In my gratitude journal this morning I wrote, “Today is a new day. A day to forgive and let go of grievances I’m holding onto. The Lord’s mercies are new each morning. I want mine to be also. I had been carrying frustration/annoyance with someone I love not meeting an expectation(unspoken). I think I felt annoyed because I have spoken this expectation many times so I expect I don’t need to speak it aloud again. But that is exactly where grace needs to enter. Sometimes in conflict a conversation is needed but other times it is just a chance to extend grace and forgiveness. The person may not even know there was a conflict brewing in your heart. Today is a new day. I want my mercies to be new each morning as well. How easy to feel like this person “ought” (there’s that sneaky expectation creeping in) to know I’m pissed and they “ought” to not do _________ because we have talked about it so much.
One mentor ( my mother- in-law) taught me that so often we are hurt because of unmet expectations. We have expectations of others and when they don’t meet them then we are hurt by it. Many times the expectations are not even verbalized. And then another mentor of mine, my spiritual director, taught me the idea to love without expectations. poooooffff…. mind blown! No that is hard stuff but so freeing when I apply it.
It is funny how I get immediate opportunities to apply these mercies as soon as I write that sentence. Our youngest wakes way too early- 5:50 am. He usually sleeps til like 7:40. Well, I say usually but it really has only been the last few months. But seriously what is he doing? Doesn’t he know it is already insanely hard to gather up enough discipline to roll my butt out of bed at 5:30? I surprise myself and stay kind and tell him it is too early to get up and carry him back to bed. But based on how words have already spilled out of his mouth I am not hopeful he will fall back asleep. I actually get 20 more minutes of silence before his door opens and he wanders back out. Trying desperately to apply this new merices thing (which sounds much better on paper). I stay calm and kind. Some people act surprised when I tell them I am grumpy. I am usually on my best behavior with others. My kids get to see the real me. I tell him he can watch Oomi Zoomi while I finish up my special time with Jesus. I stole the phrase “special time” from his counselor/behavior specialist. We had homework and a chart to fill out saying we spent at least 5 minutes a day having “special time” with him which means he gets to be the boss and steal whatever I am playing with. It is child- directed play time which to me just seems like a fancy word for child dictator. We know his top love language (5lovelanguages.com) is quality time so we knew 5 mintues would not be tolerated by him. 😉 So we shoot for 20-30 a day, each of us. I usually give that to him upon waking. But he knows my deal that if he wakes before 7:00am he has to watch shows til I am done. I used to tell him that he had to wait til the sun came up but now it is seriously light before 6:00 so the rules have changed. All that to say, I got an opportunity to apply what I learned.