Easy to get, Tough to Give

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Easy to get, Tough to Give

Grace is easy to receive. I’m a junkie. I was pulled over by a policeman for expired tags. I cried a river. I wasn’t trying to manipulate. I was seriously afraid of going to jail, since I couldn’t find my insurance card and didn’t have my purse with me. It was a very bad, no good day. I got a fat ticket, but the officer gave me grace and didn’t haul me off to the pokey. I’m all about grace when it comes to me and a criminal record. Yes, I love to receive it. As a parent, I’m often put in a position where I can grant grace to my kids. Or deny it. In the third grade, my kids learn the art of responsibility. It’s a tough lesson. A few weeks ago, my son forgot his homework binder, two days in a row. The first day, I was full of grace. I comforted, challenged, consoled. The second day? I was irritated, irate, irrational. I looked into his dark chocolate eyes, brimming with tears and knew in my heart, this child needed an extra portion of grace. It was in forgetting the second day, that he learned the art of remembering. He didn’t need to be scolded or reprimanded. He needed to be hugged. It was in his eyes, I saw myself, trying and failing. It happens over and over again in my house, in my heart. I want clean bedrooms, tidy beds, clothes off the floor (please!) I want order, I get chaos. I want grace for my untidy heart, I consume endless amounts. But I struggle with granting my favorite gift. How can I love grace and receive unlimited portions of it and be so stingy with bestowing it to the most precious people in my life? God doesn’t parent us by looking at the law. He abolished the strict code of do’s and dont’s. We must do the same in our parenting. It’s not about rules and regulations. It’s about looking at them through the eyes of grace. “When you correct your child, you want to know that you are working on both the external behavior and the internal understanding. With grace, you are reaching your child’s heart and opening the door for God’s Spirit to work in your child.” said here. Grace is to be freely given and freely taken. When I look back on my terrible day, I deserved more than I got. Don’t we usually? I broke the law. It requires punishment. I’m so thankful that Jesus fulfilled the law. I’m also really happy that I stayed out of the big house. **************** Kristen writes at her parenting blog, We are THAT family, and offers an honest mixture of humor and inspiration. Her first book, Don’t Make Me Come Up There, a book for busy Moms, will be in bookstores March 1, 2011. Kristen and her family are launching a non-profit ministry in Kenya, Africa, in the fall of 2010 called The Mercy House Each Wednesday, Kristen hosts the Works for Me Wednesday blog carnival. Kristen’s blog was recently named to the 2010 ALBIE Top 50 Mom Blog list and the 2009 Neilsen Online Power Mom 50 Blogger list. Kristen lives on sweet tea, the love and support of her best friend of 15 years and the laughter of her three hilarious children. Follow Kristen on twitter as @WeareTHATfamily. ************************************************************************

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