I left my lunchbox in the refrigerator. Can you bring it to me.
This is Lilly.
She had sent me these three text from her sweet friends phone, probably while riding the bus.
Don't you hate that feeling!?!?! That, OH SHOOT! How could I have forgotten something so important?
It happens to me ALL THE TIME! It's embarrassing how much. I back out of the driveway, I pull back into the driveway. The Phone. It's always the phone that I forget!
And Lukey's meds. He takes epilepsy medication twice a day. We're going on a year and half of taking it now. Every morning and every night. You'd think we'd have it down by now, but NOPE! Getting myself and 4 little ones out the door by 7:10am can be a CHALLENGE to say the least! You need to make breakfast and brush teeth and gather lunch boxes and snacks and check the weather and have appropriate shoes and clothes....yada yada yada! You know the deal!
All three kiddos usually pack their own lunch at night so we can grab it and go. I leave his meds out in plain sight, so there is NO WAY we could forget them, but we do!
Not just once or twice.....but Mrs. C (Lukey's Kindy teacher) has gotten more "Oh shoot! I forgot Lukey's meds again. I'm so sorry! Can you please send him to the nurse?" text from me more times than either of us could count.
And guess what? She is so GRACIOUS about it. She doesn't try to give me advice on how to remember. She doesn't roll her eyes. Give a sermon. Fuss. (At least not that I can see! But knowing her, she is genuinely so gracious.) She is always always always so kind to me. She always responds to me in such a kind way that I feel okay about my "human-ness." Usually, I'll get right back on track and get his meds to him the next day, but I think I did actually forget 2 days in a row once, and she was just as kind the second day as the first.
I adore that teacher, for so many reasons, because she was an answer to countless prayers for my boy! She loves him to pieces and has been so good to me, in spite of my chronic forgetfulness amongst plenty of other imperfections.
So, this morning, when I got the text from Lilly, our 6th grader, I KNEW it was going to cause Ella and I to be late for preschool, and late to another commitment that I had, but without an ounce of fuss or shame, we drove it right over to her.
Because I quickly remembered how many times I have been given grace.
And in an effort to be more like Mrs. C, I even left a note. A note that said, it's okay to be imperfect. Forgetful even. (You know that apple doesn't fall far from the tree! Although I will say, I think this is only her SECOND request for help this year, when I have sent....ummmm, I'm too embarrassed to say how may "Oh Shoot!" text Mrs. C has received from me!
When I meet new people, I often say, "I'll give you a ton a Grace, because I promise you, I'll NEED a ton too!" I'm pretty sure our soccer coach just got that text from me this week.
I used to really focus on raising "perfect" little kiddos and being a "perfect" momma, and I quickly discovered, neither myself nor my children are up for that challenge. Instead, we all do our best and we give and receive a TON of GRACE in our house. Of course, so some days we are much better than others.
Grace comes easy-peasy for Mike. He's so laid back. And Carly. I always hear her saying, "It's okay Lukey, or it's okay Ella, I'll give you grace." They seem to have an endless supply, but some of us, particularly ME, needs to really be mindful about GIVING it. I really have to think about how much grace I need when it's my turn to pay it forward. Especially when it's inconvenient. I constantly have to fight the perfection demons and think about people over stuff. Or people over perfection. Or people of being on time. Or people over cleanliness. (Which happens to be really challenging to me!)
Never in my life have I needed as much Grace as I have these past 7 months. Mrs. C, Lukey's kindergarten teacher has shown me time and time and time and time again how amazing it feels to be given grace. No judgement. No lecture. No advice. No "come on woman - get it together!" Just Grace. That's what she continuously has for me.
When my kiddos think back on their childhood, I hope they'll think, She was so gracious. So forgiving. So helpful when I was in need. She lifted me up instead of tearing me down. She accepted my flaws and loved me through them.
Of course they need discipline. And endless training. But most importantly, they need to see and feel and experience unconditional Love. No matter what you forget or what you do or what you say, at the end of the day, you are mine and I love you. Period.
If you're laid back, go with the flow, this is probably easy-peasy-lemon-squeezey for you....but if you aren't, you can still make the CHOICE. You can still consider how deeply flawed and imperfect you are and consider how much you appreciate GRACE. You can still take a big deep breath and CHOOSE to love BIG even when other people make mistakes.
Thank You Mrs. C for being a constant example of Love and Grace to me. When I look back on this year, I will never forget your Kindness. Grace is your "Trademark." It is beautiful and it is contagious. I need to carry it around with me and extend it as easily as you do.
Who can you extend Grace to today? If you are in contact with any humans at ALL, it won't take you long to have an opportunity to practice. I promise! ;-)
It will bring you great JOY in the Chaos of this life!