1. Alix is a little French girl who wears dark denim designer jeans to her gymnastics class and pronounces her name ah-LEEX, and at the age of five bears a certain resemblence to both Audrey Tautou and Sophie Marceau.
While waiting for the Funny Bugs class to finish up in the gym, Alix was getting rather antsy. "I'm booooored, Missy Jenny," she said with a disproportionate amount of ennui for a kindergartener. Miss Jenny and I searched through the emergency box in the office and found a coloring book to keep her occupied until 2:15 when the Giggle Worms class started. To our delight, this was apparently quite the thrill. Alix accepted the book, then held it in her tiny French hands and exclaimed "Whooaaaa... amazing... DINOSAURS!" and then ran to show it to her parents.
"C'est coooooool, ça!" [This is cool!] she rejoiced to her devastatingly French mother, and then she began coloring away, scribbling purple onto the belly of a jolly stegosaurus. Is there anything more charming than a bilingual child who is excited out of her mind about a coloring book?
2. The simple pleasure of delighting in a huge cappucino mug filled with coffee, a perfectly-wrapped gingerbread biscuit, and a waitress who already knows my order after only three times and calls me "Sweetie" was much-appreciated after a stressful morning. Especially since the sitting and the sipping gave me time to talk on the phone to Deanna, a dear and funny and comforting friend I met in Chile, who cracks me up and inspires me to be more gutsy in my ambitions.
3. Knowing it was going to be something of a rough day, I pulled out one of my favorite tricks and loaded my iPod with lots of Lauryn Hill (the Joe-Mari time-tested cure for the Bad Day Blues). Right before I got off the bus, this song come on, and was immediately reminded of all things good in the world, which felt very needed after a restless sleep and a gloomy outlook on the morning.
Lauryn's phenomenal song "To Zion" has taught me more about God's grace and redemption than any sermon or book ever has.
If God's grace can cover the enormous challenges of an unplanned pregnancy and transform what seems like a terrible situation into a new life filled with hope and love and joy, then I suppose His grace can cover rude customers and grumpy managers.