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,
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.