The Fixer-Upper

I didn’t mean to forget. It’s not like me at all.
But there was that issue at work, and it was election day and I was sorting out who to vote for, and the boys were home by themselves and I was anxious about that, and I forgot to write it down in my planner—which is my brain—and, and, and…I just forgot.
So, when the message came—all angry and wounded—I was mortified.
I had hurt someone.
My carelessness had opened a wound. And I couldn’t take it back.
Some things just can’t be fixed, or at least it seems that way.
That’s hard for a fixer-person like me. There’s a heartsick brokenness that comes with the realization that no matter how hard one tries, some mistakes won’t be forgiven, some pains will always ache, some holes cannot be filled.
It was visceral—this knowing what I’d done—I felt it in my gut. It’s not the first time I’ve felt this splakna—you know, that Greek word for compassion that means a stirring of one’s very inward parts. Jesus felt it.
When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.  (Matthew 9:36-37).
I was sick with grief over the injury I’d caused. I asked forgiveness. But there was just…silence.
I told the boys about it on the way to school this morning. It’s something I’ve always done—share the soul thoughts with them. I used to wonder if it was a good thing—maybe they should see their mother as more together, or something. But these talks have taken us to some wonderful places. And they listen so well. So I poured out my sorrow.
“I messed up,” I said. “And now someone thinks I’m a bad person. It’s a terrible feeling…”
They nodded their heads in sympathy, as if they’ve been there—felt the splakna deep in their guts too—but it was what the little one said that shifted the weight off my heart a bit.
Well, let’s pray about that, mom,” he said, without hesitation.
So we did. 
I hadprayed about it—alone. But something about sharing the words felt like laying it down. How light I felt, after. Something about my young one’s confidence…something about the quick way he jumped to that route.
Have you prayed with someone lately? Is it the same for you?
Because some things just can’t be fixed, or at least it seems that way. But there is One who can redeem it all.
 With my sweet friend Jennifer today: 

And Emily too:



  1. says

    OH this is the good stuff! I love how you share your heart with your kids like that…valuing their heart and perspective….and such wisdom there.

    Just beautiful!

    Visiting from Emily’s

  2. says

    Oh, I love that you didn’t wrap up the mistake in a tidy bow and have it all happily solved by the end of the post.

    Your words are so true – to speak out and share with someone, and to pray – there is power there, even if no tidy bow. There is something better.

    I love that you let your kids know the truth of what’s in your thoughts. You give them a chance to care.


  3. says

    Laura, less than a week ago I had to walk through this with someone very close to me. I’m not sure that things are ‘fixed’–I’m a little more wary, and more understanding that being close to people is a choice and a process.
    We feel such heights of joy and such depths of woe…it’s hard to see how our hearts can stretch like that.
    this was a profound post.

  4. says

    What mature boys you have. No wonder. You’ve been training them all along. I’ve had a rough day myself; I think I need to hear someone pray aloud over me… I’ll ask my husband. Thanks, Laura.

  5. says

    what a gift you are giving your boys by trusting them with your heart and praying with them…praying with you that it is all redeemed…P.S. you’re not a bad person, just human, like the rest of us 🙂

  6. says

    I love how you let your boys see ALL SIDES of your soul- the sad, the happy, the messed up. How lucky they are to have a mama who is REAL. And, I’m aching with you over the silence.. so hard when we can’t just FIX it. Wish we could share a cup of coffee today! i love friends who are seeking Him hard!

  7. says

    Let the children lead us…and oh yes their is strength in numbers…it doesn’t have to be much…just another voice helping to lift our burdens before the throne…love this…

  8. says

    Great post today Laura!

    And it so resonated with me.

    I know all too well the pain of inadvertantly hurting someone you care about.

    Indeed, some breaches seem like they will never be restored, but there is always the hope that as we pray for them God will show them our heart and true intentions!

    I also learned something from HOW you presented your experience and still protected the ‘innocent’ so to speak.

    This is something that is sometimes a challenge for me as a writer…. How do I share what happened and the valueable truths I learned without revealing too much… but saying enough to show the intensity of what happened.

    You my friend, did this perfectly!!

    Thanks for your blog. I enjoy your pictures and your wise words!!

  9. says

    Oh, Laura, I remember the joy when my daughters began suggesting prayer as the answer to life hurts. I hope the unintentional hurt will be recognized for what it was — unintentional.

  10. says

    You are a good mama, sweet Laura. And a good friend. I’m saying a prayer right now that God changes the other’s heart about this incident.

  11. says

    You teach so well when you share these moments with your children. And saying these things out loud seems to be an important way for us to experience God’s grace and forgiveness through others, when it’s hard to feel it for ourselves.

  12. Anonymous says

    I don’t know, Laura. We all mess up but when someone in my life does and then comes and asks me for forgiveness, well I can’t fathom responding with silence. It’s just not in me. And really. What mess up could you have possibly made that would garner the branding of being a “bad person”? (And no. I’m not fishing here.) The bad manners of some just riles me something fierce sometimes. I’m glad you had the comfort and consolation of prayer with your sons. Sending love to you …


  13. says

    you know, i’m with your friend laure. i ache for you, that someone responded to your plea for forgiveness with silence. but i celebrate with you, that God provided grace through your son. and i love that you share soul thoughts with them… i can’t wait to do that with my little ones. love you.

  14. says

    We fix-er-uppers know all too well what you’ve written about here, and I love that your child suggested you pray about it together. 🙂

  15. says

    Ugh. I felt the pain of that silence, Laura.

    But then, I celebrated the ways that your boys stepped up alongside you like that.

    I do the same with my children — share a bit of my heart in honest ways. I think that’s important, for them to see we are real people with real hurts. And I really do think we can do that without burdening them.

  16. says

    My daughter is learning the value of immediate prayer. She is teaching me even as I am teaching her. She prayed the most beautiful mother’s day prayer over me while tucking her in on Sunday.

    Don’t ever stop sharing those soul-thoughts. Soul thoughts are staying thoughts. Long after we’re gone, our soul thoughts will remain… still whispering eternity for generations to come.


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