There is grace in the warmth of Eric’s body next to mine, as we sink into the valley that has become the middle of our couch. He sits next to me, goes to bed with me, and drinks coffee with me each morning, even though my words to him are too often impatient and critical. His peace-based optimism, his ability to forgive and truly forget, his sincere affection for me – all of this is grace.
There is grace in the excited cries of “Mama!” from Owen, each and every time he runs towards me and throws his arms around my neck. His square-on-the-mouth kisses hold forgiveness for all of the times I was too busy to play blocks, too impatient to let him mix the dough any longer and get one more tablespoon of flour all over the kitchen floor. His enthusiasm for me is grace.
There is grace in every awakened-from-a-dead-sleep kick in the ribs from the little girl within me. Early on in her little womb life, we didn’t think she was going to make it, but here we are, just a few months away from holding her. Her every movement is grace.
There is grace in the familiarity of family. These are the people who gladly hold your mushy-diapered toddler first thing in the morning, while you stumble around their kitchens looking for orange juice in your spit-up stained sweatshirt and just-woke-up hair. They are the ones who understand your need to be in the sun, who you call for advice about paint brushes and budgets, who have cared about you the longest. Their acceptance is grace.
There is grace in my everyday. In the way the sun streams through the windows of our house in the afternoon, in a steaming cup of coffee, in flannel sheets, in the budding of leaves, in the smell of campfire, in the days when the lake is that one shade of blue, in washing machines, in puns, in the first bite of a long-awaited meal. In each moment, there is grace.
There is grace in the vulnerability of good friends, who share about the times they’ve failed in being the wife, mother, friend, sister, daughter they so desire to be, whose sweater shoulders have been the recipient of my tears, who help me to remember that I am not alone. Their honesty and compassion are grace.
There is grace in the call to peace from a God who knows our needs before we even speak them, who takes care of the smallest of birds, even though they neither make lists nor plan nor worry about the coming seasons. A God who is unthinkably great and mysterious but can relate to us in our every weakness, even knowing to gently lead those with young because we are slowed down by zippers and carseats and so very very tired from being up four times last night. A God who awakens the dead within my own heart every single day and does not walk away and leave me to my own strength, even though I fail so very often. His intimate and infinite kindness towards me is ultimate grace.
Happy Thanksgiving. May your days be full of grace.