Today we went on a family picnic. Was it Pinterest worthy? Probably not. But maybe it will help you feel better about yourself and give you a little laugh! We’re in this boat together, graceful mama! And though the sea may get rocky, and we may get our pretty hair do’s messed up by the wind and the waves, it’s a fun boat to be in.
I had some business to take care of today down the road a bit, so we decided to take the whole family and just make a day of it. It was closing in on lunch time, and I knew we’d rather not eat out, so I grabbed the bread, peanut butter, jelly, and a few supplies so we could have a picnic at the local park.
Lunch time rolled around and we drove our white Odyssey van down the road to the park, complete with covered picnic areas as well as some nice playground equipment the kids could play on. I threw my keys in my purse like I always do, and went around to get the kids out. Byron went on ahead of me to the picnic tables with the girls, while I got Isaac out of the car seat and got his bag. I thought, I don’t need my purse out here… So I threw it into the front seat, hit the lock button, and shut the door. (Did you catch that?)
After taking a few steps toward the picnic tables with Isaac on my hip, I began to realize what I might have done. Please no, I thought to myself. Surely I did not lock my keys in the car. Surely they are in the baby bag. But I knew. I pretty much always put them in the same place. My purse.
I walked up to the table, trying to keep calm. I told Byron what I thought I had done, while searching in every nook and cranny of the baby bag, my pockets, the picnic bags. Of course, my keys were not there. They were in my purse. My purse was in the front seat of my van. Ugh!
We didn’t know what to do. I lost the extra key a while back (um, yep), so we were going to have to get a locksmith or something. I decided to let Byron take care of it while I went ahead to make the sandwiches.
Okay, I can do this. I can make some sandwiches and someone will get our car unlocked and it will all be fine. I got all the bread out and spread it out assembly line style on paper towels, got my peanut butter and jelly, and then… I froze. Where is the knife? I FORGOT to get a knife? How am I going to make these sandwiches?!
I just literally sat there in silence for about 2-3 minutes, trying to figure out how in the world I was going to make six sandwiches without a knife. I was turning into grumpy mom. Yikes!
And then, I had an epiphany. I decided to use the straw (still wrapped in plastic) from the juice box to spread the peanut butter and jelly! It actually worked rather well, I might add. Sandwich success!
At this point, Byron has spoken with the local police, and an officer was on his way to open our van door. No more grumpy mom.
By the time the sandwiches were all made and we were starting to eat them, the officer arrived and was able to open our door in a matter of seconds. Not minutes–seconds. God loves me.
So, in the end everything worked out fine. The picnic was fun, we enjoyed our time together as a family, and there were no tragedies that couldn’t be fixed pretty quickly.
Next time, I hope I remember to pack all the supplies I need for the picnic. I also hope I finally find the lost extra key, and I hope I can be conscientious about details (like making sure I have the keys when I get out of the car).
Until then, that’s what grace is for. When life gets messy, that’s when grace does its best work. Grace says it’s okay not to perform perfectly. And as we rest in grace, not beating ourselves up over our imperfections, grace actually empowers us to change and grow. As we rest in His strength, knowing that He’s taking care of everything, we can be assured that we are doing a good job even when we make mistakes.
So today graceful mama, if you forget the knife or lock the keys in the car (or do anything else not-quite-perfectly), let yourself off the hook. You’re not allowed to beat yourself up about it. Trust that God’s grace will cover every imperfection and make it okay again. (He thinks you’re perfect!) His grace will empower you to be everything He created you to be.