Do you ever wish for a second chance – another opportunity to DIY your attitude? Do you sometimes dream that a film crew was following you around with some director yelling “CUT!” each time you royally screw up, giving you another take to say what you really meant? Or do you dream of a magical time machine that would allow you to go back and fix the mistakes you made? Let me tell you, my friend, you do get a second chance! Grab a cup of coffee and allow me to explain.
Last week I disappointed my husband, had to turn in my Mommy of the year card, and acted like a fake pretending all was right in the world. It was one of those weeks. You know, the kind of week where no matter where you turned or what you did, you messed up. I was in a snit and I couldn’t shake this blue funk hanging over my head. I acted as mean as a snake, ornery, and ended up hurting those I cared about most.
That week was in need of a do-over!
Here’s how my week went, in a nutshell:
Frustrated with my dated, slow computer, when my husband came to my rescue to try to help, I was short and snippy with the man I love. That resulted in a small argument, all within earshot of our boys.
When my son asked, sweetly, for the third time if I would snuggle up and watch his favorite movie with him, I snapped at him that I didn’t have the time and my heart broke when I saw the look on his face and how I had let him down.
At a recent church event, I was all sunshine and “Hey, y’all!” I just wanted to be honest and share how I didn’t trust Him in the midst of my week of frustration. Instead, my family were watching this stranger masquerading around as Miss Pleasant.
Haven’t we all been there?
Well, weary momma, I’m sending you a virtual hug and letting you know you do have the chance to do it over – to DIY your attitude. While it may not erase things you did and said and the mistakes you made away, it does make things infinitely better. Ready for it?
It’s called an apology.
Not the “Well, I’m sorry!” you bellow out while in defense mode while slamming the door. It’s the soft, sincere plea for forgiveness when you know you are in the wrong.
“You must ask for God’s help. Even when you have done so, it may seem to you for a long time that no help, or less help than you need, is being given. Never mind. After each failure, ask forgiveness, pick yourself up, and try again. Very often what God first helps us towards is not the virtue itself but just this power of always trying again.”
~ C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
Phew. That’s a meaty nugget to chew. Or, as I’m calling it, humble pie!
I found that the deeper I went into my fog of frustration, the more difficult it was to let go of. It was guilt, pride, and embarrassment all wrapped up in a stinky, wet blanket. Taking a moment to seek God’s forgiveness was such a necessary step I needed to take in order to shirk off this cloud of shame surrounding me.
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5 For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. 6 If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. 7 Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort.
~ 2 Corinthians 1: 3-7, ESV
Do you notice anything? Apostle Paul repeated the word comfort 10 times in that verse. (Go ahead and count, I’ll wait) I know that my week of troubles is minuscule in comparison to what others in my life are facing, but does that mean I shouldn’t turn to Him? No! We are to turn to Him with all problems – big or small.
“Cast your burden on the LORD and He will sustain you; He will never permit the righteous to be moved.” Psalms 55:22 “Casting all your anxieties on Him because He cares for you” 1 Peter 5:7
He will sustain us, He will never let us fall, and He cares for us,…. me and you. So, with a thankful heart and belly full of humble pie, I went to my family to ask them for forgiveness.
And let me tell you what happened!
They accepted my apologies, and hugs and snugs were shared all around!
It is so vitally important to allow our children to see us mess up. More importantly, to see how we handle our mistakes. When I apologized to my husband, I made sure the boys were there to see the healthy way to resolve a simple conflict. I sought out my son and asked for forgiveness for snapping at him and we snugged for the next hour watching his movie. At bedtime, I took a moment to say I’m sorry to my boys for sharing make believe happiness and joy with friends, and showing a false representation of my heart after giving my family a week of hurt.
Once I was able to first seek out comfort from the Comforter. Then I could comfort those I had hurt, the fog began to dissipate! No longer was I dragging this wet blanket of attitude around me. Now I could dance, and sing, and rejoice in the fact that I was able to fix this horrendous week with two little words.
I did get a take two, a do over and a second chance. I sincerely hope that this encourages you when you need to DIY your attitude! Now, will you all remind me of this when I screw it all up again?