to forgive {peaceful parenting 101}

We have talked about preventing melt downs,
saying yes and refusing to implement arbitrary rules on our
path to peaceful parenting.
Today I want to talk about something
so very important ... forgiveness.

I screw up.
I desire to be a gentle, peaceful parent with
every ounce of who I am.
Yet still, I am made up of selfishness and laziness,
two things that war against my dreams of who I want to be.
I pray peace, whisper breath prayers throughout day,
sing, dance, play, snuggle, read, listen, invite children along
all day
and suddenly my feet are sore or
i finally settle down with a book for a moment or
the noise just hasn't stopped and i need a second of quiet or
a little one hits their sister for the tenth time and
i just. can't. do it.
I yell.
Or say something I instantly regret.
I screw up.

We all screw up.
But see, you can tell a lot about yourself by tuning in to
how you feel after you screw up.
I want to vomit.
I raise my voice or spout off filth and
I feel sick to my stomach.
I can't handle it.
How could I have done/said that?
What is wrong with me?
Everything you strive for you just threw out the window!
I am so wracked with guilt after I fail that I would not be able to
move forward if not for that one
little thing taught to me by Christ Himself,

Yes, I gently hold the hands of my children with
tears pouring down my face and
beg forgiveness of them.
They see my ache and know I feel the same wrong
that they do.
They hear my words and know my heart is broken.
I keep nothing locked behind walls under guise
of parental authority.  I lay it out.
I am no better than you, my love, no better.
As you fail at times, I do too, so much more.

And when their young mouth has spoken words of matter of fact and
why would you ever doubt forgiveness and
young eyes have regained glow
and young arms wrap around pained mama,
when they run off to play, moving past wrongs already forgotten,
forgiveness is begged of again,
this time of self.

This one is the most difficult and yet,
so very important.
It's the stop beating yourself up,
it's okay,
get back on the horse,
life moves on and so must you,
start over again {and again and again and again}

You must move on.
You must forgive yourself.
You cannot be a peaceful parent if you are not at peace.
Realize, mama,
we all mess up.  We all fall short.
Forgive yourself and move on.

"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."

It's when we can see clearly again,
when we remember our vision and are ready to set foot
as peacemakers,
when we have put our screw ups behind us and peace
enters our soul,
that we are ready to offer it to our children.

Without our own peace, we cannot make peace.
So allow your children to show you they forgive you and then,
forgive yourself.

***peaceful parenting 101 part 1 here
      peaceful parenting 101 part 2 here

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