Thursday, May 28, 2009

She Just Wanted to Talk

She was excited to tell me something. . .doesn’t matter what it was, it’s always something that is important to her.

I was busy, as usual, busy with my own agenda and distracted.

She was smiling and sharing her heart.

I was not listening and didn’t care.

Finally, I could not take it anymore, I snapped, “Okay, just stop. I don’t know what you are talking about, just never mind!”

She turned away, humiliated and hurt. She continued on with the dishes and didn’t say another word.

I saw her face. I saw the rejection. I immediately felt the Holy Spirit rebuke me with the word of God, “A gentle tongue is life, but willful contrariness in it breaks down the spirit.”

I was reminded of a thank you note she wrote earlier to a friend of mine. She was thanking her for listening to her and being so interested in what she had to say. She said how nice it was to have someone to listen to her. It felt like a dagger to my heart.

What am I thinking!? Why do I do things like that?! How awful! Would I EVER do that to my husband or a friend? Absolutely not! Never would I do that to anyone else, why on earth would I treat my own child that way? My daughter who loves to spend time with me and talk with me.

I wish I could tell you I humbled myself right then and there and begged her forgiveness. I did not. I did look for the very next opportunity and said, “What was that you were telling me a few minutes ago, I can listen to you now.” Hardly sufficient, I know.

My time with each of these children is so short, even though the days seem so long. I truly hate this selfishness in me and cry out to God to change me, to cleanse me, to draw my heart towards them. He is faithful and His grace is sufficient, I must trust that.

Why share such a raw low point from my life? I share this to encourage you to not ever allow yourself to get away with such behavior towards your children. Or anyone for that matter, but especially not these precious gifts.

Lord Jesus, you know our every weakness and you love us anyway. Help each one of us Mamas to cherish these gifts and treat them like priceless, fragile treasures. Heal any wounds we have created by our words, our selfishness. Keep us ever sensitive to the Holy Spirit. Thank You for Your mercy poured out through the forgiveness of Jesus Christ.


Linda said...

Oh Michelle,...been there done that before,...and I am not proud of it, but I can sure relate.

My kids are grown and I find I am much more patient with my grandkids.

But my poor husband receives those kinds of remarks from me way too often.

I am immediately convicted when they find their way out of my mouth,...but I am not always immediate with my apology,...but before too long I make it, and add a prayer for forgiveness too.

The good news is that my husband always forgives me, and my heavenly Father forgives me,....and years ago my girls forgave me too.

I am thankful for God's mercy and forgiveness,...and the love and forgiveness my family has always given me.

I am usually an easy going person, and not usually angry or short with people,... I have been given the spiritual gift of mercy,...and usually I act mercifully... "Usually".

BUT,...I am human too, and just a sinner who way too often loses my temper, or speaks an unkind word,...mostly to my husband,...sad to say.

I agree, that we wouldn't say these kinds of things to anyone else,...why do we say them to those we love the most???

It puzzles me too. I pray that God will give me a meek and quiet spirit. I pray that I will be a gentle person. From a child I have desired to be so. Most of the time I am a peaceful person who hates stress, or any strife.

Yet when I blow,..I blow! And I am so ashamed.

I read your previous post too and it was such a good reminder to not be a nag,...of which I am guilty at times too.

I know that when I bite my tongue and don't keep "suggesting", (nagging) to my husband to finish something I feel so much better.

I have seen victory in these areas when I stifle selfishness and pride, and yield to the promptings of the Holy Spirit.

Oh Lord, please help me and Michelle to yield to the promptings of the precious Holy Spirit, and help us to guard our mouth and the words that only hurt and do not edify.

Help us Lord to be instruments of your peace. Help us to be gentle, loving, and kind, your grace, and through your guidance.

In Jesus precious name,...Amen

Deb said...

Oh many times I've found myself doing the very same many times I wish I could just hit rewind and erase that it ever happened. With my DD graduating this past Saturday, it reminded me...very cruelly...that time is very precious...and things done in anger or haste is time wasted that can never be redone.
Awesome reminder. Thank you for allowing God to use you.
In Him,

Tina said...

Another wonderful post. I imagine that we've all been there. (I know I sure have.) We want so badly to be wonderful mothers (and wives) because we love the children (and husbands) that God's placed in our lives so very much. Yet we battle this sin nature that rears its ugly head more than I like to admit.
Thank you for sharing. Time is fleeting and they are precious. May God take our eyes off ourselves and our "to do" list and help us to see things the way He sees them.
Thanks for the encouragement yet again.
In His love,

Mary at Civilla's Cyber Cafe said...

We all do that when we get tired and flustered, Michelle. I did it again just a couple of nights ago because I was feeling harrassed.

The Ice House said...

Thank you for sharing. Often we just want to share the good and then our readers feel that they are failing in their own lives. I too often push my children away because I just don't want to listen. Really, 4 kids can make enough noise that when they want to "talk" my mind is already tired. Thank you for reminding me that time is short and I need to draw my children to me, not push them away. I think this is one of the posts I need to print and keep with my bible to reflect on and re-read over and over.

Connie said...

A good reminder. We all do this once in awhile - we get tired and weary and have a dozen things running through our head. They do grow up too fast and sometimes we forget to make it right.

It is not worth it - thanks for the reminder. God bless you!

busymomof10 said...

Powerful post, Michelle!!!

Although I don't often respond in quite the way you mentioned, I do find myself just nodding my head and making vague responses to their stories, while my mind is far from them. It is very hard for a busy mama to really focus in on every story our children want to tell us all the time. And yet, as you so vividly shared, if we don't listen to them and make them feel important, they will find someone who will . . . .

I love your blog! thanks for sharing so your heart and home so openly! :)


Mary at Civilla's Cyber Cafe said...

Michelle -- I lost your e-mail address. How are you doing? Oldest son home now.

Mrs. White said...

I've just come across your blog and it is lovely. This is such a well written post. So sad. If only we were not so busy. We could sit still and enjoy the family more. Sometimes I find myself missing one of the children (I have five) or my husband but when they are right in front of me, it seems like they are available only when I am busy! I've learned to stop what I am doing and focus on them. Nothing I could ever have to do is more important than that moment.
Mrs. White

hip chick said...

I think we all have these moments from time to time. We are, none of us, perfect.
The thing to do is to stop whatever it is that you are doing and be as quick as you can to correct yourself. Immediatly, explain that you were short tempered, ask for forgiveness, and then forgive yourself.
Move on...move away from it. Just as the Lord does for us. We ask for forgiveness and he grants it.

Steph said...

thank you for sharing your heart. you don't know how many times i stop, and think, "i shouldn't have said that", or "i should go do _______ with ______". thank you for the reminder of the blessings that they are.

Anonymous said...

I am so thankful that you wrote about this, and that you were willing to be transparent in that way. I've done this, too, and I feel so awful about it when it happens. Sometimes I feel like I'm the only mother who does these types of things... and that makes it so much worse. Your words were such an encouragement to me and I'm so thankful to you for sharing them.

YooperSnowflake said...

Your blog is convicting, uplifting, inspiring and encouraging! Thank-you for your honesty and open sharing!

Z Mom said...

Yes, this is the plight of a mother with young children...I'm new at this, two, ages 3.5 and 1.5.

I'm harsh, and gentle is a long way off down the road.

I just visited this blog today and am greatful to see a woman that is candid about her life and her struggles. This life is riddled with the flesh at war with the Holy Spirit. We are called to die to ourselves daily, moment by moment sometimes. Why don't more women share, so we can learn, and not feel alone in our struggle?

Anyway, thank you from the bottom of my heart. I press on encouraged, and humbled by my task at hand.....This is where the father has lead me, and it is all good.