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The Grace Season

Dec. 11, 2014

Years ago, someone asked me, "What kind of old woman do you want to be?" What a bizarre question! "No kind!" was my knee jerk inner response. "I'll never be old. I can't imagine that."

I see things a bit differently now. "Old" has become a relative term. You may have noticed how that happens. But I know now what kind of woman I want to be at any age: a woman of grace. Ageless grace. No-matter-what grace. Gritty, real-life grace. Contagious grace.

This season has me thinking a lot about grace. This season—on my calendar, when Christmas is imminent and we all need extra grace—but also this season in my life. "Grace grows best in winter." Samuel Rutherford, Scottish theologian, first made that observation back in the 17th century. I want it to be true in my life today, every day, and in every season. Don't we all need it? Grace for every season?

But maybe, especially, for this season. Once November comes, everything seems to escalate. Lines get longer everywhere. Traffic gets heavier—especially if, like me, you live anywhere near a mall. Calendars fill up with all kinds of extra events and demands, superimposed on already full pages. Most of all, our lists get longer. And longer. And longer.

It's a tough season for moms. It's a season when we all need a little more (OK, actually a lot more) grace.

I thought of grace recently as I looked out across a sea of tired mom faces and spoke on the topic "When You Feel Like a Failure…". It was a follow-up to earlier lessons on "The Perils of Perfectionism." If there's anything a perfectionist has a hard time grasping, it's grace. Even a recovering perfectionist. (Ask me how I know!)

I also thought about grace as I began to ponder writing our Christmas letter. Somehow grace seems to be a life theme this year. My need for more grace. My need to give more grace. My need to draw more on His grace every single day. Every minute of the day actually.

How fitting to be thinking about grace during Advent. What is the Gift for which we wait and prepare? Isn't it Grace? Where would we be without His Gift of Grace—first through a manger, and then on a cross?

Indeed, grace came with Christmas. John makes that very clear: "The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. . . . From the fullness of His grace we have all received one blessing after another. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ." (John 1:14, 16–17)

How thankful I am for that Gift of Grace. Amazing Grace. Sustaining Grace. Relentless Grace. Eternal Grace. Everyday Grace. It changes everything. I want it to change me. To make me not only a better Grace-Receiver, but also a better Grace-Giver. The two go together, you know.

Isn't this what we want to do at Mom to Mom? We receivers of God's Grace become grace-givers. And sometimes the hardest place to give grace is to ourselves. We struggle because we haven't fully accepted God's grace. We say, "It's all grace." We need to live it!

So here's my question for you (and me) this season: How are you doing with grace-giving? To both yourself and others? "From the fullness of His grace we have all received . . ." Let's start there.

May this be a blessed Season of Grace for all of us!
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