Grace for the Less Than Ideal Days

Gina Butz expectations, grace, rest 2 Comments

Finding grace on the less than ideal days

photo by Maja Petric

Some days, you end up eating dinner with a My Little Pony fork. And that’s ok.

It’s the time of year when a lot of activities start up again and with them, adjustment of schedules and coordination of details. It’s who’s driving who, and when will we eat, and oh right, we have a dog-did anyone feed the dog today? (answer: probably not. That could explain why she’s staring at me so hard).

Strategic is one of my Strengths Finder top 5, so when I must make many pieces fit together, I tackle them like I’m playing a game of Tetris. Sometimes, I’m just not fast enough to make them fit right.

Like Wednesday. It started out well, but when I got home at 4:30 and realized all that needed to occur before taking the kids to youth group by 7, I thought, “not gonna happen.”

In my ideal world, I would have had dinner planned and ready by 6. My husband would have been home to eat it with us, at the table, with real plates and silverware, and engaging conversation. Someone would have taken the dog for a walk and the sheets would have been out of the dryer and back on our bed. The dishwasher would have already washed our dishes and been unloaded. Homework done and checked.

Instead, dinner was eaten in the car out of plastic bowls on the way to youth group, so our car smelled like onions the rest of the night. My husband had to walk in the door, change, help with two pre-calc questions, and walk back out the door. The neighbor had to walk the dog. The sheets stayed in the dryer. There was still homework to be done. The last half hour before leaving I bordered on Tasmanian Devil mode. Which brings me to the My Little Pony fork-it was the only one left.

We all have pictures of our ideal life. We know how we want our relationships to be, how we want to conduct ourselves, run our homes, succeed at work and parenting and ministry and whatever fills our space.

But some days reality doesn’t match our ideals. For those days, there’s grace.

It’s tempting to stress when my ideals crumble to pieces. But as Anne Lamott says, “Perfectionism will keep you insane your whole life.” So it’s life-giving to remember that especially when our lives take a different shape, there’s grace. We need lower expectations. We need to breathe and laugh and know that it will work itself out eventually. We need to pick up the My Little Pony fork and call it good.


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Related posts:

Let’s Be the Grace Givers

We Need to Stop Hitting Ourselves


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