Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Grace at Target

Soaking in a bath may not be relaxing for me--but, there is one place I can go, and clear my head.

My mind begins to rest, my body becomes new, I find comfort and relaxation at Target. Yes, I know that might sound funny to you--but, for me it is like a mini-vacation. I go with a latte in hand, and stroll through the aisles perusing clearance rack after clearance rack. There are no worries, my cell phone does not work inside target, and I rejoice in the discovery of an amazing, "deal."

My husband supports me in this, "getaway." He comes home, and knows by the look on my face--if it has been one of those--"I need to go to Target," kind of days.

On rare occasions, we go as a family to Target. Although, these types of trips are not as relaxing and can create even more stress--I still enjoy the possibility of finding a good deal ;). We still make a stop at Starbucks before commencing with the shopping- I grab a grande latte, Kyle grabs a Dr. Pepper and the kids get a vanilla milk. This has been our Target tradition for years.

It was on one of these family trips, a few weeks ago, that the girls separated from the boys, to look at clothes. As we were searching for something that caught our eye, another mother and daughter were also bargain-shopping. The mother looked slightly frazzled, as her daughter of about 5 or 6 years, tried her best to drive her crazy. I could tell this is what she was doing, because she was whining and moaning. She must have said, "mooooooommmmmmmmmm" at least 100x as we stood near one another. Even as we walked away, we could still hear her ear-piercing wails.

As Alexis stared at this little girl, and I thought I would take the opportunity to explain that this would not be acceptable behavior for herself. I wanted Alexis to hear how silly, and annoying this other little girl sounded. Alexis agreed that the other little girl was being disrespectful and annoying.

Just as I was feeling good about curtailing a future, "target-scene," the little girl and her mother came close to us again. Alexis took this opportunity to speak to the frazzled woman. "Is that your daughter?" As I heard Alexis ask this question, I threw out a prayer, a wish and crossed my fingers that my very vocal daughter would not tell this woman how disrespectful and annoying her daughter was being.

"Yes, that is my daughter- she is not having a very good day."

I held my breath.

"That's okay, we all have those days." Alexis replied.

Sigh of relief.

Wow--had my daughter just shown more wisdom and grace than I in this other little girl's behavior. Had she just made the mother feel better about her whining daughter? How could it be possible for someone so small to show so much love and grace?

And, then I remembered-- Alexis was born out of grace- She reminds me every day that even when we make mistakes, God still loves us and covers us in his grace. Some may have looked upon Alexis' conception as a mistake, but- God took that, "mistake," and made something beautiful out of it.

I pray that I can show as much grace as my 3-year-old daughter. She is quick to forgive, full of understanding and over-flowing with compassion--much like our heavenly father. May I encourage these traits in her, because as a whole we could all use a little more grace.

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