What Spilled Orange Juice Taught Me About Forgiveness and Grace
I love Sundays. The day of the week dedicated to fun, relaxation and for our family it also includes attending church and recharging our spiritual batteries. There are times when I have to fly solo with my boys depending on my husband's demanding work schedule. There is always an interruption in the peaceful bliss when it comes to getting two kids ready to go somewhere and that stress seems to be heightened on the days that I am juggling that routine alone.
This particular Sunday morning seemed more chaotic than usual. A lot of that was my own fault as I got up late. My body was comfortable under the warmth of sheets and with another busy week ahead, I was yearning to lay in bed "just a little longer" but my spirit knew I would feel guilty for missing that worship time with our church family. By the time I got up, I realized that I had laid around for way too long and had put our entire morning routine behind. My inner perfectionist detests being late anywhere but especially for church for there is nothing more mortifying for this introvert than to stroll into church late. I mean, is it too much to ask to show up for God on time? And just the thought of people looking at me as I fumble around to find a seat makes my heart race and my cheeks flush.
As I rushed around making breakfast, getting myself and the boys ready I could hear myself barking orders like a drill instructor: "get dressed, comb your hair, brush your teeth, we have to leave soon, stop picking on the dog, leave your brother alone!". My stress level was spilling over into their space and they started to fight and wear on each other's last nerve...and mine.
We were barely running on schedule when I heard my oldest screaming from the living room. To my shock, I found him standing in the middle of the dining room in his nice clothes completely drenched in orange juice thanks to his little brother who is quick tempered and had thrown a full glass of OJ across the kitchen. Sticky orange liquid was strewn from the dining room and half way into the living room. (Looking back I was very grateful it was a plastic cup and not a glass one. Could always be worse, right?).
I stood there ready to blow a gasket and throw up my hands in complete surrender, change back into my pajamas and call it a day but knew that I would be guilt ridden for letting a little set back keep us from our normal Sunday routine. So I settled for a good old fashioned tantrum, stomping off to find the mop bucket, which was outside filled with dissolving sidewalk chalk (nothing can be easy). As I mopped the floors I could feel my irritation level at an all time high. we were going to be late and I HATE to be late.
By the time I got everyone changed and loaded up into the car it was clear that we were not going to make it on time. My youngest had crocodile tears running down his face, my oldest is puffed up in the back seat with his arms folded across his chest madder than a wet hen and I felt like I needed to be dipped in Holy water for all the swearing I did under my breath and wondering how bad it would be for me to fill a Yeti cup to-go with wine at 9 a.m. in the morning while on the way to church.
As I tried to gather my emotions and pull myself together, after all, I am the adult here and should be setting an example, we back out of the driveway and I take several long deep breaths. I am reminded that life is unpredictable and imperfect but that doesn't make it any less beautiful. I start to refocus my energy into a place of gratitude for the many blessings we are gifted with each and every day. I say a silent prayer asking God to help me work on my patience (and swearing even though it's under my breath and to myself). I knew the enemy was hard at work that morning trying to wreak havoc and steal our joy.
On our drive to church, I apologize to both boys taking full responsibility for staying in bed too long which caused me to be overly stressed and us to run behind schedule. We each took turns sharing with each other a reason that we were thankful. I turned the radio on to some of our favorite music and redirected our focus on what we were looking forward to the coming week. The bad vibes started to lift and our moods started to lighten and the tears began to fade. Being late is not the end of the world and neither is spilled orange juice. During the toughest of moments is when I find the most opportunity for perspective when I, of course, intentionally look for them.
On days when I am not my motherly best, I always find myself most thankful for the simple things, like forgiveness, grace and the unconditional love that reflects back at me when I look into the eyes of my children. The simple things truly are our greatest blessings and I always marvel at how often I find those blessings in the middle of hardship and chaos and God is always right there, turning the mess into a sweet message.
April Williams is the #CreativeMomista of two boys • Storyteller • Coffee Addict • Woman Warrior Of God • Texas Country Girl • Creative Expressive • A vintage soul passionate about inspiring mompreneurs to embrace their enough.