Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Grace and Guilt

I think I may have a genetic memory disorder. I am forever forgetting important things. Dentist appointments, eye doctor visits, lunch with a friend. I am always over scheduling things. I frequently end up having to cancel or postpone things at the last minute when I realize I’m double or triple booked.

This morning, I woke up late, well after I was supposed to meet my triathlon training partners at the pool. I had accidentally set the alarm for 5pm instead of 5am. I know how to set my cell phone alarm clock, so there’s really no excuse. When I returned home to send the kids off to school, I ended up giving Caleb the wrong sandwich in his lunch. He let me know this troubling news the very moment I collected him from the bus stop. Then, to really seal the deal (“deal” meaning the sinking notion that I may need to begin taking “silver” vitamins to prevent the onset of dementia), I completely forgot to show up to baby sit for one of my best friends so she and her husband could go to a very important doctor’s appointment together. You see, there was this PTA meeting…..

The worse part of my forgetfulness is first, how my disorganization makes people I care for feel insignificant, and second, how incredibly guilty I feel after forgetting.

I’ve tried lots of systems to help me organize my many appointments. And, 75% of the time, they work. They help jar my consciousness into remembering what the heck I have on the lineup for the week. 25% of the time, though, I forget to check the stupid calendar or log the events into the calendar in the first place.

In these moments of weakness, where I have no choice but to throw up my hands and admit that I’m human and thereby prone to error, I’m brought to my knees. I’m reminded that God’s love for me isn’t based on my performance and that He isn’t giving me a grade. His grace covers my deficiencies. Sometimes, though, it’s really hard to convince myself to accept that grace, to actually forgive myself.

Tonight, I’m intentionally choosing (rather, trying to choose) to lean into God’s perfect love and forgiveness. Guilt accomplishes nothing. It yields no benefit that I’m aware of.

While I’m renouncing guilt, I do have a few questions.

I am not usually one to ask for help, another genetic character flaw, but I’d love to know two things from you.

1) How do you remember the details?
2)How do you recover when you forget?


  1. First of all... I am sure that your friend loves you and will not hold your forgetfullness against you. :) Second of all... I use my iPhone and it can sync with my computer. I can add things on the go or at home and they sync together. This has been working for me. As far as the guilt - let me know if you figure that one out!! Love you, Jodie.

  2. EVERYTHING goes into my planner. I keep it in my purse and agree to NOTHING without writing it in.

    It's hard though ... especially when you're as busy as you are.

    It's hard to forgive yourself, easy to show grace to others.

    I was really touched by what you said about how it makes your friend's feel: insignificant. I always think the same thing. I think you're awareness is part of the process.

    You are perfect just the way you are.

    Love you.


  3. Jodie, Oh man, sometimes it's like you've read my mind and then wrote a blog post! we have an old school wall calendar like my parents and I write most everything on it-including family birthdays because I forgot some last year!

    I use Jonathan as a filter; maybe you could try that? Call Jonathan! He'll say it's okay to not hang out with people or schedule all the time and use every free moment of the day.

    I tend to feel guilty either way-forgetting someone or not spending time with them or failing to be part of a committee or a help out when I have something that can be of use or a skill that could be helpful. At that point, it's just a thankfulness that I have good friends and God's grace. Oh and sometimes I cry.

  4. hmmmmm..... didn't I just have the pleasure of finally meeting you at this recent event where we learned about post it notes???

    just teasing....
    except the part about it was great to finally meet you at AWAKE!


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