Grace is Hard {CELEBRATE This Week: 130}

I’m glad you are here to celebrate! Share a link to your blog post below and/or use #celebratelu to share celebrations on Twitter. Check out the details hereCelebrate This Week goes live on Friday night around 10(ish). Consider it as a weekend celebration. Whenever it fits in your life, add your link. Please leave a little comment love for the person who links before you.


Jordan is typically the last one in the car. No matter how much earlier he starts to get ready, no matter how “completely” ready he is, no matter how many reminders he gets, he is still the last one in the car. Normally he hops out with one shoe barely on and the other in his hand.

He collapses into the backseat of my car. It’s already filled with two other bodies. Steph, in the center says, “Sheesh, Jay, watch it!”

“I’m trying!” he snaps back. “It’s not like it’s easy to put on these shoes when I’m crammed back here.”

Stephanie shoves his bag back to his lap.

“Knock it off, Steph,” he growls.

“Get your bag on your own side.” She crabs back.

“I’m trying to tie my shoes,” he says and elbows her.

Of course she elbows him back, and shoves his bag again.

“Will you cut it out?” he raises his voice. “I’ve gotta get my shoes on.”

“You should have done that before you got in the car.”

Both of their tempers are on the rise, so I interrupt. “Grace,” I say, my voice low. “Extend a little grace.”

“You should tell that to him,” Stephanie’s words are curt.

“I’m saying it to all of us. Grace goes far.”

Stephanie kicks Jay’s bag. “Keep it on your own side!”

“Grace,” I say again.

Jordan tugs on his shoelaces. “You know, Mom, I’d like to have grace, but it’s hard.”

“Don’t I know it,” I say.

Hannah laughs. Sam snickers.

“It’s. Not. Funny!” Stephanie says, shoving Jay’s backpack again.

“See? That’s what I mean,” Jay says. “Grace is hard. She doesn’t even deserve it.”

“Neither do you,” Stephanie sneers.

Hannah laughs. “That’s why it’s called grace. None of us deserve it.”

I pull into the school drop off lane and the conversation shifts to the predictable lines of sending them off to school.

“I love you, guys.” I say. They each kiss me and I know it is not a slight thing. Then I say to each in turn, “Good things are going to happen…”

“To me and through me!” Jay says, stumbling out of the car.

“To me and through me,” Stephanie says and rolls her eyes.

“I know, I know,” Hannah says.  I lift my eyebrows and she giggles. “To me and through me. I might be too old for this.”

“Mom, I need something different,” Sam says. “I know good things are going to happen to me and through me. Hearing you say it every morning is annoying.”

I kiss his cheek. “Go be a blessing,” I say, “And be blessed.”

“Good one,” he smiles at me.

They walk into the day. I grip the steering wheel and take a deep breath.

Bob Goff via Instagram

Grace is hard. It isn’t for the the weak, and it isn’t for the undisciplined. Grace is undeserved…and, according to Bob Goff, it leads us home.

That’s worth the celebration.


I hope we’ve become email friends. I’ve been playing with my newsletter and have decided to use it as a place to offer stories, tips, and inspiration for teaching writers. This content goes out to my my email friends before it’s shared anywhere else. On most Tuesdays, you can expect strategies for teaching writers, delightful stories, or little updates about my writing life.

Just add your email here and have encouragement for teaching writers delivered right to your inbox!

#mc_embed_signup{background:#fff; clear:left; font:14px Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif; width:300px;} /* Add your own MailChimp form style overrides in your site stylesheet or in this style block. We recommend moving this block and the preceding CSS link to the HEAD of your HTML file. */

Send me some inspiration!

* indicates required
Email Address *
First Name *
Last Name (Optional)
Email Format

  • html
  • text

//$) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]=’EMAIL’;ftypes[0]=’email’;fnames[1]=’FNAME’;ftypes[1]=’text’;fnames[2]=’LNAME’;ftypes[2]=’text’;}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true);

I’m so happy you celebrate with me. It is true fuel for my soul.


Let's Be Email Pals!

Teaching writers doesn't have to drown us.

Enter your information to receive my free eBook, plus weekly tips and encouragement for teaching writers.

Don't worry, I won't send you spam, and you can unsubscribe any time. (I'd hate to see you go, though.) Powered by ConvertKit


  1. It's rather fun to hear the conversation, Ruth, annoying to each other perhaps, but at the end, grace was there, and clearly even welcome. Thanks for sharing your stories.

  2. Our children are 23 and 27 and they still remember the little lines that I repeated to them when they were younger. “Listening” to your conversation brings back so many memories that I treasure even the ones in the car.

  3. Love not only breaks the fall, but also leads one home. Even through the bickering, the love is there. Love wins out every time. You are a blessing for everyone who gets to read your words. Have a super weekend and be a blessing, I will try to do the same.

  4. Wow! I didn't have as many children in the car with me – only 2 – but I wish I had thought to talk about “grace” with them. We certainly all need it, and when you're in an egocentric phase of life, it is a great reminder.
    Grace to you, my friend as well.

  5. “Jordan is typically the last one in the car. No matter how much earlier he starts to get ready, no matter how “completely” ready he is, no matter how many reminders he gets, he is still the last one in the car.” Please tell Jordan that I am this person in my family. I totally get him. Yesterday my husband went on to the car, bad choice, because I just keep thinking of things I need. The last thing I went back upstairs for was Pax. We were headed to a movie, but taking the bus. Sure enough, my dalliance caused us to miss the 550, but silver lining – the 554 meant that we walked more steps before the movie. Love all your mantras – especially, go be a blessing! That's what you are to us.