Thursday, April 14, 2011
Grace on a Thursday: in Erin's words
Erin is my dear friend. We met about five years ago in MOPS. In the elevator, we discovered our sons' birthdays were two days apart. Soon after meeting her, I knew this girl and I were made of the same stuff. We eventually served on MOPS leadership together. Erin is one of those friends who is always tracking with your own brain. Isn't that a great feeling? Here's an example. One MOPS speaker came to explain how to talk to our kids about sex. Afterwards, Erin and I were not that stunned to find out neither of us could take it seriously due to the speaker's frequent use of her made up word "comfterbility," as in, "Perhaps your parents didn't talk about sex due to their own uncomfterbility." Um yeah, that's not a word, and therefore I don't even know how to spell it.
You also must know that Erin is the first person who encouraged me to start a blog. I didn't even know what a blog was at the time. But she was speaking life into me, seeing my gifts and my heart, before all this started. Of all her great qualities, I think the one I admire most is her brave intentionality. That's kind of two things, because not only is she intentional in her mothering and her life, she makes choices with a fearless resolution. I'm guessing Erin does not think she is fearless. I'm sure she has fears. But from my perspective, her choices reflect the fact that her fears do not win. I admire her so very much, and that's why I asked her to share a little of her heart with you.
Before I get started, I have to mention something about Leslie in case you don’t know her, and if you do, I know you will nod and smile when I say this - she is a wonderfully provocative friend. My sense is that she didn’t just ask me to write this post because she likes me, rather, she’s calling me to action, challenging me to look deeper, knowing that I will grow from it. She likes her friends to grow, especially in the Lord. Leslie, it worked! Thank you, dear friend.
I had planned to write something else for you but then “today” happened and once again, the Lord gently reminded me that I’m living according to His schedule, not my own; thankfully, He also showed me that grace can be found even when it is least expected and most definitely undeserved.
My husband and I are wading our way through a self-imposed stressful situation right now and today it just about maxed us out. Do you know the kind I’m talking about? It’s like when you decide to embark on something and then about halfway through you’re staring into each other's eyes and saying, “What the heck are we doing?” That’s what happened today except I’ll honestly tell you that we didn’t say “heck.” It was that kind of day.
And so, it is with this backdrop that I found myself at my children’s swimming lessons, doing something that I rarely ever do in public, especially when I’m with my kids: I was texting up a storm, stressfully responding to questions I needed to answer, and even talking on the phone during the lesson, and on and on…throughout the day.
I guess this might not seem like a big deal, but for me, it’s a huge deal, and I still feel pretty sick about “checking out” in such a major way. I have this really strong desire to see the world around me and intentionally stay connected. I don’t want to miss a chance to see the Lord’s "invisible qualities,” which He reveals to me in everything He has created: my family, my surroundings, and my home. But guess what, I have to be looking! And really, how can I see when I’m tethered to an electronic device? Today ended up being a day where I was looking down when I should have been looking up. I missed the sun on my face and most of the swim lesson too. I’ll never get that time back.
And where did grace step in? First I have to mention my favorite definition of grace. In his book David, Charles Swindoll says that “…grace is God giving Himself in full acceptance to someone who does not deserve it and can never earn it and will never be able to repay.” It is days like today that I’m grateful beyond words for the grace that He has bestowed on me.
I’m also so thankful that the Lord is not the only source of grace (though He is the ultimate) in my life. Guess who else gives me grace without even thinking twice about it? My kids of course! In their innocent little hearts and minds, they know they love me no matter what; forgiveness happens so easily and grudges are rarely held for long. A very heartfelt apology and serious snuggle time goes a long way too! They show me what grace looks like in the flesh, even on days like today when I have a hard time staying focused.
Labels: grace on a thursday