The Things I Forget to Notice (and Learning to Show Myself Grace)

Apparently I have a knack for knocking floor mats askew.

I never noticed this skill until my new roommate pointed it out. The mat in front of the kitchen sink, in front of the bathroom, inside the bathroom, and by the balcony door are invariably crooked after I’ve passed by.

I’m like a walking disaster––or a walking whirlwind, that sounds better. (My roommate laughingly compared me to her dog, who scrunches up floor mats by wiping his feet on them after he pees. Flattering.)

Growing up, I never realized how scatterbrained I was.

Perhaps it was because adults were always telling me I was smart. Hah. Now I know that retaining information learned in a classroom and remembering to pay attention to where you are walking are two completely different things.

(I’m suddenly getting a flashback of one of my former kindergarten students. Smartest kid in the class, but a complete space cadet. And super klutzy. Honestly, she was kind of weird. Yikes, am I like that?)

Sometimes I take a moment to thank God for how good a job He does of taking care of me. Someone clearly has to. I used to get offended when people pointed out the things I was oblivious about. Not hearing my mom call my name, forgetting to do the task I was just asked to do, letting the books I borrowed from my dad get bent, leaving a mess behind me on the floor or table or car.

I didn’t like the idea that I was bad at something.

Now I can openly admit that I’m not good at some things (like finding lost items).

I’m working on it, but there is no shame in admitting certain absentminded tendencies…no shame. I’m good at other things, like making people feel safe when they’re new, noticing when people feel left out, and playing Mozart sonatas. (And I like to think I’m a pretty good dish washer as well.)

Today I missed my bus stop on the way to work, but that’s okay, because I still arrived at work almost on time and I also learned an important lesson: Don’t spontaneously decide to research “healthy cooking oils” when you are within 15 minutes of the bus stop you are supposed to get off at. It just isn’t a good idea for some people.

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After living in South Korea for over 7 years, Elizabeth is back in the States finding a new normal. In the tension of brokenness, resilience, and conviction, she chooses faith and depends on grace. She leans into empathy, curiosity, divine whispers, and childlike wonder.

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