I could give you several, fairly-good reasons for why I’ve been in a grumpy-gus mood for the past two days, but there’s no excuse for sin. So I’ll just go ahead and lay down my proud gloves and simply admit, “I’ve not been a pleasant soul to share a home with…not even a little bit.”
And as I finished my ugly and undeserving rant to my husband who leaned against the kitchen counter (graciously listening and mercifully responding), my heart was humbled as he simply said, “I hear what you’re saying, and I’m sorry for hurting you.”
I felt like a turd.
He could have yelled back; he could have accused; he could have justified; and he could have stoked the fire of my fury, but he didn’t.
In the face of my nasty nonsense and in the midst of my meltdown, he met me with grace and the Spirit met me with conviction.
Jessica, that was your selfishness, and that was your fear, and that was entirely your impatient and unloving heart. On the baggage claim of sin, you can pick that bag up. Because girl, that bag has got your name on it.
And He was right. It was. And I knew it.
And because I knew it and because my husband chose kind humility, I was brought to repentance. I was so humbled that not even my tears could make a stand. With dry eyes and a heart that felt like a million pounds, I asked for forgiveness.
Over and over again, I told him how sorry I was. Over and over again, I acknowledged the junk in my heart’s trunk. And over and over again, he graciously extended forgiveness and said, “I forgive you.”
As my head hit the pillow last night, I repented again, asking the Lord for forgiveness and thanking Him for my husband’s.
And the sun set and the sun rose, and today began.
Immediately (upon waking), I was reminded of the undeserved kindness I had been shown the night before. And immediately, my heart felt the sting of my sin and the melt of his mercy. But as my feet hit the floor and the day pushed ahead, I (too) moved forward. And it wasn’t until our daughter spilled a plate of pork chops and barbecue sauce down the front of her newly-purchased dress that I remembered the grace gifted to me.
Like every dinner we’ve had with this blonde-headed soul, we had already reminded her several times to sit forward and focus on her food. And in typical Evie Rae-fashion, she found a way to distract herself from the
task meat ahead.
Twirling a pink scrunchie like a hamster wheel over her little wrists, she managed to knock the plate, meat, and dark-brown sauce onto her lap.
Literally, she had owned the dress for a whole 6 hours before the handkerchief dress met our dearest family friend, SHOUT.
Immediately, her dad and I launched into a deja-vu dissertation on our dinner-table expectations and the consequences of her disobedience. Peeling the dress from her body, big-alligator tears spilled from her eyes.
“But I wanted to wear that dress to church tomorrow,” she wailed.
“I realize that, Evie. But you chose to mess around and now the dress needs to be washed, and Mommy isn’t doing a special load of laundry for just your dress,” her daddy explained.
More tears spilled as she finished the rest of her salad and spilled pork with a chip on her shoulder.
And as I sat there, I had this tiny moment where my mama-self had a not-so-merciful thought of, “Serves her right.” And just as quick as that thought came, the grace from last night came a’flooding.
Grabbing the small load of laundry that filled the hamper (because that thing is never, EVER entirely empty), I walked to the basement with soiled dress in tow.
As I sprayed and rubbed, and loaded the rest, I looked at my husband and simply said, “I’m washing it, and we’re gonna have a chat about grace.”
Kneeling at the dinner table, with her little tear-stained face near mine, we reviewed how the stain happened.
“And though you had an accident because of your disobedience, I am choosing to wash your dress, so you can wear it tomorrow.”
Her eyes grew three sizes in diameter.
“Because just like Jesus forgave our sins and removed the stains of our hearts, I am going to show you grace and wash your dress clean. Not because you deserve it and not because you earned it, but because I love you.”
Immediately, her little-self burst into a mess of tears.
Because that’s what grace does; it softens.
When I asked her why she was crying, she simply uttered, “I’m sorry, Mommy.”
And since then, she has given me several hugs and simply said, “Mommy, I love you. Mommy, I love you.”
So as I sit here on a Saturday night, I can’t help but be thankful for the grace extended to the grumpy mommy on Friday…who extended grace to the daughter on Saturday…who will wear the dress to church on Sunday…to the building where we will worship the ONE who washed ALL of our stains and made ALL of our robes clean.
“Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” Isaiah 1:18
Blessed are those who was their robes, so that they have the right to the tree of life and may enter the city by its gates. Revelation 22:14