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“I Choose” — Early Morning Life Lessons

The last thing I expected was to be handed a life lesson with my cup of to-go coffee.

But that’s what I got.

It was a rare morning when I had nothing immediate on my schedule, so I’d found some precious free time to run through a drive-thru. I ordered my usual mocha latte and turned to head out the coffee shop parking lot.

I hardly had a second to sip, blink, breathe… before a car came barreling my way and I had to slam on my breaks to avoid a collision.

Steamed milk and coffee splattered across the to-go cup lid.

In my lap.

On my favorite worn-in jeans and all over my attitude for the morning. And I remember watching as the driver kept going through the parking lot, seemingly without care…

At that was the moment of choice. Right there. I picked up the baggage that driver left behind and started to roll with it:

  • I was irritated. Why did they fly through a parking lot going that fast?
  • Quick to anger. Seriously? Do they even notice who they’ve left in their wake? 
  • Hasty in judgment. They’re probably a terrible driver anyway. Or uncaring. They’re only thinking about their agenda. At least I stopped an accident here… “You’re welcome, by the way!” 

Those thoughts are embarrassing to admit, but I bet we’ve all had them before. They may be raw and real, but they’re also EASY. But before I let that wave of those words wash over me, a softer voice edged in (Thank You, Holy Spirit!):

“I choose.” 

Two words of absolute truth.

I choose whether I’ll pick up an offense.

Whether real or imagined, small or big – I choose whether I’ll carry it. Whether I’ll watch the car drive away and while the other’s moved on, I choose whether I stay back in the muck and mire. It’s my choice. And that life lesson? Amazing. Unexpected. So hard to realize in the moment, but miraculous and FREEING when you look back at it.

Christ warns us of picking up offenses in Luke Chapter 17:

Then He said to the disciples, “It is impossible that no offenses should come, but woe to him through whom they do come!

It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.

Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him.

And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you, saying, ‘I repent,’ you shall forgive him.” 

—Luke 17: 1-4 (NKJV)

The driver didn’t stop.

Certainly didn’t repent or ask for forgiveness as I was scrubbing out my favorite (and now coffee-stained jeans). But it was a good lesson for me to learn.

Next time I’m perfect, I’ll let you know. (Please, please don’t wait around for that blog post…) Until then, I want to live in this picture of grace that Jesus outlines. I want to walk without baggage. I want my hands to be free from shackles, outstretched in service, embracing others in love. But I can’t do that if my hands are already full, carrying suitcases of offenses, unforgiveness, and judgments (no matter how small).

Next time I stop for coffee, I might wear a tarp to protect my lap. Just in case? But I’ll also remember something far more important that I choose.

I drive into each day with the choice on what I’ll carry. Lord please let it be grace.

Choosing GRACE today,


15 thoughts on ““I Choose” — Early Morning Life Lessons

  1. Thank you for the lesson and the reminder that the choice is for me to make…and the one way I want to go is with the Lord.
    I so loved your first book and now look forward to the second and then The Ringmaster’s Wife. You are a fine author, Kristy.

  2. Something like that happened on a day we were headed to the doctor in Murfreesboro, TN (45 min away from our home in Tullahoma) for the results of a biopsy. We were early so thought we’d drive thru Starbucks. As we rounded the building, to enter drive thru, a lady cut us off and entered ahead of us. We fumed. We made our order regardless, not being in a hurry. When we got to the window to pay, the barista said no charge. The lady who cut us off had paid for our order too!

  3. Thank you Kristy for reminding me that you just have to let go! It doesn’t make me feel better to hold in resentments! I learned that over Christmas! My brother wasn’t very nice to me and I stewed and I stewed and the more I stewed the worst I felt! So, I just had to give it to God and let it go! I felt better after that!

  4. So true…and it actually lines up EXACTLY to what our Pastor shared yesterday. We are given these “tests”.of is our choice to ” pass” or not. She even used her own coffee in the lap experience! She shouted “HALLELUJAH” and started singing haha! The other gal in the car was like “That is awesome! You get burned…and worship comes out!” Thank you for sharing! I did have my own moment this morning where I had to choose. And I reme!breed this and decided not to pick up the offense. Blessings on you!!!

  5. oh, Kristy, we’ve all been there! maybe not behind the wheel of a car, maybe not those exact words, and maybe not with coffee on our favorite jeans—but the sentiment, the frustration. and the conviction. can’t begin to tell you the times my self-righteous voice reamed out some reckless driver for inconveniencing me (yes, written with smug facetiousness) and countless the times i’ve spewed my oh-so-righteous words—then followed with “bless them, Lord” through clenched teeth! LOL
    thanks you for being transparent with us, your adoring fans and readers! we love you more for it! (schmooze, schmooze)

  6. Why is it the little things, at times, upset us more than those that are truly important – the urge to react negatively arises so quickly and seemingly worthy. My frustrations often come when my electronics and/or car develop problems. Probably because I live alone, know nothing about repairing them, and feel they are vital. I think God frequently lets us have life’s little annoyances so we can better enjoy our blessings and appreciate those days when everything goes smoothly!! Thanks for the reminder, Kristy!!

    1. Hi Claudia – Oh no! I hope you don’t have coffee on your jeans either! 😦 But we’re all imperfect. Thanks for allowing me to be real about my imperfections too. Have a beautiful day!

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