Friday, February 3, 2012

Having Grace

I'm that mom who, in the spirit of taking a great picture or doing something "fun" with my kids, ends up smashing someones finger under a pumpkin.

Or props my toddler on the table to pose for a really cute picture, realizing later it'd have been easier to ask my husband (pictured only feet away) to hold her or something less dangerous.

I am also that mom who doesn't feel too bad about pulling a few hairs out of her already-sparse-head to get the clips on the crown positioned just so.

So, I've become accustomed to asking for grace and forgiveness from my kids.

And in true Princess-form, they forgive.

There's a lot of forgiveness and grace coming from the hub's side, too.

"Would you mind pulling the girls up the hill one more time so I can get a great shot of both of them looking at me? Slower. Wait, hold...ok, faster. Now split the difference and look back at me while the girls are smiling. NOW quick!!"

He's a real team player.

We have learned that having grace during the parenting years is as essential as having an endless supply of snacks in your purse/bag/car/jacket pocket. You will likely never make it to the end of the day without needing to dip into that stash.

And so, we hope to be good grace-givers: to each other, to the kids, to our friends, to neighbors, to democrats, to homeless people, basically everyone, no matter how tough it is to swallow your great come-back and simply say, "Sorry about that."

Thanksgiving is a good time for grace.

Grace from a little sister to a big sister who, during thetumultuous teenage years, received many screaming threats to "Take my jacket off NOW" or "Do NOT tell dad about that."

Thankfully, grace was given and now we can just laugh at incidents such as The Biscuits That You Made But Were Always Hard As A Brick and I Never Failed To Let You Know That.

Grace from a little brother to a big sister for trying to teach him too many lessons when we were kids: too much jam on the toast, too much ice cream in the bowl, too much karate chopping while trying to defend yourself against my pinching.

NOT having grace is just harder. Who has the energy or time to keep up with the endless File Cabinet of Wrongs Against Me? "Remember during the summer of 95' when you said..."

Grace is a life-style we hope to live and to give so that we too can enjoy OUR kids when they get big.

Grace makes life MUCH happier.

It's a lesson Canaan has learned at school: asking for forgiveness from Matthew for spitting on him, thinking that he was really a bad guy and not just a kid standing in the line to go outside for recess.

It's a lesson Shiloh has learned: asking for forgiveness from Santa for piercing his ear-drum right before his big appearance with the other kids.

Santa's a champ.

Forgiveness and Grace is freeing: like throwing your hair bow somewhere in the field then taking off running when your mom asks you to go get it.

"I do not at all understand the mystery of grace - only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us."

-Anne Lamott

The joy of living a life of grace? Like Shiloh opening her first present on Christmas--"What is it? I don't even know but HOLD THE PHONE, this is AWESOME!"

Here, we captured Grace on Film: "Canaan, I forgive you for hoarding all 18 Barbies while leaving me only Ken's Shoe."

"Shiloh, I forgive you for pulling my hair out in a big clump and then clawing my face with your tiny fingernails."

At times, it's worth asking for grace AFTER you do something hilarious. Thanks, JimmyKimmel.

I personally love asking for grace from my thighs after enjoying a zillion cookies during the Christmas Season.

Living a life of grace: tough at times (having the awkward "I'm really sorry I..." conversation). Plus, being right-all-the-time-no-matter-what is not as fun as you've imagined it to be.

But it is so worth it: like Canaan's face on Christmas morning, the experience of true joy can only be had through living a life of Grace.

And that is what Jesus and Christmas is all about. Having grace.