Lately there are things that I am discovering about my childhood and myself that quite frankly is hard to deal with. As I face the abuses I suffered as I child and seek deeper healing I discover many things. First, I am more aware of myself as a parent for fear of making the same mistakes. Secondly, abusive words even done in error can cause a lasting effect. Third, the person who used some of this negative language may not even be aware themselves what they have done to you. Fourth, forgiveness, true forgiveness is a choice and happens in layers. God only gives you what you can handle. So He may not reveal to you all things at once but will slowly uncover what you are ready to handle. I have done some things in the past that quite honestly came from ignorance and as a result of my path. Luckily, I stopped myself before I verbally hurt my children or when I did react harshly, I apologized and reevaluated the situation. Just the other day in frustration I said something to Christopher that was wrong. I realized it and began to cry. I asked him to forgive me and said it wasn't his fault and reassured him I love him, despite my mistakes. He took it in stride. I do not want to repeat the mistakes of my parents or people who did damage in my life on my children. To do this I must be aware of what I am saying and doing. I am doing a study on Love Is a Choice. It has helped me realize some things in my life that need healing and things that I can do better with my own children. We all make mistakes but it is what we do with those mistakes and how we make it better that counts. I am sure every parent on the face of the earth has said things or done things to their children that were hurtful or wrong...BUT...it does not have to become a pattern or a lifestyle. As I overcome what happened in my past, I break a cycle. My parents did the best they good for the most part with what they had to do with. The knowledge they had, the things they suffered as children and/or the mistakes they recognized or did not recognize. I don't hold blame against them and I don't hold a grudge. It just makes me want to be a better parent. I tell my children daily I love them and try to show them in ways that are tangible. For example, playin tea party or reading them a story when I don't feel like it. Stopping myself from snapping at them when they aren't listening. And most of all, learning to WALK AWAY when I am mad. I am discovering that just as children grow, so do parents. We don't automatically know how to do it. It takes time and growth. I am discovering that I am stronger than I thought I was and that I am a survivor. I am an overcomer because of what Christ has done in me. And the key to it all, the key to healing, the key to victory, truly is forgiveness. As God peels off this layer He is working on in me right now, it is not comfortable but oh how much more clearly I can see. I choose to walk in love and forgiveness. I choose to sow a heritage of love, patience, kindness into my children. I choose to be the best parent I know to be and learn more about being a better parent. I choose to give my kids memories filled with love and joy instead of grief. I want them to see their childhood differently than I see mine. But it takes work on myself and willingness to admit my mistakes. It takes WANTING to change the things that need changing and asking for help. That ALONE is hard. But I will with God's help be that Proverbs 31 Mommy. Today, on this day, God is doing a new work in my heart and I am being healed to a greater depth than ever before. Simply, because God knew I was ready. God knew I could handle it now and God knew I wanted to change. My prayer is that I show my children Jesus in all I do, say, believe and feel. That they will learn it is okay to make mistakes, it is okay to forgive and it is okay to admit you screwed up. Perfection is not attainable or expected but trying your best is. Learning from the past and your mistakes helps you grow and become stronger. And most of God is able to do great and mighty things when we let Him. And He loves us all, just as we are. He does not expect perfection because He is made perfect in our weakness and He will give us the strength to grow, become stronger and learn a better more Jesus like way. If we rest on Him and His promises, He truly will get us through. So I, the imperfect mother that I am, realize God loves me just like I am, so do my children and my job is to do my best and keep striving to learn new and better ways to live this life with the love and compassion He places in my soul.