Monday, February 4, 2013

What Is Grace. . .Really?

So I've been thinking about a lot of stuff lately--

  • ethical spending and what that means in the most welfare dependent county in Pennsylvania
  • that 10% comment on the receipt that circulated facebook, blogs, and the traditional media outlets
  • reading tests and how they don't always show what a child knows
  • Not a Fan and not being a fan
  • whining and how to make it stop
  • all the pressure I feel to do it all right 
  • the deodorant-wars: aluminum vs. aluminum free, safe vs. stinky, average store-bought vs. all-natural vs. homemade
  • crocheting and sewing and writing and music and painting and space and heartbeats and six-weeks at at a time and ten minutes at a time
  • Glorybound by Jessie Van Eerden and The Bleak House by Charles Dickens
  • poverty and homosexuality and humility and doctrine and grace and love and truth and. . . 
  • why does the world need anymore words
There have been those who accuse me of thinking too much. . . .unless [they] can see a path to grace. it is written on the back of Glorybound in the enticement to read the story. Sometimes I wonder if I really know what grace looks like, feels like and lives like. I spend an awful lot of time trying to make sure I'm doing things right--that I'm not taking advantage of grace. I lose sight of Jesus.

What does the "finished work of Christ on the cross really mean?" How does knowing the finished work partner with "be perfect as your father in heaven is perfect?"

It makes me want to throw up my hands and quit trying to figure it all out. Have a Mary sort of day, or life. Of course, there's a book to tell me how to do that too. Do you think life may be easier for the illiterate? I know we've been taught that we are better off than most of the world, but seriously, would my faith be easier to live if I didn't know so much stuff, if I didn't have so much stuff to think about?

Sometimes, I think I think too much! Chris says, sometimes that I make all of this harder than it really is supposed to be. I know I do that.The tiredness in my jaw and the odd ache working its way up my neck reminds me that I'm trying too hard.

I called him today to tell him I'm trying, to tell him that there is just so much, so many things, to be a good mom and a good wife. I went to bed last night thinking that and being reminded of this post. He says he understands.

Eventually, today it is late, I just ask the Creator of my days, What do you want me to do today? I'm trying to listen and still and try less, but today, I'm still learning. What is grace . . . really? Not the textbook, the doctrine, but the living and breathing gospel grace that makes me free and keeps me soft.

As I keep thinking, because it is in my very bones to think, I will keep counting with Ann Voskamp.

:: the way snowsuits make them all puffy ::
:: snow lying thick ::
:: a fireplace ::
:: planning new projects ::
:: finding them cuddled together this morning ::
:: hearing his voice, knowing he arrived safely ::
:: practice making her strumming sound like song ::
:: a Sunday read ::
:: he can't speak in a normal voice, always four-year old boy loud, always ::
:: that church met yesterday (after two Sundays of illness, it was so good to be back) ::

Because I've read her stories, and I've felt her striving, and I've envied her flying freedom.

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