Below is a conversation Em and I had at the grocery store the other day while in the baking aisle where they have cheap baking utensils…

Em: Hey, Mom, look! Three spankin’ spoons at the grocery store! Why would you need 3 spankin’ spoons? (3 wooden spoons in a bag for sale)
Me: In case I broke the other 2 over your buns…
(We just laughed…)

Later, at home in the kitchen…
Me: Em, do you think there might be any other use for a spankin’ spoon?
Em: No.
Me (while making a stirring motion with the handcarved wooden spoon Jason’s great grandpa made): So, you don’t think there might be other uses for spankin’ spoons? Like, perhaps, stirring food?
Em: Well, sure, but it’s still a spankin’ spoon…

Oh man, kids crack me up! We talked more about punishment and disobedience later in life. She was wondering when she’s old enough to have priviledges taken away and when she’ll be old enough to be grounded. Then she wanted to know why older kids get grounded and I told her that at some point she’ll be too old for spankin’s. She said, “That’s weird, you can’t ever be too old for spankin’s!” Thus, my following blog entry…

My feelings have been hurt to the core recently. My heart has been broken but it is healing and I will not die from it. (No, this has nothing to do with blog comments…) Forgiveness has already been given freely, seven times seventy…but as I look at the verses that precede Peter’s question to Christ about forgiving, it doesn’t just say forgive and forget…let me explain.

“If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault,
just between the two of you. If he listens to you,
you have won your brother over. But if he will not listen,
take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established
by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’
If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses
to listen even to the church,
treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.”
Matthew 18:15-17
Jesus does say that if the situation is rectified between the two of you and sincere repentance occurs, you can move forward together. That’s pretty powerful. I say that because there have been times in my life when someone has sinned against me and I’ve wanted to tell the world, even though forgiveness was given and heart change occured, just so I wouldn’t feel so alone. I realize now that was wrong…it was gossip on my part.
BUT, Jesus clearly states that if the person who sinned against you does not listen to you, when you, in love, rebuke them, you are to pull one or two others into the situation. You see, the first option is so full of grace. It allows private healing for the person who now knows there is no such thing as a secret. (God knows EVERYTHING, so when we embrace sin in our lives and think it’s a secret, we are only fooling ourselves because God will bring it to Light for our own good and the healing of others….) The second option is also full of grace because you wouldn’t pull one or two strangers into the scenario, you’d seek out a close friend, a family member, or a mentor, probably. Hopefully we all remedy our ways somewhere in the first two scenes. But, the reality is, many do not, that is why there is the third situation where if the person who sinned against you still does not listen, you are to tell the church. PEOPLE, there is still grace in even this picture, even though the sin is more public by then. The reason I say there is still grace is because HOPEFULLY, if the Church is functioning the way she is supposed to, then restoration can still take place HERE, even at this point! HOWEVER, the second part of verse 17 says if the person who sinned against you refuses to listen to the church, we are to treat them as a pagan or tax collector…Modern day translation: treat them as someone who is ignorant, hard hearted, and Godless. It does not mean they aren’t forgiven on your part, but there isn’t anything you can do to change their heart if they have not listened. Now, unfortunately for them, they have to face God, who abhors sin, outside of the grace-filled situations that He designed above. Yes, God is love, but let’s not kid ourselves that He allows sin to stay in our lives. He refines us for our own good and for the benefit of those around us, so we will walk in humility.
As far as the forgive and forget part that I mentioned earlier, if healing has occured between you and the one who you sinned against or that sinned against you, sometimes the memories of the hurt are still is as strong as the day it all came out. That is where I have found that I need to employ, and realize the person I hurt has the need to do the same, the scripture about forgiving seven times seventy times. If we are both moving forward in our healing, as thoughts arise that cause me to be frustrated once again with the whole situation, I have to choose to forgive, again. It doesn’t necessarily mean the person repeats the same sin seven times seventy, though it may, and it doesn’t mean we allow them to walk all over us, nor should we expect them to let us walk all over their hearts if we choose not to get our act together.
The point is, our choices as individuals are not truly individualistic in nature. Our choices are not made in a vacuum. They affect everyone around us and it can be a horrible web we weave through bad choices or a beautiful tapestry. I am so grateful that God is gracious to reveal sin in my life so that I won’t be the same person I was yesterday! I have to say, though it’s painful, I’m glad I’ll never be too old for a spankin’.



17 Responses

  1. Wow. Adrienne, I continue to be amazed at your heart. And not just that, but what God is doing THROUGH you. Your heart is so soft and tender to what the Lord is speaking. It should be a wake up to all of us….God wants all ofus to be vulnerable to Him and His voice. A reminder that He is not in the wind or the rain, but in the gentle whisper. Perhaps in the voice of our toddler or a friend we have hurt, or has hurt us. You see Him in everything, and rightly so. I’ve said this before, but thank you for living your life with open hands. Not only before the Lord..but also before all of us.

    I can’t wait to buy your book (multiple copies) and book you for speaking engagements (when you are ready for that!)

    I also can’t wait to hug you when I move to Colorado this summer. Don’t mean to be a stalker, but I am going to make an effort to find you!! 🙂

    Long Beach, CA

  2. Wow..this should be written big and bold in one of those advertisement boards as you pass on the highway! This is more meaningful than all of what I have seen as I drive by! You hit it so perfect and alot of times when we are taught a lesson, it sticks for a couple days but, eventually that lesson learned is forgotton, if it is not posted in front of us. So, many of us do have the ability to forgive but, yet it can keep a strong hold of us, when we encounter this person and they continue to act as though we did it that day. Recently, I heard “TO FORGIVE, IS TO NEVER BRING IT UP AGAIN”.
    Awesome entry Adrianne. God has blessed you in a great way! 🙂

  3. Adrienne my mother couldn’t agree with you more. I am 30 and I am still not old enough for her spanking spoons. Shes a wonderful Mother. And your post holds a lot of truths.

    And so doesnt little Em. she has more insight and intelligence then most adults I know. Keep it up Adrienne.


  4. Adrienne, I come here often and found this blog of yours on the one month anniversary death of my father. I don’t comment often and feel like I need to now.

    When I found your story, it was just a day or two before you took, sweet NOah off life support and at that time in my life, I was about ready to lose it. I have 5 children of my own and thankfully do not know the pain or suffering or joy that your family has, with Noah’s situation. But I had recently lost my father and was totally in the depth of hell with grief.

    I say hell, because I was a dark person. Hating life, hating my children, my husband, who I asked for a divorce and then someone pointed me in the direction of your blog.

    And for one moment, time stood still, I read, I cried, I wanted to scream for you and your family and seriously in a moment, there stood my Dad. Right in front of me, mad. Mad at my selfishness, mad for taking for granted what I had and mad at me for hating the world around me.

    It was your blog, sweet little Noah and your courage for speaking God’s word that brought me back. Back to life, that MUST go on. Back to love, and life and the ability to live it.

    I am so glad that you are able to view people’s comments and still go on with your work and words of God. To help people like me, get back on track and be thankful for every second of life here with loved ones.

    I am amazed at you and your ability to get up each day and to write what you write and to inspire those that you inspire. I went to Mexico, actually on Jan. 17th for a week, with a few friends. And I took the time that I needed for me, to go on with life and took a moment to just breath and focus on myself and my family and what truly is important in life. So I say good for you, for vacationing. And to those that want to have an opinion and be cruel, you have no idea what it is like to be stuck in the head and the mind of someone who has lost someone they love. It is a prison that you cannont escape. And yet as Adrienne shows us daily, you can use that to teach and show the world, the word of the Lord.

    Thank you Adrienne for all that you have done for me!

  5. Your post are truly powerful, and really make me think. i am also glad I am not to old for Spankings.
    I continue to uplift you and your family in prayer.


  6. Hey Adrienne… miss you… I’ve got two pearls for you..when Mesa was a little younger than Em… Bill’s mom came for a visit. Mesa was skipping through the kitchen at the same moment Grama Marge was cleaning out the dishwasher, mid stride she stopped, grabbed Gramma’s hand and said,” don’t touch the spoons, only Momma and Daddy can touch the spoons”.
    Second pearl: I myself have been learning and loving repentance. A greater teacher taught me this year repentance comes from forgiveness and love. Then I found while reading about Jesus going to visit Zacchaeus. Jesus approached him first with love and forgiveness, knowing fully of his ways. Zacchaeus THEN repented and found salvation. I want to learn to see people and approach people this way…Terra J.

  7. Wow! I found your blog about a month ago, and it is now on my tool bar and I check it DAILY! I have read most of your previous posts – try to work on a couple at a time – and am amazed at the strength the Lord gives you daily! 🙂 Loved the spanking spoon story! 🙂 My daughters are 12, 9 and 7 and I read your exchange w/Em to my oldest – she had to chuckle! 🙂 She remembers the spanking spoon, but fortunately, I guess we used it enough when they were younger that now, they are actually used for stirring food at our house! 🙂 Tell Em her time will come! 🙂 God bless you and your family and thank you for sharing Noah with us! 🙂

  8. Adrienne,
    I love your wisdom, and I, like soooooo many others, am somewhat outraged (not sure if outrage can be in the somewhat category) that you are even put in a position to qualify anything you say on this blog.

    Hey, we own a place in Mexico…there is nowhere on this earth I feel more peace, more restoration, more of God, than there. Whenever we go, I am able to pray more, read more, and love God deeper….

    No, it’s not magic…wherever each of us finds solice…..then go there, even if it’s at a local park!!

  9. Hey Adrienne–
    I woke up at 4:00 this morning…I couldn’t sleep…In a bit of frustration I surrendered to the fact that I wasn’t gonna fall back to sleep and I said “Fine Lord, if I’m not gonna sleep I’ll pray…who should I pray for?” Your name came to mind and I prayed and asked God to continue to give you strength and courage…and then I said Lord, I’m so tired and I don’t know what else to pray for Adrienne, and the word “wit” came to mind…I really never use this word, so I was like “what in the world?” but anyways I prayed for you to have wit…I had to look it up in the dictionary because I wasn’t sure what it really meant…after learning the definition I’ve decided that we all need prayers for each of us to have “a bit of wit” each day…Hope this adds a smile to your day…
    take care
    thanks for sharing your heart
    Jody C

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