I‘ve said it before and I’ll probably say it again: it was one of those days. The ones where tiredness leads to grouchiness and grouchiness leads to frustratedness and frustratedness leads to a complete lack of graciousness. The older one reacts to my grump-grumps with grump-grumps of his own, and before you know it what started out as a fun activity — baking muffins together — ends with him getting such a hand pop his response wakes the baby and my hand is still smarting a few minutes later at the lunch table. And I find myself struggling to discipline with the grace we set out to do it with and Ann Voskamp’s wise words are ringing in my ears: First connect, then direct and I see that I’m struggling to connect at all.

I am not perfect. I didn’t need a reminder.

He asks to go for his nap — an unusual moment that feels like grace and only makes sense when I remember how early he woke up with his little cough this morning. And finally I am downstairs on the floor, patting the other one swaddled and cuddled in an armchair to help him keep sleeping.

I pull the Bible onto the floor in front of me where I can read and keep patting, and just want to say, “Help!” Not sure what I’m looking for, I happen to open to Psalm 40:

“I waited patiently for the Lord; And He inclined to me, And heard my cry. He also brought me up out of a horrible pit; Out of the miry clay, And set my feet upon a rock, And established my steps.”

Before I’ve finished reading these first two verses I’m asking the question:

But, Lord, what if I dug this pit myself?

What if choosing the wrong priorities and not going to bed early enough and focusing too much on the less important at the expense of the more important is what got me here? I’m tired and grouchy and lacking in peace and grace, and let’s be honest, it’s my own doing.


Somehow I thought it was probably okay — even if I dug the pit myself, He’d lift me out of it. But in case I wasn’t confident enough these words found me a few hours later:

“The Lord upholds all who fall, And raises up all who are bowed down.” {Psalm 145:14}

And there I was on the carpet. Bowed down. Patting the baby to sleep and asking the Lord to meet me. In the pit I dug myself, if He was willing.

And He did.

And that 5×7 of Thankfulness showed up, and started putting a new frame around things. And thankfulness made way for peacefulness, and peacefulness for grace and grace for my own imperfections helped show grouchy and grumpy the door.

By the time the Bear woke up from that early afternoon nap, I was there to cuddle him, tell him I love him, and gently carry him downstairs for the juice he was already requesting. And when he wanted that juice cup (the one he always spills if he drinks from it without the cap) and he wanted to drink from that juice cup without the cap, grace showed up and helped me diffuse the situation.

Ours is a God who

lifts up the humble

raises those who are bowed down

upholds all who fall

and even brings us up out of the pit when we’ve dug it ourselves.

And it doesn’t take sackcloth and ashes or hours on bended knee. Taking a moment to look up from the carpet is enough, when you’re in the pits.