She has a very thoughtful heart. She is deep and soulful and wise beyond her years.
I've written about her a handful of times on this blog, but if you're new, here are some highlights. Here is an introduction to her. Here is where I talk about how she is my first born, and with that status comes constant challenge since we are both breaking new ground as parent and child together, all the time. Here is where I wrote about my battle against the world to help her form a healthy identity. Here is a perfect example of her thoughtful heart.
And this post is where I tell you how she surprised me with grace.
Tuesday was Day 2 of The Happy Day Project, where the challenge was to give someone a handwritten note. I prayed about it that morning, and decided that I would write brief letters to my kids. I filled one card each full of encouragement and placed them in their rooms. It's easy to encourage kids when they're tiny, when every step taken and word spoken is a celebration. But when they're a bit older, the instruction and correction take up most of the words. Encouragement requires more intentionality the older they get.
Especially since we've been sick for so long over here, I haven't been intentional about anything. I've been surviving. Basically wiped out, and happy if all my people are simply fed and breathing. I haven't read them any stories. We've played no games, done no crafts, and I haven't made paper chains with them like they've begged for counting down the days 'till our Thanksgiving trip next week. I feel like all I've done is ordered them to pick up their things, do their homework, feed the dog, help in the kitchen, pick up their things, and then pick up their things like ten more times. They'd be having more fun in the army.
Back to Tuesday. I knew my daugther had gone into her room for homework time, but wasn't sure if she'd seen the envelope I propped up on her desk. About thirty minutes later, she walked out, and propped up an envelope for me against some dishes I'd just cleaned next to the sink where I was working. She said nothing, shot me a sly smile, and retreated back into her room.
Right away, I saw work went into this. She had decorated the outside with an owl sticker (my favorite) and bubble lettering. But the inside words melted me.
Cue the tears. Wow. On a day I planned to surprise my kids with words of love, she affirmed me. And in a season when I don't really deserve it! Yes, I do love crafts, and yes, I am usually there for her. But not lately. I do like to read together, but I can't remember the last time we did. Lately none of those things has been happening. And when I get what I don't deserve, well, you know what that's called. Grace.
Grace from my child is just a different kind of surprise, another level of blessing.
She said I'm the best. Well, I'm certainly not the best. Far from it. But here's a secret about seeing with eyes of grace: grace sees who you were meant to be, and brushes your failures off like eraser dust. There are definitely consequences for my mistakes at times. And I'm sure she'll have her share of issues to work through later in life because of them. But for right now, she blessed me and surprised me with her generous grace.
Her grace today is what will remind me tomorrow to lean into God's strength when I am weak. Her grace inspires me to be more of whom I was meant to be.
And I pray my grace for her will do the same.