grace

Just “Be” This Summer…

The emotions welled up like a dam that had been waiting to explode.

We’d spent the morning with some friends at the park. Our kids had chased a frog, sat by the creek, and had lunch.

And for some reason as I was reading Esther her naptime book, the thought came quickly.

“You will never have that moment again.”

I blinked hard against the tears.

I know my kids are growing. (We’re the ones dishing out money for new clothes and shoes.) But sometimes I forget.

What if they never catch frogs again? What if fighting with bamboo sticks feels immature?

Raudel said it at church this weekend-“We’re human beings not human doers.

I’ve forgotten how to be, because I keep on doing.

Ann Voskamp wrote, “The way to experience unlimited elation may be to imagine unexpected limitation.”

Y’all…I need to just be for awhile. To slow. To see them as kids. To play. And laugh.

He needs to be enough, so I can say no more quickly.

Because of the grace of the cross, I have nothing left to earn. His love frees me to be.

“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” (Psalm 46:10)

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3 Years Ago Today…

These are the words from my journal 3 years ago today…

In the waiting room. A hospital we’ve never been before. Me not in pain. Not pushing through contractions.

But facing fear that’s fighting faith. And battling something like labor but different enough to deserve another name.

Thankful. Excited. Humbled. The right word won’t come to mind.

Like the ignorant way I feel when thinking about Christ’s love. There will never be words.

Never.

This is all unexplainable. All grace. He is so faithful.

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“In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.” (Ephesians 1:4b-6)

And now…on her 3rd birthday…it all still seems like grace.

Thanks M…You are still the bravest person I know. We love you!

Happy birthday Esther Grace!

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 “For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.” (John 1:16)

 

 

 

 

Completely Not Perfect But Perfectly Loved

I scrolled through Facebook the other night before bed. Jeremy was gone. The house was quiet. And I literally found myself saying out loud, “So and so is so perfect. And so is she. And she. Why am I so not perfect?”

Y’all, I named names. Outloud. In our house. The jealousy and frustration were literally boiling over.

I’ve spent the last couple days cleaning vomit and giving medicine and wiping noses. All while feeling like death myself.

And far, far from those “perfect” pictures I let seep into my mind and harden my heart.

The root…I haven’t spent much time with Him lately. I haven’t heard Him remind me of His love. I haven’t cried out to Him and let Him comfort me.

Lately Jesus’ perfect life hasn’t seemed like enough for my imperfect one.

“When Jesus is gracious to us, why would we be cruel to ourselves.” (Ann Voskamp)

Admitting I’m not perfect is one thing. But condemning myself when I’ve been justified is another.

He was perfect so I don’t have to be. He sees me and loves me…grace upon grace.

“He remembered that they were but flesh, a wind that passes and comes not again.” (Psalm 78:39)

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,  who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:5-8)

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Flexing or Fighting?

I’ll often ask myself when disciplining our kids, “Am I flexing my muscles or fighting for their heart?”

When things seem crazy, and I feel like I’ve lost any semblance of control in this house, I’m more tempted to flex.

Because I can make them obey with my threats. And I can feel in control again.

Or when time is short because of the demands of other kids, I’m tempted to flex. Fighting for the heart takes time. And well, sometimes it seems like I don’t have it.

“The task God has given you is not one that can be conveniently scheduled. It is a pervasive task. Training and shepherding are going on whenever you are with your children.” (Shepherding a Child’s Heart)

Could the most important thing I do today not be great meals or read books or neatly written spelling words? Could the most important thing today be tending to their souls? Could it be listening?  Could it be unscheduled?

Christ came to fight for my heart. He could have “flexed.” He could have stopped Calvary in a second. But He didn’t. He stayed the course.

And even now He’s faithful. He’s patient. He shepherds me.

We fight because we’ve been fought for.

Maybe today fighting for their hearts will feel a little more like grace.

” You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.” (Deuteronomy 6:7)

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January has become treehouse building weather!

 

Ordinary Could Be Ordained

We’re reading “Jack’s Insects” for Science. This…

“…for one of the things that collecting does for one is to make one think that beautiful common things are less worth looking at than much less beautiful ones that are rare–there are some collectors, in fact, who go even further and think nothing beautiful that is common.”

That’s me. I’ve been calling our days far from beautiful because they seem so common.

Every day it’s basically the same schedule. Feed them. Teach them. Read to them. Walk with them. Listen to them. Bathe them. Tuck them in.

It’s so common that its lost its glory. It’s easily taken for granted.

Imagine loss to embrace today. Imagine an empty crib. Imagine inconsolable crying. Imagine how life can change in a blink.

Then today will transform from common to extraordinary.

They missed Him. Missed the Savior. He was too common. Too ordinary.

If He comes as common then maybe He’s coming today. Maybe He’s here with me in this messy house…with these loud kids…with distracted me.

Maybe I’m missing Him, because I’m looking too hard. Maybe He’s closer than my next breath.

God, help me not to call an ounce of what You’ve ordained ordinary and miss the grace.

“This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24)

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(Even the rainy ones…)