A lot of things need to be done over and over again. Every day. If the sun chooses to rise, we will find ourselves having to do them yet again. Forgiveness is one of those things.
I'm finding that forgiveness can look humble and worn sometimes from all the repetition. Like my husband's shirt from high school that he refuses to abandon- soft and thin from being taken on and off, over and over again.
This repetition of forgiving is where I live right now. We have the potential to make a lovely sort of rhythm together, me and forgiveness. And when we're in a groove, our duet produces the sweet melody of mercy.
And I need a whole mess of mercy every day.
When I lose my patience with my girls, when I'm not so present in each moment with them, when I'd honestly rather look at photos on Instagram than play or deal with fussiness. When I struggle to get out of the house and when I haven't even cooked a full, homemade meal by myself in over a month. When I feel so defeated because I have no idea what to do to keep Evie happy every day because I have to give so much attention to her sister. When I feel like I am just managing to stay afloat in all of the things I'm trying to do-in mothering and wife-ing and writing and loving and thinking and photographing and hoping.
But I'm finding that I am consistently out of tune with mercy because, as it turns out, I'm not so great at accepting it. And when all of these things pile upon each other with no mercy to be had, I can start to feel totally consumed by failure and discouragement and inadequacy.
But God gives mercy freely and without strings. He gives it new every morning. His faithfulness and His love are great. And so if I can't seem to accept mercy from myself, shouldn't I at least accept it from God? Then maybe I can learn how to receive it from myself. His mercy teaches my mercy how to grow. Each day, each moment even, is like soil in which to plant grace. To let go of expectations or standards or condemnation and just keep on trying.
I think this is the secret to getting through every day and managing to hang on to joy and a sound mind. Letting it be ok that something isn't perfect. Taking off the weight of it and letting it set a while off to the side. And then putting on mercy and resting in the peace that comes when you can say, Ok, let me try that again tomorrow.
Glennon Doyle Melton says that one of the things that makes us human is our imperfection and trying to fight against it is pretty useless. Well, it seems like this is proving to be true. But there is hope for me, and there is hope for you, too. There is hope for us like there is a sun that sets at night and rises in the morning.
And we're not alone, for God promises to be with us through all the rising and setting and taking off and putting on.
Through this rhythm of forgiveness.
And into the melody of mercy.
"Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions [mercies] never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness." Lamentations 3:21-23