10 February 2014

These words.

speak life

“She cherishes being a mother and loves on our girls everyday. She loves being able to stay at home and teach them. She is selfless as she surrenders herself to God’s will in her life. She is always striving to be the disciple that God wants her to be. Her calling is to model Christ’s love and selfless giving to our family. She is strong, yet soft, disciplined yet carefree, loving, kind, wise, fun, playful, self aware, trustworthy, prudent, classy, beautiful inside and out. She is someone that any girl would love to emulate and she has been passing these traits on to our beautiful daughters for 7 years now. She is an excellent role model for our girls. She was made for motherhood.”

Recently, my husband penned these words about me and honestly, I thought, “Who is this woman he speaks of?” I so wish I could be her.

Oh, that’s right, he wasn’t home this week when I felt terrible for harshly yelling at one my kids. He didn’t see the ugliness that can build up in my heart so quickly and then burst forth into hurtful spears or glaring eyes.

But wait…hasn’t he?

After 12+ years of marriage and almost 20 years of knowing each other, I have not been able to spare him from the sides of myself I seldom like to divulge. My sinful side that appears without warning, when things don’t seem to go my way (aka “the way I expect them to go”). Sadly, my husband has witnessed those moments as well. Unfortunately, he has even been on the receiving end of my venom at times. God bless him.

So, after having a rough week and reading these words he wrote, I half-jokingly asked him if he had lied. Of course, I knew what his answer would be but in my heart, I just felt so…unworthy. Have you ever felt like that? I’m sure we all have at some point. He then assured me everything he wrote was true and it got me thinking… Isn’t it just like God to forgive so quickly and then graciously speak words of life into us?

For the last year, God has been taking me on a grace journey. This practice of receiving His unmerited favor has begun to soften my edges in many ways. After all, what kind of grace is this that reaches so low, it begins to lift me high?

What kind of grace lets me get to the end of myself and then gently whispers, “My darling, I have been waiting for you, all along.”

What kind of grace continues to extend love and mercy, when I deserve it the least?

Honestly, it’s not something I’m used to. And therefore, it’s taken me a while to understand and fully experience holy grace but I’m learning that God has enough grace to cover it all. Yours. Mine. And anyone else who comes to Him seeking, longing, and asking.

And then it dawns on me: Perhaps I cannot give grace fully because I have not received grace fully? Oh, how I want to fully (and often) give.

So day by day, He gives me plenty of opportunities to practice trading in my clenched fists for open palms and a curious thing happens along the way. My mistakes begin to serve a purpose instead of the shame I’m accustomed to. Something wildly beautiful grows in the shadows of sweet surrender and as a result, I begin to fall in love with Him all over again. This time, not necessarily for His power or for what He’s done but for what He’s doing… for the soft spoken gospel of undeserved grace.

Today, let us choose to humbly and gratefully receive and then give it all away.

To God be the glory.

But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. ~2 Corinthians 12:9

To my husband: Thank you for being an extension of God’s love in my life. For being the hand I get to hold on this journey and for speaking words that make my soul stronger.

Hailey said...

"And then it dawns on me: Perhaps I cannot give grace fully because I have not received grace fully? Oh, how I want to fully (and often) give."

This has been on my heart. Oh how I want to fully give grace to ALL. And it reminds me too of what CS Lewis wrote. . . . "If God forgives us we must forgive ourselves otherwise its like setting up ourselves as a higher tribunal than Him."

Thank you for sharing.

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