Jun 16, 2021

Grocery Stores, Grapes, and My Big Fat Mouth...

 You can always bet that when I write a post on mouth follies, I will surely fall into sin with my mouth shortly after. IT NEVER FAILS. 

It's kind of the same concept when I am trying to teach my children something, when secretly, I am the one that needed the lesson the MOST. 

Well, sure enough, I wrote a post on June 4th about the words of our mouth being the meditations of the heart...and just a few days later I fall flat on my face with this sin. 

I was having a bad day. Just moody. Grumpy. Short tempered. 

We were in the grocery store and the build up was happening. I was ready to get home. 

My daughter and I were arguing about something, I honestly do not even remember. 

A few seconds later the words came out of my mouth. As soon as they did, I wanted to melt on the floor and die. 

Her eyes welled up with tears...right in the middle of Ingles. Yay. 

I started sweating profusely, almost as if sin was just pouring out of my body through my sweat glands. Yay. 

I immediately grabbed her and hugged her and told her I was so very sorry for being so short tempered. 

We were both crying now. 

We rounded the corner of the aisle, and of course we run into someone we know. Eyes swollen with tears and faces glistening with rolling sweat, I tried to smile at my friend but knew I looked pathetic. 

We went to check out our groceries and we picked up the grapes from the buggy and they flew all over the floor. EVERYWHERE. 

The lady in front of us, surrounded by grapes at her feet,  gave us a memorable look, complete with an eye roll. 

Lord, please just get me home. 

This day could not get any worse. 

We finally made it to the car and I was apologizing profusely to my daughter for being such a horrible momma. 

She cried, I cried, we all cried. 

I felt like those smooshed up grapes all over that grocery store floor. 

I was a mess. 

When my head hit the pillow that night, I tossed and turned. I was so convicted by my behavior. 

I eventually crawled in bed with my daughter because I needed her to know how sorry I was. 

I prayed the whole entire night. Begging God to forgive me, and for my daughter to have no memory of what a horrible momma she had. 

Images of her sitting on a therapist's couch when she is in her mid twenties crying about her mean momma haunted me all night long. 

I could not forgive myself. 

I knew God had forgiven me, but I was having a hard time feeling deserving of grace and mercy. 

The next morning, after not sleeping a wink, I grabbed my coffee and hit the couch with my Bible. 

I needed God desperately. 

I laid the Bible on my heart and just begged God to speak. To heal my heart. To heal any wounds I had caused with my big stupid mouth. 

He led me straight to the book of Psalms and watered my weary soul...

This was the passage...

21 Then I realized that my heart was bitter,
    and I was all torn up inside.
22 I was so foolish and ignorant—
    I must have seemed like a senseless animal to you.
23 Yet I still belong to you;
    you hold my right hand.
24 You guide me with your counsel,
    leading me to a glorious destiny.
25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
    I desire you more than anything on earth.
26 My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak,
    but God remains the strength of my heart..

Psalm 73:21-26

I read those words over and over again, letting them seal into my bones. 

I was forgiven. I was free from guilt and shame. 

Yet, I was having a hard time believing that I deserved forgiveness. 

Shame wanted to steal my joy. My peace.

I was walking with a limp feeling like a terrible mother. 

God was reminding me that nothing had changed. I still belonged to Him. 

Why is is so hard to move on from our sin?

I realized that morning that maybe the hardest part of all with sin is our own forgiveness and willingness to move on. 

We often want to sit and sulk in it and let the pain bury us into a muddy pit of self-loathing and shame. 

The enemy would have loved for me to stay in that place. To bury myself in the loathing and the guilt. 

God was taking me by the hand, the hand that He never let go of...and walking me right into forgiveness and grace. 

His mercy takes my breath away. I do not deserve it. None of us do. 

But, His Mercy isn't conditional. It is limitless and unconditional. 

Friend, if you have found yourself in a place that feels like quick sand because of sin...

I understand. 

But, God has forgiven you. He has redeemed every part of the situation and He desires to free you from the chains of shame. 

The experience in the grocery store that day humbled me to a whole new level. It once again reminded me of my desperate need for Jesus. I am utterly lost without Him. 

The same day my mouth exploded I had written down this quote in my prayer journal..

"God permits injustice. He allows things and events to happen in our lives that prune us and shape us." Elisabeth Elliot

I had also written..

"In acceptance lies peace". 

So, even though my mouth sinned, God will use it to prune me and shape me. 

I have to accept that I sinned and that I am not perfect and that I need Jesus more than I need air. 

In acceptance lies peace. 

These experiences actually can grow us into better disciples if we let them. We begin to have more compassion and humility. We see clearly the depths of our own sinful tendencies and we begin to be more merciful towards others. 

Whew. My eyes are certainly clear. 

My daughter wrote me a note the night of this incident...I cried my eyes out when I read it because I did not deserve her words. 

I realized in that moment...her words were a reflection of Christ. His love overwhelms. 

"Momma, thank you for everything you do for me, even if I don't always act like it, I am so thankful for you and our friendship. You are the best mom ever, I hope to be like you and have a heart like you some day! Thank you for being my BFF! I love every minute with you!"

Her words were so opposite of how I felt about my mothering. Yet, Jesus in His Great Mercy, redeems the broken and brings much beauty from ashes. 

He has removed our sins as far from us
    as the east is from the west.

Psalm 103:12


swimming in a sea of grapes and forgiveness, 


jill



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