I have a distinct memory of having been gifted a 3D puzzle of sorts when I was around 10 years old. It was complicated. It had brightly colored crazy looking geometric shapes all over it. It folded in obtuse ways. The goal was to get certain shapes and colors to align. It was fun. Think Rubik’s Cube meets Jacob’s Ladder.
The difficulty of the puzzle trumped fun when I got stumped by the trivia of it all and pressed so hardly on a piece of the game that it broke the entire puzzle. After my initial relief (“Ha, I showed you stupid puzzle!”), I remember an overwhelming sense of guilt form over my pre-pubescent heart. At a tender age, I felt the burden of my disrespect for the gift I’d received. I’d taken something I never earned in the first place…and trashed it.
I remember taking the broken pieces to my Mom (she’s known mostly as Grandma these days) and apologizing through the tears rolling down my face. I remember her abruptly ending the phone conversation she’d been on and her saying “It’s ok. You didn’t mean to.” While her grace felt nice and permitted me to relax a bit the fact remained that I DID mean to do it. I was frustrated and responded by destroying my toy. It was NOT an accident. And, I felt horrible over what I’d done.
This brings up two questions:
1) How are you at extending grace in the lives of your children? Are you quick to forgive like my Mom was grasping the moment following an indecent action as a time to teach? Or, perhaps you’re too quick to forgive (“Oh, it’s fine. We’ll buy another one.”) brushing aside the opportunity to talk through the importance of permitting people to make mistakes in life and grow through them?
2) How are you at modeling for your children how to receive that same mercy when YOU need it? Re-read that same question to make sure you understand what I’m asking here. I’m still learning how important it is to receive grace in my life so that I can teach our boys the same life lesson. If you’re a Christian, like Mrs. Blonde and me, then this is essential to the Gospel message because the more you get hung up on yourself and your own issues the less you’re giving Life to others. As Mrs. Blonde puts it so clearly, “Get over yourself!”
If you can’t answer those two questions in the comment section on this entry, how about writing your own post (including stories gets bonus points) and linking back to it in the comment section here? If you’re the Twittering kind, tweet your response(s) including @mrsblonde1 and a link to this post too.