Things got a little contentiously edgy at the Collie house recently.

Itchy. Irritable. It’s hard to find the right words but I think you know what I’m talking about.

We had a getaway road trip planned for just after the homeschool community year wrapped up… and then we had to cancel it because it involved a lot of hiking and I think maybe I mentioned a certain five-year-old has a broken ankle?

So Plan B became Plans B, C, and D. And then D got cancelled, because the boot still couldn’t come off… so we rolled with B, C and I don’t know E or F. 

The adventure turned into a vacation/staycation/vacation/staycation/vacation… three separate small trips happening with a day or two at home in between. 

Yep, we might be crazy.

When we got home from the first marvelous week of the staycation/vacation lineup, tensions seemed to be a little high. 

For example…

The contention of who got to ride in which seats in the car simmered close to boiling.

Someone wanted to be the only one to go pick up the dog, and refused to go since someone else was going.


Someone’s half-finished drawing got slightly wet in a bookbag, and life as we knew it was over.

We sat down for lunch and began to try to process what was causing all the hullabaloo, and we finally acknowledged some elephants in the room: Everyone had a lot of excitement for several days. Everyone had a good bit less than their usual amount of sleep for several days.

Basically? Everyone was dang tired.

Sometimes when we have the least grace to give, we’re asked to give the most.

The Hero Hubs and I acknowledged that everyone was probably tired after a long week. We made some gentle requests about how our kiddos could show their appreciation for our efforts at planning a fun and special week for them. 

In a way, I think we mostly just talked about the elephant in the room, and covered it in a blanket of grace. 

Different translations of Psalm 103 change the word ‘pities’ to the word ‘has compassion.’ Either way – what a gift it is that God has compassion on us, takes pity on us, and remembers that we are dust. He remembers we’re fragile and flawed, and likely to fail.

Sometimes we need to be reminded: we’re all dust.

The gift we can give to each other, as we handle conflict and contentious edginess, is to do the same thing: remember that the person in front of us is fragile and flawed, and dust. Acknowledge the elephants in the room – human realities like tiredness, homesickness, or loneliness. 

Pull on a thick blanket of grace.

So, darling friend, as you’re interacting with your co-workers, or family, or friends this week, do you think you could practice seeing them the way the Father sees them… which is also the way the Father sees you? 

He sees our frame: fragile and flawed, yes. But He sees us as worthy of pity and compassion, too. 

Isn’t it incredible: Grace was always God’s Plan A for you and me?

P.S. If you missed our family’s miracle story on the 700 Club a few weeks ago, you can still watch it, AND grab the Crisis ebook I created out of a heart to share a little slice of what we learned in that hard place with others going through hard places. Both links are right here:

A New eBook For You! 

I created a new resource to serve folks facing hard seasons of life, called It Won’t Feel Like This Forever: Brave Your Crisis With Wisdom and Faith. It’ll help you communicate with God and the people around you to help you walk through tough seasons.

I’m praying these words will be a gift to many in dark places. If you’re walking a hard road right now, or you know someone who is, I’d love for you to grab this free ebook. It is mercifully short, but holds some hard-fought-for wisdom and practical advice in the form of 5 Simple Tips to help you find the Light in Dark Places. Click the link below and I’ll shoot it to your inbox lickety-split!


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