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Thursday, October 6, 2016

A Mom Who Makes Mistakes

There was a strange energy in my house this morning. Something was on my son's mind and making him behave a bit differently than I'm used to. My 9 year old boy was diagnosed with ADHD a year ago and I know his behavior patterns pretty well. It seems that on the mornings when he just can't be still and needs to make noise for the sake of making noise and is more likely to run away from a crying sister he hurt than to her, there's something big on his mind that he doesn't know how to process. Be it good or bad, he reacts this same way most often.

Can I admit? I lose my patience with it sometimes. I get frustrated because I don't (and probably never fully will) understand why he does things the way he does. This morning I raised my voice at him and ended up looking him in the eye and apologizing to him, telling him I got it wrong...again...please forgive me.

He smiled at me and hugged me. He said "Of course I forgive you, mom" and then he squeezed my ribs way too tight (on purpose) and laughed a big laugh. I messed up his hair and helped him and his sisters gather their things and head into the truck so we could be on our way to school.

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We arrived at school and I parked the truck. I have to walk my preschooler into the building so we skip the drop off line and head straight to the parking lot. As I turned off the truck I heard the *click* of seatbelts being unbuckled and heard my girls singing the song they enjoyed on the radio during our drive. I got out and shut my door, only to open the rear, driver side door and encourage the little hands to grab their backpacks and the little feet to make their way out of the backseat.

That's when I saw my boy in the back row with a panicked look on his face as he looked back and forth and over again. "I guess I forgot my backpack, mom!"

Let's pause my story right here for a moment. Remember with me the kind of morning we had. The boy who was so busy with being rambunctious, the boy who hurt his sister and ran away, the boy who I lost my patience with also was the boy who forgot his backpack. For a split second, I was tempted to let it be a built-in consequence. But then I looked at him and saw his face. And I heard him saying to himself "How could I do that? I'm so stupid". Yah...I was thinking those same things when I lost my temper earlier in the morning.

I extended my hand to him and said "Come on out, bud". As he took my hand and began to step out, his other hand was holding his head as he continued to mumble negative things to himself. I gave him a hug and told him that even if he had a rough morning, he could change all of that right that moment. I told him things could get better and encouraged him to try his best to have a good day.

And right then, I decided that this morning we had could be used to teach him an important lesson. He could learn about mercy.  (He was clearly beating himself up enough already over the responsibility portion of the situation).

The hubster and I try to extend mercy to our children when we can. Some situations need discipline, but others can be used to build up their character. I believe that it's up to myself and my husband to teach our children the character qualities we would hope develop and that means we must be intentional to capture those teachable moments.

And it's a simple thing, this backpack, but he's 9 and I hope he remembers this.

I said goodbye to each of my 3 kiddos and got back in my truck and just kept thinking this word, "Mercy", over and over in my mind. How do I help him learn about mercy when a backpack drop-off would probably be best done if I didn't take him from his class and make it bigger than it needed to be? What is true about mercy for me that I want him to grasp for himself?

I'm a mom who makes mistakes but I'm a mom who believes that God is a merciful God. He has shown mercy to me many more times than I can count...even when I was off doing my own thing and thinking that He had probably forgotten about me. I promise you, I can look back through my life and see that even though there were hard times and pain, there were times when I didn't get what I necessarily deserved but I was given mercy...undeserved mercy.

After arriving home and grabbing his backpack, I whipped up this note and grabbed a clothespin to attach it. The note read "God's mercy is bigger than any mistake you make." This is what I took to his school office and they said they would get it to him.

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 This doesn't make me a super, amazing mother. This isn't to make any other mom feel bad about a time when she may have missed the mark. Please believe me when I say I miss the mark many more times than I hit it. This post is not about "Hey, look at me! Mom of the year, over here!". No.

This post is about a way I chose to handle something with my son and I hope you can see yourself in this story. That mercy I want him to learn about so badly is because I want him to grow to be a merciful person - just like I want to continue to grow in being a merciful person. How many times has mercy been extended to you? Those times are the places when you were loved so much. And not only that - God DELIGHTS in showing us mercy. (Micah 7:18)



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