I had to cancel a lunch date with a heart friend today. (Heart friends are friends you can open your soul to, they see the yuck and still love you.) We were headed to one of our favorite spots—Sweet Memories in Emmaus, Pa. It’s a tea room with a whole lot of whimsy and the best coconut cake ever. Don’t like coconut? Sorry. When you can’t eat chocolate, you develop passions for other sweets. Hey, a girl’s gotta have a vice doesn't she? But I digress.
Image courtesy of Grant Cochrane/freedigital images.net
Anyhow, this special pal takes off work almost every year to give me the best Christmas present ever—herself, Sweet Memories, and a little thrift store shopping. I’m as passionate about our girlfriend date as a dog digging up his favorite bone. Nothing will come between me and our special day. But today I had to cancel. Why?
A sick kid.
Sick kids can change even the best laid plans. And believe me, seven kids and nearly twenty-six years of baring the title, “Momma,” have led to many of my best laid plans stamped “Mission Aborted.” And can I be honest with you? Could you be my heart friend for a minute? Sometimes I've handled the shift in my plans with grace and well, sometimes I've handled them not so gracefully. I’m not going to divulge the details; I don’t want to lose your friendship. Just know that my face without grace ain't pretty, girlfriend.
But today, I chose grace. I’m not sure why exactly. Perhaps it was because when I told my husband last night about my impending mission to abort, he felt sad with me. He understands the sacrifice we've made, laying down our nearly empty nest in the decision to parent three more kids. No judgment on his part. Sweet grace.
Or perhaps it was the grace granted by my heart friend when I called her to abort the mission. We have years of friendship recorded in our history books. She knows I would be with her if I could and that children get sick. Grace. We felt sad together for a moment, but then searched our calendars for another date.
|Image courtesy of John Kasawa/freedigitalimages.net|
So I put on my grace face today. I don’t know if I’d call it pretty, pretty sounds cheap pared with a word like grace. But I do know this, to my sick child—it’s beautiful!
And my coconut cake? I’m sure it will taste just as good in a month or two. Today I’m savoring something greater, something lasting. Because sometimes a girl can have her grace and share it too.
Children given grace feel safe and secure. And they are more likely to tell us when something doesn't feel right or they've experienced something inappropriate. We need to strive to be heart parents.