got bark?

This morning our landlord came by to put new bark down. He was here earlier than he had communicated and we had honestly woken up only moments before. I threw on some sweats, brushed my teeth and headed out to greet him and just touch base. As we were discussing the yard (and what has yet to be done this spring), he mentioned how their family has gone all organic and they are now talking about getting a goat for milk, chickens and planting their own garden (at the expense of digging up the new yard they only recently put in).

Their youngest has been extremely sickly since birth and nothing so far has worked.

And as he spoke, my heart softened.

You see, there have been some tense emails about ownership of action items, frustration on my part with things not being followed through on, and some general irritations (like not having a new lease for two whole months). But as he spoke today, looking more tired than usual and making an obvious effort to maintain the friendly  tone we’ve always had in person, I began to realize just how much of a weight this past 12 months have held for their family.

And I softened again.

It’s not always easy to be treated in a way you perceive as unfair, unkind, unnecessary, or….  But what I was reminded of  today is that we all have our stuff. I think far less than we realize, offense is only even recognized as negative by the recipient. The other person is more often than not, oblivious, or simply too overwhelmed, to fully comprehend what they are delivering to those around them.

As I he was finishing up, I told him I was praying for his son. He said it’s a good thing he’s such a happy, sweet child – laid back and go with the flow. I smiled and said, “Yes. I believe God does that for a reason. I believe we are all given a special grace to deal with whatever hand of cards life will bring us.” He smiled and said he agreed.

What are you working through today? Have you found the grace necessary to do it well? Do you extend grace to those around you? We are all in this life together, and the more we are willing to just meet people where they’re at, assume the best, and extend grace, the more we will ourselves experience in our journey.

My yard looks great – fresh, new, and smells wonderful. Feels like a fresh start. Like bark, grace covers all the old ick and inconsistencies.

Got bark??



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