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lessons from my kids: identity

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i just had one of those moments. you know, the ones where you hear yourself coaching your kid about something and you think, ‘i need to listen to my own words.’

sam was being crazy and whacking rae’s ‘happy birthday’ balloon with the handle of the broom (don’t ask….) and all the sudden the handle ripped through the balloon and it quickly deflated. he looked at me with such sad eyes and said, “i feel really bad about myself.” ahhhh!!!

(i mean just quickly, that immediate awareness he had hurt someone. what a sweet heart!! what five year old boy responds like that?! this is one of the myriad reasons i love this kid. his heart is HUGE.)

this is what came out of my mouth, “oh bud, you don’t need to feel bad about yourself. you made a bad choice but that doesn’t change who you are! you are awesome, such a good boy and such a good brother. when mommy makes a mistake and yells at you guys she doesn’t think, ‘oh I’m such a bad mommy’……..(insert very dramatic sound of record scratching to a halt)…….oh wait i TOTALLY do say that to myself. i paused and carried on anyway……. “mommy’s a good mommy, she just makes mistakes and you are a good boy, you just made a mistake.”

i led him outside, and he apologised, and rae was ridiculously sweet and gracious and they are now watching a show together to chill while i, twenty minutes later, am still trying to recover.

i totally react to my mistakes the way sam did. i do not separate the action from my identity, i totally slam myself for my mistakes and i very often, if not the majority of the time, let them define my perception of myself. and honestly, i feel justified in doing this because it almost feels like my penance for my mistake.

but i got a window into the heart of god this afternoon. watching sam immediately feel bad about himself as a result of an innocent, albeit careless, mistake, brought such sadness to my mothers heart. of course he should have been a bit more thoughtful about his sister’s balloon, but he is a five-year-old boy! i honestly wouldn’t expect much else and of course he is still awesome and the best big brother i know. it was really sad to see him lose sight of all that because of a small mistake. and my number one priority in that situation was to speak to his identity. when i saw it at risk, of course i swooped in to speak truth.

holy cow, how much more compassion and grace must god have on me in my mistakes, and how sad must he feel when i beat myself up time and time again for losing my rag with the kids and richard. how much more is he standing there waiting to swoop in and speak truth into my identity! i would have been absolutely heart broken had sam run away from me in that moment and ignored me and said i was wrong and that he actually was just awful. i mean really i would have freaked out in sadness if that had been his response. and yet that is exactly how i respond most times to god! i ignore him or don’t even come to him to ask or listen to his perspective. i just beat and beat and beat myself down until i feel gutted and defeated and ready to fail the next day.

tomorrow. actually scratch that, TODAY, i am going to try to stop and have the courage to ask him, “ok god, i feel pretty bad about myself right now, what do you think? will you encourage me and help me clean up my mess?” if i, being a human, jumped at the chance to encourage sam, how much more will our good and loving father god swoop in to speak truth into our identities?!

let’s try that together today. and the next day. and the next day. i have a feeling things will get pretty awesome! please leave a comment if you want to do this too and we can support each other! mom’s or not, women or not, this is for everyone. lets not let the world or the enemy or our own twisted views of ourselves hijack our identities anymore!

happy tuesday y’all, sarah

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