I am running around enjoying a week of staycation with my 29 favorite family members and writing like crazy for some external deadlines (YAY for external deadlines!) So today I gathered a few stray thoughts that are coursing through me and tried to organize them. Whew. Maybe there is something here for someone besides me.

“If you want attention, be there so people can give it to you.” – Buffy Summers

How many times in my own life have I longed for attention? Oh, dear God… it has been the bane of my existence. And you know what God did? He gave me a husband and two little girls who want my attention… all. the. time.

field day

On one of the last days of school, I finally got the chance to volunteer for something: Field Day. After three hours outside filling water cups and feeling sorry for the primary teachers who were leading these kids around on one of our first truly hot days of the year, I surprised Randa by crashing her lunch hour, also for the first time in the school year.

The look on her face? Something like mine was the day she was born: Surprised. Awestruck. Proud. I hope I never forget it. I hope I never forget that in all I try to do to Be Somebody and Make Lasting Contributions, that sitting beside my daughter for 25 minutes at a sticky lunch table will matter forever. She held my hand the whole time. How blessed am I?

 

“Every ungracious moment means someone doesn’t understand grace.” – Ann Voskamp

Lately I have been struggling with how to properly reach and teach and mold our youngest. At 5, KK has perplexed me more than all her siblings put together. We recently completed, shall we say, a season of anger (more on that some other time). I am trying a new leaf with her: grace… Grace to allow her to figure it out… Grace to leave her in her bedroom yelling about what she wants to wear instead of yelling back at her… Grace to listen to her calmly and reasonably, with accentuating hand gestures and nuanced facial expressions, describe to me for 10 minutes yesterday morning in what ways our family annoys her.

cool like KK

…Grace to get where she needs to go, because God made her – not me – and God knows I perplexed my parents every bit as much, and God’s grace led this same child, on Sunday morning, to ask if we could go pray with her former pre-school teacher, and to place her little hand tentatively on this woman’s back, and go through the motions she has learned about asking God for help.

Grace. Sometimes it’s a shout of elation, and sometimes it’s a sigh from our very souls.

 

“It’s better to light a candle than curse the darkness.” – Chinese proverb

Around us, circumstances always bubble at a simmer. Even when things aren’t boiling over, isn’t there always the potential of such?

grace

In the last few years, I’ve been taught {the hard way} the balance of “kick the door down and make it happen!” and “be still and know…” It’s a fragile balance, for sure. I mean, raise your hand if your mind was blown the day you learned that “God helps those who help themselves” isn’t in the Bible?

Anyway, here is where I have landed on this issue.

1. Ask God for help.

2. Help yourself. If He closes a door, you will know by it hitting you in the face when you walk into it.

I think one the most important things about grace is knowing its source. While it is so crucial that we receive it, and so necessary that we give it, it is vital that we look to God for it… not our parents, our children, our spouses, our pastors, our friends. Because they, because we, are human, and we will always fail. God gives life, forgiveness, mercy, and grace. If someone you love doesn’t accept that, or understand it, how can she give it to you? If you find yourself in a dark place today, in an uneasy or even hopeless place, don’t look at the person next to you for the grace you need to make it. God has enough for all of us. Grab on to His grace, light the candle, and be led out of the darkness.

Grace is not about what you do. We are all given grace because who we are, and we are God’s children… – Kelly Burton :)

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