A Healthy Dose of Grace

2-8By Janné Grover of Lee’s Summit, Missouri, USA  

By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things.

—Galatians 5:22–23

I am constantly amazed at how much I learn from the ones I am most trying to help shape and nurture. I wish I could say that these lessons come in quiet and intimate moments I lovingly share with my kids. However I am humbled to admit they usually reach me when I’m at anything but my best.

Such is the lesson of grace….

During the craziness of getting a young family ready for bed, we try to wind down from a busy day, yet the kids rev up as we get closer to bedtime. Coupled with tired parents it makes for some frustrating times.

One night I had reached the end of my sometimes-short fuse. I allowed my angry self to replace my patient self. As a result, I let my kids know how I was feeling—in a way that was much less than loving and nurturing. I stepped back, put myself in check, and we had a conversation about why I acted with frustration. We talked about how I ought to have reacted.

One of my kids responded, “We understand, Mom, and we still think you are the best mom ever.” Although I felt like the worst mom ever, I responded by saying, “You are God’s grace to me.”

I recognize how frustrated God must feel sometimes, but I know personally how it feels to experience God’s presence and grace in our ordinary daily routine. Dr. Mom recommends a healthy dose of grace. Good medicine.

Prayer for Peace
Patient God, may we be gentle and patient, too. May we learn from those who share grace that it comes from you. We need this remedy most, when we are overcome and frustrated, so we can share this grace and peace with others.

Spiritual Practice: Growing a Gracious, Generous Heart
Open your heart to God’s grace and generosity with a “breath prayer.” Let your breathing slow and deepen. Be aware of God’s breath moving in and out of your heart. Spend several minutes focusing on breathing in God’s generosity. With each breath, silently name one gift for which you are thankful. Let your heart expand to contain God’s gracious outpouring. With each breath out, name one gift you want to share from the overflow of your heart.

Peace Covenant
Today, God, I will extend my self-control fuse to a gentler length.

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