When Grace Appeared


Photo credit: AJ Garcia


Wow, it’s been a crazy few months! Most of you know my husband accepted a new position with his company early this year. This opportunity came with the requirement that we relocate to Tennessee. After 12 years in Oklahoma, this was an exciting, but emotional time for the whole family.

Late last month movers packed our house, and the kids and I caravanned down I-40 towards our new adventure. It all felt a bit surreal.

We purchased a home in our new town, and this wise momma (please note the sarcasm,) thought it would be a great idea to have painters paint the interior of our new home the same week we moved in. Oh, and not just paint the interior, but SMOOTH the ceilings.

Because is west Tennessee, popcorn ceilings are still a real thing y’all.

This sounded like a good theory in my head. A month ago. While moving was still a theoretical thing.

Note to self: Moving into a new home with two road weary and emotional children is not the right time to have painters demolish the house.

But demolish they did. We lived in a proverbial sea of plastic sheeting covering every square inch of the first floor. Our family was relegated to the second floor for TWO weeks. We had to eat out for TWO weeks, because heating a stove up under plastic sheeting is apparently a fire hazard.

I’m happy to report they finished the job beautifully. My kids are only slightly traumatized from the move, demo, and the fact that they have a mom who harbors unrealistic expectations.

In the middle of all of this mess and chaos, I threw myself a pity party one Sunday morning. I was standing in my kitchen drinking a cup of instant coffee, because I couldn’t find my coffee pot.

All I could think was, “We made a mistake.” One of my kiddos was not liking school. The other missed everyone we knew. My house was a wreck. We knew practically no one. And on and on it went.

My good friends, Panic and Anxiety, were just about to take up residency when my doorbell rang.

Opening the door, I saw our sweet next door neighbor, who happens to have kids the exact age of my two. She was smiling and holding out a box of donuts.

“You’ve probably already had breakfast,” she said. “But we wanted to bring you donuts!”

In my emotional, slightly weepy state, I reached out and hugged her. I was careful not to overwhelm her with my morning breath.

All I could manage was a feeble thank you.

In that moment, I knew why she was on my doorstep. It was Grace, pure and simple. Grace showed up in the form of my neighbor, holding a box of donuts. Grace that said we were going to be ok. That there were kind people here too.

I closed the door. Took a deep breath. Said a quick prayer of thanks.

Panic and Anxiety would have to move in another day. Grace was taking up residency here.

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