After our holiday guests went home and Aaron went back to work, the children and I struggled this week to get back to normal. They both greet me with Merry Christmas, Mommy! in the morning, and then when they realize the tree is STILL gone, and there is not a "Baby Cheeses" anywhere in sight, they tell me how sad they are and how much they miss Christmas. It was a week of tiny bickering, obedience challenges, lots of tears (from babies and mama!), an epic diaper rash, and lots of texts out to friends and sisters asking [begging] for prayer. I searched for gifts of grace high and low but always found them.
One gift I was really looking forward to and that helped sustain me through the week was church this morning; I couldn't wait to be with my Westside family, being led in worship by our totally hot worship leader and sitting under Jason's teaching. And, of course, fellowshipping with my friends. Ah, I knew it would be a balm to my heart after the rough week.
And then...before his bath last night, Von started coughing and sneezing. I tried to explain it away in my head--dust got up his nose or his asthma was triggered or he was dehydrated. But listening to him through the monitor all night told me otherwise. And joining him on the couch when he got up at 4:45 confirmed my fears: he has a full-blown cold. Poor baby. As Kara would say, he is puny. There was no way I could drag this sick boy to church.
My disappointment almost feels overwhelming. And even as I type this, I think, I am so blessed to have such a wonderful church family even if I can't go this week! Why are you complaining? Think of your friends who actually have something going on worth complaining about!
But I write because I know that God cares about every disappointment and hurt we have, that there is no measuring stick comparing our heartaches. That when someone says, This is so small compared to some hurts/prayer requests/situations, it's not true--hurt is hurt, pain is pain, disappointment is disappointment. God cares about every single hurt feeling, disappointment, broken heart, twinge of sadness that we have ever encountered.
So I search for grace. In the midst of this hard mama day, my disappointment over missing church, my sadness for my sick baby, and the anger that threatens to creep up in my heart, I search for grace. I start with prayer and asking others for prayer, begging God to open my eyes to his lavish gifts.
This is the first gift I've found--a song my sisters Erin and Caitlin have told me about that they both love. I am learning it, praying it, meditating on it. And it is a gift. If you are searching for grace this morning, I hope and pray this is a gift for you, too.
What hurts and disappointments are you dealing with today? Where have you found gifts of grace? How are you a gracemonger today?