Giving Grace

Sometimes life brings challenges. Circumstances beyond our control or even misguided expectations for ourselves.

I recently found myself in that position with an extensive “to do” list. After agonizing over my situation, I had a long phone conversation with Claudine, my sweet cousin-by-marriage, and I’m so glad to have her in my family.

While lamenting my woes, I listed a multitude of things I needed to do, was expected to do, in fact, had to do—NOW. I didn’t have to tell her I was overwhelmed. It was obvious! Claudine listened patiently then totally surprised me with her response.

“Lou, why don’t you give yourself a little grace?”

What? Grace? For myself? What did that even look like? I was so paralyzed by my own self-imposed expectations that I couldn’t see that the really important things, like taking care of my son and keeping my home in order were getting done. But all the responsibility that comes with being a widow and a single mom had crashed down on me, especially on this 10th anniversary of my husband’s journey to heaven.

I was exhausted, and my overloaded schedule left me feeling hopeless and unfulfilled. That’s not how I wanted life to go. My son, Jay, deserved more. He was dealing with an eye infection, physical therapy for his knees, as well as loneliness, and all he wanted was a trip to see his brother and grandmother.

Yes, we definitely needed a little grace. I was putting way too much pressure on myself to accomplish every single task. So what if the trees don’t get trimmed and the garage looks like a storage area? What if the house isn’t spotless and closets are cluttered? What if the book I’m writing never gets finished or published? Life goes on and God is still on His throne.

Thankfully, Jay and I were finally able to visit my 104-year-old mother, just two hours away, and we are planning a trip to Arkansas to see my eldest. This past pandemic year has been difficult for everyone. Perhaps we could all use my cousin’s advice. “Give Yourself A Little Grace!”

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