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The Artist's Daughter Book Club: Week Two

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July 16, 2013

Hello, Darling...
It’s summer and I’m hot. If you are pregnant you get double hot points. And when I’m hot I get cranky. I don’t want to do things like be the grown up in my house. I want my children to feed themselves while I lie on the couch in front of the fan. And I don’t want to do the hard things, like have uncomfortable conversations. But I’ve had a lot of those in the last month, uncomfortable conversations that is, in almost every area of my life. I know they are important to have or things fester, get more uncomfortable. Or I push feelings down hoping that the more I stuff, they might disappear. But I know stuffing more into my laundry basket doesn’t make the laundry go away, so why would stuffing more emotional gunk make my yucky feelings go away?

As we look at Sections 3 and 4 of the book, I feel like this was the time in my development where I needed to step up into grownupville. I needed to take charge of where I was headed and be responsible for my own gunky feelings. And I needed to forgive.
Watch here as I talk about forgiveness.

                   

Let’s keep talking about difficult conversations and the need to forgive. Not for others’ sake, but for our own. When has forgiveness been part of your story?

Share your thoughts

I could relate so much to the part in the book when you realized that forgiving your dad had very little to do with him--it was something you needed to do for your own heart. In college I was the victim of date rape, and by the time I dealt with all of the "junk" in my life from it, I was in a place where I would likely never see the guy again. But even if he never knows that I forgave him, I needed to do it anyway. For my own heart. It definitely was not a one-time thing--bam, I forgive him, it's over. It's been a process. But so important and worthwhile.

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I had a time where I thought I had forgiven someone. It was for a definite wrong (not just one of those perceived wrongs that I often get caught up in). I thought I had forgiven - I would have told you I had forgiven - but years later, when the person who wronged me was facing a life-or-death crisis, I realized I hadn't forgiven. I'd talked about it, I'd thought about it, I'd even prayed about it - but I hadn't done it. Because if I had, I wouldn't have felt the way I did when this person's crisis set in. But now I KNOW forgiveness is part of our story - not because of anything this person did. They never acknowledged the wrong or apologized - but I finally decided that wasn't important. I could/should/would forgive anyway. And real forgiveness feels so much better than those decades of fake forgivenss.

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Recently my mother apologized for some of the things she had done to me and my sisters while growing up. Once she divorced my father she was doing a lot of neglectful and selfish things that really hurt us. It took a while but I forgave her long before she had even apologized. I didn't realize she felt guilty or sorry about it. It did feel good to hear her say she was sorry and for me to know that she knew what she did was wrong.

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Your video story "Not so good mommy moment" really hit home for me. I have 2 kids, #1 and I just don't see eye to eye. I haven't always been the mother this child needs me to be, and I have had many not so good mommy moments. While vaccuming yesterday I realized that I need to forgive and ask my child's forgiveness also. Thanks for sharing. Its not easy, but it is what we are commanded and inspired to do by Jesus.

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Forgiveness is something that I sometimes struggle with, I think like most people. I don't know if it is something that runs in the family, but my mother and grandmother can hold grudges like nobody I have ever seen before. To the point that neither really have friends, because someone in every relationship is going to say something that they don't really mean, but most do forgive eventually. A personal story is the boy in sixth grade who would make fun of me for my California accent and sayings, the way I dressed, the way I smiled and laughed, and the list goes on and on. It made me very self conscious growing up, but I did forgive him, because it also made me who I am today and helps me to teach my kids about bullying and being kind to others and knowing that they are loved and to love.

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"When has forgiveness been part of your story?" With my ex-husband. He was very abusive throughout our marriage and my children and I barely escaped. But escape we did and, with God's grace, I am now married to a wonderful husband and father. It took a long time and a lot of prayer but I have forgiven my ex-husband and have been able to move on and live a full God filled life.

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