“Well, I’ll never make THAT mistake again!”

I’ve said that line a lot.  Like the time I forgot to check the latch on my back door, and while I was folding laundry I heard a knock- my neighbor coming to tell me that my 20 month old son was wandering around the back yard alone.  My heart stopped beating while I checked every inch of his body to be sure he was okay (a process he found hilarious) and then as soon as I could calm myself down I laughingly said to my neighbor “I can’t believe I would do that.  There’s no excuse.  But at least that’s one mistake I’ll never make again.”

A mother herself, she nodded knowingly.  And she replied, “That’s the good thing about mistakes.  You learn from them.”

Like the time I wanted to add cinnamon to a recipe, and seeing red powder I didn’t really even look at the label.  Imagine my surprise when my spice cake had cayenne pepper as the primary flavor!  Or the time I put bread under the broiler and then went into the other room to fetch something without setting a timer.  Someone came to the door and I forgot about the bread until I smelled it charring.  Or there’s the time I put pizza back in a warm oven for my husband, and we both forgot about it until the next time I needed to bake something.  I started the oven preheating, smelled something strange…  Well, I’ll never do THAT again!

There are more serious times- like the time I was twelve and at a new school where I had few friends.  A gaggle of girls started talking badly about my mormon friend, how weird her clothes were and how annoying it was when she started getting “preachy”, how odd it was that she had such a huge family (she was on the lower middle end of seven kids from eighteen to four), and on, and on.  Desperate to be accepted I joined in the conversation, just to turn around and see my only true friend crying in the doorway.

Lesson learned.  I will NEVER again say something I don’t believe only to gain acceptance or approval.  Our words all carry power and a price.  But out of all of the bad I’ve done, to meals and to people, some good has come out of it.  Because all of these mistakes I’ve turned into something positive.  An opportunity to learn and grow and mold myself.  As much pain as some mistakes may cause, like the pain I caused to my friend Faith, if we are willing to admit our shortsightedness, if we are willing to be humbled and broken and to ask for the world (or our own mouths) to forgive us, we can grow.  We can learn.  We can be better.

As bad as a mistake can be, we can always choose to never make it again.

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6 thoughts on ““Well, I’ll never make THAT mistake again!”

  1. @Hayden: Yes, actually- and it’s a testament to Faith’s nobility that she understood my caving to peer pressure and forgave me. I should probably write more about Faith sometime and what a crucial part of my growing into my own person she was. Faith was mature way, way beyond her years.

  2. Lindsey, I remember joining the crowd once and hurting a friend. I made the statement that all bisexuals were just lesbians who didn’t want to commit. I saw the look on her face and I knew I hurt her terribly. Unlike you, we grew apart and I haven’t seen her since college, 14 years ago. I will regret that for ever but I do hope to run into her one day and apologize. I was wrong and I know it.

    As for the motherly things I was wrong about. They have been many. But I hope like you to learn from them. I can’t count the times I have said, “I will never do that again.” Good post, you go girl.

  3. The problem with peer pressure is that we want to be who others want us to be. Instead we should be exactly who we were created to be.

    A very unrealistic goal for a child in elementary school.

  4. I think this post is just incredible, so true is it that the choice is always ours. Some wonder time and time again why they “never” learn, they never stop to examine what they have done and see it for what it is, some never take the time. It speaks a universe about who you are and how you are, your strength and your beauty, this post is beautiful!

  5. Oh Lindsey, you had me laughing with the cinnamon and pizza mistakes! 🙂

    On the more serious matter, I think everyone at one time in their life has made the mistake you did, to fit in. Even Peter denied Jesus 3 times to fit in with the crowd and avoid persecution. But we do learn, all our lives.

    I had a terrible school life all the way through, always the outcast. But I do remember once when I was 9, joining in with the mob in picking on another kid, for the first time it wasn’t me.

    I look back and hate that I did that, and no matter how I wish I could change it, I have to live with the fact that I did it. But I did learn from this. Loyalty, honesty and integrity. The rest of my school life got worse, but I grew and was able to be who I was, even if it meant I was unpopular.

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