I blew it. I really, really blew it. I can give you a thousand reasons why…I could try and make my defense…but in the end they are just excuses; the facts remain that I was guilty as charged. My sweet little girl had brought me a beautiful turquoise necklace she had made and asked for my approval. My words were harsh, critical…Why hadn’t she asked my permission before using my things?…It would be better if the beads were arranged in a more balanced arrangement…I didn’t even notice her face before rushing on to accomplish the tasks I thought were so important for the day. The day was a demanding one. I gave my full attention to the deadlines that were loudly demanding it, I gave very little to the sweet, sensitive spirit that asked very little of me. As the day drew to a close, the Holy Spirit whispered words that were a slam-dunk conviction: “Those were her beads.” In that instant, my vision was cleared. Yes, my deadlines were important, but nothing was as important as finding my girl and making things right. As we found a quiet corner, her face was full of concern. “Is everything OK, Mommy?” “Did I do something wrong, Mommy?” Her words pricked my heart. How often had I crushed her before this day? I told her how wrong I was, how sorry I was, how I appreciated the artistic gifts God had given her; I praised her for taking the initiative to create something and be creative without anyone telling her to do it. She snuggled in closer to me. “It’s OK, Mommy. I forgive you.” Grace. Priceless words offered to me. As we begin our school year, let this grace be before all others. If we learn math, writing, & science, but miss grace we walk away empty handed. But this day holds another lesson for me. Sin can be forgiven, but it always has a consequence. She may have forgiven me and our relationship was restored, but as I climbed the stairs to attend to the next thing I noticed out of the corner of my eye that she picked up her necklace to work on it again, the way I had told her it should be.