Grace. It's kind of my word for the year.
Do you ever look at your children and feel like you are seeing them with fresh eyes? Almost as though you are seeing them for the first time, again? You notice the curve of their slightly upturned nose, the unique shape of their head. When I consider my children, they are Grace personified to me. I truly don't deserve them. They are not mine, but they are a gift to me. From the true Giver of Grace. And when I am struggling in the trenches of motherhood, feeling unworthy and under qualified, I am reminded of how much I need God's grace in my own life.
I want to speak grace.
I never really saw myself as overly impatient or quick to speak rashly or harshly. That, of course, was before I had kids! Somehow, in a matter of seconds, events escalate and I realize I am not speaking to them gracefully or graciously. Acknowledging that we are all sinners in need of a Savior has truly impacted the way I see my children - yes, they are beautiful, smart, unique, capable of many good things, but they are also sinners. And it is my job to guide and lead them to the only source of true goodness; a saving relationship with Jesus Christ and the work of His Holy Spirit to change their hearts. The way that I demonstrate this is often through my words - I want to speak of His love, His amazing grace. A book that my hubby and I are reading right now has really helped us to frame our everyday conversations (and confrontations) with our kids through the lens of grace. It's called (not surprisingly) "Give them Grace" by Elyse M. Fitzpatrick.
For me to speak grace into their lives, it needs to be working in my heart as well. I find myself mulling over this precious truth of God's grace in my life and praying for it to overflow to my kids. I want them to have a sense of grace in their lives and to see it at work in me.
So what does it mean to speak grace into the lives of my kids? It starts in my heart, receiving God's grace, allowing it to affect every area of my life. I pray for the fruit of the Spirit to be evident in my life; speaking with love, joy and patience. Being kind, gentle and compassionate. Always speaking the truth so that my kids can trust me. Using self-control when situations start to get out of hand. And in all things, good and bad, pointing my kids back to the heart-truth - that only through God's grace can I give grace to them.
Of course, I fail. All the time. I raise my voice, react too quickly, speak without thinking.
And that is what's so amazing about God's grace. He doesn't treat us as we deserve. Instead of seeing the sinful, broken being, He sees Jesus' righteousness and blesses us. This is the kind of grace I want to show my kids. And when I fail, His grace is sufficient for me.
He is working in my weakness to demonstrate His strength.