Tag Archives: grace

I am a screw up.

It is confession time.

I went to the gym this morning and then promptly came home and decided to live dangerously and totally negate my morning workout by eating a big ole spoonful (okay, two) of raw cookie dough, even though the packaging clearly states not to do it. Ooooh, living on the edge!

You should also know that I talk to other drivers when I am driving. Other drivers in other cars. Yes, I realize that they cannot hear me. (Emma is good at reminding me of that fact.)

cray cray mom

I ask them (kinda loudly) what the heck are they doing?! I tell them to pick a lane. I suggest that they get off my road. I demand that they go at least the speed limit. (Is is really too much to ask??) I am especially annoyed by the drivers who refuse to speed up on the off ramp as they are merging onto the highway. In the past, I have discussed the fun I have at the four-way stops here in my state.  I also tell other drivers that I am going to “chop” them, while making a chopping motion with my hand, which is code for “You don’t know it, but I am totally flipping you off right now.” (Thanks, Mom, for giving me that one to use. You are so busted!) And I have been known to drop a choice word or two on them occasionally.

I’m just being for real here.

I think it’s fair to say that I have an issue that needs some work.

Okay, I have a lot of issues that need some work. But hey, don’t we all??

I am not perfect. I don’t claim to have it all together. I have done things I am not proud of. I behave badly at times. And there are lots of other things I won’t confess to…here, anyway.

I am a Christian. And I screw up on a daily basis. Ask my husband and my kids.

I realize that there are people in this world who are looking for me to screw up—who are looking for professing Christians to screw up—so they can say, “See, I knew you weren’t really a Christian.”

They won’t have to look too long or too hard if that is what they are basing my Christianity upon, because in my human-ness, I am going to screw up. And if that is all Christianity is—not screwing up, being “good”, behaving a certain way so that other people can judge that I am a “good Christian”—then what is the point? It just becomes a bunch of rules. Being a Christian is not about rules; it is about the heart.

In my heart, I want to do better—I don’t want to curse at the other drivers on my the road, or my trash can after I’ve run it over because it got left at the end of my driveway. I pray each day for God’s help to be the woman He wants me to be. 

But it is out of love for Him and gratitude for what He has done for me, that I want to love more, give more and do more—for Him. I don’t want to just do good things or be a good person because some people think that is what Christianity is.

What I want more than to be a “good person,” though, is to know God more and be more like Him. It is out of that loving relationship that good works, good attitudes, will come. Not the other way around.

Love. Mercy. Grace. Relationship. Good stuff.

There is nothing I can do to be good enough for God. I can only rely on the fact that God loved me first and saved me by grace. His gift of grace. And it is His mercy alone that allows me live another day.

And boy, am I thankful, because, I am pretty sure I will continue to just stink things up—trust me, I can be a hot mess. Only Jesus is good enough, was good enough, to redeem all my mess. Nothing other than my faith in Him and His willing sacrifice for me, makes me acceptable to God.

And so, we all find ourselves in desperate need of mercy and grace.

You. Me. Everyone.

The man who was rude to you in the grocery store check out. The cheeky teenager who stole your space in the Wal-Mart parking lot. The frazzled mom who was yelling at her kid inside the Wal-Mart. The smarmy politician. The drug addicted prostitute. The kid down the street who hurt my kid. The murderer on death row.

And me. Because I am no better.

God has mercy and grace available for them, for you, and for me. And if God can withhold judgment from me and pour out kindness on me that I do not deserve, then I need to work a little harder to pour that out on others as well.

And I do have to work at it. Somehow, for some reason, it seems really hard to withhold judgment and pour out kindness while I am driving. Why is that?? But I’m working on it and praying that I can screw up less (not just in the driving department!) and love Him—and everyone else—more. I want my kids, and those on the outside looking in, to see and know that even though I am a screw up, God still loves me and gives me grace and mercy. And that same love and grace and mercy can be theirs too.

21 Yet there is one ray of hope: 22 His compassion never ends. It is only the Lord’s mercies that have kept us from complete destruction. 23 Great is his faithfulness; his loving-kindness begins afresh each day.                         Lamentations 3:21-23, Living Bible

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Back To Life

I have wanted to get back to writing for a while now. I go through spells when I feel like I have lots to say…spells when I feel overwhelmed so that I feel like I have no time to say anything…spells when I feel like nothing I would have to say would be worth reading…spells when I desperately want to sit down and write, but simply feel too exhausted to do so. Suffice it to say, I have missed the blog and would think of it  often and fondly, as “something I will get back to…eventually.” The last 5 months of my life have fallen into all those categories at one time or another and one description does not do it total justice. I think I’m back…for now.

It has been 5 months since Emma’s injury.  May 5, 2011. The snap heard round the world, as I like to say. It has been 4 months since her surgery to repair her broken tibia and fibula. It has been 3 weeks since she started physical therapy to help her regain the strength and range of motion in her leg. It has been 4 days now that she has been “crutch-free”.  May I add here a hearty PRAISE THE LORD!! And a WOOT WOOT!!

The hilarious Emma having fun at physical therapy.You might hear me refer to Emma as my screwed up child, now that she carries with her 2 plates and 17 screws in her left leg. <har har> You might hear me call it her bionic leg. <snort snort>Emma prefers that I do not refer to it at all as she tries to come to terms with the permanent reminder of her ordeal that comes in the form of 2 still-healing scars on her leg;  not exactly a 13 year old’s idea of “I feel pretty…oh, so pretty” as Maria sang in Westside Story.

We have seen summer blend into fall as Emma has pressed on through her healing process. We have pressed on through with the highs and lows of humor and pity parties. But we have pressed on by the Grace of God. To say I am proud of her would be a gross understatement.  To say she has shown me perseverance in its truest sense would be closer to the truth. She is a remarkable young woman…and I have seen her mature in ways that have impressed me a great deal. Now, don’t be thinking she is some perfect angel, though she is pretty awesome…she has had her not-so-great moments, but heck!, haven’t we all? <points to self> But the way she has managed these last months has been nothing short of remarkable.

A few things I have learned and experienced over the last few months and would like to share:

  1. I got a new understanding of the often thrown around, yet always true, statement “God is in control.” It is no cliché, my friends! The old Steven Curtis Chapman song which says, “God is God and I am not” comes to mind here. There is an excellent reason why God is God and I am not; basically, I do not know what in the heck I am doing here on this earth, so I am glad He does.
  2. If your doctor and the DMV approve you for a handicapped parking placard, by all means, USE that sucker! Do not feel guilty about it!
  3. Watching medical people wheel your baby away from you, knowing that they are taking her to cut her open is an indescribably scary thing.  (See number 1 for how I managed to get through that one.)
  4. Having the operating room staff call you 3 times while they are cutting on your baby to say she is doing fine, is a soothing balm.
  5. My people (all those my family and I love, and who love us) are SO awesome and supportive and I love you all.
  6. Those who live every day in a wheelchair, on crutches or other assistive devices, in chronic pain or in any other sort of permanently disabled condition, have our utmost compassion and respect. We will never look at them the same way…which leads me to number 7…
  7. Every doorway in every home or hotel,  every parking space, every aisle in every store, every  hallway everywhere, should be extra-wide.  I am just sayin’. <stepping gingerly off soapbox so as not to break my own leg>
  8. God IS good.  Even in the midst of the dark, stressful, painful and seemingly never ending times of life.

First day back to school with no crutches! 10/10/11When I dropped Emma off at school on Monday of this week, and I watched her walking under her own steam, on her own two legs, carrying her own backpack, I could not hold back the tears as I drove away…the tears of joy I felt to finally see her as she should be…the relief I felt, knowing that we are finally…finally… nearing the end of this journey.

We are on the way now, back to life as we once knew it.  Although, I don’t think it can ever truly be the same as it ever was.  Not that I would want it to be. Though this experience has been incredibly difficult and stressful at times, I would not trade the time I have been able to share with Emma. Caring for her. Talking with her. The precious time that is so quickly fleeting. Emma would probably trade it in a heartbeat for a chance to finish her softball season, to fully enjoy that trip to Disneyworld last spring, to go to the beach or pool last summer or hang out with her friends. But maybe not.

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Filed under Emma, Inspiration, Lessons, Parenting

Cheese Puff

So, there’s a little more laughter around my house today.  It isCheese Puff 5/12/11 music to my exhausted ears and joy for my soul. Eight days post-injury, there are still moments of pain, frustration and self-pity for Emma, but they are few—as they have been all along. I have always been a firm believer in the adage that laughter is the best medicine, but the last week has made it more true than ever.

Crushers Sock! 5/13/11A lengthy trip to the orthopedist yesterday ended with a new friend, Richard, the awesome cast guy (LOVE him!) and a mid-thigh orange cast, which we had at first nicknamed Big Orange .  However, when my brother saw a photo of it, all he could say was, “That is like the biggest cheese puff I’ve ever seen.”  We could not. stop. laughing.  It has been Cheese Puff ever since.  Initially, Emma wanted a purple cast because purple is her favorite color.  Then Jacob suggested that she make it orange with purple dots to match her softball socks.  Emma thought it was a great idea and so did I…and you can see the results in the photo.  We invited Emma’s BFF Beth over to help decorate it!  Craft time!  Wooo!

Jacob has been so great through all of this.  He has helped with the wheelchair and getting her in and out of the house when Daddy isn’t home.  He has tried to make Emma laugh. He has run upstairs for various items for me.  He’s been awesome.  Bragging, I know.  But they both have been so great through this ordeal.  Not to mention how awesome my husband is.  He has missed work and slept downstairs as often as I have in order to be near Emma should she need anything during the night. This thing it truly a team effort. You begin to get in your groove and the routine of what the new “normal” is and things do get easier. God is gracious.

In other news…who am I kidding? Pretty much there is no other news.  Life is basically consumed with managing Emma’s most urgent need. And that is okay. There is nowhere else I’d rather be.

“The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.” ~e.e. cummings

“But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.” Psalm 86:15

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Filed under Emma, Family