This last week has been a little rough. Starting with our neighbor's threat to our chocolate lab Ben. Testing started off great and then when downhill when Princess started the math section. Shane is finishing the math with her later this morning. Yes, on a Saturday. No, she's not happy about it.
The children started off the week behaving beautifully– by yesterday it was another story all together. My birthday was Thursday. It was bad enough that Shane decided that the date on the calendar was a mistake, and my birthday is actually today instead –he is a sweet one. But then I guess I have no one to blame but myself because…
I have not behaved very Christ-like in all this.
I went around angry at the neighbor the first part of the week (and I'm still struggling — wondering how long will we have to be concerned about finding our great dog dead one day?)
I was frustrated Thursday that my “gift” from my children on Thursday was worse behavior than has been seen in our house in a long, long time.
But this morning in my inbox was two items that helped me see my sinful behavior. Of course one was Elizabeth Elliot's devotional from Back to the Bible speaking about the clothing we should wear as Christians
Put on the garments that suit God's chosen people, his own, his beloved: compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience” (Col 3:12 NEB).
and the other was the verse of the day from Heartlight.
A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up
— Proverbs 15:1
What a wretched (wo)man I am! I have not clothed myself with Christ in this situation. The neighbor's charges are ridiculous– Ben is a great dog who has not an agressive bone in his body. (although, if provoked I imagine he would put up a warning, afterall he is a dog). The man admitted to kicking rocks at him. I'm fairly certain, that he did not bark that day as I almost always hear him and look to see what he's barking at– usually some little varmit I can't see. He has not barked at them anytime in the recent past. (Most days we haven't been home when they've come home and he's kenneled in the house when we are away) The wife lied to her husband about talking to me about him barking at them– that is the truth.
Why should I worry further about it? I know the truth of the matter, yet I let it overwhelm me. I don't know why these neighbors that I thought we had a neighborly kind of relationship with would falsly accuse us. Satan uses all sorts of people and situations.
Okay, God. I have not been the daughter you want me to be. I have kept this situation in my hands and not given it over to you. I surrender it to you this minute! I have not been loving toward my family, much of it because I was angry at the neighbors. Please help me to do what I know I should do and forgive me for sinning against you and my family in this. Take care of the situation with Ben. Help him to stay away from them and help them to soften their hearts. Also Lord, it'd be nice to know if they have that change of heart. Thank you for your forgiveness. Amen