How to find mercy in parenting

September 13, 2013 in Faith that Shines,Five Minute Friday,soccer

She was draggin’. It was Sunday evening, after a long weekend of go-go-going. Of four games, only one victory had come. And tonight, the worse kind of loss–the kind where you lose your big lead–the kind where the other team brings in guest players from their best team and you almost win. The drive home was 40 minutes and she was almost asleep. Penny conscious papas had carpooled, meeting up at a site off the interstate. She gathered her stuff from the backseat, backpack, ball, her daddy’s iPad which he had let her bring for entertainment. It had a magnetic cover that she couldn’t make work so she carried that too. Trudging from car to car she probably looked like a coat tree–something hanging from every limb. She could feel the smooth surface of the iPad slipping. She rushed to make it to the car, to the flat surface of the trunk. But the device known for its sleekness fell, screen first onto the cement. It bounced once. And my girl, looked at her dad with the fear of God.

My husband, wise in silence, told my girl to get in the car. He picked up the now webbed iPad. She waited for the wrath. She knew that device was a daily part of his life, carrying all his math book for teaching at the community college, his calculators, and more in the genius of folder thickness. He drove the 5 minutes to home without a word. Mercy doesn’t come instantly always. We have to remember who we are, what Christ did, and who we want to be. The pressure cooker in my girl’s head exploded and tear came pouring out. At her young age, the fear of punishment was still strongest.

When I came home, I found her curled up in her dad’s lab. The sight of mom brought a new rush of tears. Consequences had been discussed. But wrath never came. The waiting to speak had gifted the time he needed to remember who he was. Mercy reigned.

Joining brave wordsmiths at Lisa Jo’s today for a 5-minute write on mercy. Come see what others wrote.


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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Christine September 13, 2013 at 11:29 am

Amazingly, it seems that sometimes mercy is easier given in the bigger things, like a broken Ipad, than in little things…a defining moment for your daughter I’m sure. You write beautifully.


pruningprincesses September 13, 2013 at 12:13 pm

Oh Christine, I think you are right. It is the cereal bowl that is left on the coffee table that stirs my frustrations more than the big things. Thank you for taking the time to stop by and comment. It encourages me so.


Amy ~ Coffee With The Mrs. September 13, 2013 at 6:38 pm

My 3 year old dropped my iPad and only made a tiny crack in the screen. I, too, had to bite my tongue and let the anger pass before I talked to her. Sometimes mercy is the best discipline.


Amy L. Sullivan September 13, 2013 at 11:58 pm

Love your storytelling, Laura.


Sarah September 20, 2013 at 2:05 pm

Wow, wow, wow. Beautifully written, and such a challenge to my heart. Brought tears to my eyes. I especially loved this: “Mercy doesn’t come instantly always. We have to remember who we are, what Christ did, and who we want to be.”


pruningprincesses September 20, 2013 at 2:15 pm

Hi Sarah, thank you for the lovely comment. The story challenged me too. I find in mothering it is the little things, like shoes left in the middle of the room for the 20th time, that challenge me the most. Thank you for taking time to read and comment….for a writer who barely has time to write, it is water for my word-missing soul.


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