It’s Okay, Try Again

I’d just had a rotten argument with my husband. One of those oh-so-un-Christ-like moments during our discussion, I chose to assume the worst. It went downhill from there.

As I huffed upstairs to cry on my bed, I realized that once again, I had led with my feelings and not my mind.

Or, the truth.

This always, always gets me into trouble.

How about you?

But, I go back to a tender and beautiful and true comment that The Gammy made to me, recently. We were talking about how our mouths can get us into so very much trouble, how human we really are. She wisely pointed out that we are loved by a God that, when we come to him with tear-stained faces, says, “It’s okay. Try again.”

And He says it with the gentleness of a soft breeze.

He means it with Ultimate Authority.

He is the God of grace, after all.

I clung to that as I sat on the bed and cried my little heart out. And, we are resting in that regarding the uncertainty of fractured relationships.

We long for healing. For Love to win out over the hurt. For understanding and grace and joy to creep back in.

We’ll wait as long as it takes.

Because, doesn’t He?

When to Turn the Other Cheek

One of the most helpful things I ever learned in counseling was to try to limit my use of “never” and “always” when thinking and speaking about feelings.

If you just broke into the theme song from the Broadway show “Cats”, I feel you.

If not, neither did I.

Sweetboy has a tendency to take his emotions to the extreme.  Words like always and never get lots of use. Sometimes, they are warranted. Most times, though, they’re just not.

We’ve had to work incredibly hard to curb his use of these words. It’s a tricky process.  When he’s in the throes of a meltdown, for instance, and ranting about how unlucky he always is, it’s a dicey proposition to step in and attempt to stem the tide of always or never.

He’s getting there.

Slowly, but surely.

Lately, we’ve had to work a lot more on the “why” behind his use of these polarizing words.  Why, as in, “Why do you feel like you are always a nobody?”

It turns out that there are some girls, some 4th grade girls, some not-even-in-his-class girls, who have been saying things to him on the playground.  Things like, “Your shirt and shorts don’t even match, you know!

For a kid who’s finally broken through to that dreaded other side of social understanding that now knows there is a social pecking order, those sorts of comments are devastating.

Especially when you are an always and never kind of kid.

Each time that Sweetboy encounters some slight at the hands of his classmates, (And it happens more and more, in these past few months of fourth grade.), he feels it very deeply.

His emotions run high, and that’s only somewhat because of his ASD.  It’s mostly because he’s my child.

Just keepin’ it real.

Honestly, though, I’d like to know who doesn’t go all Mama Bear when other kids pick on their children. Really! Show me a mom that exhibits loving-kindness in that kind of social situation, and I would like her to become my mentor.

Preferably, tonight.

Determining that turning the other cheek is the right course of action is generally not so hard for me.

Actually turning the other cheek?

That takes some prayerful effort.

Turning the other cheek when the circumstances involve my children?

Oh, jeepers…

I know what the right answer is… I do!

Thankfully, I didn’t have to give it.

“That’s not a nice thing to say,” he told them. “Besides, they’re just clothes.”

The boy up and turned his cheek all by himself.

Forgive_One_Another_Missindeedy

And, while I’d love to pick up the phone and ask these mothers, both of whom I am acquainted with around town, if they are aware that their girls are speaking to another child this way, I won’t.

Instead, I’ll turn the other cheek.

Because, God knew it would take my Sweetboy to plant that particular lesson a little more firmly in this thick head of mine.

I’m learning that the answer to the question of when to turn the other cheek, is one simple word.

Always.

Dripping Grace

Grace_Upon_Grace_MissindeedyWhen do you feel God dripping His grace on you?

I feel it when I am as low to the ground as a human can get without becoming a part of it.

To those of us who have messed up – and good – and felt mercy in a palpable way, that grace is a gift of great significance.  The relief that floods in after being forgiven can bring me to my knees.

At no time is grace more evident to me than when I, in my desperate attempt to matter, muck it up with others I love. It is then that I deserve nothing but condemnation. And instead, I hear, “That’s okay.  We all make mistakes.”  Praise God for His mercy, through others, in those moments.

Why am I surprised when, time and time again, while working through an inward struggle, I crack open my Bible to read and find The Very Verse needed to both convict my heart of my rebellion and encourage my heart of my redemption?

Grace.

In spades.

Right there.

Dripping onto me right from The Very Word  itself.

Yes indeedy.

Drip Your grace onto me, Father God.

Please.

And make my own heart willing to drip it onto others with abandon.