When I was a brand new mom full of ideas and judgments, a friend had me over for coffee and conversation. A plate sat on the table with toddler leftovers. Crumbs were on the floor. A few dishes sat in the sink. I remember wondering why she didn’t sweep before I came over. And instantly feeling comforted that she had mess at her house like I had at mine. That was over a decade ago, but those crumbs are still blessing me.
I have been mulling over the blessing of crumbs on the floor. I have read a lot about wisdom, grace and legacy this week. I have a list of things that I keep trying to feel guilty and embarrassed about. I am choosing grace for myself instead. I am going to share my list with you–a sort of confession. Welcome to my ugly!
I told my kids in a very loud and uncontrolled tone to, “STOP YELLING AT EACH OTHER!” And we all paused as they wiped the drops of irony off their faces which I had very obviously blown all over the place during my outburst.
I had to rewash a load of clothes this morning when the smell almost knocked me down as I opened the washer to transfer them to the dryer. How long ago did I wash that load?
And while we are on the subject of laundry, I confess to 3 or more (I lost count) loads on my bed and in my floor waiting to be folded. Plus the two baskets that I left for my kids to fold. Because, gosh darn it! Those kids are going to do something around this house! As soon as I get the energy (and, if I am being honest, courage) to make them.
More dirty laundry (bu-dump-psh! I will pause as you chuckle at my clever pun). The comforter my daughter threw up on while coughing uncontrollably two nights ago (while I sat in the recliner checking Facebook, mind you) is still in the hallway waiting to be washed. Or maybe burned.
I bought non-organic milk today. And tooth paste and razors without one single coupon.
I ate a cookie on the way home from the gym.
I totally ignored my husband for screen time one night this week. To the point that he left and I had no idea where he was going. (Update: he came back 30 minutes later with a new gym bag. The male version of retail therapy, I guess.)
More confessions around food: I ate a baby hamburger and tots at 8:37 p.m. last night. Granted, I skipped dinner to volunteer at a consignment sale. And we were out of milk (going on day 3) so cereal for dinner was out. But, still! A burger? AND tots? There may have been a slushy in there, too. But I did not succumb to call of the 1/2 price shake. This time.
I swiped my credit card at Sam’s today which is supposed to stay safely tucked away for emergencies and Amazon only (which are the same thing, right?).
I offered a friend my shopping pass to aforementioned consignment sale. She drove out of the way to pick it up. Then called me 5 minutes later to see if maybe I had given her the wrong one because it was not the day I promised. Nope. I just got the day wrong. And made your day longer. So sorry!
And, I am writing this instead of cleaning my bathrooms. Germs, rest easy. You aren’t going anywhere today!
I am so very tempted to give you a list of all of the things I did right this week. Imagine me thumb wrestling myself and typing at the same time and you get the picture. I have in my head that this grace thing is like a checkbook (which I haven’t balanced in two weeks, thus the credit swipe at Sam’s) with credits and debits. For every fail, I need to offer a success.
That is not grace. That is works. Romans says it over and over in so many different ways:
If it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace. Romans 11:6
So I give myself space for grace. I bless you with space for grace, too. When we open up our homes with the crumbs still on the floor, we bless one another with the permission to be human.
We yell, we get distracted, we screw up. We are so hard on ourselves, often because we create an unattainable standard and work our tushes off to achieve it. We feel inadequate when we look around and see through shiny windows the pictures people want us to see (let’s not get started on how Facebook and Pinterest have ruined the modern-day woman’s self esteem).
You are invited into my ugly today. My floors aren’t swept. My laundry is not folded. My kids have been yelled at. I drove my husband to find comfort in the arms of Academy Sports. There is most certainly room for repentance. There is a call to holiness.
But there is grace. Use this space to find the grace you need today. Feel free to add to my list of bang-ups in the comments below. Confession is good for the soul and there is no judgement here (James 5:16)!