why I yelled at them wasn't really about them anyway. And do you know what my kids say almost every time I say I'm sorry? Sometimes I get an "it's ok mommy", but more often than not I get "I forgive you mommy" accompanied by a hug. about gut wrenching and soul cleansing at the same time. (I'm not sure where they even get this. I honestly credit their preschool...they talked about forgiveness, I know. So thank you, Brittany.) 

When they first said it, I was so taken aback. You just don't hear it very often. Then over the past few months, I finally had to ask. "Do you know what it means to forgive someone?" Thinking maybe they were just echoing something they heard. Aubrey told me "it means you don't stay mad at someone for something they did to you or said to you. You don't hold it against them. And I know you love me no matter what, mommy." Bah does a 4/5/6 year old recognize this and most adults can't muster up the words? 

How many of us go every week to a place where we yearn to have a pastor or a priest tell us that we are forgiven? We seek, we crave, we need why is it something it seems we don't always give as freely to others? I don't know the last time I heard an adult say "I forgive you" in some form that wasn't standing in front of a congregation. Many of us base our lives on this....that we believe there is someone who has freely forgiven us for the things we do wrong whether we deserve it or not. So when someone has the courage to come tell you "I'm sorry" we have the same courage to not just say "thanks" or "it's ok", but to look them in the eye and say "I forgive you." (I'm talking big things here...important things. Not really like, "sorry I stepped on your toe accidentally" kind of stuff.) It's powerful stuff. It's a wonderful gift to offer someone well as a gift to ourselves. So why don't I offer the same grace to my children more often? They can say it to me....I need to challenge myself to make sure they know I forgive them if need be. And maybe I should try to start using it with others in my life too. 

I find children to be so amazing and sometimes am afraid we don't stop and think about all the things they are capable of teaching us, even though we feel like we are supposed to always be teaching them. I feel this weird need/urgency to soak up all their innocence and joy and untainted love and energy while it's still there. At some point, it seems like too many adults become tainted...cynical. Life is tough sometimes, so I get how this can happen. I just want to to remember to cherish and enjoy these little people and their unconditional love...and forgiveness...while it comes so easily and freely.  However long that might be. 

3 of my best teachers

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