Following and Forgiving

A few days ago Shaun was working late and so I took that as an excuse to have a lazy dinner. On this night, "dinner" consisted of bagels and cream cheese, yogurt, fruit, cheese, and nuts. While chatting a bit with the kids and encouraging them to eat rather than play with their food, I absentmindedly stuck a bunch of almonds and cashews onto the cream cheese on my bagel and ate that way, really not thinking anything of it. But then, a minute later, I looked across the table and saw Bean carefully arranging almonds onto her bagel. It was a poignant reminder to me of the power of an example. When I'm hurrying my kids along and not paying enough attention to them, they aren't only hurt from that, they absorb it, and they may copy my bad behavior. It's terrifying, really.

Over Christmas Break we took advantage of some down-time and organized our room. While cleaning out our closet I came across a box of old pictures and letters. I stopped and took a few minutes to look through it, and at the very bottom, I found a card that I didn't recognize. I opened it and suddenly remembered--it was from a good friend who I'd gotten into a bit of a cycle with of unintentionally hurting each other. She sent the card after visiting our home a few months after all of the dust had fallen with all of the hurt, and the card was about how she was so grateful to know I'd forgiven her and that we were friends again. I cried as I read it, remembering how special the words had been to me and why the card had ended up in the box of treasured things. I cried because it was beautiful and renewing. I also cried because it was a loud reminder, as I'd wondered over the last while if she really had forgiven me. She did, I just wasn't allowing myself to move on. I felt so guilty for remembering the hurt and forgetting the sweet forgiveness. I completely forgot about the treasured card.

As I've thought about it, I realize that's exactly what Satan wants us to do--dwell on negativity and hardships, rather than focusing on the positive, good things in our lives. I have a new goal (that I imagine will be a work in progress for many moons to come). I hope to love and forgive more freely, let go of offenses and hurts more quickly, and model these behaviors more openly to my children. I am so very far away from perfect, and I know I'm going to model all sorts of imperfect things to them that I'd like to un-teach as I work toward "growing up" and being better, but I do hope to do a better job of teaching them to recognize and remember good things.

1 comment:

  1. this is so beautiful lanette! you are such a wonderful example, and your kiddos are so blessed to have you as their mom!


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