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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Angry (08/02/07)

TITLE: Domestic Disturbance
By hannah anderson
08/05/07


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I should have seen it coming. After all, I was the one who had introduced my two and half year old to red finger nail polish.

It had been one afternoon only a few days before. In a frazzled attempt to get ready for an evening out, I had gambled that including my young daughter in my manicure process would be a smart solution to my present busyness.

I lost my bet.

So I really wasn’t too surprised one morning a few days later to walk in on her painting her nails, our light Frieze carpet, and the whole town red. Correction, candy apple red.

What I was completely unprepared for however was my own reaction.

“What in the world are you doing?! For goodness’ sakes, what were you thinking? How am I ever going to clean this up? You are NOT supposed to play in mommy’s makeup. You know that!!!”

How effortlessly, how naturally, how simply it all came spewing out. Gone were any pretensions of June Cleaver or Donna Reed. Here was a grown woman screaming and ranting at a two year old. Looking into the dark confused eyes of my daughter, I continued.

“How am I ever going to get this out of the carpet? I can’t believe you did this. Stop crying! Go to your room and stay there. Mommy needs some space. Just go away and let me clean this up!”

Her size-five feet fled down the hall and I heard her broken sobs. Instantly, my tantrum subsided, replaced by a flood of remorse. What was I thinking? What in the world had I just done? I knew better; I couldn’t believe I had said those things. How was I ever going to clean that up?

I followed her to her bedroom and found her on her bed, her little body still shaking with surprise and sorrow. I sat down on the edge of the bed, lifted her into my lap and pulled her close. My arms circled all of her barely twenty-six pounds, and I held her securely until she calmed down. The lips that moments before had condemned her, now spoke words of regret, acceptance, and reassurance. Within a few minutes, my daughter had forgotten my tirade and only remembered a mommy that loved her.

My recovery was not quite so simple.

What haunted me even days later was not merely that I had lost my temper - I had done that often enough – but the fact that with one small wave of her chubby hand, my toddler could undo years of spiritual maturing. How could such a little person push me so far and dismantle every bit of my self-control? After all this time, had I finally met my match only to discover that she was two years old?

Or was the reality deeper than that?

Maybe what had happened that morning hadn’t been caused by my two year old; maybe I was the one to blame. Had I been hiding so long under a veneer of goodness and beauty and grown so accustomed to the niceties of religion that I had forgotten who I really was? The truth was that what had surfaced that morning was the real me. The real me that screams and yells; the real me that lashes out; the real me that hurts others. The real me that needs grace and forgiveness.

And suddenly there was comfort in the hope of God’s mercy. A mercy so wise that it uses the foolishness of a child to teach. A mercy so full of patience and peace that it deals with my childish rage. A mercy so encompassing that it reaches down to the real me and heals and transforms.

A mercy so unlike my own heart.


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This article has been read 543 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Lenda Blackmon08/09/07
Isn't it funny how a two year old can turn Us into a two year old. It does show us where we are in our spiritual walk doesn't it. I enjoyed your writing, I could just see this little one playing in the polish.
Lauren Enlove08/09/07
As a mother of a two year old, I felt as if I was reading my own experience. Wonderful description. Also, how beautiful to know that He who lives in us is becoming more and more of what people see as our horrible nature is taken over by His! Praise Him...
Phyllis Inniss 08/11/07
It is good when we can recognize our own weaknesses and faults and see the mercy of God who forgives all. Your two-year old was able to forget the anger and see only a "mommy who loves her". I think that is the essence of God's mercy - love.
valerie chambers08/13/07
Well done!!
Dee Yoder 08/16/07
Congratulations, Hannah, on placing 2nd in Level 1 with this fantastic entry! If you sign on to the FaithWriter's Message Boards, you can read the list of winners under the Writing Challenge, Weekly Results & Highest Rankings. Again, great job!
Laisa Jones08/16/07
Thank you for sharing this. I remember similar revelations when my children were young. Keep writing!
Janice Fitzpatrick08/16/07
This is so good,something that, as a mom of three I could easily identify with. Thank the Lord He is full of mercy and takes us into His arms and forgives us, much faster than we forgive ourselves. It has often taken my own children, when they were little especially, to show me just how understanding God is, and how full of grace and mercy He is. Wonderfully written. The dialogue was right on, too close to home actually,grin. Keep up the great writing hon.God bless.
Janice Fitzpatrick08/16/07
Oh yeah, Congratulations on getting 2nd place.:0) Good work!!:0)
Joanne Sher 08/17/07
Congratulations, Hannah. In addition to second place in level one, your entry has placed 30th overall. That is very impressive! The Lists for the Top 15 in each Level and the Top 40 overall are available in the Weekly Results and Highest Rankings forum of our Faithwriters Message Boards.
Jacquelyn Horne08/18/07
Wonderful account here of anger, acceptance and healing. Congrats on the win.