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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Tough Decision

On Sunday, I was irritable. More like grumpy. Maybe even a jerk. Not sure why, other than a lack of sleep the night before, but that's still no excuse to be harsh with people, especially your kids.

All day I found myself getting super annoyed at the little things the kids did: talking too loud, running too fast, asking too many questions, fighting too much, blah, blah, and blah. I was quick to be exasperated. I was quick with an irritated look. And I was all too quick to raise my voice.

But as the night went along, God keep nudging me to make things right with the kids by swallowing my pride and asking for forgiveness from them for being a jerk daddy. Just before we read our story at bedtime, I had Sarah and Parker on my lap and said, "I need to ask for your forgiveness today. I wasn't very kind, patient or understanding of you today. I was grumpy entirely too much and ask for your forgiveness for not treating you like I would want to be treated - with love, patience and kindness."

Well, Sarah was quick to throw her arms around me, nuzzle her head in on my neck and say, "I forgive you, Daddy."

I looked over at Parker and he had his head down not looking our way. I could tell something was on his mind.

Me: Parker, I'm sorry. Will you forgive, Daddy?

Parker: more silence

Me: What do you say, buddy?

Parker: I don't know.

Me: What don't you know (in an inquisitive tone)?

Parker: Well...It's just a hard decision.

Me: That is so true, my son. Daddy knows that very well. It is a hard decision.

Truer words were never spoken. Forgiveness is so hard to give at certain times in our lives and to certain people in our lives. But we must. It takes times. A long time sometimes because it's a hard decision. But we must. Not so much for them. But more so for us. For in forgiveness we find freedom.

May you and I learn and grow in forgiving as we have been forgiven.

p.s. Not five seconds after Parker said it was a hard decision, I simply said that it was time for bed (which it was) and he was all over me, squeezing my guts out, giving me a big fat kisses, and telling me he loved me. That just may have been his answer. I couldn't have asked for a better way to get it.

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