A few days ago, I wrote a draft of a post with this basic premise: "I'm stupid." I have this tendency where if I'm worried something won't happen at all if it doesn't work immediately, then I'll dive in headfirst, completely uninformed. Determined to execute said plan, no matter how poorly executed.
Case in point: a day trip to Hill Country to see wildflowers last Saturday. First of all, any online source will tell you don't go until peak wildflower season in mid April, but somehow I forgot that. We both had a free weekend and there are a lot of bluebonnets around Austin, so we figured we'd go. Or rather I said, let's do this, and Nicholas agreed, knowing I'd done some research.
My second mistake was navigating us to Johnson City, rather than Willow City, where the intended wildflower drive actually begins. This became more of a critical error when I realized it 2 hours into our drive, meaning we still had to drive nearly an hour further away for the intended scenic drive, just to experience it in non-peak wildflower season.
Did I make mistakes that altered the course of our day? Absolutely. But I wouldn't go so far as to say the day was ruined.
This week I've been thinking a lot about grace. In light of Easter, His grace on us and the power of the resurrection, and also having grace on myself. I used to be a lot harder on myself with frequent thoughts like, "You're not smart enough for ______," or even, "You're stupid."
Those negative whispers have drastically decreased in the last five years or so. I think this is for a few reasons, one of which I'll mention today. I feel much more spiritually healthy, and likewise better at denying (& tuning out) lies that Satan whispers about me and God and my standing in this world. The more I saturate my life with truth from His Word, the less opportunity lies have to seep in. Also, I think I have a more true view of myself, seeing myself as redeemed and made holy, no longer minimizing the work of Christ on the cross.
Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
This does not mean that I won't sin, goodness knows I do all the time. But I can choose a life of righteousness, knowing that Jesus conquered death, once and for all who choose to love and follow Him with their lives. And in this life, we can see ourselves rightly, imperfect in this life, but held up and surrounded by grace with every breath we take.
Despite the poor navigation and despite missing peak wildflower season, we still had a lovely day. And it is still wildflower season, so we saw patches of flowers in places. We snacked on pistachios and fruit strips, drank water, pointed out wildlife (a Texas jackrabbit) and not-so-wildlife (baby goats, Texas Longhorn cattle, and calves with their parents).
We drove slowly through the wildflower loop, A/C off, windows down, and feeling just ever slightly too-warm in a good way, in the 81 degree heat. We didn't play a single song or listen to any podcasts and I didn't even knit, but we just talked and drove with comfortable pieces of silence too. And then his phone died and mine almost died, so we drive home through Fredericksburg to preserve what remained of my phone's battery life.
We were gone for several hours longer than expected, so we stopped to pick up hamburgers on the way home. His with a gf bun and mine with lettuce, plus fries to share. And when we got home, we got comfy, and had tea in our pajamas and watched Bob Ross.
So it wasn't a perfect day, no. We were both frustrated when we realized Johnson City is very different from Willow City (especially since I've been to both previously) and we got hungry at the end and realized for the Nth time that there is no "getting to your destination directly" when you're in Hill Country. There are no major roads running east-west, so you end up going north and south of your destination.
However, I'll take a good day, with the slight stickiness from the open car windows and dust and navigation carelessness (on my part) and not-quite-peak-wildflower-season, because a rejoicing over a good day is honoring to God too. You can view any number of situations as missed opportunities when in some cases they're really just alternative opportunities. We didn't see peak wildflowers, but we did have a full Saturday of quality time, fresh air, and scenic views, and unlimited time to hold hands and talk about whatever we wanted to, without interruption.
For a few minutes, I thought I might let those thoughts of "Are you really this stupid, Andrea?" take over the day, but that's not how I want to live. I'm free to live outside of a day held in bondage by regret. I want to live my life like I know in my heart that my life is a redeemed one, covered in grace. If that takes not-so-perfect day trips to show me that, so be it. Count me in.
P.S.— Easter Sunday was the next day, and after the sunrise service at church, we stopped by a local park and saw a whole field of bluebonnets, covered in dew. There's something so sweet about display like that on Resurrection Sunday.
We gathered for Easter lunch with friends, and then came home for fika, with my godmother's recipe for orange poppyseed muffins and aeropress coffee.
I finished out the weekend with a full heart and a fresh take on grace.