Wednesday, February 23, 2011

grace covers, like snow

A few Sundays ago, I routinely strapped the boys into their car seats. All was ready and packed for church (there is much to pack when you have two boys in diapers). It was then I realized the apartment key was no longer in my coat pocket. My heart sank as I looked at the ground.

The key was buried under the snow. I was (almost) certain of it. I knew I had a few minutes before Hans came downstairs, so I began my futile search. Hans looked with me when he came and --


The time was up. We had to go. Hans opened the door for me as he always does, and I reluctantly climbed in the car knowing we were leaving our apartment key out in the snow. Hidden, maybe, but still...

If I were two, I would be wailing.

As Hans got in his seat, he placed a gleaming key in my palm, "We can be thankful for God's grace," he said, "It was just laying there. I wasn't even looking anymore."

Relieved. Hugely relieved.

When we reached our first stoplight, he said, "It would still be God's grace even if we had found it while we were searching."

As a new mom, I received a lot of advice. And I welcomed them, and even sought after them at first, because I was unsure about many things and desperate for some answers.

What to do and what not to do? What to feed and when and how much and how do you know? I need to be sure about this. I don't want to break him. I can't mess this up.

I search for methods, only the perfect and bests, hoping that they would give me that (false) sense of control that I crave so badly. When something works, I pat myself on the back, feeling smug for having figured everything out. When something does not work, I fall into guilt and despair. What did I do wrong? Why is it not working? Please explain. Trenches on either sides are deadly.

Methods are certainly not bad. By all means, we should educate ourselves. Not all methods are created equal. Some are definitely better, wiser than others. Some are just plain wrong.

The point is this: No matter what method I may choose (or other people may choose) -- grace makes the garden grow.

Every little finger and every little toe, every teeth, every eyelash, every nap (even the short ones), the roundness of every cheek, every squeal -- shouts Glory to the Maker, who holds all of us in the palm of his hand.

As I changed Yohanan's diaper this morning, I was relieved to see that his rash was nearly gone. Finally, after all that hard work! Weeks of applying medicine... I then caught myself. There I go again. Self-righteousness and ingratitude are ever at work within me, never too far away.

I do not heal broken skin. God does.

When I come to the edge of my limitations,
sleep deprived
from waking up the fifth time,
patience running dry
from repeating myself for the sixth time,
when my best attempts yield no fruit --
his grace is sufficient for me,
for all of us.

We are covered
by the grace of him
who gives long sleep and white snow.


serene555 said...

Thank you. I needed to hear (read) that.

That is so exactly the chain of thought I sometimes have... when something goes right, I try to identify what I did that made it right. When something does not work, I agonise over it... but I'm learning that there is usually no way to predict which way it will go most of the time.

I will keep this in mind. Even when things are not exactly what they should be (by the book) God is still working

Rebecca said...

Hey Irene, I found a lost key this week too! And my first reaction was praise the Lord!

Honestly, that is something that is new for me. It used to annoy me a lot when good (but mundane, everyday) things happened to other people and their immediate response was to praise God. It seemed presumptuous and almost offensive to me. Like, 'how do you know it as God's intent for that to happen to you?' Or 'what about all that other stuff that happens and you don't attribute to God?' Their instinctive praise-God response seemed impulsive and not well-thought-out, and I thought it cheapened the image of God.

But these days, I'm learning to let God invade all the parts of my life, including the everyday. And learning to believe in His goodness no matter what. I know it wasn't exactly the point of your blogpost, but the thing about the keys just reminded me of it. :)

Rebecca Wei

E! said...

one time freshman year, i lost my roomkey. and flipped my room upside down (glad there was no snow in my dorm) in search, and found it in Deut 6. bizarre and hilarious.

i called you later that day, and you told me about your wedding ring.

white as snow :)

Seda said...

Serene -- =) You are doing really well! Venturing into cloth nappies and all. It looks like you are having a bit of fun too, =) which is a really good sign.
You are right -- there is no predicting what is going to happen, and grace helps me keep a better perspective on what is important and not freak out (something I am prone to do). =)

Rebecca -- hi you! =) I know what you mean about being annoyed. The tricky thing for me is to truly believe that God gives only good gifts even when things go wrong in the mundane everyday. =)
Thanks for sharing!

Esther -- yes, white as snow. =) For really, when we know we have grace, should anything else matter?

Re Deut 6, truly bizarre. maybe you should memorize it :D

E! said...

he's beary flexible btw