A Standard of Grace

Life has been a bit crazy around here this week. Good crazy, but not my usual Boring pace. And I have been feeling a smidge out of control, well, a lot out of control if I’m honest. The last couple days have just felt not quite in my grasp. I got home from a morning meeting yesterday and here’s what I saw (after I walked past the weed-filled flower beds): last night’s dishes in the sink, the dishwasher blinking that it was clean and needed to be emptied, the vacuum cleaner sitting in the front room next to my Bible study that was just partly completed, and a project I told Glenn I’d do last week still in process on the dining table. Blerg.

In the past when life has felt this way I have tried one of the following strategies, or some combination thereof, with limited success at best:

1. Put on sweats, grab a bag of chips, sit on the couch and surf Food Network and HGTV. Feel even crummier because now I will be out of control AND fat.

2. Find myself paralyzed and defeated as I realize that I truly cannot do everything. Weep. Then opt for #1. (If this is you I just have to stop and tell you that you have to read Bittersweet by Shauna Niequist–just go straight to the essay about doing everything better and making a things-I-don’t-do list.)

3. Get really snippy with anyone that has every contributed even the tiniest reason to have to clean my house (didn’t you come over for dinner once in 1997? This is your fault!) and slam around as I clean. This may be accompanied by mumbling, tears, or breaking something through my own carelessness which of course leads to more angry tears.

4. Pretend none of it exists and read a book. This option can easily be combined with #1 just substitute the book for HGTV.

It’s probably worth pointing out that any and all of these options could have been accompanied by mumbling and tears.

This is what I think I am learning now that I am in my fourth decade: It is sad but true that I cannot control it all. Recognizing this as reality, I am trying instead to control the things that I can…I’m trying to get some exercise {admittedly it has taken me six or seven weeks to complete four weeks of the Couch to 5K program but even if it’s only a short walk, it’s better than Oreos on the couch;} I’m trying to make sure that I get outside for a while every day {sometimes this is covered by my run but some days I just sit outside with my favorite four-legged-wonder and his beloved frisbee–we both really like that;} I’m trying to choose better food {this is fun (and easier) this time of year since the farmer’s markets are full of fantastic veggies but I’m trying to change my purchasing habits too–it’s always helpful to just NOT BUY the potato chips;} and I’m reading and getting lots of sleep and trying to remember that grace is not just for other people.

I found this image online before we moved. It’s from Emily Ley (I cleverly discerned from the watermark and now that I’ve checked out her blog I am a fan. In fact, I may be in some trouble.) But I can’t find it available on her site…it’s just out there in cyberspace now I guess. I just love what it says so much that I have to share.

What say you? Can we agree to make this our new standard? I’m all for it.

P.S. Since our week has been so crazy we haven’t been eating at home much this week so no menu creating for me. We are eating at home tonight and I’m going to make the Skillet Chicken Parm from Cook’s Country that I meant to make last week since I have all of the ingredients on hand already. I promise to get back at it next week and hope you can give me some of that grace? 🙂




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