The older I get, the more I love coffee. The steaming aroma and the swirls of creamer are what makes me happy in the mornings. A hot cup waiting on me to take a sip is a beautiful thing.
Mornings are also my best time. I’m a wake-up-in-a-good-mood kind of gal. It’s as if we all get another chance to live a wonderful life. Then BAM, real life bops me over the head. Whaaat?
My toddler refuses to dress for pre-school, the Wifi disappeared and there’s standing water in my washer. Good grief, what’s going on? An hour into my day and everything seems to be going ka-plooey. Calgon, take me away!
Remember the TV show, I Dream of Jeannie? She folds up her arms and nods her head and poof, she fixes things. I could totally go for some morning magic when life tries to put bumps in my way.
She got to fast forward through unpleasant situations and didn’t have to deal with the crappy stuff. But here I am, dealing with it all.
There was a time when a toddler refusing to put on pants would have put me in a tizzy for the rest of the day because I would’ve been late to work. I wouldn’t have been thinking about my little one trying out a new way to stack cars.
That particular morning, my son was only interested in playing cars, not getting dressed. I had to employ some mommy tricks to get that kiddo dressed and us out the door to school.
And the world kept spinning, it didn’t stop because I was in a time crunch.
My little trick was; take a break. Yep, we were late to school and I stopped trying to rush my child who has no concept of time and needed to work through some toddler creative learning.
Once I decided to change my attitude our schedule actually went smoother, quicker and happier. I soon began applying this same approach to a lot of my daily life, not just when dealing with an active toddler.
When this epiphany thumped me in the forehead, I was soon happier and less stressed. It was easy too. Nothing required except a little more patience. All I did was step back.
My most memorable situations that using the “take a break” method to find grace are now funny stories instead of dark, unfortunate episodes.
1. The Aunt with Completely different political views
I have a dear wonderful Aunt who is brilliant, adventurous and superbly charming. When it comes to politics, she’s very outspoken and I didn’t like it. What I mistook as her being aggressive, was really her being passionate about her beliefs.
I wasted a lot of years avoiding her because I didn’t like to talk politics. Because I’m able to allow grace into my way of thinking, she is now one of my biggest cheerleaders.
2. The neighbor that never waves back
This one confused me. I was super stoked at the idea of another family with a toddler moving onto our street . They were a nice looking family and seemed receptive to getting to know us, until they weren’t.
I’ve accepted that we won’t all be best buds like I envisioned and wish them well. But if this changes and they wave hello at us again, I will gladly shake hands. My fingers are crossed for it. I might need someone to show me this kind of grace someday.
3. My Mother-in-law
This was probably the hardest for me; to find grace in my relationship with my mother-in-law. She’s tendered hearted, extremely quirky and would never hurt a fly. My husband is her only child and he was the center of her universe for a long time.
On more than one occasion, I could have given her a break and found grace in what she was trying to say to me instead of being offended. Now that I’ve chosen grace, when we see my mother-in-law, there are loving memories and not awkward visits.
Allowing others to share in your grace will help you first and they’ll reap the benefits. Putting pettiness aside and viewing the world from a different perspective helped me to realize that I was being selfish.
I’m very far from perfect but I try hard to find grace in everyone and everything. My family deserves it and so do you. Sometimes, standing back and taking a break, is the difference between finding grace and eating crow.
How do you find grace in everyday life?