Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Everyday Grace: When the Unplanned Makes You Cranky

There's nothing like some derailed plans to show me my ugly. 

Kids come home with fevers. 

X-ray machines break at the orthopedist's office. We reschedule and miss another day of school.

Bathroom floors cave in.

An active 8-year-old has to spend a month hobbling around in an orthopedic "boot of shame." 

Money has to be spent in ways that are un-fun. 

The dog chewed off the corner of the only nice rug we have.

Alarms don't go off. Or they go off when they're not supposed to. I miss two extra hours of sleep. 

Time-sensitive texts don't send and I miss my early-morning run.

The unexpected sucks up my precious, planned solitude and I become like a rabid dog.

My eyes roam to and fro looking for someone to blame. Or to bite.

Instead of being grateful that I can stay home with feverish kids and that God provides resources for orthopedic boots and a new bathroom floor, I fume over derailments.

And then I hitch a ride on the all too familiar shame spiral, feeling just awful about my serious lack of gentleness and flexibility. 

Where do I go from here? 

It's the question I have to ask myself {or should ask myself} daily. I've been unkind and unforgiving, selfish and self-absorbed, fists clenched instead of palms open, ready to receive whatever it is that God has for me on any given day.

My liturgy is like the back of a shampoo bottle: 

Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

Confession. Repentance. Surrender. 

And I do these things within the context of rich, unfailing love. Nothing I have done and nothing I will do can make God love me any more or any less than He already does. While I'm tempted to wallow in guilt, defeat, and anxiety, He reaches down and pulls me up by his right-hand, dusts off my skinned knees, and smooths out my furrowed brow. 

He loves me. My mess is covered and forgotten. I am always, always better than I deserve.  

Every day, new mercy. {And also coffee.}


Related Verses:

Romans 8:1

"Everyday Grace" are posts I began at the beginning of the year. In January I started praying this simple but regular petition: Father, make the Gospel of Grace real to me in tangible, everyday ways. These posts record the ways in which God is answering that prayer. Sharing these vignettes with you is simply an added gift, one I am so grateful for. {To read more in this series, click on the "Everyday Grace" label in the right sidebar.} 


  1. ahh! i have Lam. 3:22-23 posted on our chalkboard right now!! such a great reminder!
    i feel you though - don't like the hitch in my plans. taught the kids at church about joshua and how God's plan may have sounded silly, but God's plans are always better than our own. good reminder for me too! : )

  2. Amen and double amen to that! I can get ugly quick! And I'm so thankful that it doesn't surprise my God, our God! Although my heart and it's blackness always surprises me and causes me shame God knows. And loves me in spite of myself.


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