I was sick; I was tired; and I was sick and tired of the whining…whining…WHINING.
All day long I had extended grace, doled out mercy, and graciously AND patiently given out discipline as behavior warranted. It was hard, but it was good. I WAS MANAGING my temper, my annoyance, and my desire to be entitled to anger because I was sick. I was pushing it aside, shoving it down, and regulating my emotions well. ALL DAY LONG I felt like I was keeping the sin at bay. I really, REALLY was.
But after I had tried to lay her down for nap time for the third time, and after the second time of needing to pee, and after the third round of screaming, and after the swiping at my face, I WAS DONE. DONE.
So when I swept my two year-old off her feet from that set of stairs and onto the time-out chair, mama was MAD.
I had had it.
I was over the stuffing, the shoving, and the keeping the emotions contained and controlled.
As I turned on the timer, I plopped myself down with a great-big, exasperated puff of exhausted air.
And then I heard it–a little, small voice coming out from the living room. Like the voice the Grinch heard as he stole the last can of who-hash and roast-beast, came the sound of my own little Cindy-Lou Who.
It was Caden, our five year-old.
“Yes?” I huffed the question.
“I just heard what happened, and I kinda think that you were a little bit too hard on Evie. I just wanted you to know.”
UNBELIEVABLE. I had NO clue that he was watching, NO idea that he was listening.
My first humble thoughts were as follows…
Are you kidding me? Do you know what I’ve dealt with all day? Who are YOU to tell ME about parenting HER?!?!
But I didn’t say any of those things.
Because there was truth to what he said…even if I didn’t like it.
It was true. He was right. I had been”too hard.”
I had grabbed her too quickly from those stairs. I had plopped her on the chair too hard. I had screamed. I had ranted for longer than necessary. I had lost my temper, and I had given way to my flesh. I had.
Sure, she was wrong for disobeying and sure, she was wrong for swiping at my face and screaming at the top of her lungs for the 37th time that day, but her sin didn’t justify mine. Her sin didn’t excuse my behavior, and it certainly didn’t justify it.
I was wrong, and both my son and I knew it.
And in that moment, standing face to face with my little boy, I had nothing to lose except my pride. And yet in that moment, I felt like I had everything to gain.
In being honest about my sin, I gained an opportunity to choose humility and accept responsibility. I gained an opportunity to validate my son’s conscience. I gained an opportunity to demonstrate confession and repentance. I gained an opportunity to say, “Hey son, I sin too; you’re not alone.” I gained a perfect opportunity to model the Gospel.
Because isn’t that what the GOOD NEWS is all about?!?!
We sin; we confess; we repent; and He saves.
It’s not about hiding our sin, or excusing it, or ignoring it, or denying it, or justifying it, or pretending like God doesn’t see it.
Nope. Not at all.
In fact, the GOOD NEWS reminds us that we don’t have to HIDE our sin because HE COVERED IT. And because He covered it, I can own it, repent of it, and walk in forgiveness.
And for THAT, I am very, VERY thankful that there was a little Caden-Lou Who who overheard my sin and offered me an unexpected opportunity to embrace the Gospel.