Sisters in Spirit: June

Sisters in Spirit is a series of blog posts by a group of women who felt that a spiritual perspective was lacking from the steady stream of news and information that flowed through their daily lives. We each agreed to carve out a space on our blogs on a monthly basis for a spiritual conversation. This topic of this month’s post is forgiveness.

Do you find it easy to forgive? For the most part, I do. I know that’s strange, but I consider it one of my spiritual gifts. Like other people have received the gift of writing, teaching, etc., I truly consider it a gift to be able to forgive others (or perhaps better stated — not take offense) without a huge amount of effort on my part.

That being said, there is one area of forgiveness where I struggle, and that is forgiving myself. I have particularly noticed this since becoming a parent — it is probably not news to anyone but me that this experience gives you a lot of opportunities to make mistakes.

Parenting a toddler has been a true test for me.  Once my crying, pooping, little blob of a baby morphed into a walking, talking ball of free will and erratic emotions, my role changed from caregiver to a teacher, nurturer, and disciplinarian (AKA “mean mom”).  I realize it’s  necessary for me to be Mean Mom now, so my child doesn’t turn into a selfish megalomaniac of an adult, but wow – it’s hard.

I never know when I’ve drawn the right line in the sand, or if my punishments “fit the crime,” so to speak.  But the absolute worst is when I lose my temper.  I am really not a hot-tempered person, but somehow a tiny little human can drive me into a white-hot rage.  I generally console myself with the thought that plopping your kid in his room while steam rolls out your ears will not land him in therapy, but I still dwell on it for hours afterwards and I get extremely frustrated with myself for not handling the situation better.

Luckily I’ve been reading a Psalm a day most days (part of the one-year bible reading plan, which I mostly try to keep up with) and it really has brought me some peace, which I guess is what forgiving yourself feels like.  I’m sure God is having a good chuckle about these poems written about great hardships like war, famine, and death giving me comfort in my epic struggle of wills against a 3 year old.  Here’s a little snippet from one I read recently that I really liked:

I cry out to the Lord;
I plead for the Lord’s mercy.
I pour out my complaints before him
and tell him all my troubles.
When I am overwhelmed,
you alone know the way I should turn.  Psalm 142:1-3

I hope you continue this conversation by reading and commenting on other perspectives on this topics with my other Sisters in Spirit, Kelli, Bianca and Rhonda.

Kelli is a United Methodist. She is a writer and public health advocate. An Arizona native, she and her boyfriend recently moved to the woods of New Jersey. Their dog, Willie Nelson Mandela, runs the show. She blogs at: www.africankelli.com

Bianca is a Navy wife from the great state of Texas (where she coincidentally currently resides), and she and her husband welcomed their first child in the fall of 2012. She has a passion for serving others, asking hard questions and sharing The Gospel with both her words and actions. Bianca loves Jesus, her hubs & her son, authentic friendships, traveling, making lists of all kinds, and trying new recipes which she blogs about on BecomingBianca.com.

Rhonda is an attorney and native of Missouri. She is known for being overly-emotionally invested in her three, elderly dogs and dabbling in a ridiculous amount of hobbies, including sewing, music, and writing, while mastering none. She was baptized in her late twenties and is amazed and grateful that Jesus continues to put up with her. She blogs at bigsnafu.com.

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4 thoughts on “Sisters in Spirit: June

  1. Beautifully written, Sarah! And that psalm is just perfect. I think if you are going to bed and not reviewing what you could have done better with your day, you aren’t human. And having seen you in action with that adorably feisty ball of free will, I can attest you are an excellent mama.
    Kelli recently posted…Sisters in Spirit: ForgivenessMy Profile

  2. War and famine or three year old tantrum – pretty close, actually. The fact you question yourself so much
    tells me that you are a wonderful, caring parent.

  3. I admire your honesty about getting angry. I feel like a lot of bloggers who have children gloss over the frustrating parts for whatever reason (I get privacy but perfection doesn’t exist). So it’s refreshing to hear you speak openly & makes you human. And I 100% agree with Rhonda’s comment about the fact you question yourself so much.
    Danielle recently posted…Time Flies as You Get Older & Handmade CardsMy Profile

  4. Oh my word, I SO NEEDED to read this today. When I was a nanny I had no issue with thoughts like this. But now that I have my own? I am struggling not to think I fail. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. As he’s getting older (9 months now) his personality is blooming and so is his mobility! The other day he fell and bumped his noggin and I lost it. Totally bawled and called myself a bad mom. Lord help me it’s going to be a long lifetime! Thank goodness for His encouragement in the Word (loved that Psalm!)!
    Bianca recently posted…forgiveness + the {third} greatest love story of my lifeMy Profile

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