Tag Archives: Grace

Spotlights and Hissy Fits

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Spotlights and Hissy Fits

She was perched on my lap, knees digging into my thighs, peering over and around the head of the very tall gentleman in the row in front of us. She was literally quivering with delight as she watched the lights come up on group after group of dancers. Without fail, she clapped fervently then cupped her hands around her mouth and let out a whoop as each took a bow.

Periodically she turned a bit to face me, excitement lighting her face. “That was so good!” she exclaimed over and over. She could barely contain her joy.

She celebrated every performance including her own. This afternoon it was about her and her dance company and she was loving the costumes, the makeup and the spotlight.

After the final curtain we all loaded into the fifteen passenger van. In a matter of moments, she went from celebrated performer to big sister/little sister/six-year-old girl whose sparkly costume was suddenly itchy and whose blood sugar was crashing. She was near having a hissy fit, but Mommy assured her she could in fact endure the costume for the short ride home.

Once there, she slipped into something far less itchy and was given some quiet time in her room to unwind. In a bit she rejoined her six brothers and sisters in the kitchen for pizza and it occurred to me that her moment in the spotlight was short.

I thought of how I deal with my “fifteen minutes of fame” experiences. We all have them from time to time…. a short period of time when the spotlight and the attention turns to us and we feel special, important and celebrated.

But for most, those are short-lived and we climb back into the fifteen passenger van that is our daily life. To be honest, I sometimes throw a private hissy fit when the celebration is over.

Oh friend, I’m so thankful for GRACE that assures us that no matter how short-lived our moments of fame may be, we are valued and loved. 

GRACE even when I’m out of sorts because the current circumstance, maybe even the thing that just a day or so ago was beautiful and sparkly, is now irritating and I just want out.
If you find yourself just outside of the afterglow of a great experience, give yourself some grace, friend. Recharge with food for your soul and take a break. Then come join us at the table, where we will again celebrate the goodness of our Father and what He does for us and through us.

“Living then, as every one of you does, in pure grace.
It’s important that you not misinterpret yourselves as people
who are bringing this goodness to God. No, God brings it all to you.
The only accurate way to understand ourselves is by what God
is and by what he does for us, not by what we do for him.”
Romans 12:3  ~ The Message

 

Enjoying his grace in spite of my hissy fits,

lorraine

 

 

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My beautiful dancer, and her mother’s efforts to keep her flat on her feet when she’s not in the spotlight.

 

 

Sometimes I Cry in My Bed

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Sometimes I Cry in My Bed

Phoebe Eyes (2)

We sat talking in the early moments of the day. She snuggled up with me, still in her princess jammies, her long hair falling softly around her face. She said she heard her younger brother crying in the night, as their rooms share a wall.

I told her that Grandpa and I visited often when she was a baby, and we slept in the room now occupied by him. We always heard her cry for the infamous 2 a.m. feeding. She smiled and snuggled a little closer.

She looked up at me with her clear blue eyes, surrounded by a pool of pure white, framed by long strawberry blonde lashes. “I cry sometimes in my bed, Grandma”. I wanted to cuddle her closer, to ask her why she cried, but I waited.

“Everyone makes mistakes.” she said.

Her eyes were fixed on my face, waiting for a response. “Do you mean that you go to your bed and cry when you have made a mistake?” I asked. Without a word, and with a somber expression, her eyes fell and she nodded.

“Yes, baby. We all make mistakes”, I assured her. I asked her if she knew the very best mistakes she’s ever made and she looked at me quizzically. “The best mistakes are the ones that we learn from, baby. Never waste a mistake.” I told her.

 

Best Mistakes

There was honest humility in her statement. Everyone makes mistakes.

And she is right. Paul put it in simple terms. “All of us have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory.” (Romans 3:23 CEV)

Jesus said it best. “I’m telling you, once and for all, that unless your return to square one and start over like children, you’re not even going to get a look at the kingdom, let alone get in. Whoever becomes simple and elemental again, like this child, will rank high in God’s kingdom.” (Matthew 18:3-4 MSG)

Holy moments. I do not perceive that my statement was some sort of anointed word of wisdom into the life of my granddaughter. To the contrary, the reality that we all make mistakes and are completely dependent upon his grace was never more clear to me than when SHE spoke.

Humility like a child; looking into the face of our Father with wide eyes, telling him what he already knows. “Sometimes I cry in my bed, because I made a mistake.”

Confession is good for the confessor. Sincere confession and repentance is always accompanied by humility.

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Jesus looked at his disciples, all men who understood clearly that there were distinctions of position in their culture and he made one thing perfectly clear. At the foot of the cross we are all like little children, stripped of status, of title and persona. We are broken, we are humble and he meets us there…

Because everyone makes mistakes.

I need his grace,

lorraine

 

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I Wouldn’t Wait! Confessions of a Teen Bride…

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I Wouldn’t Wait! Confessions of a Teen Bride…

We married on my 18th birthday.  I didn’t even have a driver’s license.  I’d known him for one year and he’s the only guy I ever went out with more than once or twice.  He was all of eight months older.

My parents were not thrilled about the wedding plans. There were threats that they wouldn’t come; I was their Catholic daughter marrying a Baptist boy in a Baptist church. I was too young and way too naïve. I was rocking their expectations, to say the least.

Our wedding was on a Friday night; there was a small reception at the church. A few of the ladies served cake, punch, nuts and mints.  I thought it was fabulous.  It wasn’t until a few years later that I realized just how plain and simple it really was, but I was in a beautiful dress that I had sewn with my own hands. I was ready to be a wife, HIS wife.

It’s interesting the things that you remember from such a significant life event. The pastor’s wife positioned my veil as my mom frantically hemmed dresses in the Sunday school room where the bridesmaids were getting ready for the ceremony. I was really glad my mother was there.

My brother Steve slipped his arm around me as I stood in the foyer and peeked through the back door into the sanctuary. In all of the hustle and bustle I remember him saying that I was beautiful. He waited with me for my dad to come and walk me down the aisle.

I didn’t hear angels sing as we exchanged our traditional vows, but a guy I went to school with named Angel sang the love theme from Romeo and Juliet. What can I say? It was the 70’s!

wedding mementos

When it was over, we climbed into our ‘68 Impala and drove to a car wash. Well-meaning friends and family had written all over the car with shoe polish (again, the 70’s)). There was a peace sign on the top of that car until the day we traded it. Make love, not war, people.

We drove to our little home and closed the door on the world for a week. I was completely content.

Our first home was slightly larger than the tiny houses that have recently become popular. We had purchased a 600 square foot mobile home at a price of $3,995; it came fully furnished. The sofa was so lightweight I could powerlift it over my ninety-eight pound frame.

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I felt like the queen of a castle. It was hardly majestic but it was our home. We were happy to start life together there. It was exactly what we wanted.

Over the next few years, we made a lot of decisions that we would later regret, but we have never regretted our choice to have our first child. We waited only six months to get pregnant – we were still getting to know each other, but we loved our growing family.

That simple ceremony was forty-four years ago. I suppose the odds were against us making it. We were too young, too poor, undereducated and naïve.

We started our marriage with less than one hundred dollars in cash, a fully mortgaged mobile home that began depreciating the day we signed the papers, and a car payment. Neither of us had a great job. It would be seven years before he earned an associate’s degree; thirty years to his bachelors. I never got around to college.

But we did make it and I’m convinced it is because of what we did have, mostly a legacy from our families, dysfunctional and imperfect as they were:

  • An example – Our parents were fully committed to keeping their families intact.
  • Lifestyle – Ours revolved around spending time rather than money.
  • Low expectations – We didn’t even once think that we should begin with what our parents managed to acquire in their twenty-five years of marriage.
  • Lots of siblings – We were used to sharing everything; we both came from large families and one bathroom houses.
  • Peer pressure – The couples around us were counting on us to remain a couple.
  • Hearts to serve – He did the laundry and ironing and cleaned the house after school and on weekends because his mother worked; when my sister was bed-ridden with a broken hip I got out of class early and walked two miles home every day so I could be with her when my dad left for work. Our parents taught us that families serve one another; we brought that gift into our new home.
  • Faith in God – Even when we lost faith in each other we knew that we were in his grip; that was enough when we couldn’t hold onto each other.
  • Inexperience – We didn’t bring a lot of comparisons to our bed or any other area of the house.
  • Refusing to keep score – We trusted each other enough to bring 100% most days; on the days one of us didn’t, the other picked up the slack.
  • Going to bed mad – Sometimes sleep and time are the best antidote to frustration and anger. So often the light of a new day brings clarity and peace. We learned to insert a pause and get some rest.

Everyone’s love story is different. I’m not advocating marrying right out of high school, skipping college or making babies in the first year of marriage. I guess what I’m really saying is that if two crazy, naïve and clueless kids could do it, maybe you can.

My simple prayer is that our story will encourage you to walk in his mercy, every new day and extend grace, first at home.

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. ~ Lamentations 3:22-23 ESV

By his grace alone,

lorraine

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Birthday Greetings from the Future Me

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Hepburn People

Oh, to reach back in time and speak to my fifty year old self…there are some things I wish I could have known. Maybe you are in approaching a big milestone birthday. Go ahead, eavesdrop; I’m good with it.

Welcome to your fifties, girlfriend! You just completed an amazing period of your life. Appreciate it; you were in your peak! In case you need a recap, your forties were eventful.

Perhaps you found your dream job. By now you are beginning to realize that, but hang on because you are going to love it even more!

Or became a grandma and occasionally when you were out alone with the cherub people thought you were the mom. You are rocking the grandma gig.

Your nest may have emptied. You discovered the joy of long walks and occasional suppers on the sofa. Life was less demanding and you had more time to build your marriage and pursue your passions.

Of course there were some hard times, but bless your heart, you grew through them because they revealed the cracks and flaws. It was an awakening; you paid attention. You experienced the sorrow of loss…of people, things, and maybe even a dream or two.

You learned that life is fleeting and precious and you moved forgiveness way up to the top of the list of your first responses. You discovered that the greatest gift you can give yourself is the forgiveness of another. There is so much freedom in letting go!

Here you are, a new decade stretched out before you. You are anxious. You’ve seen hard and scary things happen to women in their fifties.

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In spite of your public declaration that you are middle aged, you privately reckon with the harsh reality that not many live to be one hundred.

All of the over the hill jokes are now in your own backyard and you are not amused. And the truth is – your body might just be showing some signs of age.

One Friday night you will be scrubbing the sink like a boss and you’ll hear a strange pop. The searing pain in your shoulder must be related, but how and why?

You will spend the next six months and way too many of your flexible spending dollars on specialists who will tell you it can’t be fixed. The indentation in your shoulder where a muscle used to fire is the new normal. For the first time, you hear the phrase “When people get to be your age….” Get used to it.

One Sunday morning you’ll be strutting down the preschool hallway, slightly over confident because some sweet young momma just mentioned your grandma hotness…and you’ll turn that cute wedge sandal over and break your foot. Just like that, you go from cute wedges to an orthopedic boot. You’ll think to yourself “Six weeks. I can do six weeks.” No one warned you about delayed bone growth after fifty. For the record, THREE MONTHS.  IN THE BOOT.  But you rocked that boot, sister. Walked all over Disney World, pushing strollers, because MAGIC. And because you are more determined than ever to prove that you can.

One night as you prepare for bed you’ll take a long look into the mirror and realize you are gazing into a face you don’t recognize. She has wrinkles and a few gray hairs are peeking out around her ears. She looks familiar, alright, but more like your mother than you. And you’ll resolve to smile more because you have great teeth. And use sunscreen.

Yes, the next decade is going to introduce some new challenges, but there are so many good reasons to embark on it with joyful hope:

  • Grandchildren. You are going to be smitten, my dear. You are going to rearrange your life for these little ones and you will love every minute.
  • Menopause. You will move from always being cold to fighting the urge to disrobe in public to escape the fiery furnace of your body in a hot flash. Don’t worry, though, by the time you are sixty they’ll be mostly over. And no more monthly visitor; trust me, you won’t miss it!
  • Wisdom. You prayed for it in your twenties. As a young mother you read every related Bible verse and even tried clicking your heels together while reciting said verses, hoping for it to come. Soon you’ll discover that wisdom was not so much a gift to be received all at once; rather a package to unwrap. With each ribbon loosed, bit by bit it is yours.
  • Courage. You will try new things and stretch yourself for no reason other than knowing that you can. Your dreams have a shelf life. This is the time to run after them.
  • Opportunities to invest in others. Volunteer, mentor, and serve. You have more to offer than ever before.

If I may, just a little advice from the wiser side of the decade:

Be kind to yourself. If you judge yourself harshly, you’ll be tempted to mete out the same to others.

Get honest with yourself. Do you really want to run a marathon? If you do, get after it. If not, stop beating yourself up and set some realistic goals.

Celebrate. You won’t regret choices to carve out special moments with the people you love. When a friend wants to have coffee after you’ve changed into your pajamas, for the love, put on some yoga pants and go. When that grandson wants to talk to you about Minecraft or Star Wars, remember that you’ve listened intently to many adults who were far less interesting.

You are alive for a reason. No one knows the sum of our days but God. Go forward with confident hope, my dear, for your Lord has prepared you for the days to come.

“Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained by living a Godly life.
Better to be patient than powerful, better to have self-control than to conquer a city.
We may throw the dice, but the Lord determines how they fall.”
Proverbs 16:31-33 NLT

For the Love of Jen Hatmaker

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FortheLoveCoverFor the love….the whole world seems to have gone Jen Hatmaker crazy and for good reason. If you’ve not read anything else by her (for the love, why not???) you must get your hands on a copy of her latest book, For the Love: Fighting for Grace in a World of Impossible Standards. I would demand that you not put it down until you’ve finished, but this is a fact…you won’t want to.

There was a song back in the early ‘80s called “I Was Country When Country Wasn’t Cool”. Catchy tune and one that I am reminded of now. You see, I discovered Jen Hatmaker before it was cool to know her. Several years ago hubby and I were hosting a bunch of newly married couples in our home on Sunday evenings. After we spent several weeks talking marriage we really wanted to challenge the group. I went searching around the internet for something that might do. I discovered a YouTube video for a book study and there she was, in her white peasant blouse and signature long earrings, talking about giving up her prized cowboy boots and walking out of church barefoot in the freezing cold. That was the beginning of my obsession friendship with Jen, and I was all “We HAVE to do this”! And because my husband doesn’t really like to search the web for anything other than stuff to buy on Ebay trusts my discernment, we did the study and it challenged our hearts and we had many wonderful evenings of sharing how a barefoot church might look. That study was Interrupted: When Jesus Wrecks Your Comfortable Christianity. They’ve recently released a new, updated version but I can’t imagine how it could be improved. Life. Changer.

Jen H Books

Notice the dog-eared cover. I’ve read it more than once and I’ve loaned it out several times. This is one you will want to have in paperback – no E-book!

From there I was hooked. I went on Amazon and bought a copy of everything she had written to date. Next life changer from her heart to mine was The Modern Girls Guide to Bible Study. It was as if the woman had been riding in my car, listening as I talked to myself (and sometimes even to Jesus) about how frustrated I was with my inability to read and understand the Bible. I was over studies written by authors with contrived questions that would lead me to the same conclusions as them and for the first time in my adult life I wasn’t teaching a Bible class so I had no structured guide to exploring the Scriptures. I wanted the Word to speak to my heart. I decided to adopt her approach of reading the Bible a new way so that the words of LIFE would become my life.

That was four years ago. I’ve filled a couple of journals, and better yet, I’ve got my tribe of young moms coming with me on this journey through Scripture. I can honestly say that through this approach I’ve come to love the word of God. I spent over forty years following Christ, but never really mastering getting into the Bible and consistently hearing from Him. Sad, and a little embarrassing to admit, but true. If you are in the place that I found myself, earnestly desiring to hear from God, I recommend you read this one. I went from loving and respecting the book that’s called the Bible to loving the very words of God within that book.

Out of the Spin Cycle CoverJen, if you ever read this, can I just say thank you for that devo you did for moms called Out of the Spin Cycle: Devotions to Lighten Your Mother Load? Our little Bible study group goes all “summer book club” in June and we read that together a couple of years ago. We laughed and cried and agreed that every new mom should get this book at her baby shower…and then reconsidered and decided that might be premature. There is so much honesty it just might scare her! This is one of those that you deliver to that mom who is in the midst of the struggle, thinking she is the only one:

“Motherhood triggers something that went dormant about the time we left middle school. We’re seeded with this desire to be thought well of, to be admired, to be affirmed in our hard work as moms. We tend to report our babies sleeping longer than they do, our discipline as working more often that it does, and our systems as creating some efficient home that doesn’t exist. We are masters at propping up our lives, spinning a thread of truth into an elaborate tapestry of grandeur–when in fact, during young motherhood most of us live in what my girlfriend Loren calls a “poop storm”.”[i]

Read it, then gift it to a mom friend who is overwhelmed…and be thankful for the honesty (she confesses the time she told her son, who had just opened a sassy mouth, to grab a shovel and start digging his own grave), the humor and the truth within the pages. In these forty devotions, she shares stories from her journey of mothering along with thought-provoking questions and honest, practical steps out of the spin cycle. If I had read this back in the seventies, I would have been a better mom and friend to other moms, I’m sure of it. Of course, Jen was a baby when I was raising children, but you know what I mean…

And back to where we started…For the Love. Jen covers it all in this one, from fashion and family to recipes and the church. I love my church, but all of my life I’ve struggled to know where I fit. Jen’s affirmation of women and the kingdom is spot on:

“God is unveiling women around the world. He always has and continues to work through women and girls, who are half of His church. They are, like men and boys, His image bearers. They are also, like men and boys, gifted, empowered, smart, and anointed.”[ii]

And this…this has much to do with why I’m now posting a blog. Every. Week.

“Say yes to that thing. Work with a mentor. Stop minimizing what you are good at and throw yourself into it with no apologies. Do you know who will do this for you? No one. You are it. Don’t bury that talent, because the only thing fear yields is one dormant gift in a shallow grave. How many trot out that tired cliché—“I’m waiting for God to open a door”—and He is all, “I love you, but get going, pumpkin, because usually chasing the dream in your heart looks surprisingly like work. Don’t just stand there, bust a move.” (God often sounds like Young MC.) You are good at something for a reason. God designed you this way, on purpose.”[iii]

Are you tired of trying to live a balanced life? What IS that supposed to look like, anyway?

“Balance. It’s like a unicorn; we’ve heard about it, everyone talks about it and makes airbrushed T-shirts celebrating it, it seems super rad, but we haven’t actually seen one. I’m beginning to think it isn’t a thing.

Here is part of the problem, girls; we’ve been sold a bill of goods. Back in the day, women didn’t run themselves ragged trying to achieve some impressively developed life in eight different categories.”[iv]

Yes, Jen, a thousand times yes. So, trust me on this. You have to read it. If I cited every quote that spoke to me I’d have to pay her royalties and besides, the book has a great cover.  Just buy it and you can thank me later.

When I got to the end of For the Love, I saw that list of the 500 launch team members and I grieved. You see, 500 people were chosen to form a launch team for this book, seeking authentic endorsements from real people. I so wanted to be in that number, rather than the #4500 (the rest of the applicants who were not selected) where I landed. But grace is a beautiful thing, and I forgive you and your publishers, Jen, for not selecting me. Now that I have a blog and I’m a writer and everything….maybe next time. Because, for the love, why not?

After all of this, surely you can see that I AM her BFF. If you want to challenge me on that, I’m going to need someone to hold my earrings…..

[i] Out of the Spin Cycle: Devotions to Lighten your Mother Load – Jen Hatmaker

[ii] For the Love: Fighting for Grace in a World of Impossible Standards – Jen Hatmaker

[iii] For the Love: Fighting for Grace in a World of Impossible Standards – Jen Hatmaker

[iv] For the Love: Fighting for Grace in a World of Impossible Standards – Jen Hatmaker

I’ve Got to Find Those Keys!

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I’ve Got to Find Those Keys!

I spent the weekend with a group of younger women, some of them half my age. I  have to admit it has been while since I was doing anything at 2 a.m. other than possibly making a sleepy trek to the bathroom. It was so much fun!

It was a “Key Women” retreat, a time to renew and refresh commitments to be and be surrounded by women who, as Ann Voskamp puts it, “free you to be your best you, your unbound you, your beautiful you”. There was a lot of laughter and a few tears.

As I looked around the room I was overwhelmed by the power of what I witnessed. These were diverse women: an attorney, state at home moms, an administrator, and teachers…some are fashionistas and others are most comfortable in yoga pants and t-shirts.

Some struggle with perfectionism and others are comfortable with a sink full of dishes and piles of waiting laundry. Introverts and extroverts, melancholy and sanguine and more.

How can a group of women, so diverse, so different from one another in many ways, love each other at this level?

It began with a choice to stop “holding one another to a standard of perfection instead of letting us all be held by His arms of grace.”[i] (Ann says it so well…take a few minutes to read her post, referenced below)

They’ve decided to release and free one another to be the best and most real version of who God has designed them to be.

It doesn’t matter if they stand at a sink or sit at a screen, spend their days with children or in a courtroom; whether they occupy a cubicle, the corner office or the driver’s seat of a minivan; each one has a unique calling and giftedness.

They won’t judge one another for their housekeeping, design choices, parenting skills, size of their waist or the style of their hair.

I wasn’t there to speak or lead. I was just their mentor, at a very different place in my life. I am amazed by what I see God doing in them, individually and collectively.

My generation was expected to perform with perfection. Perfect walk, perfect home, perfect marriage. The mentors in my life encouraged striving toward clean homes, clean children, clean cars and clean living. It was exhausting and impossible. I felt the sting of criticism rather than open arms of grace.

These women are encouraging one another to become rather than do. They are liberating one another from self-doubt, self-pity and self-loathing. They are encouraging one another to let Christ be real in them.

They are women who have chosen to clothe themselves with love and do the hard work of cultivating relationships that go deep and require looking at women with eyes of love and compassion rather than through lenses of criticism and judgment.

Do you have key women in your life? How are you encouraging them? What have they brought to your life that has helped release you from the bondage of perfectionism and performance?

Praying you’ll find your keys.

 

 

So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.

Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing. And cultivate thankfulness. Let the Word of Christ—the Message—have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using good common sense. And sing, sing your hearts out to God! Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way. – Colossians 3:12-17

 

[i] http://www.aholyexperience.com/2014/07/how-women-can-stop-judging-each-other-a-movement-of-key-women/

On Super Women and the Power of Love

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In the 80’s hubby and I were right in the middle of raising our daughters when the blockbuster “Back to the Future” was released. We enjoyed the movie (still do to this day) and I LOVED the song that Huey Lewis & The News wrote for it. Great music!

It don’t take money and it don’t take fame
Don’t need no credit card to ride this train
Tougher than diamonds and stronger than steel
You won’t feel nothin’ till you feel You feel the power, just the power of love
That’s the power, that’s the power of love.

“The power of love is a curious thing.”  I know that the songwriters were going down the road of romantic love, which I happen to think is just grand and I am a big fan.  I hope if those fellas ever read this they’ll grant me grace as I go another direction with the power of love.

It’s even more curious to most when witnessing the power of selfless love outside of the romantic realm.  This love is manifested in more ways than I could list but I’ve seen it in exhausted caregivers, patient teachers, parents of rebellious teenagers, widows, new parents and desperate, hurting spouses.

This love is never formed on unstable emotions. It persists through hurt, anxiety, fear, exhaustion, disappointment, and shattered hopes and dreams. It looks with hope beyond the current moment. It digs deep and finds strength and stamina for the day. It doesn’t always do it quietly, or without struggle, and at times it’s not the least bit graceful.

George MudderIn fact, it resembles a tough mudder more often than a ballet.

At the end of some days, this lover literally stumbles to the finish. This is no sprint, and sometimes she digs deep in order to make the final turn. We’ve all marveled at these “super humans” who just won’t quit.

What if this isn’t some super power reserved for a few.  Perhaps there aren’t people who have some secret endurance, available to an exclusive few. You see, they are not sufficient for the task either.

Mudder Family

I believe it might be that they’ve caught hold of this promise – walking it out in faith in response to His love:

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 1Cor 12:9

Weakness isn’t the part that we notice.  We see the power of Christ as it rests on them, made perfect in weak moments and weary minds.  It’s in weakness, when the task is too big, when skills are inadequate and the call is beyond our current capacity that HE enters in. It is a powerful thing to trust God to do what is beyond our resources.

But why? Why press on?  Why be so willing to be hurt, to be disappointed, go the extra mile and give up personal comfort.  There is only one answer.  When everything else has fallen away, when every other motivation to hang in there has faded, we are left with this:

 Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that. Ephesians 5:1-2 MSG

Rest in his grace, but love with extravagant abandon. His love woos. His love is unconditional and doesn’t give up even when we play hard to get. Love like that, by His grace. And then wait for it. The power of love.