“When you stop expecting people to be perfect, you can like them for who they are.”
― Donald Miller
As I walked with my friend, the heaviness in her spirit was written on her lovely face, dampening her normal radiance. She was feeling guilty and frustrated. One of her dearest friends had called to lambaste her, letting her know in no uncertain terms that she had failed miserably as a friend. Apparently there was some sort of friend code that had been broken, a specific sort of support that had been withheld. My friend had had no idea she was so neglectful. She hadn’t even known the friendship code existed.
Stabbing the end button with her finger, my friend erupted. “I’m so stupid!” Shoving the phone into her purse, her face was flushed and angry. “I can’t believe I did that!” Apparently she had forgotten to pick something up earlier that day and the phone call she just ended was the reminder of her lapse.
She rushed about, muttering more self-condemnation under her breath as she gathered her things and snatched up her keys. Still fuming at herself, she gave me a distracted hug and left.
“Anger is never without a reason, but seldom with a good one.” –Benjamin Franklin
The piercing wails of my firstborn reverberated inside my head. It pained me. I clenched my teeth and hissed, “That’s enough!” I’d had it. Again. My rational self felt small and impotent, a passive bystander to a hostile takeover. It marveled that a petite three-year-old could bring this fury out of me. Possessed by emotion, I grabbed her by the hand and sternly yanked her forward.
The silverware drawer was full of coffee. The odds and ends at home in this niche were swimming in the cold, brown liquid. The automatic feature of my coffee maker is a marvel dreamed up by the angels themselves. The instant gratification of pouring a steaming mug the moment my bleary eyes and shuffling footsteps can get me to the kitchen is pure, unadulterated bliss. But when the carafe doesn’t get emptied before the lovely little machine begins brewing its fragrant morning nectar, my coffee receptacle overfloweth.
My husband had forgotten to empty the carafe the night before. Again. Normally the mess is contained to the counter top; a nuisance to be sure, but not too terribly inconvenient. This time, however, the excess liquid had found its way straight into the drawer, creating a monstrous mess.
It up and died on me. That is to say, this week’s post fizzled spectacularly. I don’t know where half-fleshed ideas go when they pass on from this plane of existence, but wherever it is, that is where the poor post has gone. Good-bye, flash of brilliance. May you rest peaceably.
Feeling incredibly lazy, I had decided to let the writing go until next week. Then I read a blog post that challenged me to use my words to encourage someone today. I thought about it for a spell. Nothing came to mind off hand. I shrugged it off and went about my duties but the thought wouldn’t let me go. So I pondered awhile longer, and as I folded the never-ending laundry, it struck me.
I cursed a blue streak this morning. I’m not quite sure what came over me. Perhaps it is related to the fact that my left ovary woke me up at 5:00 this morning; the pain shooting all the way down to my knee, for Pete’s sake. The ol’ hormonal roller coaster of my advancing years is…notably more intense than I’d anticipated. Or maybe I can blame Microsoft for making things so danged convoluted. I am convinced that they are conspiring to drive the average person insane so they can take over the world.
Browsing the aisles for holiday inspiration, his voice pulled me from my mental list-making. Soft words flowed from his lips in an unintelligible stream. This babbling was strangely melodic with no discernible pauses for breath, and I couldn’t resist peeking around the corner to seek the source. The man stood in front of a display of newly released CD’s, body swaying slightly as he continued muttering to no one I could see.
I was recently given the opportunity to be a part of a book launch. This was something totally new to me, and it has been fun to see a little of what it takes to get a book off the ground. I must confess to some feelings of apprehension though. I knew that, while book reviews aren’t really what I do here on this blog, I would feel compelled to at least mention the release of this book as part of its launch team.
But what if the book was a real stinker? Anyone can self-publish these days, but that doesn’t make them all good writers. What if it was only so-so? What if it had no impact on me whatsoever? I wanted to be able to, in all good conscience, give a positive yet honest review. In spite of my reservations, I accepted the challenge.
Grace. Someone once described this to me as: unearned, unmerited favor and mercy. It is an elegant little word that we Christians tend to throw around quite often. We sing about how amazing it is. We talk about how much it is needed, or maybe how much we’ve received. In fact, we tend to use it like a sparkly accessory to spruce up our ‘good Christian’ persona. As a word, grace is right there at the top of the list of proper Christian vernacular. Sadly, like many good words in our vocabulary, its over-use has dulled its impact.
Unearned, unmerited favor and mercy.
At #TheLoft this week, we are sharing our best practical advice. Having just celebrated my 20th wedding anniversary, my mind is full of thoughts and tips on marriage. I wrote this post a couple of years ago, and I couldn’t for the life of me come up with any advice better than this lesson my husband taught me oh, so long ago. So here it is, slightly revised and polished up for you to enjoy. Come on over to The Loft to get a week’s load of practical advice!
I was feeling very mature. Newly married, I had something to discuss with my beloved. I had heard that it is the little things that will kill a marriage. Things like leaving the cap off of the toothpaste, or putting the toilet paper on the roll the wrong way. These minor offenses must be talked out so they don’t fester and cause the demise of your love, I was told. So here I was, ready to tackle my first issue.