Good Dog: First Good Dog Post on a Bad Day

So I’m so happy to see the response that I have received from various people about my Good Dog endeavor (if you are not yet familiar to this, please see the page titled as such on this blog over on the third tab). I was all psyched up about it and kept up on the blog-reading and self-talk and journal writing, trying to untangle the messy web of anger that resides inside me.

And then I came home from work and I just felt grumpy and resentful and I made a few parenting mistakes and I just failed. Horribly failed.

I know what you’re thinking: she’s too hard on herself.

And I say, if I’m not hard on myself, who will be?

And then I hear a whisper: why does anyone have to be hard on you?

Well, I stammer, because I can’t keep doing this. I just can’t.  I’m miserable, depressed, anxious. I come home with hands shaking because I don’t want to deal with child-confrontation.

But how messed up is that?

It hit me today, the main objective I want to get out of this Good Dog endeavor:

I want to take delight in my children

Shouldn’t that be easy?

Long story short, I made plenty of mistakes in just three short hours.

But there is a very important concept – not just a concept, but a gift, that God gives us.

And that is grace.

“I do not understand the mystery of grace — only that it meets us where we are

and does not leave us where it found us.”

~ Anne Lamott

So…as the Bible says, His mercies are new every morning. I tell GlitterToes every night she goes to bed angry, upset, or sad: tomorrow is a new day, wiped clean.

Perhaps I ought to listen to my own words. And ponder what grace, literally, means:

unmerited favor

God bestows grace upon me because He created me. Not because I did or didn’t do something.

Grace is truly a hard thing to wrap your mind around because it is so counter-intuitive to our culture and, frankly, quite uncomfortable to truly comprehend.

Do murderers get grace? Do thieves?

Ah, the hard questions. For now, I’ll focus on us angry parents who yell too much and who want to stop the angry imprint and, instead, build up a loving child’s heart.

Love more, yell less.

I wrote a lot of observations in my “Good Dog” journal (while I put myself in a time-out in my bedroom). I won’t share them now due to the lateness of the hour, but I do hope to share some of the things I realized, such as my triggers and how I show my anger (which, to my surprise and horror, has changed somewhat recently) and what could be achieved if I did meet this goal. I will share these things in time.

So in the meantime, I wish to extend the reminder of God’s grace to each of you.

And take it in, myself.

On knees, head low, arms high…