With May being the month that we focus special attention on our mothers, I would like to highlight my mom and the blessing that she is to my life. This is one of my favorite pictures of my mom. Can’t you just see abundant grace & joy radiating from her?
I inherited my middle name from my mom— who inherited it from her mom— who borrowed it from a woman who encouraged and blessed my great grandmother’s life so much she named her firstborn daughter’s middle name after her. Jean. It means “grace of God” or “graciousness of God”. Along with this middle name, a special blessing of God’s presence and anointing for His ministry has accompanied those in my family named after it. My mother and grandmother are two of the most godly woman I know. Both have immense ministries encouraging others, praying for others, and ushering the presence of God in a greater measure into other’s lives. (I’d like to believe that passed on to me too! 😊) I have watched year upon year as God uses these ladies to draw people into His presence, into salvation and into daily communion with Him.
My mother’s first name also means “God’s grace”. Mom will often smile and say, “Yes, I’m just blessed with a double portion of grace.” Which is a great thing for a Pastor’s wife and child of God to be blessed with, right? And let me tell you, like us all– she has needed every ounce of grace God has bestowed on her!
I have seen my mom tap into that power and strength time and time again when challenges, hurdles and unexpected situations come her way. One of the stories to come to mind was several years ago as a group of our ladies from church journeyed to El Salvador on a missions trip. My sister and I also went along on this trip. I was three months pregnant and found the situation to be overwhelming at times: foreign flights, driving on a foreign highway (where there were men armed with machetes), and being surrounded with a different climate, food choices, and living arrangements. Each time, my mom was there, offering God’s grace and strength in the middle of my weakness. I will always value the camaraderie she offered me that trip and the reassurances she spoke during the challenges. Each time pointing me back to the Word and the grace and strength that is found in the scriptures. (She has does this numerous times in every different season of my life. Thank you, mom!) One of the more humorous moments of the trip, when our group was served a luxurious El Salvadorian dinner— fresh caught fish with their heads (and eyeballs 😮 ) still on— mom, armed with the strength God’s grace provides— began to sever the heads from the fish and serve the group of women the now headless meat. 😆 That is something I never thought I would see my sweet, four foot eleven mama do! But brave, strong, and filled great measures of His grace she was! (And is). And what a story this makes to tell the grandkids. 😊
Yes, I would for sure say that my mom is synonymous with STRENGTH. In fact, isn’t GRACE itself synonymous with strength? When we allow grace into a situation, we allow space into a situation, a space that can bring such strength.
Have you heard of the Japanese tradition of “glueing” broken items together with pure gold? I find it fascinating! The process is called Kintsugi.
It is “the art of repairing broken pottery by mending the areas of breakage with lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered gold” (wiki.com).
Picture credit to https://www.instagram.com/kintsugi_._/
The tradition began when an heirloom that had been in a family for generations broke. Instead of simply glueing it back together, gold was added to the glue to add extreme strength to the item. In the process of repairing the broken heirloom, it now became stronger and so much more beautiful and original.
Isn’t this just a beautiful example of God’s grace? Each of us is broken, incomplete without the great outpouring of grace and strength that God gives. But then God comes in with His grace and fills all cracks. In this process of filling in the cracks, we are made stronger by His grace and mercy. Because of His presence we are stronger than before. I see this in my mom’s life, my grandmother’s life, my own life as well.
There is never a situation that is bigger than the grace that God supplies.
“But where sin (problems, pain, separation) increased, grace increased all the more…”
The Passion Translation says,
“And yet, wherever sin increased, there was more than enough of God’s grace to triumph all the more.”
It goes on to translate from the Aramaic— it’s a grace that is “super hyper-abundant grace. An endless fountain of grace that has been opened for us in Christ” (footnote Romans 5:20, Passion Translation).
A fountain of grace? Yes, please! Often in times of stress many of us could prefer a fountain… a fountain of coca-cola or a fountain of endless coffee…. 😂 or how about endless bubble baths or strolls by the oceanside? 😉 But here we are offered SUPER ABUNDANT grace… fountains of it. Unending, Unyielding, Unstoppable. A double portion— to the max! Every time God’s grace will surpass any challenge or situation it faces. Every time. In fact, grace sees problems as a piece of cake! It’s no challenge whatsoever.
Yes, I want that perspective.
Then—just like that— a comforting song comes to my spirit, one that I sing often:
Come Thou fount of every blessing
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace
Streams of mercy never ceasing
Call for songs of loudest praise
Teach me some melodious sonnet
Sung by flaming tongues above
Praise the mount, I’m fixed upon it
Mount of Thy redeeming love
— Come Thy Fount of Every Blessing
I find myself whispering back, Yes Lord, tune my heart to sing your grace….. Against any and every situation I face may it be YOUR grace that is the focus. Not the pain. Not the challenges or the problems that threaten to overtake. No, may your GRACE be the thing I focus on, speak about. May your grace be magnified in my life. May the GOLD veins that hold me together be the focus…. Not the brokenness of myself or my situation.
And my prayer is much the same for you this week: ❤️
May you walk in the freedom and strength His Grace provides. May you realize that no matter what you face— God’s grace has a hold on you. It won’t let go. It won’t run out, time out. It is always more than enough to surpass the toughness and hurt of any situation you face. May you feel the tangible grace of God like a strong hand on your back, guiding you, supporting you. May your heart be tuned to sing His Grace in any and every situation. Focus on that powerful GOLD GRACE holding you together. And may you experience breakthrough as you wait, strong in grace. And, may you find yourself— like my grandmother and mother— becoming a dispensers of His grace— strong and true— to the world around you.
Until next time,