Friday, July 6, 2007

forgiveness

I stare at the last pot in the sink. I just can’t do it. I’m done. Beyond exhausted.

“Honey?” I ask, “would you please wash this last pot for me and get my coffee ready for the morning? I’m exhausted.”
“Sure, no problem. Good night!” He responds cheerfully from his perch in front of the television.

I double-check the crockpot—already getting hot. I’m making slow cooked bbq pork and bringing a meal to two families from church tomorrow. All I have to do in the morning is shred the pork, add the bbq sauce, and make a simple fruit salad. I’m getting a haircut at 9:30, so I plan to deliver the food early. It’s a busy day with my husband getting ready for a backpacking trip, but dropping off a simple meal should be no problem.

I sleep soundly, but when I wake up I notice right away: the house doesn’t smell like anything is cooking. I jump out of bed and race to the crockpot.

It’s unplugged.

I open the lid, incredulous. Warm, rotting meat with a lovely bbq rub stares back at me. “Honey?” I call out. My husband comes in and gasps. “I am so, so sorry.” He says.

And I know that he is sincere. He unplugged the crockpot to grind the coffee beans and forgot to plug it back in. It was an honest-to-goodness mistake that anyone could make. Even me, Miss Organized and Efficient.

I sit down at the kitchen table with my coffee and cry for about three minutes. And then I grab my notebook of summer meals and flip through it, looking for something that I have all of the ingredients for. Anything. Ah! Here it is! Low-fat Fettuccine Alfredo. And I’ve even got leftover chicken to throw in. I’ll turn the buns I bought for the bbq into garlic toast, and voila. Dinner.

With that decision done, I get to work. And then I make the most important decision of the day: the decision to forgive my husband. Not to just say “it’s okay,” but to forgive him. To let him off the hook. I ask him to grate the parmesan cheese for me, and I tell him I forgive him. The burden of anger lifts from my shoulders, and we work together to get back on-track with the day.

This morning he left at 5 a.m. for a week of backpacking in Yosemite. As I reflect on the events of yesterday morning, I am so glad I didn’t waste the day in anger and hostility and resentment.

Does grace live at your house? I am so grateful that it lives at mine.

18 comments:

Frazzmom said...

I wonder who benefits more- the giver of grace or the one who receives it? Either way, a marraige without grace would be a hard place to live... Glad to hear it's alive and well in yours. I Hope you all have a great weekend!

Llama Momma said...

Yes. A marriage without grace would be...lonely. Forgiveness doesn't always come easily, and I've spent more time than I'd like to admit angry and resentful, but I'm growing in this area of grace!

menzach said...

I appreciate that your husband unplugged the pot. It was delicious!

Llama Momma said...

menzach -- Hey! Welcome to blogland! I'm so glad your family enjoyed the meal. God is gracious!!

Sarah said...

We enjoyed our meal as well! So grace to your husband, and yummy tummies for us...everyone wins!

Scott said...

i am a friend of Jenn Grosser and your recent comment on Jenn's blog of singleness and married status was great . I am single and know Jesus. It is indeed tough to fit in the table at times being handicapped in a hidden way but am glad that God includes me at his table. glad that you mentioned the autistic and all those who have handicaps, looking forward to reading your blog and entering in on the dialogue.

peace,scott
www.scottrdavis.blogspot.com
check it out and see what you think.scott

Llama Momma said...

Sarah -- I'm glad your family enjoyed the meal too. I enjoyed snuggling your little one! :-)

Scott -- thanks for stopping by! I hope you find something encouraging here!

Ted Gossard said...

Yes, how much we need grace. Everyday. And for the "little" as well as "bigger" things. Without it we just can't go on with each other in the Lord, as we need to.

Thanks, you have a nice way of telling your stories, LM.

spaghettipie said...

*sigh* You are so inspirational. Thanks for your practical, every day example. I'm currently reading She's Gonna Blow! and it was great to see those principles in action.

Llama Momma said...

Ted -- Family life is so much about grace, isn't it? One of the books I read as a newlywed was, "Families Where Grace is in Place." It completly changed the way I live in community with my husband and children.

SP -- I have a hundred more examples of choosing the path of resentment and anger, so don't put me on a pedestal. It is God at work in my life, His grace, that allowed me to forgive that day. How many stupid mistakes have I made? Forgetting to leave the crockpot on over and over and over...and God receives me back with open arms. In light of His radical mercy, how can I NOT forgive??

Cindy Swanson said...

Oh, boy...something like that could easily send me into a freak-
out. I resolve to follow your example the next time. I do want grace to live at my house!

Llama Momma said...

Cindy -- thanks for stopping by. Don't follow my example...9 times out of 10 I get it wrong. Cling to the grace of God. He's the only one who gets it right every time!!

L.L. Barkat said...

Loved the story.

Yes, wouldn't it be great if we could see our angers as a waste? What is it that makes us hold on?

Llama Momma said...

LL -- They ARE a waste, aren't they? To get to the end of the day and realize you've been too self-focused to really see the poeple around you. Somehow we trick ourselves into holding on to all of this gunk, but it is a trick.

ChosenRebel said...

This is what I mean. You have got to keep writing girl. You don't have to post this, if you don't want too, but that was a great story, well told, touching, grace filled and edifying. I want to take it and use it, (and many of the comments) in pastoral counseling.

It is a story that captures much of what every pastor in America (and really, around the world) wants every couple in his church to understand. Bravo.

MamaToo said...

this is one of my favorite posts. I've been thinking about it ever since I first read it, and I always smile to think about the love you demonstrated to your husband and yourself that day. (And, by way of this blog, you've shown all of us)

Giving grace (and receiving) must be practiced, and my experience is that the more I choose this route, the easier it becomes next time.

Llama Momma said...

chosenrebel -- thank you for your kind encouragement. Deciding to follow the way of Jesus in life, and the everyday, continues to be the single best deccision of my life. It's radical and hard and wonderful all at the same time. (Use my story any way you'd like. Ultimately, it's all God's story.)

mamatoo --I like this idea of practicing grace. It feels unnatural, this kind of radical forgiveness in the face of error -- and yet it is God's way. And in light of His radical grace, how can we NOT forgive? And, of course, the fruit of forgiveness is so sweet. That last day with my husband was wonderful, and I haven't spent the week stewing, but praying.

One more day until he comes home. I'll keep repeating it to myself all afternoon....one more day...one more day....

Come tomorrow at noon, y'all can find me at Starbucks. Alone! ;-)

MamaToo said...

LM, I just linked your post. Unfortunately, it was not as beautiful writing as yours here, but thought you might want to know that your post on grace (and this discussion) were fresh in my mind as everything unfolded. Thank you, and bless you, for reminding me to look at the cross yesterday.