GRACE & PERSPECTIVE

I haven't posted anything in a few weeks. I can list a dozen or so reasons why... sick, busy, husband traveling, social engagements, more sick, more busy.  

But I think, if I'm being honest, I've simply been a little too focused on myself, becoming overwhelmed by issues that are, truly, only as big as I allow them to be.  

The series of bugs we caught...  

The husband traveling way more than we'd like and are used to.  

I've even allowed the "good" stress to overwhelm me. We have some great opportunities opening up before us, yet I have focused only on the uncertainty of it all.  

More than ever we have been surrounded by wonderful people... Yet I began to feel weighed down by my own perceived expectations of those around us, rather than remember what a blessing each person is to our family.  

So, two nights ago I lay awake in bed and found myself asking God to please help me find some level of peace in all of this. I asked God for grace. I asked that God provide for me a better perspective... Because Lord knows none of these "problems" we are facing warranted how burdened I felt.  

Then, in my narrow-mindedness I proceeded to become even more frustrated that I did not immediately feel relieved in any way. As if my merely acknowledging what I thought I needed should have been enough to attain it. Silly me.  

Yesterday was a busy day. Orders to make, ship and deliver, people to visit, phone calls, errands to run, a house to clean, laundry to do, an active toddler, pavers starting to work on the back yard.  

ALL positive things... but all I saw were the tasks.  

At different points throughout the day, I was most certainly blessed with some very wonderful and very real moments of God's grace.  

A sincere barista at Starbucks that seemed to truly hope I had a "wonderful day."   Random strangers smiling kindly.  

Some wonderfully appropriate and uplifting messages and songs on the radio.  

A sweet and funny lady who helped to calm my child when he decided unexpectedly to freak out... in the middle of a packed and hot elevator.  

But none of this registered. Finally, an incredibly kind older cashier at the grocery store brought the message home.  

Grocery shopping yesterday was like something out of a comedy. Frazzled mom, dropping things and running into people while toddler-who-has-found-his-voice has emphatic, high-pitched conversations with himself and attempts to eat the cart.  

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In line, the cashier asks if I need any ice or stamps. "OH!! Yes! Stamps!" Something I've been forgetting for every grocery trip for the last month and need so that I can send out the Thank You notes from Sam's Birthday party. (I swear to all those applicable, we are eternally grateful! Especially since you all put up with my less than timely expressions of gratitude!)  

I turned to Sam and, as if I expected him to respond, say "Mommy has been forgetting stamps forever!"  

This cashier... This wonderful stranger who I will now never forget, stops what he's doing, smiles at my child and says, with full sincerity, "That's because, I'd be willing to bet, Mommy's got a lot on her plate. And I'm sure she is doing the absolute best she can."  

So simple.  

Yet so unbelievably and incredibly wonderful... supportive, compassionate, encouraging.   It probably didn't hurt that the guy sounded kinda like Morgan Freeman, but ya know...   It's just that, in that moment, I realized that God had been blessing me with little bits of grace all day long... As he always does if I am able to get outside of my own concerns long enough to see them.  

Okay, there's the grace part. So, what about perspective?   This is what I found on my Timehop app this morning. 

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I did most definitely laugh about this. But not for the reasons I had expected four years ago. I didn't laugh because I found eating chicken nuggets after midnight at an old folding table funny or pathetic (as I saw it at the time). In fact, that memory now seems absolutely sweet and wonderful to me.  

I laughed because even then, when I had a fantastic partner in life sitting across a table from me in the middle of the night, a job to come home from, a phone to play scrabble on, the ability to obtain food that wouldn't make me sick... all I saw was what I didn't have.  

I had some grand idea of how flawless my life would "someday" be... without realizing that the flaws were what made my life perfect and beautiful.  

This... this is my perspective... and one that I want to make sure I learn better for Sam.   There will always be things I think we need... that truly do not matter.  

There are things we have now that I will surely take for granted and look back on fondly down the road.  

Life will always have an element of uncertainty. It's all part of the adventure.  

Grace and perspective are already given to us, it's up to us to see them for what they are.


Katie Feavel
Katie Feavel

Author

Katie Feavel is the coffee-fueled Director of Household Operations and Child Care Coordinator at House Feavel. She likes to collect hobbies and spends her free time reading, singing, sewing, knitting, failing at Pinterest-inspired crafts, burning gluten-free food, killing house plants and having dance parties with her toddlers. A native Arizonan, Katie now resides in the Chicago area with her husband and three young children, where she relishes in the change of seasons and absence of scorpions and lethal plants. When Leaves Listen is Katie Feavel's first novel and the first in The Nature of Noise Series.



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