"Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance" (2 Corinthians 7:9a).

I stood in front of the mirror in the bathroom with my makeup case in my hands. There seemed to be a sense of irony in the fact that I was putting on a pretty face for the rest of the world to see, but inside I was an angry and ugly homeschooling mother. The morning had gone from bad to worse with my husband's car that wouldn't start, a broken washing machine, and my mother's "helpful" advice. I should have talked to the Lord when I felt the tremors coming, but instead, my pent up emotions erupted onto my ten-year-old son like a violent volcano when he failed to complete his math assignment. I had quickly said, "I'm sorry" for my outburst, but my son's expression told me I had hurt his loving heart.

As I looked into the mirror, God showed me the truth of what was happening. Between feeling like a failure because we lacked the finances to maintain our appliances and the rejection by my family for homeschooling, I was angry at Him. I had looked for the encouragement and approval I needed in the wrong place and was disappointed when I didn't find it. Taking my frustration out on my son's failure had simply transferred the same feeling to him.

As I opened my makeup case, I prayed the rest of the day would go better. To my surprise, I saw little pieces of paper folded on top of the different colors of eye shadow. Opening each piece of paper, I found the words, "I love you, Mom!" written by my son. Humbled, I knew I should have been the one seeking to restore our relationship. I started to cry and realized I would never get my makeup on that morning. I walked into my son's room and started over again. This time I truly said, "I'm sorry."

Lord, too many times I've said "I'm sorry" without really meaning it. Help me to realize what others are feeling when I have hurt them. Place a repentant heart of compassion in me to restore those broken relationships. In Jesus' name, Amen.