Last night I made a mistake…the kind of mistake where I’m still shaking my head thinking, “how could I have been that dumb?!”
It rained most the day yesterday. It was one of those grey, stormy autumn Sundays where you stay inside, enjoying the warmth and coziness with a big cup of cocoa. The kind where you play games and watch movies and snuggle under a blanket and read all day.
One where you light a fire in the fireplace.
When we all headed up to bed last night, the fire was still roaring and for some reason I had in my mind that I needed to put it out. Who knows what I was thinking. I don’t know why I didn’t just let it burn itself out.
After pouring ashes onto the flame, the fire died down quickly. So, grabbing my book and load of folded clothes, I headed upstairs.
This morning, I woke early as I always do. And as soon as my mind reached consciousness, my nose told me exactly what I’d done. I knew our house wasn’t on fire, that concept wasn’t even flicker upon my brain. I knew rather…I’d smoked our house out.
Now if any of you wondering why our smoke alarm didn’t go off, I'll tell you why. Ahem. Well, we’d recently thought it would be a good idea to get one of those newfangled smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. You know, an all-in-one deal. I bet they work really great...when they’re out of the box. Please don’t tell my firefighter brother. Or my Dad.
Ben had hoped to be out of the house by 6:30 this morning, for a big day at work. Instead, we spent hours desmoking the house (is that even a word?!).
The main floor where the fireplace is, obviously got it the worst. Our closets are bare because I’m currently washing every single article of clothing since they all smell like we’ve gone camping. Every door and window is open in hopes the smokiness flows out and fresh air pours in.
Every curtain in the whole house needs to be dry cleaned (the thought of that bill terrifies me), and I need to get a carpet cleaner in here to do a major shampoo.
I don't even know what to do with all my pretty pillows.
Oh. And the entire main floor needs to be repainted.
But did Ben blame me? Even once? Did he say, “I cannot believe you’d do something so stupid!” Or “Do you have any idea how much time and money it’s going to cost to get this all fixed?!”
No. Not once.
He wasn’t angry or bitter or rude. Knowing it was an accident, he just shrugged his shoulders and hugged me tight while saying, “We all make mistakes. No biggie. We needed to repaint anyway.”
Wow. Now that’s humbling. That’s a man who keeps the main thing the main thing, as my mom says.
After he finally left for work and I kissed the kids as they headed out to school, my heart began to ache.
Is that how I would have acted if the kids had done it? Or any time they make mistakes? Ben, I have long known, is a safe person to mess up around.
He is a great forgiver. But am I?
I know I’m not one to harbor anger. I certainly don’t cling to anything…but I want to be the kind of parent who is safe to screw up around. I want our family and our home to be safe in every sense of the word.
Including support and encouragement through mistakes.
So that’s my challenge to myself, and perhaps you’d like to challenge yourself, too...
Be the type of person others come to when they’ve screwed up. The parent who patiently corrects and loves through mistakes. One who won’t fly off the handle when things happen, but instead act like my incredibly patient husband did today.
And like Christ responds every time we come before His Throne having messed up for the millionth time that day. He never points his finger, telling us what a horrible job we’ve done yet again. No. He gathers us up in His arms and tells us He loves us.
Because we want an attitude that says, "the house needed painting anyway."
Delve deeper & see what the Bible says about His love in mistakes.