She sat in the coffee shop feeling stunned and shocked. She had been doing so well. How did she start moving backwards without even knowing it? Her first reaction was to condemn herself, again. Again. That was the word, wasn’t it? Each time she took steps forwards she would slip back. Again she started over. Again she slipped back. Again she would get mad at herself. Again she tried to learn the same lesson. Again. When would she stop living her life in circles? When would she choose better and stop repeating mistakes… again?

Ruth Anne placed her head in her hands and tried to focus. She knew the berating would do her no good. She slipped. Okay. So, what would be the horrible thing caused by the slip? She would repeat a few steps? She would start over? Again. Yes, again. But maybe that didn’t matter. Maybe it was okay as long as she did start over again.

Picking her head up, and slowly taking a sip of her coffee her eyes wandered to the window. The sky was blue with a few passing clouds. She tried to remember what her friend told her. Debbie said something about mistakes. “Mistakes are part of life. Without them how do we ever learn?” Smiling a little Ruth Anne considered the words. Nothing too deep, therefore easy for her to grasp. Oh, they were easy to say and understand... but live? Maybe they would be easy to live if she didn’t have such a habit of guilt. Maybe she simply needed to accept herself. Where she was. How she was. The lesson she was learning. Again.

She thought about her son sitting in his last day of school. Wasn’t it just last week when she told him how life was like a dance. Some steps forward, some back, some in circles, but all creating a lovely pattern. He had been so upset about his own mistake. She reminded him that it was simply a moment to know where he still needed to learn, and that was a good thing. Could the same lesson apply to her?

“Well, that's a silly question,” Ruth Anne laughed to herself. In the moment the question struck her funny bone she realized how much grace she had for others but so little for herself. “So, this is where I need to learn. At least I know.”

With a deep sigh she picked up her pen and began to journal her heart again. She expressed her gratitude for the grace her Lord brought in words of her friend and her own words to her son. Mistakes are part of life, and we have to pick ourselves up and move forward. Again.

Yes, always again.


  1. What? Are you inside my head? Always again! I just remind myself that a just man falls 7 times and rises AGAIN!

  2. Can I admit that I don't really LIKE again? lol And yet I find myself at "again" over and over... So often, I just think "MY GOSH... how many times am I going to swing back by here before I finally get it?"


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