From an article originally posted January 21, 2013…
I feel like I have two major mantras that have grown out of this year. First, hard is grace too. And, grace will show up, it always does (but we have to look for it).
I woke up both excited and bummed yesterday morning. It was a day I had been really looking forward to for a while. My big seester was flying to town, and a most favorite author of my family’s was going to come for a visit. I woke up disappointed that I still had my drain tubes in. Not only are they uncomfortable, I only have two things I can wear with them. I know it’s pure vanity, but I simply was not looking forward to meeting someone I so admire for the first time in a pair of Walmart sweats. (Though after meeting Sally, she would have been so gracious.)
I was dragging getting ready. I wasn’t excited to face my limited wardrobe. I heard the door opening. I jumped up to meet my sister. She was a gift of grace walking through the door. But I immediately noticed something. She was wearing the cutest, shapeless dress that had buttons around the neck. I asked her how the dress worked, when I realized I could wear it, I told her I just had to borrow it. Five minutes in my house and I was taking her clothes. Jonna looked at me and said, “You are the ONLY person I would do this for, I just bought this dress.” I quickly replied, “I’m the only brazen one that would dare to ask.” Oh, the love of a sister!
My heart was light, this small grace showed up for me on the back of the huge grace gift that is my sister. I immediately awarded her kindness with Salsa Brava. Mexican food makes everything better. I even figured a sly way to tuck my drain tubes in my tights. (Just trust me, it worked.)
Here we are. Me, in her lovely dress, Jonna in another lovely dress she brought.
The next huge grace that showed up today was the amazing opportunity to meet Sally Lloyd-Jones in my home. After my surgery I quoted her book, The Jesus Storybook Bible, and a friend realized she was coming to Focus on the Family. He organized this meeting and I’m so thankful. Spending time with her was like sitting down to a great meal. She was encouraging and gracious, she was transparent and a lovely storyteller. I felt like I have known her for a very long time.
I told her of the struggles we face and the heartbreaks that have grown us in Jesus. I told her by the surprise of this blog and how writing has kept me from feeling so isolated. I told her that I mostly write honestly about our hard moments. She told me her process for writing, and her heart’s desire to bring joy to children, thus pointing them to the author of true joy.
We discussed how my expectation of what church planting would be was so far from the reality, and how much better God is in planning. I was so comfortable with her, I even told her how I didn’t want to meet her in Walmart sweat pants. (I always over disclose.)
Can you believe it? Here is one of my favorite authors in my house, signing a book for me! She is sharing her story and loving me in the midst of mine! Such grace, such wonderful grace.
She brought me this lovely leather edition of her book.
To me, the greatest gift of her writing is that it transcends age. By now, you know I have a pretty large spread in ages in my house. This book connects to all my children. As we have family worship, this book connects to my oldest and my youngest. My friend used it as she discipled young women in college. This book is a gift. If you do not have it, consider enriching your home with grace today.
Jen and I were talking about how it felt like we were meeting a celebrity. This woman is a part of our daily lives, and I never expected an opportunity to meet her. She is a gift God has brought in our homes to help us point our children to Jesus. Jen said how it was such a gift to meet someone who has been such a source of encouragement. Jen talked about how exciting heaven will be getting to meet the many people God has used to grow us. What grace it was to meet one of those this side of heaven.
Friends, it was a good day, a very good day. All this grace, I’m undone. Thank you Jesus.
Jen, I’m so thankful that you captured this special day.