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“Love keeps no record of wrongs.” That’s a phrase from the Bible that comes up from time to time in our home, usually when the boys are having a tiff and I find that they are bringing up stuff from the recent (and distant!) past that should have been forgiven and forgotten long ago. I’d like to think that I am an expert at not keeping a record of wrongs but I’m not. Just recently, I felt slighted by someone and it really offended me. I was so upset I didn’t even want to talk with the individual. I wanted him to suffer from my cold shoulder treatment. We did talk. He apologized for what he did and explained some of the circumstances around why he made the choice he did. It wasn’t just to hurt me. That was a good conversation but I found it hard to let go of the incident. I kept replaying it in my mind even after our talk. Surely, this rewind and replay of the mind is how a record of wrongs is imprinted indelibly in the memory. Anyone who saw me while I was thinking like this surely would have seen a clouded face and a furrowed brow. I really wanted to tell my friends all about the incident and also about my response to it. I wanted to be consoled by others. I was feeling sorry for myself because of it. This telling I’m sure would have more surely sealed the wrong in my mind.
Thankfully, I have the Spirit of God and His still small voice did come through reminding me that in Christ I get to choose what I think about. Being a Christian, it’s possible to take thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ. I knew that my thoughts were not in line with His and that I needed to change. I began to silently call out to Him right where I was – in the grocery store. It was tough to stop hitting the rewind and replay button in my mind. That’s what came naturally. God did help me to think along His line – those things that are pure, lovely, truthful, of good repute, etc. I was even able, by the power of God, to think loving thoughts of the person who had slighted me. I was reminded of his good characteristics and was enabled to see him through Christ’s eyes.
The incident isn’t completely forgotten in my mind but it’s not as vivid as it was. It’s definitely fading. Already I am wondering why I made such a big deal of it. It’s not worth discussing with anyone else. In Christ, I can forgive and even forget such small slights. A record of wrong doesn’t have to be written out in my memory. Through Him, I can approach this individual and start afresh with a clean slate. What freedom to not have to carry around past offenses!
I did a lot of driving these last two weeks to see family and friends and eat way too much. (I put on 5 pounds!) Amongst other things we had a chance to hole up in a motel in Peterborough (the weather was really getting to me!), tour the War Museum in Ottawa with an old friend, work on an amazing snow fort (a YouTube video of it is in the works), go bowling (pics of that event didn’t turn out so great), tromp through the snow in Parc des Chutes in picturesque La Tuque, Quebec, familiarize ourselves with local fauna at an interpretation centre, learn a little about the Natives of the Quebec region, feed (and chase) wild turkeys in Brighton, Ontario, and celebrate D’s 12th birthday. It was a great trip but it sure feels good to be home again.
We’ve been working especially hard this past week to get these World War II lapbooks finished and assembled. They’re almost done. I just need to get some brads to attach the “Land Weapons fan booklet”. Considering that these are only the second lapbboks we’ve attempted to make, I’m pretty pleased with the results. Way to go, D and P!
Some time ago I realized that I get to choose what I think about and that what I think about is directly related to my attitude. Take today for example. I can choose to think about how my son broke two wall hangings in a fit of anger towards his brother. Choosing to rehash that in my mind leads to an attitude of anger towards him. The damage is done. He is sorry and has said so. I have forgiven him. To think more upon it would likely result in me treating him as an inconsiderate, uncareful boy. I don’t think that is who he is. He’s a kid who’s still learning to manage his sometimes strong emotions.
I can also choose to think about why my other son put a huge, taped-up piece of cardboard in the shower today. Thinking along that line only leaves me perplexed. It’s a waste of time. I’ll likely never come up with the correct reason. It’s far better to choose not to think too much about it but instead ask him.
Another option for thought is the three hours I spent shovelling the latest dump of snow in the driveway. I am choosing not to think about it. That kind of thinking tends to only lead to complaining and I don’t want to go there.
What I’ve decided to think upon today is how the sun is breaking through the clouds more often this week. The fresh snow is beautiful in and of itself, but when the sun peeks through the clouds the landscape changes from merely beautiful to breathtakingly beautiful. Choosing to think about this leads to an attitude of praise and wonder of the Creator. It rejoices the heart and makes the soul sing. It lifts my eyes upward and reminds me that there is more than dirty dishes and hyper boys in my life. There’s an amazing creation out there pointing me away to an even more amazing God. I get to choose what I focus on. I can be narrow and ruminate on all that isn’t right in my little two-by-four world or I can look beyond that and think of the bigger picture and my place in it. Right now, I choose the latter. It’s making all the difference in my attitude.
We started working on the March edition of the “Gravel Gazette” today. D decided quickly that he would write a short follow-up story on how the Toronto Maple Leafs are doing now. He went to work finding the info on the internet. P had a harder time deciding what to write about. He has been talking about getting a pet frog so I suggested that he try to write a pet article and that maybe for research purposes we could visit the local pet store. He was happy with that idea.
We did make a stop at the pet store this afternoon as we were doing errands but alas, they housed nothing amphibious. We had previously seen frogs at a pet store in Barrie. (That, I think, is where the whole idea really got started.) So, perhaps in the name of research, we’ll have to venture out a bit further. To Barrie and beyond then, if that’s what it takes to get this story written!