Confessions of a Grumpy, Tarnished Woman


I blew it this week.  I let my grumpy-middle-aged-stuck-in-the-mud-stressed persona shine through.  As I study the Advent each morning, I pray that the beautiful words of the prophets and psalmist will calm my soul and prepare me for a day of dealing with squirrels students.

The cold and darkness linger later each morning and press in sooner each evening, leaving me feeling harried, as if the alloted time in each day had somehow shrunk along with the hours of sunlight (I’m so glad I don’t live in Alaska!).

By mid afternoon, when the faculty meets for worship and staff meeting, restless students, frantic phone calls, myriad questions, complaints and groans of protestations have scuffed up the memory of my quiet moments with Jesus in the morning.

I forget to breathe, to rest my frustrations on the firm shoulders of Immanuel–God with us.  And so I prove, once again, how utterly human I am.  I snap and grouch and hurt a dear colleague’s feelings with my careless words.  I fail to reflect the grace and love of God. I feel tarnished and badly in need of a nap, a hug, and a shiny, grace-reflecting surface.

My stubborn head resists admitting that I acted wrongly, though my grieving heart knows I did.  And I have learned (not an easy lesson), that the path to tarnish removal lies in humility and seeking reconciliation and forgiveness.

I apologize first through e-mail (I have a chicken heart), and the conversation continues through text messages.  Finally, as the sunset turns the horizon radioactive red and orange and pink, I see the one who I have hurt. We chat about other things, and I finally move to go, but end up grabbing her in a bear hug instead.  She hugs me back and I feel restored.

Through forgiveness and reconciliation I once again feel shiny & able to reflect my Savior's love. Click To Tweet

What about you? Do you struggle to seek forgiveness, too?

Anita currently teaches English to 7th-12th graders. She describes herself as a 'recovering cancer caregiver' who gives thanks daily that her husband has been cancer-free for ten years.

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  • “As I study the Advent each morning, I pray that the beautiful words of the prophets and psalmist will calm my soul and prepare me for a day of dealing with squirrels students.”

    Anita, oh how I can relate now that I’m wrangling the math education of 7th and 8th graders, and the personal finance education of high schoolers!!

    I updated my post with this youtube link for the song I had to re-set myself with this morning.

    My daughter didn’t get dressed. (I have 3) We were almost late to school. She almost didn’t eat. She had a dental appointment at 9, so I brought them all to school, knowing I’d have a short turnaround.

    And, I needed that time between to re-set and calm myself before the Lord. So so thankful for your transparency this morning! I love the image of a mirror that gets tarnished and can shine again.
    A delightful children’s story on that subject is called “The Knights of the Silver Shield”. If you haven’t read it, here’s a link. (relatively short story)
    Tammy recently posted…Reflect: Five Minute FridayMy Profile

  • A beautiful post and one that I needed to read just now. Thank you! Have a blessed and very Merry Christmas!

  • Nope, not aiming at forgiveness.

    I can barely walk, and can no longer keep up an intelligible conversation – hurts too much to talk, and pain slows the thinking.

    Simply reeling from one pummeling to the next. It’s OK.
    Andrew Budek-Schmeisser recently posted…Your Dying Spouse 93 – The Mirror Crack’d {FMF}My Profile

  • Oh, Anita. I’ve been there. Can I confess my husband is almost always the first one to ask for forgiveness when we have a fight? I have so many lessons to learn from that man. There have been other times when I’ve struggled to ask for forgiveness. The funny thing is? When I finally do it, the restoration makes me wonder why I waited so long.

    I have had one or two times when forgiveness wasn’t truly offered, but when I was obedient that’s all God asked.
    Jeanne Takenaka recently posted…Reflect: What Do I Reflect?My Profile

  • Ha….I have a chicken heart too. I would totally send an email first. Forgiveness walks is and can be such an incredible gift. I’m in the #11 parking spot.
    Tara recently posted…A Brave Book-Loving Prayer Warrior CommunityMy Profile

  • Oh yes, I struggle to ask for forgiveness too. I find myself calm at work with the kids I serve but short tempered with my own when I return home. How unfair!? I will need to ask for forgiveness this morning. Our sons deserve more grace and love than we offer in the evenings. Sadly my husband and I are spent by evening and our boys have so much energy and wildness! Harness the obedient hearts and allow for mistakes on both their end and ours eh? 🙂 Jenn, FMF friend
    jennifer recently posted…Reflect PeaceMy Profile

    • I completely understand, Jennifer! Long ago I learned the power of the do-over. My kids were always gracious to forgive and allow me to do-over a scene with a more positive script (and forget the bad scene that first transpired!).
      Anita Ojeda recently posted…Practical Advice for Keeping the Holidays HappyMy Profile

  • Poppy Don

    I think you have inherited your “chicken heart” from your father, although mine is slowly shrinking. One day I dream of having it so small that asking forgiveness will be as easy as saying “Thank you!”

  • So glad this had this happy ending! It’s the getting there that’s hard! And it’s so easy when the chaos around you obscures the blessings, the calm, and common sense, to get tripped up and stumbled down. Been there, done that, too many times! But God gives us this wonderful gift of forgiveness, from Him to us, and from us to each other, and often, after such a gift exchange, love is deeper than ever. God bless the rest of your Advent!
    Sylvia R recently posted…On TrackMy Profile

  • I am so GOOD at digging in my heels! Why oh WHY???? Humanness I guess because God would never surely dig in his heels and not seek forgiveness. So thankful for a gentle loving Savior Anita! And for restoration!
    Christy recently posted…Sometimes it’s not EasyMy Profile

  • I hear ya friend! I also have moments like that where I have to go back and apologize for my quick tongue and smart attitude. So glad I have some gracious friends who love me through my ugly moments!

    Happy Friday, friend. And I’m glad your grumpy moment turned out okay. 🙂
    Rachel Quigley recently posted…Is What I’m Doing Making a Difference?My Profile

  • I’m about as stubborn as they come. Forgiveness is a huge issue in my life and I lean heavily on the Lord for sanctification for it. Like Christy said, I’m thankful for restoration as well.
    Samantha recently posted…Doers of the Word (Even on Facebook)My Profile

  • anita, how did you get inside my head? you described what happens so well. it is so painful to be stubborn and another word used in scripture…stiff-necked. so picturesque isn’t it? dang! the bible doesn’t mince words.
    martha brady recently posted…REFLECTIONS ON THIS YEAR REMIND ME OF GOD’S CARE…My Profile

  • I’ve had a few similar reflections in recent days. Tis the season to be cranky – NO! Let’s help remind one another to be kind and careful with words!
    Susan Shipe recently posted…five minute friday: reflectMy Profile

  • Me too, Anita, me too. I’m like what Paul describes as seeing myself in mirror and forgetting the minute I walk away. Time and again. Thanks for sharing so openly and gracefully, a kind reminder for me to stop and look at myself.
    Debby recently posted…Five-Minute Friday: ReflectMy Profile

  • I am so thankful His mercies are new every morning – we surely need them.
    Barbara H. recently posted…Friday’s Fave FiveMy Profile

  • thank you friend. Asking forgiveness and extending forgiveness…things I desperately struggle with, and yet I can’t live in true freedom in Him until I realize how important those aspects are. Thank you for being so vulnerable about your own experience. Oh how i need several resets throughout the day.
    Janel recently posted…#fmf – SeasonMy Profile

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