Everything is Grace

Has it been a week since I last posted? Wow, time flies when you’re feeling dragged along by a runaway train. And it’s an absolute whirlwind when you seem to be hanging on to said train by a fingernail. Ever felt that way? Like you’re one small bump from being thrown off altogether? I’m there right now.

Believe it or not, I kind of thrive on the adrenaline rush that goes along with a quick pace. But everyone has their breaking point, and I think I hit mine last week. Between a book deadline, an impending book release, a new project about to begin, a baby who isn’t sleeping through the night, all the “regular” stuff (cooking, cleaning, laundry, groceries, carpool, etc.), and some pretty weighty issues that my friends and family are dealing with (and that I’m internalizing), I just sort of shut down these last several days.

I’m not much of a crier, and I don’t lash out when I’m stressed. Instead, I get real quiet. I read books when I should be doing something else. I take long showers, wear my pajamas until noon, and find myself staring out the window at nothing at all. It’s been one of those weeks. I kept opening up my laptop to blog or take care of my long to-do list, but I always ended up shutting it long before I managed to accomplish anything. Sorry about that. Many of you wrote amazing, thought-provoking comments on my last post, and though they moved me, I never got around to responding. I will, I will… I guess I just needed to let go a little this week.

It’s funny how God works in everything and through everything. I really believed these last several days were a write-off in the grand scheme of things, and yet even in my paralyzed state, God has been working in my heart and in my mind. My busyness, the Bible study that I’m poring over, the complexities of a simple life (how’s that for an oxymoron?)… It all fits together. How cool is that?

St. Therese of Lisieux is often quoted as saying: “Everything is grace.” I don’t know where or when I first heard those words, but they’ve been a soundtrack for me lately. The sunshine highlights dust bunnies on my floor and something whispers: “Everything is grace.” Instead of the gourmet meal my family deserves, I throw a frozen pizza in for supper and I think: “Everything is grace.” I fall asleep nursing my baby in the afternoon and wake up to the understanding that everything is grace.

Okay, I’m not trying to excuse my lethargy or assert that it doesn’t matter what we do because everything comes down to grace anyway. What I am saying is that I discovered two things in the last week. Two things that I think wholly relate to the concept of not only a simple life, but an abundant one. Number one: We are too hard on ourselves. Number two: We are too hard on each other.

There’s so much more that I want to say about those two (not-so-shocking) discoveries, but I’m going to leave those thoughts for my next post. Until then, I have a couple of questions for you. First, How do you deal with the times in your life when you feel like you’re stuck on a runaway train? And, second, What sorts of emotions does the quote “everything is grace” evoke in you? They’re a loaded three words for me…

simplicity

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