Hi everyone! Happy Thursday :) Today, Laura from Mice In the Kitchen, is going to be sharing with you about Forgiveness at any age. I hope you enjoy her post and follow along.
Forgiveness is to me one of those things that is so very important...after all God forgives me constantly...but it can also be so very hard to forgive others as well as ourselves. There have been times in life when I have asked someone for forgiveness because I had done something wrong, but then notice after time has passed that I still have not forgiven myself...and that can be a tricky thing to do. As you can imagine with 4 little people, there are a LOT of times when someone needs to ask someone for forgiveness. Now, sometimes, it can be as simple as they "accidentally" kicked someone or they "accidentally" bite someone....but sometimes there are bigger things such as name calling -- because I am sorry but "sticks and stones can break my bones but words can never harm me"...well my friends that is a total lie. Words harm way beyond a stick or stone. So, I "encourage" the child who has harmed the other to apologize and not just a forced "I'm sorry"...tell them why you are sorry. To be honest this is something I have learned as a parent to do. You know sometimes when they are pushing your buttons...and they are so good at it...I can fly off the handle and act in a way that I sure wish I didn't. When the dust settles I will go and sit down with them and ask for forgiveness for my reaction. Why? I mean I'm the parent right? Because that's what I would want someone to do for me. Besides, no one said that I had to be perfect...and by showing them that I make mistakes too helps them to see that making a mistake is part of the learning process that comes along with growing.
For us, our faith is a GIANT in our home. We try to live it daily and when one of my little people is so mad at someone...even someone from school...I remind them that Jesus died to forgive our sins and Him being perfect in every way gave his life for us...now with that in mind are they saying that the person they are struggling to forgive is beyond what Jesus died for? That if he can forgive us shouldn't we forgive others? Now of course kids are amazing at using those little things against us. Case in point when Ms. Hannah was sent to her room and grounded she yelled from her room to me when I refused to let her out of her punishment "Jesus forgave me...why can't you!". Ah....I love when my lessons are turned against me. :)
One of my biggest struggles to forgive was when we moved out of Chicago. We broke our lease 4 months early and knowing that would put a financial struggle on the women who we rented from we gave her the rent for those 4 months with a signed agreement that if she found a new person to rent the place, she would give us back the months that she had someone there. Well as you can imagine, she didn't and ended up keeping about 4k from us. She refused to return the money and then started a nasty battle where she threatened to sew us for "damages". So we let it go...after all it's only money and you can't take it with you...and believe me that was a LOT of money to us. So after a while of being angry, I said enough and I told myself - I forgive her. Yet, the mention of her name or the situation brought back anger. Finally, I realized while I said I forgave her; I truly didn't. So, after one Sunday service about forgiveness I started to pray for her. I prayed that God would bless her. That he would guide her with His hands and truly bring her happiness. Nothing in it for me at all....I didn't ask that he would send a fire ball from Heaven and smite her down....nope...I asked for her to be blessed. I noticed that I started to forgive her in my heart. After all, how can you truly wish good things for someone you are angry at. I started to forgive and I felt great inside about it. Now please don't think it means I am inviting her out to coffee next time I am in Chicago...what she did was wrong and forgiveness does not mean I need to expose myself to further risk, but I can say I do not carry anger in my heart any more. My children, even at their young age, were aware of my struggle to forgive because I told them. I wanted to show them how that anger can drag you down and how freeing it is not to carry that pain inside yourself.
It actually has come in very handy, blogging..as crazy as that may sound. When I get a mean comment (such as go jump off a bridge...yep I got that one) I forgave them for the mean comment and then I prayed for them. Forgiveness is a very powerful thing for both the person you have hurt as well as the hurt you have caused in you.
Again, I hope you don't feel I was "preaching" at you but just opening up about some of the things that are important to me and sharing a glimpse into this crazy mom's lessons for her kids.