Tuesday, January 11, 2011

I Had a Choice to Make

Oh, how I love God's timing.
And His grace toward me.
Did you read last Friday's post, about stepping back and being quiet? Well, just after I finished writing it, I was getting dinner ready. And in the process of looking for the cutting board I discovered that Joshua had not unloaded the dishwasher yet that day.

Did I mention I was getting dinner ready?
This chore should have been done HOURS before.

Other times when this oversight has occurred, I have called Joshua to the kitchen and put him to work right away. But on this particular day, he was gone. So I had time to grumble think about how I was going to address him when he came home.
My first instinct was to express my frustration. I wanted to make Joshua aware that I was tired of him forgetting to do his chores. Wanted to remind him that unloading the dishwasher every morning has been his job for years, and there really is no excuse for not doing it.
I thought of lots that I could say to get my point across.

Then I thought about the blog post I'd just written.

And the wisdom of that woman who has 'been there.'

And I realized I had a choice to make.

When Joshua walked through the door I could lay into him about not doing his chores correctly. I could attack him with my words so he would never forget to unload the dishwasher again hate me. And then I could deal with the fight which would certainly ensue.


I could step back and be quiet. I could tell Joshua to unload the dishwasher, and leave it at that.

I chose the latter.

Do you know what happened?
The dishwasher got unloaded. There was no yelling or slamming or broken dishes. No one got mad at another person, or raised their voice in anger. Joshua just put the dishes away, and that was that.

Sure, I want him to do his chores in a timely manner. I know he knows what's supposed to be done. But, in reflecting on my conversation with P, I realized my relationship with my son is so much more important than when the dishes get put away. And if I had to do it again, I would make the same choice.
Actually, I'm sure I'll have to do it again. Many times. And I hope I'll remember this lesson I've learned.



gianna said...

Danny Silk said in his Loving On Purpose that we want to show our sadness to our kids because that brings us together while being angry with our kids tears us apart!

I think there is a time for anger, but not usually for trivial things.

Praise Jesus for working in your soul.

I miss you like crazy! I hope that you have a great time in CA!

Nichole said...

Being a "teachable momma" is all about living in and giving out grace...thanks for this REAL reminder to practice what we preach! Hugs to you today Karen...have a terrific Tuesday!

Patricia/NYC said...

Way to go, Karen!! And thank you so much for sharing your experience. Ever since I read your post on Friday, I've been trying very hard to put those wise words into practice too! :)

TheUnSoccerMom said...

I took her advice too, yesterday.... not this past weekend... anyways...

So needless to say, yesterday went better for me than Saturday did. ;o)

An evening w/ no yelling is awesome right?

Sara K. said...

Love it, Karen! -- thanks for sharing your victory!!

Irritable Mother said...

Gianna - I have missed you, too!
Showing sadness, eh? How's that work for teens? I don't want to go with the anger, but somehow I think Joshua would laugh at the sadness. *sigh* (We just had a 'moment'...)

Nichole - Living in it and giving it out. Yes!
Practicing what we preach isn't so easy. Oh, how I long to be fully surrendered to HIM - that I might walk in His steps consistently.

Patricia - Thanks. I'm glad P's words have been helpful to you, too!

Jodi - Awesome, indeed! :o)

Sara - Thank You, Jesus, for every victory!

Ronel Sidney said...

I love how real you are when you write about motherhood.... I am glad I am not the only one that struggles to make the right decision yet when I look up I am reminded of how he does NOT get mad at me *sigh* and he graces me over and over again.

Irritable Mother said...

Ronel - I love how real it is that I'm going to meet you in real life in nine days! *grin*
Yes. It is good to know we are not alone in our struggles. Even better to know the grace of God flowing through us!