About the Author

Angela Nazworth is a shame-fighting storyteller who writes mostly about the beauty of grace, faith, friendship, vulnerability and community. She is a wife and a mother of two. Angela's also an encourager, a lover of good books, coffee, girl's night out, sunshine, and waterfalls. In the 15 years since she...

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  1. {breathing}

    Thank you for your honesty. In a moment of frustration, I lost my ability to control myself and used the book my daughter and I were working on to hit her on the forehead. The momentum in my hand surprised even me – I truly did not intend to HIT her. But I did. And she was flabbergasted and I broke her heart that day. I apologized then and later, but that action will forever haunt me. I learned that day what I could stoop to when I allowed my own frustration to overtake me. It was truly a low moment in my life – one I promised myself that I would never do again. My whole parenting standard has changed in part because of that moment. I resolved to be entirely more gentle and calm with my kids – they did not deserve my harshness or quick frustration. God was gracious to me and I am grateful for the forgiveness of my daughter.

    Thank you for sharing your moment… allowing me to further heal from mine.

    • And thank you for your brave honesty … And I am so encouraged to know that you (with God’s help) have been able to be gentler with your children. What a blessing.

  2. Angela, 34 years ago for the first time I felt frustration toward my two year old daugher who came after 6 miscarrages and 12 years of marriage…over something so trival as her not peeing in her pot when I wanted her to. I had to leave the room for I wanted to slap her little butt so hard because I could not control her. I can still feel the shame even to this day. Saying I was sorry was the balm that turned the wound my words made into scars. And scars is what Jesus carried for us.

    Those times in our life when we make mistakes with out kids should drive us to first forgive ourselves for there is no going on to be more aware unless you forgive yourself. It’s not about your mistake, it’s about His forgiveness for our mistakes. Second we become more sensitive with our words, quick to hear and slow to speak after we have finally got past our shame and walk in forgiveness. Then it becomes a teaching took which you have just used my wise hearted sister in the Lord by sharing this post….thank you for letting God open up that hurt and share it..healing will come now like never before, even our hurts are not to be hoarded to ourselves, God wants to use them. The enemy of your soul would love to keep you in bondage over your mistakes which is covered by the blood, past, present and future. He cannot claim that….

    My children and I are best friends now and there were some tough years especially with our son but they have a real mother and father…not yet totally transformed. As real parents we still try to live up to the standard God has put us under here on this earth, not prefect but forgiven. He is the perfect one and He did not need forgiven.

  3. Been there, done that… I totally relate to your experience with your daughter. I know that I’m so much better than I used to be, but I worry that my children will be permanently scarred before I get to where I need to be. All I can do is the best I can do, pray lots, ask for forgiveness lots and trust that God’s grace covers us all.
    Well done for sharing something so hard!

  4. Nothing breaks us like the way we can hurt our most loved ones with our tongues. Guilty.
    Just last night my husband and I had a pretty heated discussion about my son’s refusal to sleep overnight in a tent at Scout camp this weekend. He endured a night in a tent during a pretty severe thunderstorm last fall that rattled a lot of the boys, but he later managed a 4 nights sleeping over at Scout camp so I felt like this refusal was a step in backwards in overcoming fear. I told my husband he was allowing our son to act like a wimp. He had just gone to bed so it’s possible he heard us. Not good and my husband was less than impressed. Needless to say our discussion escalated into a full blown argument. In the end my husband’s only request was that I watch my tone and my tongue, he said everything else you do as a wife and mother is great but I know that nothing else I do will matter if I don’t fix that.
    It’s not that I don’t know, that I’m not aware of it every time I let impatience or fatigue or fear take over my tongue it’s just that I’ve been too lazy or too bound by the sin to stop it. I laid in bed praying and crying and begging the Lord to find my dark places and cleanse them. Less than 12 hours after speaking hurtful words I find this devotional. Thank you Father for feeding us what we need when we need it. Thank you for biblical rebuke and correction, thank you for forgiveness!
    Thank you Angela for your open honesty and obedience to write this.

  5. {Writing here from a daughter’s perspective…}
    THANK YOU for realizing the effect your words have on your children. THANK YOU for being so distraught and grieved at the hurt caused, and so determined to do differently next time. THANK YOU for being aware of the power of one simple word.

    And at the same time, remember that God is gracious. A few mistakes in your kid’s life will not leave them scarred and broken for the rest of their lives. Kids are resilient. They get over things. They will realize some day how their parents are just as human as they are, and probably be amazed at how you managed to do such a wonderful job raising them and loving them.

    I’m not a mother yet, but I am a daughter. A grown-up almost-in-my-30’s daughter, married and hoping to have kids some day. And I know I will make mistakes. My own parents, while wonderful, were certainly not perfect and did react in anger and frustration sometimes… but they are human just as I and my husband are. And I’m sure I’ll do some of things they did that I swore growing up I would never do. And yet the grace and love of our Savior covers a multitude of sins.

  6. Thank you for this post. I surprise myself when I burst into anger & say mean things….I don’t do it that often, but when I do I feel awful and usually blame PMS or some hormonal thing. Only a conscious, prayerful heart can stop us from letting these words & thoughts escape our mouths. I love the Bible Verse you included in the post. This morning I have written it on my DaySpring Memo Board….I NEED it emblazoned into my heart and mind….one that I can quickly “call up” when I’m about to explode. It such a great verse for us adults….but one I plan to teach my son as well. Thank you again.

  7. Thank you for sharing so openly and honestly here. I’ve been down this road, all too many times. My oldest, now 20, still has issues with me, most likely a direct result from circumstances like this. It’s not fair to my children that they are the brunt of my frustration. I am trying to do better.

  8. Your honesty is authentic and I must thank you for sharing this as I myself have had moments and words to regret; it’s good to know i’m not alone. Bless you.

  9. I don’t think that there is a mother anywhere, at any time, who hasn’t said, or done somthing that they have regreted. I know I have. Some how God can use it for good. And we know that it has been for good when we see that our children have learned to give grace and mercy, as we have given it to them.

    Give yourself a hug for me. You’re still a great mom!

    Love, Di

  10. Oh Angela
    Girl….you speak for many. Being a mother and doing it right doesn’t mean we are a success every moment.
    I’ve done my share of MOUTH SLIPS….and God has redeemed me (thankfully). The pain we end up with is a consequence that POSSIBLY the Holy Spirit uses to remind us– to watch it!
    How precious is the Lord Jesus–who fills sweet child hearts with forgiveness.

    WE ARE ALWAYS LEARNING!

  11. Thank you for sharing. There were many times in my life that God had to heal me from using hurtful words. And still I struggle at times, especially when I am in pain, physically. One thing I have realized is that if you hide your sin in shame, he cannot heal you. It festers there in the dark and gets uglier and more infected, going deeper and deeper, wrapping itself in layers of guilt and shame. God says, “confess your sins one to another so that you may be healed.” I wonder if we were more loving and didn’t judge, and truly confess our struggles one to another, maybe we would all get some freedom. Its humbling and hard to do, but so worth it.

  12. I don’t think there is a person alive who could not identify with your post today. I know I have to live with things I’ve blurted out and will forever have the devastating affect on my heart, even though it might have been twenty years ago. I pray that God soothes your heart and mind with His endless love. And I also pray for your protection that satan does not use this as a weapon to beat you up on any future occasion.

  13. Thank you for speaking the truth about something we all have done at one time or another. The tongue is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison, and you and I are unable to bridle it without the help of the Holy Spirit. I wish I could say that this won’t be a problem anymore, but if you are anything like me, it will come up again and again and again. Sometimes you’ll win the battle and sometimes you won’t, but God is always at work to ensure you win the war.

  14. It sounds like you have taught your children the beauty of mercy and grace. We are all going to mess up and say words and do things that are sinful….but, when we sit at his feet and ask for forgiveness…we are showing the true imperfections that are sanctified, as he transforms us. I make mistakes all day long….and am thankful for the mercy and grace I receive from my friends and family. Thank you for this post….

  15. Thank you for your honesty Angela. We’ve all said things that we swore we would never say. I remember the first time I let some words slip out to my children that I swore I would never say. It was if I could see those words hanging in a cartoonist’s word balloon. I’m so thankful that the Lord gives grace for my mouth mishaps!

  16. I am not a mother yet, but a child who had harsh words spoken to at times….I wanted to tell you though, saying you’re sorry, is teaching your kids more than you could ever imagine. It shows them that you are not perfect, don’t have it all figured out, and are willing to be real to them. You are taking yourself off the pedastool, and allowing them to see the grace and love that has been given to all of us. You are teaching them about forgiveness, love, mercy, even when we don’t deserve it. I know your heart broke at your words, mine would too, but I’m so thankful that you took this time to show your child humility and honesty….Humility and rawness on your part helps prevent bitterness and scars on their part.

    Thank you for being real.

  17. Angela,

    If “we’re” all honest, we ALL have slung words that break our heart; what a beautiful lesson in the broken. I’m so glad Wanda reminded me to read incourage today; what you’ve written here is in keeping with a post I wrote for my #31days Parenting Series yesterday!

    (In case you’re interested ~ http://bit.ly/pKnUVw)

    Love you.

  18. I read your story and started crying. We’ve Ll made mistakes with our kids, and it’s ripped our hearts in two. May the Lord bless you for sharing your story with us.

  19. Thanks for your honesty. All mothers know the pain of doing something or saying something unkind in our anger. But God is also forgiving so lay your burden of guilt at his feet and be free.

  20. Thank you for your honesty! Knowing that everything we say and do is a shaping factor to our children scares me to death! That and the 24/7 part of it is the hardest part about parenting in my eyes! Thank you for sharing!

  21. Thank you for your honesty and sharing. I know it would be difficult to share your story but I so appreciate that you did share it. It brings tears to my eyes, know I have been there as well. Thank you for sharing the steps in your resolve.

  22. Oh, as the mother who has done that terrible wounding, this brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for your honesty. It is an encouragement to me.

  23. How awesome that you are willing to confess and own your wrong. I know it is hard because I have done it too. But great freedom came with it. Loving that your daughter forgave you. She is learning an important lesson early.

  24. As a daughter that grew up with harsh words that hurt so deeply, I resolved to not allow myself to be that way when I grew up. I am a mother and grandmother of many years now. I spent my life watching my words with others, not just family. I put myself in their place to see how I would feel under the same circumstances and that would give me strength also to not behave badly. Of course, I know that God was working in my life from a child to mold me into what I am today. When I learned to pray about things, I was able to see that he was and is the One who helped me. Does all of this mean that I never hurt my children or grandchildren? I wish!!! There are other ways to hurt people without thinking. I have learned a lot about that as I have sought God to open my eyes and teach me to behave as Christ.

  25. What I love the very most here, is that by your humility you’ve taught your daughter a deeper Truth that so many of us fail to ever do. You taught her what to do when you mess up. Not “if” you mess up. But, “when” you mess up! THIS, is so much more powerful than appearing as the perfect mother.
    Well done!! You are such an encouragement to the rest of us!

  26. We are human – we make mistakes – we say things we should not say. God undoes it all, isn’t that awesome? I have blurted out words that I never intend to say and felt awful afterward, too. I don’t think I can name anyone who has not. It is a constant awareness that is needed, and to think before we speak. Ha! THAT is the tricky part! Keep trying, stay in His Word, and this, too shall pass.
    Hugs, GraceinAZ

  27. Thank you for choosing not to hide and refusing the shame of brokenness. You have given me a gift (as well as your daughter) in modeling the way of courage, humility and real growth as an individual. I think it is easy for me to confuse “doing things right” with growth and maturity. These things are good, However, the real test is how I ultimately respond when I have really hurt someone I love.
    Not many of us have learned to “fail” well. And we will fail; even your daughter. Again, thank you. You have given us all a gift.

  28. Thank you for choosing not to hide and refusing the shame of brokenness. You have given me a gift (as well as your daughter) in modeling the way of courage, humility and real growth as an individual. I think it is easy for me to confuse “doing things right” with growth and maturity. These things are good, However, the real test is how I ultimately respond when I have really hurt someone I love.
    Not many of us have learned to “fail” well. And we will fail; even your daughter. Again, thank you. You have given us all a gift.

  29. I just wanted to say that your heart after this shows what a loving mom you are. I was just blown away by this and by your reaction – in the best possible way. It’s quite sad, actually, that it should surprise me so much. I wasn’t raised in a family or community where a parent would apologize to a child for something like that, and certainly not with the seriousness with which you did.

  30. Sweetie, we’ve ALL done something like that – either with words, or with a hand, or with a wooden spoon. They DO forgive us – we’re much harder on ourselves than our kids or God could ever be. I struggled with anger & impulsive lashing out for years, until God released me from it. No, I’m not perfect, but I’m better. You are too. Forgive yourself & move on – wiser and more careful.

  31. Ah yes… familiar… all too familiar. The other day I yelled at my son, my sweet 4 yr old son over something so pathetically trivial. I was actually angry at my husband, and I turned it against my loving 4 yr old. He burst into tears at my angry tone and harsh words.

    I stopped. I wanted to cry for hurting him like that. I told him I was sorry, that I was actually angry at something else, and not him, and that I should not have yelled at him like that. But still, I hurt his little heart. Oh, the tears that God must weep over us sometimes!!

    I know we are forgiven. But… what about next time? How to stop those angry, harsh words before they come out?

    May God bless us all with patience (lot of that!) and a tight rein on our tongues.
    Thanks for sharing.

  32. Thank you so much for this post. I, too, have said this same nasty word to my dd. Just yesterday in fact so it feels as if this post was meant for me… I handled it exactly as you did & she forgave me. I had been doing well for so long with controlling my frustration and anger with my kids but really blew it yesterday. Thank you also to the other ladies commenting & their wise words. This has been such a blessing to me.

  33. Oh Wow!!! Thanks for your bravery and for sharing this! It has touched me and made me cry. May God Bless you and your little girl always!

  34. Thank you for your pure and honest words. I am eternally grateful for God’s repeated second chances in my life! Living one right now with you and knowing the pain of regret that I pray will be a reminder of where not to go again and to love even more! Clinging to the truth that he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness….even when we struggle to do the same for ourselves. May his blessings and reminders fill your (our!) heart(s) with gladness for his unwavering mercy and love!!!

  35. Sweet Angela, your truth-telling is worship. Sweet, beautiful, glorifying worship. Your words give others permission to be real and for this community to say *I accept you* and to give Grace for others to See it, too–for themselves. Most of all, your honesty gives God one more opportunity to show you His totally not with condition Love. Pure love. He allowed this moment to happen–for you to say those words–and He always makes beauty out of His hearts. So, incredibly Amazing.

    Rich blessings as His Grace flows upon your heart, speaking nothing less than *I accept you just as you are*.

    Peace, sister.

  36. I am crying because I. Feel. Your. Pain.

    I KNOW your pain. I am not cut out for this parenting job. But somehow God chose me. I am so encouraged by your honesty and humility in this post. Thank you for your bravery!

  37. Thank you for the atmosphere of grace you are creating. That is what matters, and even if your daughter remembers this hurt, she will also remember honesty, forgiveness, and it being ok to say “I was wrong.” I didn’t really get that from my parents, but it is something I want to pass along.

  38. Thank you so much for being honest. Since becoming a mother, I have been surprising at how frustrating mothering can be. Pieces like this one are a good reminder that we all struggle- there is no perfect mother.

  39. Angela,

    Though I’m not sure that you’ll get this, thanks for sharing. My heart resonated with yours when you spoke of how difficult to share for you this was. Just recently I’ve been trying to come out of my shell in the blog word and to carve my own path; to live honestly and vulnerably. You courage gives me courage.

    Thank you for your heart. Though you aren’t seeking to be built up, know that I too, have been there.

    In love,
    Jordan

  40. Your confession is so powerful, Angela, and took so much courage! We have all had that horrible slip of the tongue (unfortunately, I’ve had many more than I want to admit). You are obviously a wonderful, Godly mother to have raised a young lady that so sweetly extended forgiveness to you. Thanks for the poignant reminder to guard our tongue. Blessings

  41. Your post today was very REAL and also very BENEFICIAL to all Mom’s!! When we women try each day to be the very best ‘Mom’ we can, we forget we are just human! To mentor – encourage – teach – support – and love; plus all the other million things we do (!) during a day, we at times can forget to allow ourselves moments to catch our breath. When we partner with God in raising these precious children he lovingly gave us, we can make mistakes and then beat ourselves up over & over again. I think that you did so many things right. You knew it was wrong & accepted the responsibility for your words, ( lesson #1) With tremendous courage you posted it to remind us Mom’s about our own words. (lesson #2) But most importantly ….. you asked your daughter for forgiveness. (lesson #3 ) Then she, like children amazingly do, offed forgiveness totally and fully…. teaching us adults what it means to forgive and remember no more. That enables her to see you as a real Mom, and teaches her what forgiveness really means. ( lesson #4) What began as a heartache, God turned into a grace filled lesson! Then you courageously ( and maybe obediently ) shared your lesson to help us all. Thank you for your transparency! For the scripture! For reminding us we are merely humans wrapped in God’s grace and mercy. And each morning brings us new opportunities to begin again. May we in return, remind you that you are not alone, and that we all have moments that we want to rewind and do-over!
    Blessings

  42. Thank you for sharing you experience. I read this this morning after lashing out at my sibling. I asked him for fogiveness and also prayed for forgiveness. I need to continue to pray and read so that I may be quicker to pray about the situation rather than lash out.