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Thursday, June 9, 2016

Forgiveness: Lessons from my two year old

The other day, I was fighting the almost daily naptime battle. My almost-three-year-old is only consistent about a few things and trying to get out a nap is one of them.

Her brother was already sleeping in his room, so I was even more determined to win this round. I was tired and we had gone back and forth. She didn't want the sheets on her, she wanted a stuffed animal, she through the stuffed fox when I gave it to her, she wanted the sheet over her when I got up to walk to the door. It was miserable and my patience was getting very thin.

I snapped at her and stormed out of the room.

As I huffed up the stairs, I could hear her wailing. "Mommy, mommy please...I just need..."

I took a few minutes to myself in the kitchen. I may or may not have reached for the chocolate chips out of desperation. Okay, I ate a handful.

I sat there replaying the situation and telling myself it was typical toddler behavior, but then I started thinking about how I did overreact. Would I have done that if my husband was standing there? Maybe. Would I have reacted if we were in public?

I knew what I had to do. I walked back to her room and apologized.

She was so quick to forgive me. I barely had the words out of my mouth and she was smiling and reaching for a hug.

Why can't I be so quick to forgive when someone offends? Why do I have to give myself a pep talk to go apologize, even when I know she will be quick to forgive? 

Toddlers are amazing. She dispensed grace with love and didn't question me one bit. Once I apologized, she snuggled up to me and asked me to lay down on the bed with her while she fell asleep.

Despite my ugly actions, it was a beautiful reminder of God's grace. I love how even mundane moments of parenthood can be reminders of the free gift we were given through Jesus death on the cross. It only took a few minutes to step back from the situation and look for grace.

Where are you finding and giving grace lately?


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