Friday, November 9, 2012

Knee-Jerk Grace

Let your conversation always be full of grace, 
seasoned with salt, so that you may know 
how to answer everyone. Colossians 4:6
{pinterest photo}
Here's the conversation:

Physical Therapist Guy: So, what do you guys have planned for homeschool today?
My child: Well, we do math and reading and some other stuff. My math is on the computer and it gives me two chances to get it right, but my mom is very forgiving and she lets me do it, like, 5 times until I get it right.
Me: What? When have I ever done that? Like twice-ever? <Shoots angry darts.>

The back-story: My girls are excellent in their math skills, praise the Lord! On two occasions that I can think of, we gnarled up our math in such uncharacteristic ways, that I deleted the assignments and gave a mulligan. That's grace, right?
My child was so upset about having to do the math again, which I didn't understand, because I'm giving a gift here!? I'm helping you out!?

This was months ago. We've continued our lives in mathematical excellence.

Then, from the Tampa Bay Ray's left field (and I'm in Houston!), homegirl acts like I give her do-overs every day!

So, my sweet friend, Courtney, reminded me to use the opportunity to teach about grace. I could remind her about the advantages of homeschooling in situations like that. Yes. That's a great idea. But, um. Too late.

I had already let her know what she had done. It was not graceful. It was graceless. I was mad.

"Really? You made it sound like I just let y'all jack up your school work?"

It could have gone so differently, had my conversation been full of grace. 

"Oh, I remember that! Yes, several months ago we had an exceptionally rough math assignment. It was ugly. I just decided we needed to scrap it and start over! I'm glad we don't have to do that too often, but I'm grateful that we get do-overs when we need them."

I think, now, that she really was intending to speak highly of her mom and of homeschooling. Her point was that there was grace in our day. But, all I could see was this guy sizing us up as homeschoolers who are free to make an appointment on a Thursday morning at 8am. We must not do school work if we make an appointment on a Thursday at 8am, right!?

But, my initial response was to point out that we don't make a habit of redoing our work. I had to save face.

Why isn't my knee-jerk response full of grace? Not just with my girls, but with myself? I'm the first to beat myself up over a lousy day or workout or task incomplete.

All my conversations, including the ones in my head, need more grace. More salt.

How do you ensure that you have knee-jerk grace?


  1. Wow! I am so guilty of this! Especially where my kids are concerned!!Thank you for the reminder to be Gracious!! Lord knows I need him and most everyone else in my life to be Gracious to me!! Love and Miss you!!

    1. Yes, the kids get it big, right?! Love and miss you, Sister!!

  2. I don't homeschool - mainly cause I'm old and my kids are grown - but definitely struggle with this in other area. I'm always so much better at thinking of constructive things to say WAY after the fact.

    1. Oh, yes. This is definitely not about homeschooling. This is about my gracelessness.
      Working on it...working on it!