Saturday, June 18, 2011

the gift of grace

There is one week of the year that I always look forward to. Bible school in Kentucky! It brings back so many great memories and is such a cherished time with family. My kids wait for it year-round and can't wait to go get spoiled by their grandparents and of course see "Bible-School Kim", my cousin who has been known by that name since the first time the kids went four years ago!

But this summer I have felt overwhelmed. Today I was trying to figure out our crafts and special music--and yes, it begins in two days. I was driving back from Chattanooga tonight feeling like maybe I wasn't spiritually worthy to be in charge of crafts and music.

But being alone in my mini-van also made me alone with my thoughts and talks with God. I could actually feel Him telling me "Are you really going to be that ungrateful?"

Me. Ungrateful? What??? I am constantly pushing stumbling blocks from my life out of the way lately. I never thought this would be my life at 34 years old. I never thought I would be ending a marriage and figuring out how to live as myself again. When friends ask, "How do you stay so strong?" I answer with conviction, "With God. I've prayed more in the past 6 months than in my entirety of my life." So how would I seem ungrateful?

Because some part of me keeps forgetting to be a gracious recipient of His grace. I started thinking, would I feel if I gave my kids a gift that cost me everything and they constantly refused it saying, "I'm not worthy of that gift", "I should have been a better child yesterday", "I need to stay focused on what you want me to do, Mom".
Yep. It would devastate me.

So I'm taking the gift of grace with glee and enthusiasm. I will be grateful. It was given to me and I'm going to use it during my times of frustration. I'm going to use it when I criticize myself for my attitude or actions of the day. I'm going to use it to forgive myself and to forgive others. I mean, that is what it is there for.

I may not have the perfect music or the most dazzling crafts for Bible school this year. But I do have a gift that means so much more. My heart will be filled with grace and love & hopefully the kids will see how much that really means.