Granting Grace

My son is one of the sweetest children I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.  That's not a biased statement, either.  He is genuinely a child of my heart, not of my blood because his nature is completely opposite mine - he's a quiet, laid back, go with the flow and oh so sensitive.  His sense of humor has had to be developed and coaxed.  Oh, he's funny but there is such an intensity about him he takes everything seriously and would often struggle, thinking we were being straight with him when we were, indeed, teasing.

As beautiful his strengths, his weaknesses about drive me to distraction.  He cannot bring himself to say "I'm sorry" unless prompted.  We have gone around and around trying to get him to understand the necessity of admitting his mistakes, especially when he hurts or disrespects someone and how important it is to acknowledge those mistakes by a simple apology. 

Other weaknesses are kid oriented and I'm praying they don't haunt him into adulthood.  Of those, his biggest is he is always moving on to the next task or event and he rarely wraps up what he's currently doing.  My biggest pet peeve in that regard is our garage door/light.

The one chore he loves, doesn't consider a chore and his eyes actually light up when he's asked to do it is light a fire in the woodstove.  His father so patiently taught him how to build and maintain a good fire, a fire to warm our home.  The wood for said fire is kept in the garage.  When it's time to build a fire, off to the garage he goes to gather kindling and wood.  When he comes back in the house, of course his hands are full.  He is full of good intentions - he's going to go back and close/lock the door and turn off the light.  The problem is he rarely remembers.  It can be as much as an hour before anyone notices because we haven't gone to that part of the house and in that time a lot of heat can leak out.  He forgets, too, when he's feeding the dog (dog food is also kept in the garage).  Best intentions...but poor follow-through.

After many, many times of finding the door open and the light on and reminding him, I finally had to come down to warnings.  He received three warnings and knew that if it happened a fourth time, he was grounded for a week.  I told him a week because I wanted him to take it seriously.  And he actually did, for several weeks.  Then it happened.  Tuesday.  Light on, door open when I got home at lunch and then I found it again later, about an hour after I'd asked him to build a fire...

Grounded.  The heartwrenching part of that?  He and a friend of his had JUST made plans to have their first sleepover together, scheduled for tonight.  I had to crush him, void his plans and endure watching his face just crumble as he fought back the tears.  It broke my heart, especially since this is a very social little boy whose life just doesn't involve much in the way of opportunity to play with his friends after school.

Then Wednesday was the first day of Lent and as I was praying through the day (my last post explains this), it went through me like a lightening bolt (gotta love the jolt of simplicity...).  When I got home, Christopher and I sat down on the couch and we chatted.  For quite a while.  The best part?  He asked questions, too - it wasn't just my talking. 

The end result?  He now has a pretty thorough understanding of Lent and also, grace.  Grace I granted, ending his grounding after just 24 hours.  Free to make plans with his friend for the weekend, free to go to church last night and enjoy the SonLife program.  Free...  with grace from Bonnie. 

When I saw his face when I told him what I was going to do (mind you, up until I said the words, he thought I was teaching him about Lent), I knew God had pointed me in the right direction.  I don't know if it'll be something he remembers forever, or even if he'll remember next week but for that briefest of moments, I'd given him one of the greatest gifts he'd ever received and it shone on his face.

I have to wonder...does my realizing the value of the grace offered on the cross shine on my face like that?  Do I focus enough on Christ so that I ALWAYS shine that way?  I bet not...but my purpose is to glorify God.  Do I do that?  Do I give Him "and then some?"  Do I give?  I pray through these next several weeks I do...and I pray I carry it past Easter as well.  May I please not get wrapped up in myself as I am so very prone to do. 

On to whatever comes next...

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