Monday, February 25, 2013

Of course...

My consistent prayer is that God make it clear to me what he wants me to do. I tend to need a pretty good push to actually notice anything. That's why I tell Laura not go give me hints, but rather tell me directly so I don't miss what she's trying to tell me.

So minutes ago, I was at the gas station, the third one today in hopes of finding a good price. A man next to me asked me for some "spare change" because his debit card "stopped working." I didn't see any good reason not to give him a couple bucks. In the back of my mind though, I hear a voice that said to fill his tank. I blew it off thinking that someone with money could do that, but not me. I was mad enough at the recently risen gas prices, and meeting my budget concerns.

I got halfway home when I realized God had indeed aligned the planets for me to serve the Least of These, and I ignored his signals. See, tomorrow I'm going on a road trip for work. So essentially all the money I would've given this man would be reimbursed. I also could've used my rewards card and gotten the points from his fill up. Not to mention, if I were in his shoes I would have felt like a heel, asking for for money. Surely he wasn't excited about it.

So basically, I ignored God's call. I really need to open my eyes and not assume that God isn't talking to me. This is one of those things that I probably won't forget. I only have a few regrets in life. All of them are situations like this, where visit could help, but didn't.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Parental Low Point

Yesterday was a low point in the history of my parenting performance. I inadvertently became my father, and I didn't even see it coming.

I was making sure the kids were to not plug/unplug cords from my computer, I got a little emotional. It started about a month ago when I went to plug my USB thumb drive into the front of my computer in the morning. Dark, I fumbled around trying to get it aligned. Flipped it over the standard 3 times, plus a couple more for good measure. By then I had to turn on a light, and witnessed both the front USB ports completely broken. I was pretty mad, but chalked it up to the computer's placement relative to the high-back fault. At that point I decided to plug all the necessary cords into the 5 or so ports on the back of the computer, and run the cables along the desk. And, I figured, since we have a zillion micro USB, and iPod cables all over the house, these cables would never need to be removed from the PC.

So yesterday, I am attempting to make sure all the kids understand that the cords need not be removed from the computer. (This is a result of fear that more USB ports will be broken in the future.) By the time I got over to Carly I had become more annoyed at the potential of broken USB ports, so my voice was probably too assertive. She claimed I was "yelling at her". I clarified that I wasn't "yelling". She reiterated her position that I was yelling at her. And before any rational thought could enter my mind, I yelled at the top of my lungs, "DO YOU WANT ME TO YELL?!"


I failed on so many levels. On the surface I didn't think it was that big of a deal. I neglected to consider the other 3 people in the room that had absolutely nothing to do with the situation, yet bore the brunt of the attack. My youngest daughter (11) and her friend (8), as well as Carly's friend (11) witnessed the asshole buried inside a pleasant exterior.

Of course it didn't take long before Laura came down to assess the situation. At that time, I realized my job was done, and trotted upstairs, mentioning that I had given instruction of the difference between "yelling" and "not yelling". Shortly thereafter Laura came upstairs to tell me that I freaked out the 8 year old, and Carly's friend was crying. I decided to take a few minutes in solitude to reflect.

After about 30 minutes I came to a few conclusions, with the most significant being what Laura & I have been trying to build (a safe place where our kids, and their friends could hang out, and be loved) was threatened. It could even be torn down in an instant, with a stupid lack of judgment such as this. Carly would likely remember this event for life. Her friend (who's not my kid!) would likely remember me as the father that can blow up at any moment without warning.

I made what seemed like feeble attempts to apologize to everybody. I mentioned that I had a lack of judgment. Now I feel like this apology isn't going to repair the damage I've surely caused. I need to reiterate my feelings of regret, and possibly even promise never to do such a thing again. It was uncalled for, and unnecessary.