The other day I found relief in a random recipe book I was scanning. I was trying to find motivation to throw some sort of food on the table besides noodles, pizza, or cereal again. Trying to get myself psyched up for family dinners around the table with four kids under seven, which I know is supposed to be the aim of every good parent.
I was only in the introduction pages when the author passed me a heaping portion of delicious grace, “I don’t even recommend attempting a sit-down meal with your kids until your youngest is at least three…”
Did she really just say that?
Did she, a cooking expert, tell me to skip organized dinners in this season of child-rearing and wiping rear ends all day? Did she, a fancy chef, tell me to forget about the flickering candles and table manners and simply aim for a random feast from the cupboard around a tiny kids table or the kitchen countertop? Did she, a mother of littles at one point, tell me to sit in the chaos and cut myself some slack?
Yes, yes I think she did.
I felt like I had just devoured the world’s best meal and I didn’t even know I was hungry. After jotting down her poignant statement, I closed the book and never picked it up again.
Grace does that kind of thing.
It takes our supposed to’s and shoves them out of sight. In place of stiff legalities, it gently pushes us to partake of complete acceptance. To the over-achiever inside of us, grace scoots up beside us with unmerited blessing.
Grace shows up when you and I least expect it.
We are all on the hunt for a recipe of sorts. A few steps to feel better about ourselves. Quick and easy inspiration to kick us out of our funk. The list of ingredients we need for a big breakthrough. A perfect concoction to fill the ache in our heart that never seems to go away in this grueling adventure called life.
But hidden beneath our page flipping, obsessive scanning, and persistent seeking is our unspoken appetite for grace.
Grace, grace, and more grace.
Once we have a bite, we recognize what we’ve been missing out on. I’ll take another helping of that, please?
I can be so hard on myself. I wrestle with knowing what is mine to do and what I don’t even need to attempt right now. Aren’t we all filling our plates with a whole lot of unnecessary things? Loading ourselves down with unsightly burdens, crazy expectations, unfulfilled aspirations, and ugly failures.
We don’t tell anyone how suffocating the heaviness really is, but secretly we know we can’t carry this crap much longer.
Guess what? Grace is here for you and I, it always has been.
Sometimes we just need to receive it without apology. Finally close the book on our awkward straining and showy performances.
And sometimes we are the person to reach across the table and pass it on to a famished friend. With a doubt, someone close to us needs to taste a bit of reprieve in their angst-y mess.
Grace is baked fresh daily. There’s plenty to go around. Take some and pass it on. Repeat until grace becomes the only recipe you rely on.