When people disappoint.

We walk in the door and the babysitter has a weak smile, looks tired. The house is tidy but the tell tale signs of shattered Lego still remain on the floor. One boy is asleep, prostrate in the middle of the room, and the other is bouncing around on the couch like a human version of Tigger. My heart falls. "The boys were tired tonight, and Luke didn't want to listen to me. He said he didn't have to obey me." The unsure words fall from the girl's mouth. "You can put him in a time out," I said. "I did," she replied, "but he wouldn't stay in his room." I sigh, knowing the boy's will and physical strength. Another babysitter bites the dust, I thought wearily.
My husband lifts the child from the floor with a grunt, revealing the dense mass of his frame. The kid is heavy, really heavy. He lays him in his bed with a father's love and tucks him in. I feel bad. I feel bad that the girl had to suffer at the hands of our children. I am cross that I haven't trained our kids better in the areas of respect. I find myself fretting. My husband looks at me straight. "Why are you worrying about that stuff?" he says, "just forget it and focus on what a great evening we had." Of course he is right but I can't get my mind off what I should have done better. I'm disappointed in myself for not training the kids better. I'm disappointed that I didn't set better expectations before I left and train the babysitter how to deal with the kids. Quite frankly, I'm disappointed in my kids that they didn't take better care of her. All around disappointed. I wrestle with this emotion for hours. It's the first thing I think about when I get out of bed this morning. Then I remember, we all fail. I fail, my kids fail, every single person on the planet fails and how does God respond to us when that happens? Does He tell us to try harder or do better? No. He loves us anyway. He is not surprised by my weakness or repelled by it but I am. I have got it all upside down and inside out. I hope I can learn this lesson so that I can extend the same grace to myself, my children, my husband as God extends to me. It's a beautiful acknowledgement of our need for him to be able to say "I am weak but you, God, are strong. Thank you for your grace today."
And I hear Luke waking up so I want him to hear first that I really, really love him, and then help him to see there is a better way. Grace. Grace.

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