Flashback to seven years ago, on a dark January morning...
Most days, I wake up rush about grabbing piles of papers and books that I left laying on the couch late the night before. I search for a mug to hold my extra sweet coffee, dump some cereal in a bag, kiss my daughter, husband, and possibly my 4 year old son goodbye, and jump in my van. Most days, I spend my drive scouring through my list of things to do, and reflecting on where my students and I left off the day before. Each day is the beginning of the prior day's ending. By the time, I arrive at school I have reflected on my to do list and my "have already done" list. Most days, I race from classroom to copy machine, from agenda board to homework crate. I log in to my computer, check email, and check my phone messages.
Today, however, I awoke when my 4 year old son came in. The goal is for him to sleep through the morning rush until my daughter is on the bus, my husband and I are well on our way to work, and Grandma has had time to sit down and relax for a bit. Sometimes, he has been waking himself up before our alarm clocks go off. And today was one of those days. As he came in, I glanced at the clock, told him to go back to bed, and then jumped out of my own bed realizing how late I had slept in. So, this morning several steps where overlooked...one being no coffee. I did manage to say goodbye to everyone as I grabbed my bags, and flew out the door. Unlike most days, I reflected on how dumb I was to have overslept, and how I could avoid doing so in the future.
In the midst of my self-destructing thoughts, I began to listen to the interview on the radio. A popular artist, JJ Heller had dropped by my favorite station to give a live performance. She sang as her husband accompanied on the guitar. Her voice rang out crystal clear like an angel from heaven. She sang her song, "What Love Really Means". I know this song, and I've heard it many times before. I listened to the lyrics before thinking that this song applies to the sad people described in the lyrics. Today, unlike most days, I was pulled out of my self doubt by the last verse. The last verse, when God answers their cries saying, "I will love you for you, not for what you have done or what will become." She sang that sentence over and over as I heard it with new ears. I realized that this day, unlike most days, I have only one that I must strive to live up to...and He already loves me for me. What a relief that now I can say, "Every day He will love me no matter what I live up to or what I fail at." I never felt that I had permission to be less than my own expectations. I do now.
A story from the past, yet still just as important today.