Thursday, April 8, 2010

All Fall Down!

I spent Easter morning on my knees. This is not nearly as saintly as it sounds. My husband got up extra early to take our youngest son (who, at the last minute, asked to go to the Conference Center, for which my MIL miraculously had two extra tickets) to attend the Easter morning session.

I, on the other hand, got to enjoy the most restful Sabbath on record by staying a few extra minutes in bed, then reading and visiting with my mother-in-law, and enjoying a light breakfast. My father-in-law handed me a plastic tray and invited me to join them downstairs.

As I made my way down, my tray loaded with fresh fruit and other breakfast items, somehow my sandal caught on the carpet on the stairs. While I was able to catch myself as I tripped, avoiding a human-easter-egg roll down the stairs, I did stumble just enough to send an open carton of yogurt somersaulting all the way to the bottom, enthusiastically expelling its contents as it went. Great.

I set down my tray and went back upstairs to grab a couple of rags, noticing my ankle was a wee bit sore from the jolt. As I returned to clean up my mess, it occurred to me that it was kind of a metaphor for my life. I was convinced it was a sign that I don’t really belong there. I am not just physically clumsy, I am sometimes socially and emotionally clumsy as well. I misstep more often than I care to admit. I stumble. Step on people’s toes. I even make messes. And sometimes I hurt myself in the process.

I felt my eyes sting with tears as I surveyed the mess I’d made of my in-laws’ brand new carpet, fearing I had also inadvertently soiled a few other parts of their seemingly perfect life. I couldn’t hold back the sobs. I looked at the mess that is my life and wept for a sea of mistakes, large and small.

Then suddenly I became hyper-aware that I was kneeling. I took great comfort in the fact that the need to scrub their carpet had brought me once again to my knees. And that, too, seemed like a metaphor...and a perfect one for Easter. Because only there, on my knees, can I access the mercy to rise from my stumbles and become whole.

Heavenly Father always knew we would stumble, make mistakes, fall. Before he even made the earth, let alone these stumbling mortals, He came up with a rescue plan and enlisted His Son -- giving us a chance to fix our stumbles and clean up our messes -- the very process serving to transform us into something magnificent. He has the power to take the very worst in us, and use it to teach, to tutor, and ultimately to reshape us into the divine creatures He always knew we were capable of becoming.

As I wiped away the last traces of yogurt from their carpet, I felt a sense of renewal. I was grateful for the time spent on my knees, and the resulting paradigm shift that allowed me to remember how compassionate He is over even the most trivial of our stumbles and messes.

My mother-in-law never mentioned my fall or the mess I made. Instead, she kissed me on the cheek and told me she loved me. Sweet forgiveness...Happy Easter.

21 comments:

Dedee said...

I love you to pieces. You know that, don't you?

Thanks for this reminder.

InkMom said...

And I love you, too. What a sweet metaphor!

Will I meet you in May?

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

This is SO beautiful, and so you. Thank you!

Happy Mom said...

What a sweet story!

Love it!

Tammy Lorna said...

Another lovely story from Divergent Pathways :)

And thank you so much for having me last night - I had a really lovely time. It was so wonderful just to catch up with you both, to share a bunch of laughs, and to leave with a head full of much appreciated advice :)

xo Tammy

L.T. Elliot said...

I am not just physically clumsy, I am sometimes socially and emotionally clumsy as well

This is me. I'm all a mess after reading this. Thank you. I am reminded of that grace that I sorely need. What beautiful perspective you have. Thank you. Thank you.

Kristina P. said...

Lovely metaphor, Jana. I miss you!

Barbaloot said...

Beautiful metaphors. And hopefully we can all be so lucky as to have in-laws like yours:)

DeNae said...

That's almost always where we start to clean up our messes, huh? (And I can't imagine your MIL giving you static about your spill!)

Heather of the EO said...

Uh huh. Me too. All stumbly and kneely. I love you, lady.

Kazzy said...

So sorry for your fall. But you and your MIL make a great team. Xoxo

Melanie J said...

See, this is why I learn from you. I'd probably still be crying over spilled yogurt.

deb said...

fabulous, as always.
if it weren't for grace, I shudder to think what my messes might render

LisAway said...

This is just lovely. And I really felt weepy at the end because that's just what our Heavenly Father does. Offers us forgiveness and love, the end.

deb said...

I don't know if you subscribe to comments,
so the answer is yes , I took the photos. Thanks for the kindness. You are the real deal , and I'm so thrilled when you post.

Jessica said...

Really? I can't imagine you to be any of the things that you described, but I have definitely felt the way you did, many times. Glad you found grace when you needed it.

Luisa Perkins said...

You do amaze me. I love that about you.

Kimberly said...

Sometimes I feel like one of the "talents" I've been given in this life is stumbling. Remind me to tell you sometime about the time I accidentally ripped the shower rod out of my in-laws wall.

Thank you for the slice of love that this post is. I needed it today. Love you!

Sandy M. said...

How true - about having to kneel in order to clean up our messes, particularly :)
Thank you, and Hi! :)

xo

Heidi Ashworth said...

Perfect. And you and your mil are lucky to have each other. It could be so much worse.

Sandy M. said...

Hi Jana! :)

(Whenever I look at my blog list I see the 'All Fall Down' title. I hope everything is on the 'up' :)
Have a good day!

xo