Yesterday was a tough day. As I sat at the end of the day, I felt as if I sat in the ashes of my own destruction. As if I had burned all the bridges of relationship that I want so desperately to build between my children. I "sat in the ashes" and reflected on the day, trying to reply in my mind what went wrong and how to avoid it today. It is so difficult to be a parent. Doubt crouches in every shadow, ready to pounce in both good times and bad...doubt about whether I am right or did the right thing. And I know I did the wrong thing...the soreness in my throat tells me that my words were filled with anger. All day. And I hear my own words ringing in my head, when I actually said the words "shut up". More than once.
Failure. Sinner. Screw-up.
Those are words that describe me and they burn into my conscience.
Then this morning the words of Sunday's sermon flood into my mind and bring a soothing balm. Ephesians 2 begins "And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked..."
And it continues from verse 4:
Pastor Matthew paraphrased, "I have made you good, so BE GOOD!" Then he showed this video by the Skit Guys, called "God's Chisel," which I had seen before but still brought tears to my eyes:
It's not just hard to be a parent, it's hard to be a Christian. To be conformed not to the world, but to the will of God. Yes, God does not want me to be angry and frustrated with my children. He gave them to me as a precious gift, and I am to enjoy them while it is my responsibility to train and teach them. But "failure, sinner, screw-up" are NOT words that God uses to describe me, even though I get it wrong repeatedly. These are also not words that God uses to describe my children, nor my fellow Christians, yet how often do I think thoughts like that?
I am thankful that God's mercies are new every morning!