For most of my adult life so far, I was on the train. You know, that Life Train. I did everything the way I was supposed to. I went to college, I found a man, I wore the dress. We got jobs, we bought a house, we had kids. Everything in order and the way it was supposed to be. I made my own organic baby food, I was the snack mom, I made cake pops. Everything had a time, a place, an expectation. And there was no delaying my train. Come hell or high water that train stayed on schedule. It was no way to live, but I thought it was the only way to live. I thought it was how everyone lived. I was frozen. I was exhausted. Fuses were short, voices were raised, all the time. All of that was miserable for me; but my kids. My kids suffered the most from it.
And then that train derailed. Like big time. I decided no more. No more staying on schedule, no more expectations, no more fucking cake pops. Train wreck.
In the rubble of that train wreck I found grace. I have always had amazing people. My people. I love them so much. People who let me cry and who know that those tears don’t mean I am weak. People who don’t mind if I send six texts in a row. People who end every conversation with “I love you.” People who show me grace. Undeserved kindness. Over and over again and without asking. I found the beauty in letting go of what I thought I needed to be and the beauty in receiving that grace, and I found the beauty in giving it back to them without expectation. I decided that it was okay to let myself off the hook every once in awhile. It was okay to slow down that train. Because it is grace that turns a friend into a homie, and grace that turns a family into ohana. There is no better feeling in this world than being in the presence of someone you know will keep your heart safe. No matter how you define God or the universe, the higher power or vibration or whatever you call it; when grace is present, God is there.
I had a lot of struggle with God and my divorce. Because I promised. And it’s real humbling to have to take that back. But my boys. They are so much happier. We have invited in grace. We take time with each other and we ask for help when we need it. We love each other big. We take road trips and we say please and thank you. We laugh and we cry and we mess up and they know that sometimes even the grownups mess up, and that is okay. They know that I love them and that I fully accept them exactly as they are. My boys are learning grace right along with me. I am a better mom. We are a better family. And without a doubt, God is there.
I am not perfect. I don’t make cake pops anymore. Sometimes the floors are dirty. Sometimes my kids don’t turn in their homework. They probably spend too much time on the iPad. Sometimes I eat lukewarm macaroni right out of the pan while I’m standing barefoot in my kitchen on that dirty floor. That girl on that Life Train would never have allowed such a thing, let alone talk about it on the internet. But I am not that girl anymore. Now I choose grace over guilt. I choose gratitude over expectation. I choose freedom over perfection. And with that, my little family is free to love each other, and we are full of grace. And I can’t ask for much more than that.