Forgiveness and Ten Pounds of Flour

One of my favorite things about my son, Christian is that he wears his day on his face. If he’s had a good day it’s splashed all over with reckless sunny abandon. If he has had a bad day it hovers over his head like an impending monsoon. I never have to wonder, the weather is announced at twenty paces.

I was listening to the radio in carpool one day when I saw the storm approach. He rumbled towards the car, opened the door, tossed his backpack in as if he were releasing a grenade and sat down. I knew better than to say a word. There was only one thing to do. I drove straight to his favorite ice cream store. We ordered and sat in silence for a few moments-one doesn’t want to rush the weather:)

“I am done with John Frank!” he said. (name changed to protect the heart of the mother)

“Really,” I said. “I thought he was one of your best friends.”

“He was, but I’m done with him now. Done! He is off my prayer list.”

“Sorry to hear that,” I said. “Best friends are hard to come by. What happened?”

So he told me the whole sordid tale of how John knocked his books off his desk and they went flying everywhere and the teacher got mad and Christian said it was John and John said he wasn’t so he got in trouble twice.  He was punished once for knocking his books over and the second time for tattling on a classmate.

“It’s not fair mom!”

“I hear you,” I said. “Fair doesn’t live here anymore.”

I watched Christian that evening as he was bent under the inequity of life. It was crushing him. Before bedtime I said to him, lets go for a walk. I asked him to carry the ten pound bag of flour I had bought that day. I told him I would explain why we needed it when we got to where we were going.

After a while he asked if he could put it down but I told him we had a little farther to go. We walked and walked ’till finally he flopped down on the path and said, “Mom, this thing is too heavy!”

Well, I’m sure you get the point that we talked about that night.

“Here is the deal Christian. When you don’t forgive it’s as if you carry this weight around with you everywhere you go. John’s probably been asleep for half an hour but here we are, worn out from the trip. Forgiveness doesn’t mean that the other person was right or even that they are sorry, it just gives you a place to take the burden. Forgiveness is God’s gift to us to live in a world that’s not fair.”

This is the last day of 2009, the last night in a decade, what are you still dragging around with you? You could wake up tomorrow flour-free!

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew 11:28-30

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~ by SHEILA WALSH on December 31, 2009.

29 Responses to “Forgiveness and Ten Pounds of Flour”

  1. Love it. Thanks for sharing!! I needed to read this, one!

  2. Thank you for this blog. It has reminded me to let go of things that I can not change. It has reminded me to work harder on forgiving my mom for past events.

  3. Thanks, Sheila..this is beautiful..

  4. This is soooo true. My situation was a lot different and forgiveness took several years to finally give but the weight that was lifted was amazing. I felt like a different person. If you do not forgive, you are the person affected, not the person you need to forgive. Chances are they could care less. Unforgiveness keeps you in bondage. You are not experiencing freedom in Christ if you have unforgiveness in your heart.

  5. Sheila,
    I am PRINTING this one, Girl (for future reference!) What a great way to explain about forgiveness!

  6. What an awesome example you have set. I hope you don’t mind but I sent this to someone in my family who is carrying probably a 50 pound bag of flour. She really needs to forgive and become flour free. She is a fairly new Christian and hasn’t quite gotten to the point where she can forgive those who have hurt her so not only does she carry the burden of unforgivness but she is also unable to move forward in her life as she continues to live in the past. I pray that this wonderful blog entry you shared will help her to rid herself of the burdens she continues to carry

    Thank you so much and God Bless

  7. 🙂 Thank you Sheila for this wonderful reminder of that weight WE carry by not forgiving! You are an amazing mom, wife & inspiration. Thank you for letting God work with you and through you and in you and for being so real with the rest of us! Have a great New Years Miss Thang 😉

  8. Part one left me hanging to read part two. You are an inspiration to me as a mother. I am very encouraged by your words…keep em coming!!

  9. Excellent blog. So true. What a fine object lesson!

  10. Thanks Sheila – Everyone (including me right now) needs this reminder! I am going to wake up “flour-free” in 2010!

  11. Take all that I said about yesterday’s blog and insert it in here as well please. 🙂

    Sheila you must be a good carpenter because you sure know how to hit the nail on the head!! I love how you deal with situations and although I am sure you blow it many times, I love hearing how you do it when you get it right. In working with children I see plenty of parents who just don’t take the time with their children to do the day to day stuff let alone teach them life’s big lessons such as the one you spoke about here. If you were here beside me I would shake your hand and say you’re doing a good job there chickie.

    My prayer is that every child would have someone in their life who would take the time to care for them and love on them like you do with Christian. What a blessing that would be!!!

    Thanks once again for sharing your life lessons with us and for lovin’ on us through your words.

    Take care big sis.
    Happy New Year!!!
    love,
    Marlene

  12. Love this story! I too have traveled the road of unforgiveness and the weight was heavier than anything I’ve ever dealt with. Not to mention it clouded my judgement and view on everything and everyone else.

  13. I love it. Thank you for sharing.

  14. WOW!! Sheila this is very encouriging !!! 🙂 I defaintly needed to read this and will defaintly use it on this last night of 2009 so that when i enter 2010 i will be as you say “flour-free!!!!!”
    Thanks again for being such an inspiration to millions of women everywhere!!!!!!!!!! 🙂 We love ya !! MUAH!! ❤

  15. Sheila… God really is awesome in you. Praise Him for using you to teach us about forgiveness.

  16. Sheila your encouragement last month got me through an awful holiday with the grandma I hadn’t truly forgiven yet. I am currently 25 and probably had been carry my bag of flour around for 20 years. Long story short, my grandma has never cared for me, and because of her hurtful comments and behavior towards me especially throughout childhood I have been deeply wounded. This Thanksgiving as I anticipated her arrivial at a family function my anxiety hit an all time high. Your prayers and encouragement helped me prepare for my encounter with her. When she didn’t show at the holiday event I was first relieved and then deeply hurt that she had blown off her family again. It was then that I realized the control she had in my life without even being a part of it. I knew I needed to truly forgive her. It wasn’t going to make her right or excuse what she had done, but it was going to free me from the flour bag I had been dragging around my whole life. I think I say it frequently, but thank you again for the example that you are. You are living out an authentic God centered life with vulernabilty and truth, which has such an impact on my life! I so appreciate that! Much love~ Jenn

  17. Thank You for sharing that story or rather a parable on forgiveness.Ill have to say i cried, i’ve had similar situations comparable to Christians your Son.I know the day I’m called on to teach or preach it will be on Forgiveness something i’ve had to learn over and over in life.Good to start the year off clean and forgive.

  18. 2009 was the year that I learned I was holding on to things that I needed to let go of. March of 2009, to be specific, when you (Sheila) came to Walnut Hill and led a “let go” day with our women. As Events Director, I thought I was bringing this event in for the women of our church…but not for me! Little did I know how my life would be changed with that event. Apparently, I have been holding on to unfair hurts my whole life. Really, my WHOLE life. I was taught this by my mom, who to this day is living a tormented life of unforgiveness. She is tired and weary from carrying BAGS of flour, but I didn’t see that before. For the first time more than 40 years (am I really this old??) I am learning to let go, and LIVE FREE! I didn’t even know I was holding on and not letting go, until I was convicted by your words. I didnt see that I was being weighed down by the “unfairness” I was carrying. I am now learning what letting go looks like. Some days, it means going through the act of forgiveness all over again, since I am in the habit of “holding on” to hurt and not the habit of forgiving…yet! My prayer for 2010 is that I will continue to move towards being in the habit of “letting go” and it will fill in more and more of the wounds that I have been tending to all these years. I believe that God is using my acts of forgiveness to literally erase my scars. Like a beauty cream in a bottle! The more I practice forgiveness, the more the ugliness disappears! I am excited to see how this is changing my attitude and can hardly wait to see what God has in store for me in the coming year. Thanks for your continued ministry to women, but thanks in particular, for ministering to me!

  19. Great post – I forwarded my email of this to my friends and family encouraging all of us to “lighten” up as we begin 2010!!! Thanks for such a practical word!

  20. Awesome post! Thank you for the reminder! Blessings to you in the coming new year!

  21. I loved this story when I read it in one of your books a few years back. Gave me a lot to think about then and again today. I posted it on my blog so that others could be blessed by what you wrote. Happy New year and I can’t wait to read your new book this year!!!

  22. Wow – THANK YOU Sheila! Extremely insightful and quite profound! It sounds like you have an amazing relationship with your son. You are both blessed! Thank you for sharing your wisdom with us – if only you knew how timely and inspiring it is. THANK YOU and Happy New Year…please continue to blog 🙂

  23. Dear Sheila, I’m a throwback follower from the days of the 700 Club. I was a young stay-at-home Mom. Your bluntness was refreshing to me. I was heart-sick when I heard of your emotional breakdown and couldn’t understand how a Christian could have such a thing…until many years later when I had such a time in my life. I have recovered from that terrible time by God’s mercy.Your words are straight shooting, not pureed for easy swallowing. Words that make one chew and chew and chew until everything that was in them has been absorbed into every organ…every cell…every part of the brain, then acted out with the help of the Holy Spirit. Thank you…His ways are not our ways, mon his thought ours…but HE alone is worthy of our trust!

  24. This is so true, Sheila! Thank you for reminding us how important it is to forgive. Christian is so blessed to have you as his Mom! :o)

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