HOW DOES THIS HAPPEN?!
A Squirrel In Need of Mercy
A Mom In Need of Mercy...
One morning last week, a day just like any other, I was about to get my dog some food when I noticed a hairy little critter right by my leg as I opened the door. I shrieked and slammed the door and thought, "What in the world was that?" Well, it was a squirrel. At my back door. Trying very hard to get into my house. The nerve!
Look at my son's fascination with him (her?). It seems to be mutual. There's a Disney movie in here somewhere, I just know it (just so long as it stays outside!).
Needless to say, I never let the squirrel in (we don't think he had rabies, but still...). This got me thinking. There are other things we want to refuse entrance to our homes too. Namely attitudes. God's mercy and grace can help us, even on the bad days, to leave the complaints at the back door. We don't have to vent our annoyances. Easier said than done, though, right?
"Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone."--Colossians 4:6
I was recently listening to an audio message by Nancy Wilson about pleasant homes. She cautioned against "unloading the truck" and reciting to our husbands (or anyone else) the "laundry list" of all the things that went wrong in a day, all the irritations that arose with--or among--our children. Not only do we not need to, we would be wise not to. Sure our husbands need to know about behavioral problems with our children, but be selective! The way we share (and what we share) determines whether we're the wise woman or the foolish woman that Proverbs talks so much about.
"...the contentions of a wife are a constant dripping."--Proverbs 19:13
"[she] who restrains his lips is wise."--Proverbs 10:19
Mrs. Wilson's advice to young mothers was very wise. Our words should be life-giving, refreshing, and nourishing. We should not "empty the whole dump truck" and bury our husbands under right when they get home simply because it feels good for us to unload it all. Rather, we should strive to share what is helpful for our husband's sake--not just for our sake.
"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen."--Ephesians 4:29
Arriving at this place where we do not share what we want to share requires maturity and gobs of God's grace. It is a process of sanctification, which God's grace and mercy will help us achieve through the power of the Holy Spirit. We must also discipline ourselves in these matters. "Women need to have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to their own sins. All must be repented of immediately.'"--Nancy Wilson, Credenda
As Dr. Laura Schlessinger says, "You have to 'stifle yourself.'...Venting every feeling isn't mature. Learning to deal with uncomfortable and unpleasant feelings is an important aspect of maturity. The pop-psych notion that you have to divulge every unpleasantness or you will have gangrene of the soul and spirit is ultimate nonsense. Learning to endure, transform by perspective or action, and be grateful is the fast lane to a good life." --In Praise of Stay-at-Home Moms
So if you ever see a squirrel at your back door, make sure to leave him outside. And the next time you feel tempted to "unload the truck" of all your frustrations about life with little ones, try your hardest to leave it outside too.