We expect Grace, right? We know it’s part of the deal. But what if grace sometimes comes in unexpected packaging. Will we even recognize it? Will we even see it?
The past two weeks have been full. Not full in a fiery sort of way, the way sickness or extenuating circumstances crash on the scene and strike a match to your normal. But a quieter full, sneakier almost. Kids with school projects, a mama with deadlines, company visiting, events to plan, just a normal life-stuff full. Except it was all bloating a bit. Distended, the living begins to bump into itself. It crowds. Suffocates.
I’m guessing you know this, feel this, in your own normal life-stuff at times.
Yesterday, when my husband came home, the pressure was peaking. There is just not enough of me to get it all done. I whined.
In his normal keeping-me-grounded manner, he reminded me to prioritize. “Focus only on what’s important right now”.
And what exactly would that be? I asked honestly. The meeting I have in 45 minutes and need to make an outline for, the final report editing that child is awaiting help on, the ballet girls that need to be picked up in half an hour or the dinner that needs to be made and served in between all that?
Clarity was cloudy.
I don’t advocate this sort of rattling – letting yourself get rattlled, rattling off to your husband, spiraling your crazy right on out and letting it spill on every surface. But sometimes it happens, we just all of a sudden feel like we are going to pop.
That quiet life-stuff full, it’s sneaky I tell you.
My husband silently stepped away to edit words neither he or the boy much enjoy editing (this is love) and I set my mind on dinner. I dredged meatballs in flour and browned them in snappy oil on the cooktop. What a parody.
I took my complaints another direction while I dipped and dunked the raw meat.
God, I know you have called me to be faithful and I feel like I have been. I’ve been plodding along lately, juggling balls, trying and trying and keeping on and trusting, but at what point do you show up? I need to see you here because right now it feels like the normal might swallow me. None of it is really that big of a deal but the whole is somehow greater than the sum of the parts and I just can’t seem to keep up with it all.
I found no immediate answer amidst greasy meatballs, but the evening proceeded without further complication. The girls were picked up on time. Everyone ate. I made it to the meeting, outline in hand and the report was finished. I ended the night a shaky Jenga tower that survived another day.
A New Day Dawns
Before the light of this morning arrived a tiny and tired voice woke me. Her stomach hurt. She crawled in our bed and minutes later we were rifling for spare bowls and stripping bed sheets. Hello, Thursday. This is not the greeting I was hoping for.
I was supposed to teach a class at my kids’ co-op today. People were counting on me. I sighed stale frustration as I loaded the wash before I had even sipped my coffee and I mentally re-routed my day.
Find someone to cover for me at the co-op. And then what? We had intended to be gone from almost dawn to almost dusk at co-op, but a sick kid had us all pinned at home. Home with no plan, no schedule, no demands. Just home.
My mind flashed quick to that hot mama standing by the even hotter stove last night, browning meatballs and begging God to see me, help me, in my most normal and everyday need. Begging for grace when I’m drowning in normal.
What if this was grace? What if he really does use it all? Somehow in the middle of my normal, my crazy, he just carved out space, a whole day of space. Grace.
Who gets that? A day off mid-week. Pinned at home. A forced slowing. Me and my people home without expectation.
I get it, friends. More than I care to, I get it. Sometime life comes in fits and starts and we are leveled, we double over with each surprise blow. And other times it’s just the normal that feels like it might swallow us. But He’s faithful. In all of it, faithful. Ask him. Invite him and fight to see him. His grace may arrive in unexpected packaging, but it always arrives.