As I sit here in my office, all I hear is the loud sounds that come from the machine that is cleaning my carpet. It is the same carpet that needed to be cleaned for a second time in less than a month because stepdaughter and her friend chose to throw a party at our home while we were out of town for the long weekend.
I am flooded with thoughts as the noise propels me to relive the moments of our return from our blissful and peaceful weekend away to discover the painfully obvious clues of the goings on in our home during our absence.
I can feel the resistance of my feet and hear the “shhhhht-shhhhht” sound of my shoes sticking to the linoleum floor. I can see the stains in the carpet in the bedroom that look like someone tossed the liquid of their cup into the air in a circular motion, splattering everywhere in some modern art design. I can see the beer bottles left in the salad drawer of the refrigerator, the cigarette butts littered across both our front and back lawns, and the sound of the neighbor talking to husband out front about what actually happened here the night before. I can feel the array of emotions that coursed through my veins and shot straight into my heart.
I can see the anger rise as the volcano that is my mouth erupts in a litany of words that unfortunate husband had to endure. I can see my fingers typing texts ripe with anger and disappointment to the girls.
I feel the disappointment and marvel of receiving no apology from stepdaughter for a week until our face-to-face conversation for which I hear every word spoken, every tone taken, every look and line in her face. I can feel the disgust and rage as I learn that the stains on my carpet are not from a tossed libation but rather from projectile vomiting as the friend, our house-sitter, attempted to get to the bathroom.
I can hear myself recounting it all over this past week to anyone who wanted to listen as the poor choices made for an almost humorous story. Even this morning as I dropped my daughter off at school I paddled around after the group of moms who were preparing for a water day in the parking lot to get every word in, to see the look of horror, to hear the laughter and get the prize.
I feel as though I am the one who has vomited leaving the stains of my mouth and my sick need for the “poor you” statement, for the “you are good and your stepdaughter is not” affirmation all over the place.
For on my desk my bible is open to Ephesians 4 and highlighted in obnoxiously bright, neon yellow, clear as day is verse 29 “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building other up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”
As my eyes pass over the text I look up the page to see verse 26 “In your anger do not sin”. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry and do not give the devil a foothold.”
For as frustrated as I have been over her repeated sin, disrespect and disregard for the rules of our house, I realize that I am doing the same thing. I have repeated sin and disregarded my Heavenly Father’s rules for His house all week. While God does not tell me I cannot share the story, he does tell me under what conditions I am to share and my thoughts, my heart and my mouth did not meet them.
So today I repent. Today I will “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.” (v 31) I will “Be kind and compassionate to (stepdaughter), forgiving (her), just as Christ forgave (me).” (v 32)
I don’t like what happened and I don’t like what she did but I do forgive her and I will let go of my anger so that the enemy will no longer have this foothold in our relationship that we have worked so hard to build over the years.
Choose to let go of any anger you are holding on to this day. Choose repentance with me today!
Photo Credit: Heidi Lettau Photography