Wednesday, December 7, 2011

This is Grace

Every single time we get in the car, Jayci immediately requests that we listen to the "grace song" (it's on Matt Hammitt's cd, which y'all already know we love). I typically oblige her request, and can't help but smile at what ensues . . .

"This is grace, this is grace, when we walk through the dark night," she sings loudly. I smile and sing too, although not quite as loudly perhaps. Suddenly, she stops singing and asks, "mommy, what is grace?"

All right, I think, a slight panic rushing through me. It's go time, crucial parenting moment right now . . .

And yet, grace feels hard to encompass in words. I fumble through it.

I tell her that grace is when we get what we don't deserve. When a good God gives us good gifts, despite how we act on a daily basis. When she forgives me for losing my temper. When I forgive her for throwing a fit. And then buy her ice cream.

That this is grace, when I see the sunshine filtering through the few brown-tinged leaves still gripping tightly to their branches. Their refusal to let go.

This is grace, the promise of a spring that comes after winter. That new life bursts forth from death, from dirt. That God creates life from dust and beauty from ashes.
I tell her that grace means God still shows up in unexpected places. That He sits with fifteen year old moms in prison, and holds their new babies in His big arms.  That He forgives and loves even those for whom the glittering lights of Atlanta don't shine so brightly.

That grace is the space where her scraped knees are gently bandaged, and where new skin grows over the hurt.

This is grace, I remind her as we lay on her bed with Caden between us and pray with thankfulness for his heart. She tells me that it's ok if Caden wants to sleep in her bed. She hugs and kisses him, and I tell her that too, is grace.

Grace meets us, I explain, when we come to the end of ourselves. When we realize our willingness to be weak means Christ can be unexpectedly strong in and through us. Graces finds strength for the each day. Whether it's grace for temper tantrums or grace as we walk through our son's darkest hours.

This is grace, I think, as I fumble and try to find just the right words to be the perfect mom. Grace that my imperfection points my children to Jesus. That He will stand in the gap where I fall short.

"This is grace, this is grace, when we walk through the dark night." She sings it again the next morning with great gusto as usual. 

I ask her if she remembers what grace means. Huh? she responds. 

And I remember that grace, somehow, is best learned lived out.

I learn it as I stumble through darkness only to find steady hands surrounding me. When our worst fears are realized. When sorrow meets joy, inextricably bound.

I live it while Caden is in the hospital and my faith is unraveled, only to be rewoven even more tightly.
I understand grace when I meet it face-to-face. When I deserve death and receive life. When I am forgiven again and again and again.

So I will do my best to live out grace. Demonstrating it for my children, loving them extravagantly and freely, regardless of their behavior. Lavishing it on our neighbors, and seasoning my words with it.

And each day I will pray for sweet Jayci and Caden, that one day (and every day) they will find themselves staring in the face of God's great grace. And that it will change them, heal them, and make them new.

11 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. Beautiful. Just beautiful Becca!

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  3. wow, I needed that today! Thank you, friend!

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  4. Love, love, love this. Such a beautiful picture of grace!

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  5. Great post! Thanks for being transparent and for sharing! Enjoy following your blog :)

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  6. I had to laugh... my blog post today is on that scripture in Psalm :)

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  7. This is awesome. You explained it perfectly!

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  8. You should sell the skyline photo. Gorgeous!

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