Graciousness

This last weekend our family had a dinner/planning meeting to attend. We had a lot of business to discuss but our hosts wanted to serve a meal and also asked us to bring our children so we wouldn’t have to make arrangements for a sitter. They wouldn’t let me help with the meal by bringing anything either.
Due to a series of uncontrollable events we got out of our house much later than we planned and were running very late for this meeting. I HATE being late. All through our marriage if we’re running even 5-10 minutes late I insist that we call our hosts and notify them that we are on our way and apologize. This was no exception. I made Kris do it this time. On the phone our host told Kris it was no problem and made sure we knew how to get to their house.
The whole (45 minute) drive there I grumbled verbally and in my mind about being late and stressed about how we would face our hosts. I feared they would be irritated with us, feel pressed for time to cover all the material we needed, and think poorly of us.
As we arrived at their house they came out to the car to greet us. My first thought was that they weren’t even going to let us get out of the car. I feared they were going to say, “You’re too late. There’s no point in meeting, just go home!” I quickly pushed this fear out of my mind as I saw their smiling faces. I jumped out of the car and began apologizing. I thrust a home made loaf of bread in my host’s arms as a peace offering. Imagine my shock when our hosts responded to my pathetic apologies by saying, “Oh, thank you for being late. I was able to take a shower!”
After my very ungracious thoughts and words in the car I was quite surprised to be thanked for being late! All through the evening our hosts demonstrated the upmost grace and love towards us. They served us a wonderful meal, offered repeatedly to help with the kids, commended us on our parenting and ambitions, hauled toys out of the garage for our daughter to play with while we talked and spoke words of encouragement to us.
As they walked us out to the car to leave, our arms full of left over food and a dozen fresh home farmed eggs, I was feeling a little bit confused. Normal people don’t act like this. They didn’t need or want anything from us and yet I felt the way I feel when somebody is trying to butter me up, before the other shoe drops. These friends of our had every reason to be irritated with us and yet they seemed truly thrilled to spend time with us.  “They’re so…nice!” I said quietly to Kris as we drove off. I realized that they were genuine. They were not manufacturing an emotion or pretending not to be irritated with us. They were going with the flow, relaxed, at ease and able to enjoy the evening. Their graciousness towards us was a wonderful surprise and also something that I long to have in my relationships. I can quickly get my feathers ruffled if things don’t go my way or follow my schedule. Usually I can cover up my frustrations but then my actions aren’t genuine and I think some can see through my guise. What I saw this weekend, because of the way I felt when I left their house, is something I want to learn.

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4 responses to “Graciousness

  1. had to practice some graciousness and go with the flow today, was thinking of your blog, thank you for posting, i love you

  2. so this isnt about your blog but your tweet. I always thought baby Jesus kind of resembled a rolling pin too! smart girl!

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