Friday, March 22, 2013

Faithful Friday: Grace Given Here

Grace is one of my newly favorite words.  I don't know that until recently I truly reflected on what the word means, and even more so, what a gift grace is from God.

While decorating for Christmas, I found a print that said, "Love is spoken here, Joy is chosen here, Grace is given here" and hung it in my kitchen.  The words resonate so much with me and my household it remains there today.

What I've found is that Love comes easily, Joy, of course, is chosen here, but that Grace isn't the easiest to give.  I'm continually reminded of what a gift it is from God
- and how much I fail in giving it freely to others.

There are many definitions of the word
- grace[ grayss ] 
My favorite was generosity of spirit: a capacity to tolerate, accommodate, or forgive

Simply. Grace means to get something that you do not deserve; unmerited favor.

I am reminded of this when recalling that I snapped at both kids at various times yesterday.  One resulted in Tim and I agreeing to disagree, because he witnessed it, and suggested I apologize.  Not a good moment to request kindness from me.

Writing about it today makes me guiltily see how silly it was to even get upset about it.  Yet my stubbornness continues on to defend my actions.

Let me begin by inserting this clause, Tim is a wonderful parent.  He's much more active than most men I know (or at least to hear their wives complain).  And I know, without a shadow of a doubt, how blessed I am.  But, I also know that when it comes to daily parenting, I take a lead on many things.  Being the "bad guy" is one of them.  I'm here more so I'm the one who reminds about chores, again and again.  I'm the one who facilitates schedules and keeps track of where everyone is and goes.  It's me who ensures homework is done and grades are in shape.  Tim is called in as a buffer, when needed, but by and large I'm the one who oversees the management side of life with teens.

Yesterday was no exception.  In all my juggling expertise as a Mom, the afternoon found me leaving one with a task to help with supper, while transporting the other to the dentist, adding on a trip for a few groceries, and rushing home to get homework/chores/dinner all done before the kids had to leave for a youth revival.  In the chaotic mix of what was a typical afternoon, I called on the kids for help.  One was to put away groceries while I started preparing our meal. The other was asked to man the grill and watch over what was cooking. 

Neither of those tasks ended well.

The grill, because it was not being paid attention to, flamed up and burnt the hot dogs and hamburgers to an inedible crisp, causing a waste that even the dogs wouldn't touch.  Luckily, we had extras to start over, but it wasn't until after I raised my voice, aggravated at what occurred.  In the moments after, something nudged me to apologize but I ignored it.  Again, can anyone say stubborn?!

At the end of our busy evening, kids home from said revival, all were looking for something to satisfy their sweet tooth.  One began digging through cabinets and pulled out a nearly soggy box of ice cream sandwiches.  This just didn't set well with me.  And yes, I'll admit in hindsight I shared no grace with my reaction.  In fact, it sent the one responsible to bed before they probably wanted because they felt bad for the mistake.
Now, before you jump to conclusions, my reaction to either wasn't terrible but it wasn't nice.  I raised my voice and reminded them in a not so kind tone to pay attention better, because I'm the one who has the daily frustration of corralling those limited attention spans and keeping them on task.  The ice cream was just the straw that broke the camels back, or, rather melted this mom.

In prayer last night I took my apologies to God, because both the kids were already asleep, and it took me that long to submit I was in the wrong.  As I do daily, I came to him with my shortcomings, humbled at the fact that he so freely forgives and provides GRACE even when I don't deserve it.  And reminded, yet again, how much I need to share grace with others, but realizing it doesn't come from me anyway; it is just letting God work through me to provide grace to others, even when they don't deserve it.

“Now I am putting you in God’s care. I am depending on the message about his grace to make you strong. That message is able to give you the blessings that God gives to all his holy people.  Acts 20:32

*PS - I cannot describe how much difficulty I've had in writing this post, technically.  Every time I'd load the picture, it would be upside down.  I'd type a paragraph, it wouldn't save.  It was as if Evil was determined to keep me angry, to keep grace from entering.  May we be ever mindful of how creative IT can be to distract us, irritate us, and keep us stubborn in turning toward God!


Anna See said...

Great post! I have so much to be forgiven for on a daily basis. btw, sometimes I have a hard time typing posts. The letter I'm typing will pop up in the middle f the wrong word. xo

Anonymous said...

Just lovely

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