Gone Coastal

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Pondering Grace

This is one of those posts that's been brewing for awhile, but now I find I'm not sure where to start. Understanding and growing in God's grace has been a theme for me lately. Consciously since around the holidays, but I think that's only when I started to recognize a work that's been in progress for awhile (how old am I now?).

I've been reading a book I picked up a couple of months ago, Tender Mercy for a Mother's Soul. It was about Christmas or so that I got into the two chapters that deal specifically with grace. It's definitely something I needed to ponder.

I think my understanding of grace has been fairly limited. Safe. Rather like the way it's used of extended deadlines and such, "There's a 7-day grace period." Cutting you a little slack when you're capable but you just didn't quite get there as quick as you'd hoped. But motherhood, and some of the writing in this book, has shown me that I've had and I need a so much more all encompassing kind of grace. It's shown me more than anything I've ever done, ever tried to do, or even ever failed at, how very insufficient I am in my own strength and abilities to be the parent, the mentor, the wife, the full woman I long to be, and at the same time how fully sufficient God's grace is to allow me to do what needs to be done, leave what needs to be left for a time, and be at peace about it. God's grace is for when you're entirely unable.

Grace is there when I'm sure one day I'm overindulging my baby girl, wrapped tight around her tiny fingers, and the next day that I'm neglecting her and my priorities are all wrong because she'll grow up too fast and I'll miss it if I don't spend every waking minute actively engaged with her. I can find peace. Grace brings me back to earth, to my knees, when I let my fears race years ahead and I want to quit because of all the things I can't believe I'll be able to handle in keeping a marriage and family healthy. Grace gives me courage to follow the teaching of the Word when it runs counter to some of the strongest values that I was raised with, and then lets me see the truth come alive in my life. Grace draws me back over and over to Jesus to fill my cup, that I can then overflow with grace to those around me that I once relied on to be my source.

I need to say, lest I give a false impression, that this is an ongoing lesson. These are my reflections in the calm quiet at the end of the day, but I struggle to recognize and receive grace through every hour of the day. But that's really what grace is about anyway. The Lord said to Paul, "My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness." (2 Corinthians 12:9)

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2 Comments:

  • The amazing thing to me about grace, is that we will live a lifetime under it, and still marvel at it for eternity. I think if we spent more time focusing on Grace we would spend less time focusing on dumb things like what the neighbors let their kids wear to church (or to the mall). Great post.

    By Blogger Viscountess, at 6:10 AM  

  • I'm not sure if I'll ever fully understand grace. When we were in our late 20's we came across good teaching on this topic that helped us to let go of religious guilt trips that were effectively being used against us. It was a tremendous relief to me in particular. Undeserved grace....it will take a lifetime to adequately ponder this truth.

    By Blogger jem, at 8:46 AM  

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