Friday, September 14, 2012

Anger turned to grace

Recently I volunteered to help with something.  It was a short project, only a few days really.  I certainly didn't mind taking the time to help.  I didn't offer so that I could get praise.  I offered because I truly enjoy helping others.  I won't lie and say I didn't appreciate the "thank you's" I received, but that wasn't my motivation for taking on the job.  I appreciate the kind responses.  They show me not that I'm great, but that those around me are.  It's nice seeing kindness and love being passed on.  It makes me smile. 

I woke this morning to a nasty email directed at me regarding this particular volunteering.  My mouth dropped open and I was struck by how utterly rude the person was to me.  My immediate response was anger.  How dare this woman be so rude!  Barry was still sleeping, but I was already preparing my vent to him.  He would definitely take my side and probably throw in a few choice words regarding the woman just to prove it!  (Let me say that my husband is not a mean person by any means.  In fact, he goes out of his way to help others and show kindness.  However, when someone is rude to his woman, he takes offense.  I love his loyalty!  I know he always has my back.)

Thankfully, everyone in my home was still sleeping and the only One I could talk to at the moment was God.  I learned a while back that I can tattle on people any time I want to to Him.  He listens and then gives me insight and ultimately peace.  I began complaining to Him and telling him all of the reasons the woman made me mad.  Almost instantly a peace washed over me and I was no longer angry.  God reminded me that anger accomplishes nothing.  James 1:20 says, "For man's (woman's) anger does not accomplish God's righteousness."  I was struck with how truly at peace I was about the email.  Literally, not 5 minutes before I was ready to give the woman a piece of my mind.

Don't get me wrong, I believe we are to take up for ourselves in certain situations.  There are times when it would be wrong not to say something.  We are never to allow ourselves to be bullied.  I have taught, and continue to teach my children that it is never ok to be bullied.  We can most certainly tell someone to STOP.  However, in this situation, I quickly realized this was not about me at all.  I began to pity this woman.  It must feel terrible to have so much anger and frustration that you take it out on a complete stranger.  I wondered, what was in her life that caused her to be so rude? 

I realized I had three options....
1.)  Send her a nasty email back. 
I quickly realized this would not accomplish anything.  It would foster my anger and create more in her. 

2.)  Talk badly about this woman to all who would listen.
I have learned nothing good ever comes out of this option.  When I have chosen this option in the past, my heart is so heavy that I can barely stand it!!  I actually read in a devotional I received from Proverbs 31 ministries THIS MORNING that a child was asked what love is.  The child's response was, "Love is when your name is safe in someone's mouth."  That's pretty powerful stuff!!  We may not always feel love for someone who has injured us  or angered us, but we can, and should, always love our Father. 

3.)  I could choose to pray for this woman and forgive her.
I choose this one.  What good will come out of my anger?  Anger causes us to be seperated from God.  We focus on the wrong, rather than the Right.

In "A Daily Walk Through The Psalms for Women" it says, "We return our Father's love by accepting His grace and by sharing His message and His love.  When we do, we are blessed here on earth and throughout all eternity."  One important way I choose to share His love today is by offering grace to this person.  She may never know I have, but I know Jesus is looking down with a smile on His face.  Who better to please than Him??

As I write this, I wonder who else I will need to show grace to today?  I'm certain I will since I live in a world full of humans.  Will it be the person who takes my parking spot?  The neighborhood gossip?  Or the friend that I have learned said some things about me?  With that being said, I'm ever certain that I will need grace extended to me too.  This people loving, Jesus loving girl is sure to sin before the clock stikes midnight.  Thankfully, I know my Jesus loves me regardless, hears my heart's regret, and extends me grace far greater than I deserve.

Where will you show grace today? 

May we live in such a way that those who do not know God will experience Him in us.

Here are a few pictures of my girl at her game last night.  She takes my breath away.  I love her so much.  There truly are no words to communicate fully the depth of my love.  As I was watching her play last night, I felt myself gasp for a breath.  Man, my love for her LITERALLY takes my breath away.  As I sat there watching her play the game she loves, I thanked Jesus for letting ME be her mama.  I am one lucky girl!

As I was dropping off my sweet Luke for school this morning my phone rang.  I was thrilled to see the long line of numbers indicating a call from Switzerland.  My gal, Molly was calling.  I just love hearing her voice.  She gets this woman!!  As I was dropping Luke off, she was picking up his buddy, Nicholas.  We talked for over 45 minutes.  Let me say, it seemed like 5.  There is so much more I need to tell her, want to tell her.  I sure do miss curling up on her couch with a cup of coffee and good talk.  As much as I miss her, I am so thankful for the moments we get to hear each other's voices. 
Have a wonderful, Christ filled day full of love and grace.....