Tag Archives: grace

He never stops giving

I was resting in bed tonight, head spinning with excitement knowing that our newly decorated tree and Christmas-a-fied house was on the other side of the bedroom door.

Finally I could stand it no more so I returned to the living room, opened all the windows, and now I sit facing the glow of tiny white lights while the rustle of palm leaves outside competes with the symphony of crickets (and a few guest appearances by the odd frog).

Gosh, I love this time of year.

Cliche? I don’t care. I love it. I so, so love it.

Today was a storm of a million emotions. Amidst the merriment of the holidays and the buzz that I get from the decorating kick-off, there’s so much going on in our little world right now that’s vying for headspace. Most of it good, but some uncomfortable.

At one point this afternoon I sat down for a few moments scrolling quickly through emails that I knew I’d not be responding to until later. But curious, I read a few anyway.

The first one I opened had some disappointing news. Understandable, and yet disappointing, deflating.

The second one was from a stranger. A woman who belongs to a people I’ve fallen in love with (PNG) who now lives in a place that I once called my own (USA).

We’ve been writing back and forth this last week and I teared up a few days ago when she told me her family thanked God for me and my family around their Thanksgiving table last week.

I don’t know her. But she knows Him.

And then today her email – the second email I opened – contained news so sweet and so personal and so unexpected I couldn’t control those big, hot tears, from rolling quickly down my cheeks.

You see, He is faithful. He really is so faithful.

And sometimes you think everything’s just fine and then grace comes in a million forms and you realize how much you really did need it after all.

I had grace in many different forms this week – friends arriving at my doorstep to mow our lawn and clean my floors, another bringing us dinner one night, another offering childcare, and now another (who’s face I can only imagine, and voice I do not know) with an offer so simple and lovely it makes me close my eyes and shake my head and whisper, “What did I do to deserve this kindness from a stranger? From anyone?”.

But it’s not a matter of “deserving” anything at all. I receive because they give. And they give because they want to. And they want to because they also know what it is to receive.

Because He never stops giving.

And that’s it – the way I want to start December and the preparation of my heart to celebrate – really celebrate Christ’s birth: I want to see Him around me, recognize Him as he weaves worlds together, hear Him through the noise, and breathe deeply of His of goodness.

I want to receive Him, all over again.

Thank you, dear grace-givers, for helping me to see Jesus. You represent Him so well.

STOP.

 

Q for you: How has someone’s kindness been grace in your life lately? 

 

Love,
A

p.s. Forgot to use the timer tonight. Definitely blew the five minutes… probably doubled it, but who knows, who cares.


Do you have rules for yourself that you sometimes wish you didn’t?

Recently I found a stack of thank you cards that I never finished. Some are from Levi’s birthday (January). THe others are from Christmas.

Can I just say how devastating this is?

I have a personal value that gifts should always be acknowledged by a thank you card. It’s something I try to always do.

For both of these occasions I printed out cute cards that I made myself. (Put a little effort into it already, you know?)

I have my lists of who needs to be thanked.

And then they got buried under the mounds of other stuff in that one cubby hole in my office shelves that I avoid that’s full of things to be filed and paperwork to sort out…

and never saw the light of day again until… later.

Much later.

Now we are looking at three and four months late.

What do I do?

Chalk it up as a thank you fail and move on?

Of write the cards with a “better late than never” mentality? (Almost more embarassing, I think?)

Would people be blessed to receive a thank you this far down the track? Or is that just weird.

I’m seriously considering moving on… but then there’s this thing. This thing I have about doing them.

Ugh.

Does this happen to anyone else? Do you have “rules” for yourself that you sometimes wish you didn’t but that you also don’t want to give up because you think they;re important? (And was that a long, non-sensical sentence, or what?)

Help me.

STOP.

 

Q for you: What’s one of your personal “things” that you just have to do… but sometimes with you didn’t?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited


The most epic fail and the most amazing man

The other day I drove twenty minutes across town with both of my littles in the backseat – Judah strapped into his car seat, Levi… not.

Twenty. Minutes.

I pulled in the driveway, opened Levi’s door, reached in to help him out… and saw it: the unbuckled belt.

Trying not to burst into tears (and frighten him) I squeezed him tight and told him I was sorry and asked him for forgiveness and thanked God nothing happened and kicked myself for being too busy to notice and rejoiced that all was well… all at once.

Between Judah crying, running late for lunch and naps, getting both kids into the car in a busy parking lot, trying not to lose it while geting the stroller folded up and crammed into our tiny trunk, and stuffing the groceries into the front seat of our car… I forgot one of the two most crucial steps. Judah was buckled, but not my Levi.

Not my best moment.

(Makes me want to cry just thinking about it now.)

I later told Ryan what I did and the first thing he said was, “Are you ok?”

Seriously? Are you OK?

That’s how amazing my husband is.

Obviously he knew Levi was fine. And he knew that I would have been shaken up and ready to tear my clothes and rub ashes on my face and send myself into exile outside the city. So while some would be quick to scold or reprimand or “ugh” in disgust, he simply asked if I was ok.

That, my friends, is grace.

He gave me exactly what I didn’t deserve… but what I needed.

I think about God and hte grace he gives us (oh! the GRACE that we made it home safely with no accident… I’d have never forgiven myself). And I hold in my hand such a tangible example of grace extended to me, both in our protection and in my husband’s response to my carelessness.

God knows I’m sorry. God knows I’ve learned a lesson. God knows that rebuking me would do nothing to make things better.

Apparently my husband knows all that stuff too.

That day I saw God in the response of a man.

How grateful I am for him, and to get to wake up tomorrow morning and celebrate the most glorious day he was born.

Ryan: God’s grace to me.

STOP.

 

Q for you: When’s the last time you unintentionally messed up big time? Was grace extended to you? (I hope so.)

 

Love,
A

p.s. I hope you don’t think I’m an incredibly irresponsible mother. I posted this thinking that most of us probably have a story like this to share. How I wish I could be sure it was my last. 😦

 

Click Clink Five | five minutes a day, unedited
Adriel also writes on motherhood & parenting at The Mommyhood Memos