Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Grace for the Aspiring Hippy Parent
Grace makes beauty out of ugly things
(U2's 360 tour is in South Africa right now)
I've been thinking about grace recently, as we get more and more sleep deprived but somehow we're ok (thank you God). Context seems all the more important in trying to figure out frugality/simplicity/sustainability. And giving and receiving grace in whatever context we find ourselves.
So yes, Noah still isn't sleeping. And I've taken a break from trying too hard. I'm encouraged by grace: that the worst parents sometimes have the best kids (and vice versa, but that's not my point here), and while I'll try to do the best I can there'll be a lot of room for God to pour grace over what I can't control or handle.
So back to context and frugality/simplicity/sustainability. While I'm totally into making food from scratch, I have been thinking how we get through the next few weeks well, and it seems to be all about grace. Receiving the grace of really simple meals (oh the triumph of avoiding the 2000 restaurants just down the street here in Allston-- or even going to those restaurants if that ends up being what's needed), taking each day slowly and expecting that we can't be great parents, cook from scratch, keep up with personal hygiene (oh, personal hygiene, why are you so difficult to maintain?), clean the house, not throw anything away, work and sleep all at once.
Grace means that it's a blessing, at the deepest level, when we don't quite manage.
Added: In the spirit of conversation, it would be great to hear what you let slide (and what not) when you're in the midst of a busy or emotionally/physically difficult time. And perhaps how you avoid feeling guilty, if that's something you're prone to.
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There's a great anecdote in Lenore Skenazy's book Free Range Kids about the unibomber. Basically, she says that the parents of the unibomber, a crazy manifesto-writing murderer, also raised his brother, a normal morally upward citizen who saw the unibomber's anonymous rantings published in the New York Times, said "that sounds like someone I know" and with a heavy heart called the FBI. The moral of the story is that our kids are people; who they turn out to be is not completely under our control. For good or ill I find that to be a very freeing thought.
Oh, and on the days when it hurts to stand up I give up on making dinner entirely. When Dan comes home I ask him to make grilled cheese.
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