Grace is a lot like that old saying about porn (yep, I went there!). The one were Justice Potter Stewart said the approximation of, “I don’t know how to define porn, but I know what it is when I see it.”
Oh, do you now?
Grace can be a lot like that for me. If I try to put it into words, the best way I can wrap a pretty package around it is as a feeling of being bathed in peace. If you aren’t on the hunt for it (and sometimes even if you are), it can be a rare thing, indeed. For me, however, when I feel it and when I acknowledge it, it’s the most precious part of this life.
Grace is often missed because it’s not always a one-way street. It’s not always a blessing dropped at your door. It’s an exchange in which you can choose to lean into the Grace or totally miss the opportunity to experience it. I’ve far too often done the latter and, most likely, so have you.
This morning was the morning of my 45th birthday. Whoo hoo. But, not really. I’m tired. Putting this store together was…precious and significant for me. I, so deeply, wanted to create a space that was welcoming, peaceful, and above all, safe. A place that’s safe for people to come un-wrap the things heavy in their hearts, flip them over, take a look, talk, and explore. Do ALL the things in an environment where they felt supported. So from this place of deep calling, I also felt a deep responsibility to “get it right.” Hello ego…yeah…I see you. So, getting to the finish line, spread a girl emotionally and physically pretty thin. Adding to that, Joel and I decided we’d work all the hours for the first 2 weeks. All 72 of them. As of Thursday, I’m into week two. And I’m tired. And it’s my birthday.
However, it’s not just my birthday. This week is teacher appreciation week and I’m co-room mom. And it is Thursday. I’ve done nothing. Nada. Zip. Zero. Not one thing for this incredibly amazing teacher. Have I done anything to help the lead room mom? No. But I told her I would get pineapple. She needed it this morning and do I have it? No. So, this meant a crazy rushed trip to the store after getting the kids off, passing it to the hubs so he can run it school or her house while I rushed off to the store. But I told her I would so that is how this morning will go.
I messaged her to let her know the plan to see if she’d still be at the school or if I should have Joel run it to her house. Honestly, I wanted to cry a bit because EVERYTHING in me just wanted to enjoy 15 extra minutes on the couch in silence sipping coffee.
She texts back, “No, really don’t worry about it for a sec! You have enough on your plate right now.”
Now Vanessa would typically say, “No! No worries. I’ll get it. Where do you want me to bring it?” I’d do this for all the reasons. First, I WANT to help. Secondly, I like her and don’t want it to all fall on her. Third, I love the teacher and want her to know how special she is. And…lastly…hello, ego…I’m not a slacker.
I sure wasn’t looking for Grace at that moment, but damned if I didn’t NEED it. I really, really needed it. So… I leaned in. I trusted this Grace she extended me and said, “Are you sure?”
She met me and made it okay. Okay to lean in. Okay to say, “I sure do need some Grace. I sure do need some help right now. I do have a lot on my plate (we all do!) and would love to take something off.”
And I felt it. Grace. Full and big and warm wash over me. Letting me be safe. Letting me bathe in peace, if just for a moment.
I waited until later that day to tell her how much it meant to me. How needed that gesture was in that exact moment.
I wonder how many opportunities I’ve missed staying ridged versus taking a deep breath, relaxing my shoulders, and leaning in.
Try it. It’s pretty magical.