Let mercy lead, let love be the strength in your legs, and in every footprint that you lead, there’ll be a drop of grace…Rich Mullins
I even printed these lyrics out with my label maker and taped them right to my desk so I see them every time I sit down to work.
Events of recent years may have made me a little tougher, in some ways, than necessary… both on myself, and on the ones I love the most. ‘Toughness’ has been so necessary to endure what I’ve endured over the last few years, and to learn how to get back on my own feet, buy a house, get a job, figure out what I want out of life, and stop the hydroplaning.
Freeing oneself from a sociopathic narcissist will do that to you, so I hear.
It’s hard to know where the boundaries should be
It’s hard to know when to say yes and when to say no and when to enforce the rules for kids and when to indulge the kids because the rules don’t matter. I have no backup when it comes to raising kids; NOBODY who will back me up and tell the kids to OBEY YOUR MOM.
Quite the contrary: I have an evil idiot lurking in the shadows who cares NOTHING about the kids’ moral or spiritual upbringing and thrives on telling them NOT to obey me because I’m a liar and a loser.
Yes, that’s healthy for the kids.
Yes, I have saved all the screenshots.
It would be HiiiiLarRrRriouS (considering the source, who has never once kept his word… ) if it weren’t so damaging to my kids, and if it didn’t make it exceedingly hard to raise kids with character who respect and obey their mom.
I was praying about that recently, and the Lord reminded me of these lyrics, which I hadn’t thought about in years.
Let mercy lead
In every decision with my kids, make the choice that comes from a place of mercy.
Remembering that they’re just kids.
Remembering that we’re all doing the best we can.
Remembering that the deck is stacked against them because another adult, who should know better, throws his full body weight into making my life harder, even if it means damaging the kids.
Let mercy lead
… has come to my mind over and over lately.
When I have a family member suffering from an illness FOR WHICH I KNOW WHAT HE SHOULD DO BECAUSE I’VE BEEN RESEARCHING SINCE MY TODDLER WAS DIAGNOSED WITH A BRAIN TUMOR,
… but he didn’t take the actions *I* thought he should.
Be merciful to him because he’s doing the best he can.
In all the relationships
Let mercy lead.
When they mess up because their love language is not the same as mine.
Show them grace and mercy if their Christmas gift surprises you – and not in a good way – because his love language is Acts of Service and not Gifts, and if you made a list of the things this person HAS DONE for you, it would fill five pages.
In my day job as a recruiter
…remembering what people are feeling who are looking for a job, especially this year, when so many are unemployed and feeling desperate.
Because I’ve been in that spot – needing a job, not having one, and feeling desperate.
What mercy doesn’t mean
It doesn’t mean setting myself on fire to keep anyone else warm.
It doesn’t mean plunging myself into debt or financial stress or strain or turmoil to pay for things I’m not able to pay for.
It doesn’t mean continuing to give someone money after they blow the money you intended for food and tampons on sunglasses and junk jewelry at Target.
It doesn’t mean keeping YOUR end of a deal IF THEY DON’T KEEP THEIRS.
It doesn’t mean allowing a child to dishonor and disrespect you. Not in my home.
It doesn’t mean doing ONE THING that violates YOUR boundaries, or your own health or sanity or financial stability, period.
Grace and Mercy and Peace go Together.
And Jesus is the Prince of Peace.
Therefore peace is what I want in my home, and treating each other like we want to be treated, and all that.
I’m working on it.
And that’s my fifteen minutes for today.