Monday, May 26, 2014

when grace is born

It wasn't the first time I saw a yes. Two pink lines. A plus sign. Positive. There is a new life coming.

But it was the first time I felt grace come alive in me, born at that moment when I learned I was given a gift for no particular reason... other then that I was loved. Beloved...precious, dearly loved, cherished, treasured, adored. He chose me.

Before the Truth that came with knowing I was a worthy life-carrier, the lie that I was not worthy had woven around my heart. I had struggled for many days to come out of the fog that was leading my life as I breathed day in and day out to be everything I could not live up to. In all my ways as His child, I was lost... losing myself through the trenches of motherhood and womanhood and scared I may not have anything to offer. A heart so in love with my season of life, but so broken to live it.

My seasons were changing and sometimes winter's are long and hard and cold. Some where at the bottom of my worst days, I started to find my best parts. Where roots had grown, branches had sprouted...and blossoms were waiting to bloom. But I found myself buried under layers of winter and the thawing process to spring was long. Lonely. Lifeless. But every tear, cry, and whimper worth it.

So like many winters, I started to prepare for spring. I cleaned out. I sorted.  I planted. I pruned. I prepared.  I paused. I prayed. Some place in all that cleaning and caring, I gave away myself to something new. Something possible. Something alive and each of us. Grace. Spring after winters and life after death. I found it in my ugliest places and came back out with a beautiful new life. The same beautiful that is in each of us. His beauty. His art. His hand in our lives.

The thing is... I am not worthy. None of us are. But I am loved. All of us are. And before I saw the yes, the two pink lines, the positive...I did not know the depth of His love. I did not believe that I just may have a story to tell all of my own... a simple, yet beloved life to share. I did not believe that in my trenches of this season of life that God could use me. Would use me. I felt broken and unworthy and unqualified. He showed me He could use me in all my pieces and put together a beautiful life...a real story...with a willing soul. When I saw that I could give life even from my most dead days, I met grace. I found life. She came through the form of a baby girl and I've carried her in my heart the way Jesus holds us in His hands. Gently and tenderly and always. Spring after winter. Life after death.

From those cold days, I've trusted that no matter where the seasons take me... I have a source of life that can always bloom. I have a life that is made for Him and from Him. Even in the trenches, we have something to offer. Thanksgiving.

He chooses us. You... Me... yesterday, today, and tomorrow. He gives grace to His beloved and we live it through thanksgiving. Today I count them again... my gifts. I offer thanks and I trust I can do even the smallest things for His glory. So very thankful for that baby girl that speaks life today and celebrates one year and reminds me that we are each chosen. We are each beloved. We are each here to write a story... His story.

Happy 1st Birthday, Savannah Grace...

Friday, May 9, 2014

When you're expecting...Mother's Day.

When Mother's Day arrives in just a couple days it is easy to head into it with the best expectations. Whether you are a time with the kids or a time without the kids gal, expectations will be what meets you first thing in the morning when you open your eyes to Mothers Day. It's almost as if the day changes what happens the other 364 days of the year. Surely, today...Mother's Day...will be different. 

The day we become mothers we not only deliver our children, but we give birth to His plan for us to become more like Him... by loving them. Being a mother is the closest thing to understanding God's gift to us... a son. A sacrifice. A send forth of the best of us. Even when we're the worst. 

And for 364 days of the year we love in ways we didn't know we could...until we were mothers. So when Mothers Day arrives, we expect those we've died for to show us just how much all this trying and holding and giving away and molding and making and forcing and bending and lifting and carrying and running and bearing to be noticed. To be seen. To be felt. We want to be known. I want to be known. 

Someplace between birthing day and this Mother's Day coming up, we have exchanged the pains of labor for the pain of giving ourselves away. Some days we've given until we have nothing left. We've broken off more than can be repaired just yet. And we hurt to become more like Him. On Mother's Day, we expect them to see. How very much we are breaking as we find our way as a mother.

In all the days that we live as mother's, these souls that we carry on our backs are really carrying much of my weight. They take and I give and I know this pull between us is me not only giving them what they need...but giving me what I need, too. All those stretch marks that come with growing babies actually leaves scars on my heart from growing me along the way.  I've been my worst version of myself as a mother. I've been my best version of myself as a mother. For all the moments that make up a year I have given until I've broken. Mother's fix things though. When I have broken, it has only made me stronger. And I give again. Better. Stronger. More like Him, less like me. 

I have woken up before on Mothers Day with great expectations. In this season though, I wake up simply grateful to be...a mother. For all the giving of my time, my energy, my heart, my sleep and my first bites of pizza... I would do it all again to be their mother. I have labored far long after the delivery room and for every day of the year around Mother's Day, I am forever grateful for what my children have made of me. 

This Mother's Day, I am not expecting. I am doing what us mother's always do... give. Give to your kids. Give to your husband. Give to your own Mama's and the gal down the street who gives as if she is your own Mother. Give to the ones who want to be mothers, but can't. Give to the Mom's who nobody sees. Give to the women who have mothered your own along the way. Give to the hearts that have carried the souls, but no child here to show for it. Give to the Mother's who can't give themselves. Be a mom. Give.

What we should love about Mother's Day is that we simply love being a Mom. Expect nothing more. Because we work for an audience of one, no matter how many children call us Mom. We give for reasons that shouldn't need flowers and dinners out and fancy watches. We mother for Him. And to Him we matter. We're seen. We're loved and known. 

Wake up Sunday morning expecting to love, just like all the other 364 days of the year. Our best gifts simply call us "mom".