When Right Now Runs Late

Photo credit:  ntwowe at Freedigitalphotos.net

Photo credit: ntwowe at Freedigitalphotos.net

Every. Single. Morning. Same routine, same child running behind. Distracted. Doing his own thing instead of what he’s been instructed to do. Instead of what is required every day.

“I told you ten minutes ago to put your shoes on. Why are they still not on your feet?”

And it begins. The heart racing panic that sets in my chest because we are beginning to run late.


A word I’ve learned to despise. A word that evokes an anxiety attack. A word that can so easily make me feel unimportant. So much power in that one little word.

“You’re going to miss the bus.” My voice starts to rise. If he misses the bus, I will have to drive him to school and get gas because the vehicle doesn’t have enough to get everyone to school. I have to take all the kids to school because it wouldn’t be fair to only take just the one. I’m still in my pajamas. Now I have to get dressed. This is not how I planned to start my day. This lateness becomes all about me. Sigh…

“You need to get your shoes on.” I’m on the brink of yelling with frustration. Yelling. Yep, I do that well.

“I am!” he yells back. “I’m looking for my socks.”

“You should have had those socks on twenty minutes ago. Why are you just now looking for them?”

And back and forth it goes, from socks and shoes, to a coat and backpack. It doesn’t matter if we have him set them out the night before, he still manages to barely scoot out the door and meet the bus each day.

“Have a good day.” I know it sounds hollow as I watch him race through the field and under the electric fence to get on the yellow bus in the nick of time. Each time I pray that he does indeed have a good day and that tomorrow we can start the day off better.

Grace tickles my heart. Oh, the grace that has been lavished upon me, when daily I struggle with the same tired issues. The same procrastination to do what I need to do. The correction that comes gently, without scolding or yelling.

And I get it.

The grace I need Christ to pour out through me and into my boy. Even when we run late. Even when I have to force my tired body into clothing so I can drive him to school. Even when I want to yell, “Why are we doing this again today?! WHY?!”

Because I may be the only grace he sees today in a world where hurt seems to rule.

I will wait for his return today and ask for forgiveness with a humbled heart. And we will try again to get it right tomorrow. And even the next day and the next. Until.

Until the day where he doesn’t need me to tell him it’s time to get up or to put his shoes on. Because it’s coming fast.

Where do you find extending grace to be a challenge? Is it hard to show grace to your kids when you’re feeling frustrated? Share in the comments.

But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, β€œGod opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” James 4:6 ESV





  1. You just described my morning ritual as well. It’s so hard to extend grace when we’re dealing with the same issue every day. I may have to print a big sign that says, “GRACE” and hang it on the door as a reminder.

  2. Oh how this hit home today! I punished my teenager last night and it was not a fun evening. I told her last week if she left her AC on in her room one more time then she was grounded for a week and I was taking her phone. We got home yesterday after being gone for 9 hours and the only window unit AC that was on was in her room. I had to follow through with what I said….didn’t I? I am so torn between reminding her the rules and showing grace, and following through with my rules. She received her punishment and I received the silent treatment. She retreated to her room only to emerge for supper and then went right back in; she didn’t even tell me goodnight. She’s 16 and I know I only have a few years left with her at home and I want to cherish those and make them the best years I can. But on the other hand I need to show her that when you have an expectation and you make the wrong choice you have to take the repercussions. Perhaps tonight I can extend her some grace if she’s speaking to me.

    • I can so relate. My 16 year old and I go around about the same issues too. Perhaps you can let her live out the punishment for a couple of days and then extend mercy and explain why you are doing it, even though she deserves the full punishment for breaking the rules again. I plan to sit down and talk to the son from the devotion when he comes home today and ask him what he thinks will help him remember to get ready in the morning – maybe you can ask your daughter what will help her remember to turn the AC unit off? Sometimes it’s so hard to find the right answer to the problem with kids, isn’t it?

  3. This is not at all what this post is about but.. may I offer some advice?
    This is not your job. Getting socks and shoes on and catching the bus are all part of his job.
    Maybe your job is having gas in the car and being up and ready in case he needs you to run him to school. Maybe it isn’t. Maybe it is to sit quietly in your pjs and sip coffee and watch him struggle. And watch him miss the bus. And have to deal with that. What would he do without you to pick up the pieces? Ride his bike? Call a friend to help him? Miss school and have to make it up?
    Your job is not about being fair either. If the other kids see getting a ride to school as a reward then reward them – a pack of fruit snacks to eat at the bus stop, since they are on time and will be able to enjoy them. It isn’t your job to pass those out either. Buy a box of whatever you decide on and explain what they are there for and leave them on the kitchen counter or just inside the door. Tell them you are taking mornings off for the remainder of the school year. You will not be available until noon. Stay in your room or in your prayer closet!
    Baby birds can’t learn to fly without falling through the air and seeing the ground rushing up at them. It’s not your job to teach them to fly, that belongs to the wind. Let it do the work.

  4. Yes I struggle with grace during times of struggle! Yes, yes, yes! I wrote an eBook devotional on this very subject to help me in this area. I offer it free to subscribers to my blog if you’re interested. But, yes, I do.
    Thank you for sharing your story and thanks for dropping in and leaving encouragement on my blog yesterday. πŸ™‚
    Christin recently posted..The Day I Had Myself a Good Cry

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