Let’s take a quick look at my very ordinary Friday morning. I wake up, shower, and get my boys up and off to school.
Now to expand on these very bare details, let’s look at a scenario of how these events could oh, so easily have gone…
Friday Morning Scenario 1
It’s time to get the boys up, but I’m already running a little behind. This means they must get up NOW, whether they like it or not. Feet on the floor. Time to get moving. Voices raised. Grumpy kids. Grumpy mom.
Great way to start the day.
Next, building off some irritation from the morning before that I’d allowed to fester into resentment, and the great encounter I just had with the kids, I head to the back room to ask my husband – why can’t you be a little more involved and helpful in the mornings? Why is this my responsibility?
This day is getting even better.
We get through breakfast reasonably well, even forcing the kids to get a little of their Bible study done at the table.
Now it’s time to drop the kids at school. Normally not a big deal, but again we are carrying a little baggage from the day before. One of my sons had come hime with news of a pretty negative interaction with another boy near the end of the day. We had discussed this at great length and he well knew my disappointment with his part in the interaction. Now, possibly due to some words I said, he gets out of the car worried about further consequences that may be in store at school and unsure how to interact with the other boy involved.
But thankfully that’s not how it went! Even writing this I feel a huge sense of relief. Let’s look at a different scenario.
Friday Morning Scenario 2
Yes, I did get a little irritated at my husband on Thursday. But thankfully, I’ve done some growing through my years of marriage and was able to let it go before it grew in my heart, laying aside my selfishness (or at least most of it) because I love him and value what he is spending his time on. He also chose to let go of and forgive the prickliness I know I exhibited.
So that brings us back to Friday morning. While I was still running a little behind, he comes in to tell me he woke the boys up for me so they’d have their preferred time to ease into the morning. By the time I see the boys they are well on their way to getting ready for the day. There’s still some prodding needed, but it comes while sitting next to one on his bed rather than yelled from the doorway.
And the situation at school? Yes, it really happened, but the resulting conversations were very different. He immediately told me his part and how he had taken responsibility and apologized. I thanked him for his forthrightness (an area he’s struggled with!), addressed the small amount of correction needed, assured him of my love and support through this challenge and gave plenty of hugs. We then discussed his worry about how this would impact his relationship with the other boy and talked through how he could show intentional kindness to him on Friday at school. The result? A young boy, fully prepared to get out of the car this morning with a plan for kindness.
Thankfully, although we’ve had plenty of mornings that looked more like Scenario 1, this time I can tell you that Scenario 2 is what really happened.
So what’s the big difference in these two scenarios? GRACE.
Grace with myself, grace with my boys, grace with my husband, grace received from my husband. Not grace that’s been forced or stays on the surface, but grace that’s been practiced and learned, settling deep into the fiber of this family. Grace that gives each of us something that we don’t deserve – a little extra time, a little extra help, a little extra patience, or a little more forgiveness. Grace that allows us to move past the very real mornings that look more like the first one, and build toward more mornings like today.
Grace that only comes through the work of Jesus. Grace that allows me to lay down my weaknesses – my selfishness, irritability, tendency toward impatience and a raised voice, and so much more – and experience transformation.
Grace that causes me to catch my breath as I think back on the beauty of this morning and thank my Lord and Savior for the precious gift of Grace.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9