She was already out the door when I noticed the bag still sitting on the kitchen island.
I ran out to the garage to catch her before she left. I stretched my arm out and she reached for the bag. Maybe I let go too fast. Maybe her fingers didn’t have a tight enough grip around the handles. I’m not sure what the cause was, but the bag dropped to the garage floor and the sound of broken glass filled the space around us.
“I’m sorry,” she said.
“I’m sorry,” I said.
She had signed up to bring chips and queso for the class party.. Obviously, there would be no queso.
“I think we have some unopened salsa,” I said.
“Thank you,” she said.
So, we went with salsa instead.
And nobody will know any different. The kids won’t recognize the queso is missing. They don’t have the signup memorized. They will be more than happy to munch on chips and salsa. It’s about the celebration and the time they have together more than it is about what everyone is bringing to the occasion.
I was reminded when my daughter left this morning with chips and salsa in hand, that it’s so easy to lose sight of the real reason we are doing things. Right? We can get so bogged down by our lists and the preparations and wanting it all to be a certain way, that we miss the real gifts waiting for us.
I had a second today when I looked down at the broken jar and thought, “Oh great. Is this how the day is going to start? We paid money for that. This is what she signed up for and now we won’t have it. What a waste.”
And then I remembered the salsa, and the real point of the kids gathering today. I decided I wasn’t going to let this busted jar of queso dictate anything about today, other than gratitude for the unopened jar of salsa in the pantry and that my daughter gets to spend a portion of her day in celebration with her friends.
There is a lot going on this time of year.
If I’m not careful, I can get lost in it all – but not in a good way.
I can become so focused on how I want things to look, or how I think they should be, or how busy we are and all that needs to be done – that I miss the beautiful gifts that are right in front of me.
I’m not sure how your morning started off, but if it was something like shattered glass and spilled queso on your garage floor – I pray God meets you in that space. That you can see the good in the struggle and the blessing in the trial.
In these last few days, as we countdown to the end of the school year, I pray we can stay focused on what really matters. The relationships the kids have made. Celebrating the teachers and all their hard work. Field day and class parties and celebrations galore.
Loving those we encounter well. Not being so busy and distracted and hurried that we forget to look up and say, “Hello!” and “How are you?” and “Thank you for all you have done this year” to those we encounter.
God, help us to stay focused on what matters, and not to get lost in all that does not.
Thank you for busted jars and spilled queso and the reminder that it isn’t about what we bring to the table – but more about showing up to the table as we are. Messy. Complicated. Imperfect. Sometimes, with hands full. Sometimes, empty-handed. Sometimes, showing up exactly as we had hoped and planned. And sometimes showing up in different ways than we had imagined. But showing up nonetheless. Offering what we are able. Knowing that is enough.
And giving thanks for it all.
*This originally appeared on my Truly Yours, Jen Facebook page