Andyouinvitedmein’s Weblog

Posts Tagged ‘children

…are the words to a popular Christian song. We sang it at CFO. As we sang I started thinking about grace being enough. You know it’s great to have grace extended to us, and (at those times) grace IS enough for us. Grace was and is all about the work that Jesus did on the cross. Yet in our neck of the woods we tend to enjoy meddling in other people’s business. Call it what you will, but we have an opinion on everything and how people need to do it. It might be the dress Sister Bessie is wearing. It may be the way our friends are raising their children. 

Does a worship service consist of three songs and a prayer, or is it an hour of rocking, jumping and swaying as we become deeply connected with the Lord? I personally don’t care much for Southern Gospel genre of music. Last night I went to a concert that was the Southern Gospel equivalent of Country Music’s Fanfare.  There in the middle of rose-scented talcum powder (no doubt applied with a fluffy puff) and Old Spice After-Shave, I found myself experiencing a little bit of heaven on Earth. I was caught up in the richness of harmony that’s sung (generally) with family.

In our Christian homes, sometimes there is a disruption of harmony. Family will be at odds over the silliest things…my closest friend’s sister-in-law was mad at her mother for four years because of dish detergent. Sometimes it is big: a child or sibling or friend announces (s)he is gay. Oh my…then we get all structure and legalistic on our dearest gifts from God. Then grace isn’t enough. At least grace from us—the grace that says “I’ll love you no matter what” to “until you change you can’t come home”. Maybe there’s even a hint that it would have been better had we died.

So if grace is enough, then grace is enough. Grace isn’t “love the shoes, love the dress” when we honestly hate it. That’s lying. Grace is laying down our expectations, desires, wishes and loving beyond reason. That’s what Jesus did, and it was enough.

I think if it was enough for Jesus, then loving beyond reason and when it is most difficult should be enough for us. And when you love beyond reason…heaven will open no matter where you are. Corrie ten Boom was able to tell the world: “There is no pit so deep that God’s love is not deeper still.” Grace isn’t subtly wrapped in rules or ultimatums. His grace is enough!

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My daughters are beyond wonderful. My heart sings just by thinking about them. There is rarely a moment when we’re out of sorts with each other.

Right now as I write I can smell the turnip greens and black-eyed peas cooking in our two crock pots for tomorrow. We’re having a Southern meal as my oldest is bringing home her friend from Russia. It gives me joy to get ready and make her day (or her sister’s) the best it can be. Consider how much more God loves us…(more to come with this one–give me a couple of hours I’ve got to entertain)…

The meal was good and our guest loved the Southern cooking. However, he asked about grits: “I don’t even know what they are,” he said.

How do you explain grits? I almost told him they were hominey, but unless you know about hominey then that doesn’t make any sense either. Just like grits, there is no way to explain or understand grace even though we talk about it all the time—even though it is the foundation of our faith.

We have a glimpse of grace as with our love for our children. No matter how frustrating or maddening they can be at times, there is nothing we wouldn’t do for them. Now with that in mind think about the people around you. Who is the most difficult to love? Next, who is the most difficult to love without condition?

For me—well, yesterday grace was difficult when I went to church to help with an upcoming mission trip. It was silly, but I got exasperated because the materials weren’t sorted like I would have done it.  A bit later it took 3 hours for an eye exam and to order glasses. Today it’s about the guy next door who leaves his dog out in the weather. We think he’s gone and the dog is without food (we took the bow-wow some). Tomorrow it will be another situation presented to test my “grace response”, and I’ll probably fall short of the mark. I just keep on trying to do what Jesus said: Love your neighbor as yourself.

As I worked toward loving myself less and others more, I began to notice a change within my heart. At the church, my daughter and I ended up working at a table with two older ladies and it was a complete joy to talk with them about art, even though it wasn’t where I wanted to sit. Later when I wanted to scream at the optical place, I persevered to get my much-needed glasses orders, and by the end I found out they were hiring and got an application for my oldest…

….I’m totally amazed at how God can change my heart as he teaches me about grace.