It was an ugly morning. The kind that brought me figuratively to my knees before the clock even reached 8:30. A baby with a cold, parents who hadn’t gotten enough sleep, and a daughter who had stayed up too late the night before. It was a recipe for tension.
And so by 8:15 I was sitting in a chair trying to hide my tears and quiet my sobs of frustration.
I should know by now that there is no hiding from her.
She found me there, rocking her crying, stuffy-nosed brother.
“Mommy, what’s wrong? Why are you crying?”
Is she really only 3 (almost 4)? This middle one is so in-tune to my emotions.
“Everybody is angry or sad today,” I choke.
She comes close and stands near the chair.
“I’m not,” she says so quietly.
I grab her hand and hold it tight. She alone has been the calm one this morning. How does she fight the tide of emotions raging around her?
I wish I could say the frustration stopped there. I wish I could say I turned my frown upside down after her gentle encouragement. But just minutes later I was struggling with yet another temper tantrum from a girl too old to throw them.
“This is the worst day ever,” I say in exasperation. Obviously, it isn't.
And there she is again at my side – so near.
“I don’t think so,” she comments calmly.
I throw my tennis shoes on and head out for a walk. And there she is - running to me to give me a hug before I leave for my 30 minute break. Thirty minutes and she needs to give me a hug.
Last night, this was the little princess who wasn’t invited to the ball. It was the Father – Daughter dance and Maddie wasn’t old enough. So I painted her big sister’s fingernails, curled her big sister’s hair and slipped the pretty dress over her big sister’s head. I took pictures of her big sister and her Daddy – while she skipped bare-footed down the driveway. We went back in the house and she stood at the window to wave as Daddy took Reagan to the dance. Maddie watched till she couldn’t see the car anymore. I tucked her in bed and my heart hurt just a little for this little one who didn’t get to go along. She will someday, Lord willing. But that someday is a long ways away for a little girl who would have loved to go now.
Bottom line is this: she had every reason to wake up sullen and disappointed and angry.
And somehow, she woke up with sweetness and love and gentleness. And grace.
Grace for the Momma who was tired and feeling the burden too early in the day.
Grace for the sister who was busy throwing a fit over nothing.
Grace for the Daddy who just wanted to get some work done.
Grace for the brother who was crying and coughing and taking up extra time and energy.
We named her Madison Grace those almost four years that blinked by. She was a blessed gift that we could not have earned and hardly dared to hope for – just like God’s grace to us. Little did I know she would still be speaking grace into my life.
Beautiful grace from my beautiful girl. What a precious gift she is.