January offers the hope of a blank slate. All the mistakes of the last twelve months are captured in the past and suddenly the prospect of a new year lies before me. January is full of promise, hope and de-cluttering.
This year I decided to make a list of 18 things to do in 2018 rather than traditional resolutions after listening to Gretchen Ruben’s podcast Happier. I’m pleased to say I’ve marked several items off my list and feel like I’ve got some good momentum going for the year.
Today is the second day of February. I have to admit, that wonderful blank slate feeling is starting to fade.
It got me thinking, though. It sounds crazy, but sometimes I am unforgiving with my kids. I chalk up their transgressions for future “teachable moments” or better yet “preventative strategies.” It feels wrong on so many levels to admit this, but it’s the truth.
Sometimes I am guilty of holding on to my irritation from undesirable behaviors (euphemism for tantrums, outburst and fits). It leaves me feeling on edge. Here’s the sad thing: When I don’t let go of the past, it shapes how I treat people in the present.
Walking in forgiveness is more that a Sunday morning sermon. It means I give the littlest people in my life permission to be human. It means I extend grace and forgiveness it the trenches of child rearing. Forgiveness frees me from the mistakes that defined the past; it grants permission to change.
I don’t have to wait for January or a new year to give my kids a blank slate. I can forgive now.
Picture credit- Hobby Lobby (aka my happy place) Check out their website to buy a blank slate which is not the same thing as creating a blank slate, but it feels pretty good too.