Extra Grace Required Here

I’ve been thinking about those Sandpaper People in my life.  You know the ones I mean – those “extra grace required” folks. The ones who take often and need even more often. They rub you the wrong way with just a word. Opinions are spouted. Indignation is their default. It’s their way or the highway.

And you wish, For The Love, that just once,  they’d opt for the highway.

But, as I was thinking on these folks, and asking God for greater patience with them, He showed me something else, entirely. Instead of receiving an extra measure of grace to deal with those people, I received an extra length of rope to hang my pride with.

“Hold your heart up to a mirror, child.”

Oh God! Not me…

He says nothing. But in the quiet moments, conversation after situation after comment rush into my mind. And self-reflection smarts. I’m rubbed raw, in fact, by all of the sandpaper inside my heart. I recognize that I am the one for whom extra grace has been required, lately.

And, my need to get quiet with this Truth right here becomes obvious:

Ephesians4_2_Missindeedy

Love is not always convenient.  And love – real love – takes some mighty and serious sacrifice, at times.   This, I know to be true, because it was modeled for me. On a cross. By The Only One who could model it perfectly. In such humility as I cannot even fathom.

The King made low. Willingly.

It’s modeled right in my home, too. By Sweetman. Until I met him, I’d never met a saint, but I hear they were masters of Bearing With Patience.  And I’m here to tell you that patience like that? It wins every time. Because of Love.

Gentleness, too, is modeled by the friends who come alongside my Harsh and soften it. With their encouragement, with their words, and with their very presence. Because of Love.

I’m desperately in need of grace. With each new realization of my own sandpaper moments, my pride comes crashing down. Sometimes, I’m laid low, so very unwillingly.

Because of Love, the extra grace that’s been required around here is given. To overflowing. And I find that it rubs my rough places a bit smoother.

Those who were wishing I’d get on that highway? The good news is that I’m on it!  And the destination is a place with more humility, gentleness, and patience.

Yes indeedy.

Help Me to Be

The prayer in my devotional the other morning referenced the attributes of God.  Kindness and goodness shown to others will reflect God’s Kindness and Goodness. That seemed like standard issue advice for any person calling themselves a Christian, right?

“Help me, Lord, to reflect your attributes to the people in my life.” was the gist of the prayer at the end.

I headed downstairs, ready to take on the day, feeling fully empowered to do just that.

And then reality hit.

Sweetman had just returned from a few days away with his best friend. I found myself increasingly agitated with his “droppings” throughout the house: A toiletries bag to be unpacked here and a jacket to be sent to the dry cleaners over there, a little half-started pile of laundry up here and receipts to be gone through down there.

Snippy comments were also dropped.

But, not by Sweetman.

The_Test_Steven_Furtick

This is a word.  For my heart, it’s a word that The One who tends my heart knew I needed to hear.

And so I found myself praying, Lord, help me. Help me to be kind when I would rather snip. Help me to be gentle when it would be easier to snap.  Help me to be more of You and less of me. Please.”

And I realized, for about the millionth time, that God has infinite patience.  He is infinitely kind and merciful to those who love Him.  And I do.  Oh, how I do.

I long for the way I behave to reflect that.  Lord, God, let my thoughts and actions reflect that

Yes indeedy!

A Social Story About Shorts

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Shorts. We’re talking about shorts.  The kind you wear.

I’m over at (in)courage today in my (in)Able and (included) community, writing a social story about shorts.  And a deep need for something bigger than All The Patience to lean on when the learning curve is steep.

Join me over there, won’t you?  Just click the button below and you’ll be whisked away.  See you there!

InCourage Is My superpower

Yes indeedy!

 

The Philosophy of Winter

In a way, winter is the real spring, the time when the inner things happen, the resurgence of nature.”
-Edna O’Brien (Irish Novelist)

New_Life_Seedling_Natanis_Davidsen

I don’t do winter.  I may have mentioned that a time or twelve.

Winter, particularly, brings out my inner philosopher.  No one likes my inner philosopher.  Especially not me!

I begin asking questions like “Why, specifically, am I here on this earth, Lord?”

Each time that question pops into my mind, I end up having a conversation with myself that’s 5 kinds of crazy. It usually goes a little something like this:

Me: “Why are you struggling so hard to make sense of It All?”

Well, me again, I guess: “Because I want to understand why I’m here. I want to make sure I’m doing what I’m meant to do.”

I get to thinking about that intersection of Faith and Follow. It’s sometimes blaring with so much traffic, that it’s no wonder we get directionally confused. Or worse, forget that I have to wait for the light to turn green before moving forward. And the longer I live on this earth, the more convinced I am that when I’m not sure which direction to go in, there’s really only one help for it.

Patience. Especially when it feels like winter in my soul.

Because:

“There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears.”

Philippians 1:6 (The Message)

And if I’ll just practice some more patience, and keep trusting, then what’s inside, will indeed spring forth.