Monday, March 26, 2012

The Better Word

In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence. Ephesians 3:12 I can only go boldly before God because of who He is, not who I am.
22 But you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, 23 to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the Judge of all, to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, 24 to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel. Hebrews 12:22-24
It is not my failures that should keep me from him, but my weaknesses that make me run to him. This is what I want with my children too. I want them to run to me when they fail. I want them to see me as merciful and a loving mother. I want them to come because of their confidence in ME, not their confidence in whether they are good enough or successful enough. I want them to know that I can handle their sin, mistakes, weaknesses.
Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy. Proverbs 28:13 But do we really do that? Do we really always give mercy to the confessor? If I want mercy, I need to extend it. How time and again I am messed up in tears at how beautifully God extends his compassion over my weakness. I want to be a giver of lavish mercy.
It's what says, "You are safe here. I can handle what you have to say. I can see beyond what you have done." It's an invitation. Have you had the invitation before?
When someone lets you fall apart before them. They still see the very best in you. They still see all of your possibilities. Patiently they let you be who you are at that moment and then look you in the eye and say, "You are wonderful. You are incredible. You are lovely. You are worthy of love and you have a Hand on your life that will not forsake you. You can be weak- so that you may become strong."
It's the ministry of Jesus. It's the invitation to receive redemption. It pushes back against condemnation. It shames, SHAME! It blesses brokeness. It is the spirit of adoption. Adoption reaches into the snare of hopelessness and it answers the prayer of the hopeful. Adoption is attacked because it is the creation of God. It is what Jesus did on the Cross. His blood spoke a better word. Adoption is the better word!
And true adoption, can only be formed out of mercy first.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

A Story I Couldn't Make Up

I am very careful about what I share in regards to Grace.  I don't want to "out" every last detail of the challenges she has.  I take that back.  Many times I do.  I want everyone to know so they would have understanding...a more fullness of the ideas they have about fetal alcohol syndrome.  Yet I don't want others to hear enough to be turned off, to not see Grace for Grace, for the many blessings that she is.

But sometimes, often times, I have the pleasure of laughter through the pain.  God brings his humor as a salve for the trials and reminds me to walk in lighter place and let Him lead.  When I give up my frustration at ANOTHER calm down conversation that I KNOW is about calming and not about creating change so we don't have another.... sigh.  I have to trust, He knows best.  He will use ALL things, to bring about good, to make a point, and sometimes, to just let me know He is in it all and wants to show me in even silly ways, that I am not alone in these times. 

Here it goes.

Grace sleeps on the floor next to our bed.  She has since last summer. There are lots of details and background information you would need to understand on just this fact, but it's not the point to the story I want to tell you. So just know this.  Rainan had left the television on in my room ( on low volume).  Grace sleeps on the side of my bed which hinders her ability to see the tv- unless she was sitting up and looking over the bed.

Anyway- I had directed Grace to go to sleep and did the little routine.  I then left the room to get Jubilee and Rainan ready for bed.  Ended up being longer than usual.  Holden had walked by my room and saw Grace got up and watched the show.  She knew what she was doing- that she was not supposed to watch tv but that I was busy and wouldn't catch her.

So after Holden alerted me and I finished up with the little girls, I walked back to my room.  She heard me coming and had jumped under her covers to pretend she was sleeping.  I sat down across from her getting myself comfortable. 

I know you are awake.  Do you want to tell me what you've been doing?

She sits up and gives me a scowl. 

I have been sleeping.

Are you sure that's all?

She starts crying.  I was JUST stretching! She becomes angry.

My cat Louise was lying on the bed above her- right by her head.  At the very moment Grace said, "I was JUST stretching!", Louise bopped her on the head.  I KID YOU NOT!

Grace looks back and cries out louder.   It wasn't that she was injured or that her feelings were hurt, it's that it's become almost usual that when Grace lies and cries, Louise does something.

Now, thinking carefully about what she says next (and me trying not to laugh), she says, "I was just sitting up!" 

Again, Louise leans over and nips at her hair and takes both paws to both sides of her head. 

She looks back at Louise and says, OKAY! Then she blurts out, "I was watching tv!" Followed by a WAAHHHHH!

I really didn't have to do anything but this was so much fun by now, I couldn't resist.  Judge me however you will, this is what I said next.

Grace, who was here when you were watching tv?

Louise, waahhhhh.....she replies.

And who does she sleep on every night?


Yes, that's right.

Between sobs- she says, "I know she always tells on me!"


This is a true story.  One of the MANY stories I could tell of what it is like to live this life.  Call me opportunistic, I don't mind.  But it works.  I love my cat for more reasons than her feline qualities.  Randy says she has more than earned her keeps for sniffing out lies and keeping kids in line.  I haven't yet given Louise babysitting rights, but she is definitely one of my reliable sources.