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I'm a single mom with two great kids living near Dallas, Texas. This is my life; day to day things that are probably only important to me. This is my record of my ups, my downs and the road that I've taken along the way. For whatever reason YOU'RE here, I hope you find something you can enjoy and/or relate to. God bless.

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Location: Dallas, Texas, United States

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Mercy, Mercy Me

While the boys were young enough for Easter baskets, we'd fill them up with the usual stuff like candy and toys. But we'd also put those plastic pull apart eggs in them with slips of paper inside. On each slip was written something different; stay up late one night, snack, movie, foot rub, and mercy or grace. Grace could be used as a total forgiveness, or a 'get out of trouble completely' card and mercy as we'd show mercy on them or a 'much lighter and reduced punishment' card. We didn't do the Easter Bunny, but still wanted to celebrate the sacrifice God made for us, as well as Christ's love for us. We wanted to teach the kids about God's grace and mercy. As they got too old for Easter baskets, we'd still give them the eggs with their slips of paper in them.
Now, most years, Charlie would have his grace and mercy slip used by the end of the day. And, that's okay. Casey would save his for the big things. He'd wait so long, taking his small punishments without using them to where we'd forget all about them, and then when he'd make that really huge mistake months after Easter, he'd pull out that grace or mercy slip, depending on the severity of the punishment. Every single year when one of those slips came out, we'd nearly want to say "NO WAY", but every year those slips became as big a lesson for us as they did for him.
I remember one year, maybe when Casey was 13 and Charlie 12, we were leaving a Main Event in the middle of a very hot summer and Casey had lost to Charlie in front of his friends at laser tag. This put Casey in a really bad mood. In the parking lot, Charlie just kept teasing Casey about it and Casey threw a punch. Well, it was on. In the parking lot of Main Event with all their friends and their parents getting into their cars around us. Now, I can count the number of times the boys have fought each other on one hand...and for two boys that close in age, that's not bad. But I yelled at them to break it up, saw Casey whaling away on Charlie (though Charlie was getting his punches in too) and I stepped in the middle of them trying to break them up. At that time, Casey was taller than me and Charlie not quite. When I tried to push them apart, I caught a punch intended for Charlie, right in the eye. The realization that I'd been hit is what stopped the fight.
Now, I was seriously injured. I had a swollen and very black eye. Neither one of them had a mark on them, go figure. Anyway, yeah...I was mad. They got in the car, and no one said a word all the way home. Oh, Casey was sorry. But he was also still angry and he was a 13 year old boy with all that changing going on in his freakishly tall body. So, his 'sorry' was more like "I didn't mean to hit you". When we got home he went straight to his room and didn't come down until after Mark had came home from work, saw my eye and we discussed what had happened. Mark doesn't get mad often, but this was one of those times he did. We finally called Casey down from his room and we told him he was grounded from tv, radio, video games, or going out side to play with his friends for the rest of the summer. Something like a month, I think. He reached into his pocket and pulled out the mercy slip of paper. He said that he didn't want to walk away scott free from what he'd done so he was using the mercy slip. Mark and I both wanted to say "NO WAY", that he deserved to get the full punishment for what he'd done, but...we had to honor that slip of paper. We had to learn that lesson of mercy, as well as Casey did.

I know this post is getting long, and I'm sorry. Even though I spent most of it telling you about how we tried to teach our kids the importance of God's grace and mercy to us, all of us, what I wanted to say most was that I'd forgotten that importance lately. I like to think I'm a pretty good 'Christian' example, but in reality, lately I've not been. Through prayer and conviction of the Holy Spirit (and for those of you who are not sure what I'm talking about, just suffice to say it ain't pretty) and with ~deb bringing it home, I realized that I've not showed mercy to a friend of mine who recently did me wrong. It was revealed to me that I can't pick and choose whom I show God's grace and mercy to, just as He doesn't pick and choose whom He shows it to. It's a gift given to all of us and we're to, in turn, show it to others. It's easier to show someone mercy when their transgression is not against you personally. This is what I have learned. I'm not a quick study, apparently, but I do learn eventually.
So, to the friend that I have hardened my heart to, I will now apologize and ask them for their forgiveness. I love them, as God has loved me through all my many mistakes, and I will continue to love them as He continues to love me.

*Note: To those who also read my worship blog, this is the same post there today.


Blogger Johnnie Avocado said...

Def Kathi,
Christ said "forgive them for they know not what they do" I love the entry. haha...Casey beat you up.....:) jking

7:56 AM  
Blogger Anne said...

Hey Kath..that was a really good post. Maybe my favorite. I tend to take a lot from people..I put up with a lot of crap..but when I reach a certain part I can totally turn it off towards them. Harden my heart is a good way to word it. I have done that to at least 2 of my friends. Doesnt feel so good right now.

7:57 AM  
Blogger Mike said...

Very nice post kathi. One that can be learned from actually.

8:26 AM  
Blogger Mike said...

Oh...and saw that pic @ Phil's. Hilarious.

8:27 AM  
Blogger DZER said...

Wow. What an amazing idea, darlin' ... kudos to you and Mark. I would have never thought of anything like that.


9:11 AM  
Blogger kathi said...

johnnie ~ you just wait...

anne ~ nope it doesn't. And the thing is, even without our realizing it, it keeps us from receiving all God's got for us. It's like a wall we've put around ourselves and then can't understand why we feel trapped and left out. We've got to let go and let God work things out.

mike (or as I like to call you 'Man Without A Face') ~ thanks guy, it's what I do. lol, :) And yeah, the picture is unbelievable!

9:13 AM  
Blogger kathi said...

dzer ~ you will...just wait. Thanks and hugs right back at'cha!

9:14 AM  
Blogger ~ Amanda X&O said...

Nice post Kathi. Nice post.

9:22 AM  
Blogger kathi said...

amanda ~ thanks, amanda, thanks. lol Just teasin ya, but hey...thanks. :)

9:36 AM  
Blogger The Real Kidd said...

Wow Kathi. What an amazing post. I love the Mercy/Grace papers you gave the boys. I love the whole idea. Whoa, I got goosebumps.

11:56 AM  
Blogger Madelene Rose said...

wow this is an amazing post :)

1:40 PM  
Blogger HizzleThizzle said...

Hey kathi... Just wanted you to be the first person to know Im blogging again :)

1:43 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

What a great post. I have 4 young children myself and what a neat teaching tool your mercy and grace slips are. We don't do the whole Easter Bunny thing either, but do give the children baskets, so I think I will try that next year. Thanks for the idea!!!

2:57 PM  
Blogger kathi said...

kidd ~ feel free to use them with taco and tojo. Like coupons, kids loved them. Knowing Casey, he still has some stashed away somewhere.

2:58 PM  
Blogger kathi said...

madelene rose ~ thank you very much. Sorry about your blog, but glad you've got a new one going.

hizzle my sweet thizzle ~ can't tell you how lonely so many in blogland have been with out you.

michelle ~ thank you!! It's what I do, hon, it's what I do...LOL.

3:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wish my family did something like this. I definitely like his idea.

4:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

good post


4:34 PM  
Blogger SmileDragon said...

Kathi, you actually got me a little tearey eyed there. Great post!

5:10 PM  
Blogger kathi said...

espilonicus ~ awwww, thanks guy. Well, you'll have a chance to do it with your own family.

abi ~ thanks sweetie.

crystal ~ really? Well, my work is done then! Happy belated darlin!

7:45 PM  
Blogger Bill Jones, Jr said...

Very nice, Kathi. I'd like to say I'm good at mercy. I'd be lying like a rug though. Good for you in being able to reach back and forgive.

My motto has always been "do unto others as they deserve." Not exactly as we're taught, huh?

10:21 PM  
Blogger SmileDragon said...

Hey Kathi, check this out.... http://blogshares.com/blogs.php?blog=http%3A%2F%2Fkathibratcher.blogspot.com%2F

10:58 PM  
Blogger kathi said...

sable ~ don't make me preach at you, you know how shy I am about speaking my mind. :) But by not forgiving, you're keeping blessings at bay. Holding something (anything) against someone, whether you realize it or can feel it or not, will eat you alive, like a cancer in the spirit. You have to forgive, the word is clear on this and I know you know this.

11:29 PM  
Blogger kathi said...

crystal ~ that's so weird, I've no idea why anyones blog would be worth anything to anyone but how we touch each others lives...ya know?

11:30 PM  
Blogger SmileDragon said...

Kathi, I know, it's weird, but, it says yours is worth big bucks. Guess you touch a lot of peoples lives. :)

8:58 AM  
Blogger Shawn said...

The mercy and grace cards are a great idea. Reading this post has reminded me of something I need to do.

You're not a quick study? NOOOO!

Its nice that you never fail to admit fault and don't shy away from expressing the reason(s) why you wrong. I think that's the thing I like most about you.

9:46 AM  
Blogger Brea said...

I absolutely love that easter egg idea! What a powerful lesson to teach your children. Amazing.

11:45 AM  
Blogger ~Deb said...

Amazing post- as I said in your other blog.

I don't know why- but your blog kept coming up from two weeks ago. It wouldn't update for me. Weird. I think it had something to do with my settings. Sorry about that sweetie!!! :(

4:18 PM  
Blogger Madelene Rose said...

You're welcome dear :)
I hope the new one gets cool and interesting :P

6:11 PM  
Blogger kathi said...

crystal ~ hmmmmm, dunno about that. :)

shawn ~ you really like me? Okay, this just made my day.

brea ~ yeah...and to teach ourselves too. :)

deb ~ s'okay...fortunately I've recently learned forgiveness...again.

madelene rose ~ it already is hon!

6:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very cool design! Useful information. Go on!

7:22 AM  

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