Spencer spills at least one drink a day. Milk.  Water.  Lemonade.  And the dreaded orange juice that becomes Gorilla Glue on the floor if not cleaned up immediately.

I know he doesn’t mean to do it – at least most of the time.  He’s three after all.

And yet.

I still find myself sighing deeply.  Saying how I’m so tired and there are more messes to clean up.  Lamenting that this is why I never get anything done.

Basically, shaming him.

And that’s my own ugly I’ll reveal to you today along with the reason that I pray nightly that the light of Jesus will cover over any wounds I inflict upon my children during the day.  A sincere insurance policy that I hope will cover my human-ness as I raise three children awfully close in age on little sleep and carpools and riding lessons and laundry oh my.

It’s not every time there’s a spill that I react this way but usually when I’m tired and not showered and have an empty cup myself.  And not because it was spilled at the dinner table.

So the other day the boys and I were at Chic-Fil-A and after our nuggets and waffle fries and missing Sissy in the play area, we headed to the restroom.

Standing there, waiting for those two rascals to finish and giggling at their boy-ness, I dropped my Diet Coke and it spilled all over the bathroom.

We washed our hands and headed to the counter to report the spilled Diet Coke.  My guilt-meter was rising.

Apologetically, I explained that I spilled a drink in the restroom.  I know I created another task for this manager to complete.  I know they were very busy.  And I know that if even they weren’t she would have other things to do rather than clean-up the spill I was so careless to cause.

She smiled and ensured that it was OK.  She didn’t act irritated by the fact that I put one more thing on her “to do” list.  She didn’t lament on and on about how she has to do so much to keep Chick-Fil-A spinning and she was the only oneto do it.

There was just grace.

Grace for the missteps of the flesh.  Grace for those who are not perfect, which is of course, no one. Grace that allowed human margin.

Just grace.

I found myself immediately relieved.  I’m not sure if I thought they were going to make me stay and work for an hour to pay-off my debt or what, but I still felt relief.  As if I hadn’t just ruined her whole day.

I was free to walk away without the guilt of my mistake tied to my back.

And it was then that I realized if our children are supposed to learn about Jesus through the actions of their parents, I had not done the best job in my reactions to spilled drinks.  I’m pretty sure Jesus wouldn’t go on and on about how tired he was.  Or that he had to do everything.  Good grief.

As we walked out of Chick-Fil-A, I grabbed Spencer’s hand and gave it an extra-squeeze.  I apologized for the times I had made him feel badly about spilling his milk  Or his lemonade.  Even his orange juice that became Gorilla Glue.

Then we ate a chocolate chip cookie that tasted just a little bit sweeter than usual…

Joining my sweet bloggy friend, Michelle from SomeGirl’s Website for “Thought-Provoking Thursday” – and as you read this, I just might be meeting her in the flesh for the first time.  I’m off to Relevant where I will be able to connect with some amazing writers and God-loving women who choose to use their gifts to glorify Him. 

A gift indeed…