Today I was at the park with my siblings, going about my business, and I had just gotten back from across over by the swing set. I had sat down at the picnic table and was people watching. (Wait, I know there are other writers out there that people watch, right?)
I saw a woman across the gazebo who, after her 2-ish year old son had accidentally dumped out a bag of chips, she had looked over at him with a really ugly glare, stalked over to where he was sitting, yanked the bag away from him, crumpled it into a ball and threw it into the trash can a few feet away. I think they left shortly after that incident.
When I first saw what was happening, I was shocked. This 20-something year old mom, pushing a stroller and guiding her older son around, had a little temper fit. She got angry…At a two year old because he accidentally dumped out a bag of chips.
Then I was angry. How dare this woman get so consumed with the inconvenience of what this little child had done, wasn’t she more mature, more responsible, more….Adult….??
When I finally made it back home with my family and was discussing this sad situation with my parents, I quickly realized that what I had seen today wasn’t just a woman badly reacting to her child.
This woman was, well, me.
I am the type of sister that is harsh to her siblings. I can (sadly) say with full confidence that if that same exact situation happened to me 10 years down the road, I would’ve gotten furious with my son, yanked it away from him, and took us back home with a huff and a puff, and probably would’ve ended that little fiasco with a few swift (with anger) spankings.
And, I was thinking more and more, about all the non-gracious, un-loving, impatient sisters out there (exactly like me) and decided maybe, just maybe, this could be our radical wake-up call. This could be the example that changes our hearts to become more gentle sisters, because who wants to grow up and be a harsh and mean mom?
It starts NOW.
And maybe marriage and motherhood is not in your future, or near future, but think about your brothers and sisters. They will be parents one day, and you have the unbelievably amazing opportunity to influence them for the rest of their lives.
Besides, when we (my siblings and I) are constantly bickering and getting into fights and spewing harsh words, that doesn’t make me feel good. It makes me feel like, well, a bully.
I’m bigger, stronger (depending on the age gap) and I was kind of like the kid with the magnifying glass who burns ants on the steaming concrete sidewalk.
I just don’t want to go down in my family history as that sister who was ugly and nobody wanted to be around.
I want to be that sister, (and eventually that mother) who loves everyone, doesn’t get angry easily, is patient, compassionate, gentle, loving, quick to listen, and not come to conclusions.
I want to be like a Michelle Duggar…When she gets angry, she gets more and more quiet! She doesn’t let things escalate so badly.
I want this post, and this situation at the park, to motivate you and drive you to be the best sibling you can possibly be! I want this post to remind you of the strength in gentleness and that sometimes no words are better than even gentle words.
Please, please, please, be a radical in this generation of negativity!
If you really want to stand out in this life, LOVE AND BE KIND.
~By His Grace,