Remember when you were learning how to serve a volleyball or do a cartwheel or a million other things you learned as a kid? Remember when you messed up and called out, "Do-over!"
Do you ever feel like you could use a do-over in everyday life?
I do. A lot.
When my girls first come, lying is all they know. They do it without thinking. It's how they survived. It got them through. But it needed to stop.
So I sat them down and we discussed how lying is wrong. I told them about the boy who cried wolf and lying was never a problem for us again. Just kidding. Lying was one of the toughest things to break.
It was so bad I was beginning to wonder, "Will I ever be able to trust my kids?" The short answer is, yes. The longer answer is, eventually.
When Hannah came I had not anticipated the amount of lying she would do. I instituted a no lying policy and enforced it. The problem was, she was constantly lying and constantly in trouble. Not several times a day. Several times an hour. They came so fast and easy for her. If lying was an Olympic sport she would have a million gold medals.
It's not that she was always lying to keep out of trouble. She did that, but she also lied about a lot of other things. She would lie about knowing the answers on her homework. She would lie about where things were. She would lie about whether or not the cat needed food. She would lie about anything and everything. It was strange and surprising. It made no sense. I was at a loss as to how to change it, until we put the do-over policy in place.
The do-over allowed her to stop herself. It gave her permission to try again. In the beginning, the lies were coming out so fast that I'm not convinced she was able to stop them. When one popped out, she would say, "Can I start over?" It was a good system. It worked. I've used it three times.
Sometimes our new one has problems they want to fix, but they just don't know how. The do-over gives her a tool, a resource that hopefully will lead to improvement in whatever area you are working on.
I've used it for other things; giving excuses, whining, even speaking kindly.
The girls appreciate the grace a do-over provides. Often God allows me to start again when I've made a mess of things. I'm thankful that He does. And I'm thankful I can do the same for my girls.
I hope you have the opportunity to give someone a do-over today. A little grace can go a long way.