The corner of the couch is quietly calling my name. For just forty-five minutes a day, the sunshine creeps in through the glass slider doors, crawls across the carpet and rests on the end of the couch. Just forty-five minutes and only during these chilly months when the sun dips below the edge of the house.
I look at chicken lying frozen on the counter
... I should work on dinner.
I look at the pillows, plump and warm in the sunshine
... I should rest a minute.
I look at the computer
... I haven't written anything all day.
I look at the quilt on the couch
... I haven't sat all day.
I look at the laundry
... It won't fold itself.
I look at the sunshine
... It won't last all afternoon.
The beckoning comfort of the slumpy, lumpy, sun-kissed couch wins out.
As I lean back into the cushions, I can feel the heat from the sun. I pull the quilt across my lap, prop my feet on the ottoman and nestle back in the corner of the cushions. The sun is so bright, I have to close my eyes against the glare. The warmth, the comfort and the stillness are the ultimate trifecta for rest.
I guard myself against actually falling asleep, however. If I nap, I know I'll spend the remainder of the afternoon trying to wake up! But a few minutes of quiet are a enough to renew and refresh me. I'm not ready, however, to move on. I resist the urge to get back to the busy-ness of the day ... the never-ending chores that I'll never actually be done with.
I reach for my Bible on the end table next to the couch with the intention of reading a chapter or two from 2 Peter. I am in the midst of a reading schedule that takes me through the Bible in chronological order ... all in one year. I am currently in year two. Another aspect of life I haven't been able to keep up with.
The brightness of the sun forces me to close my eyes again and as I sit there, I am reminded again of my tendency to be a do-er. For right now, for the next thirteen minutes, I want to be a be-er. I want to cast off the belief that my clean house, folded laundry and hot-n-ready dinner define me as a good wife and mother. I want to cast off the belief that my not-on-schedule reading plan defines me as spiritually lacking. I want to cast off the belief that my value and importance are defined by my productivity and performance.
Here on my sun-drenched corner of the couch, for a few brief minutes, I am free to just be.
8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9, emphasis mine)
Not by super organization.
Not by incredible talents in the kitchen.
Not by faithfully caring for the laundry.
Not by stellar reading schedules.
Not by thoughtful and heartfelt essays.
Not by going and going and going.
But by grace.
That slouching, cozy, welcoming couch reminds me of God's grace. And that's what I'm thankful for today.
Where do you find God's grace?
It might be where you least expect it!