By Tami Blake, copyright September 2015

Our barn here at the VX is about a half mile from our house. The distance kind of drives me crazy. Most times I feel like it’s too far to walk and too short to drive, especially with three little kids. But I have to get there somehow, and so sometimes we walk and sometimes we drive.

I am especially happy to drive to the barn to do chores on the rare evenings when I leave my husband and kids at the house and go solo.

Evening chores can be a breath of fresh air for a mama who gets little time to herself. Despite needing exercise, when I’m alone I like to drive over to the barn because it means I get to listen to the radio. I hardly ever get to listen — I mean really listen — to the radio. Usually if I’m in a vehicle, the voice on the radio is competing with an interrogative 4-year-old, a hungry 2-year-old, and a baby who hates her carseat.

Last night I went (alone) to the barn to do chores. And I heard this quote on the Christian radio station:

Grace means we’re not perfect, but we’re loved anyway.

And I love it because it confirms so much of what I’m discovering on this loooooong journey of mine toward becoming a grown-up. About how the people who matter love me. About how I should love everyone. About how God loves me and how He in his ultimate wisdom has a big plan for humans.

People became a lot easier for me to like — and it became a lot easier to like myself — when I figured out the problem with people is that we’re all so very human. Imperfect. We have no choice.

For some reason the simple concept of grace escaped me for a long time, and extending it to others is tough for me. I still struggle every day to practice grace, but I think I’m (maybe, slowly) getting better. I’m even starting to see some beauty in imperfection, though I’ll probably never be great at it.

But hey, no one who matters expects me to be perfect.

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