Learning to Give Yourself Grace on a Bad Day
**Inside: My story of a horrible first day of Kindergarten and how I learned to give myself grace
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My daughter’s first day of Kindergarten was like the downhill slope of a wooden rollercoaster: Rocky and tumultuous.
Nobody’s ideal picture was met.
Of course, the first day of Kindergarten is filled with many firsts:
- First ride on a school bus, the first time to ride anywhere without family
- It was the first time she carried a backpack and ate in the cafeteria.
- And it was the first time she forgot to get off at the bus stop (Long story!)
I feel like I’m on the Polar Express with all the changes. Even though I’ve known this day was coming for five years, the time came suddenly.
Our first morning started with my daughter being too tired to wake up (not a new problem).
But then it spiraled into a mommy versus daughter battle ending with both of us crying and nobody winning.
When we finally walked into her classroom, I had to pry her off me like a leech.
I managed to hold down my personal meltdown until I arrived at my car, then I succumbed to my verging cascade of tears.
Yes, I know how dramatic my story sounds.
What is a story without a little drama? Lest you worry about my mini-me, she was fine as soon as I left.
In addition, to end this momentous first day of kindergarten, I arrived twelve minutes late to pick her up. I had completely missed the car line.
Mommy fail # 1 million something…
Somewhere amidst all the morning drama,
I began to come down really hard on myself.
I started criticizing myself and talking down to myself. Saying things like:
- Why didn’t I handle that better?
- I should’ve been more understanding.
- What a horrible mom I am!
- And so on and so on and so on.
All this brings me to my point. GRACE.
Yes, grace. A powerful, yet seemingly unobtainable word. GRACE.
Well, Google defines grace as, “courteous goodwill; free and unmerited favor of God; the condition or fact of being favored by someone.”
August is a month of firsts for many people. I expect it might be a first for you. And right now, life is crazy and unexpected. Nobody knows what the future might hold. (Do we ever really?)
So I encourage you to do yourself a “favor” and extend some goodwill to yourself. Let your body rest. Reset expectations. And know, you are not alone.
My daughter’s first day of Kindergarten was two years ago now and we survived. So will you, my friend.
For the record, I don’t think my daughter even noticed I was late that fated first day. She spent the whole ride home talking faster then a cheetah can run.
Finally, when I hear the word grace,
I think about Mary and Martha. (Luke 10:38-42)
Jesus, friend of Mary and Martha’s, is coming for a visit.
Martha is busy cleaning and cooking and whatever else you did when expecting company in those times, while Mary is sitting at Jesus’s feet.
Just sitting! Martha is incensed, (I can relate) so she complains to Jesus.
But instead of Jesus correcting Mary, he tells Martha that Mary is where she needs to be:
At the savior’s feet
Isn’t that where we need to be?
So when expectations don’t go your way, remember to give yourself grace and come back to Jesus.
Sit at his feet, cry on his shoulders, and know the rollercoaster ride will end.