A wonderful, generous and tender friend recently sent me a book. It was the most beautiful and painful read, and there were not enough tissues in all the world as I sat with those pages. An autobiography written by Kara Tippetts, a momma and a wife, who loved the Lord, and her husband, and her children, and who is now living in Glory after her journey with cancer came to an end.
I read the last sentence on Wednesday and closed the book and gathered my babies in a heap of squirmy arms and legs. My two boys with their long eye lashes, and their chubby toes, and their dimpled knees. And my heart ached for a family I don't know, and for babies I have never met.
So many words and phrases from her book have echoed in my head since I put the book down, but none quite as loudly as the gentle and firm reminder that all is grace. It's not a paycheck we earned, or a reward we deserve, all is grace.
ALL IS GRACE.
Every breath taken. Every baby snuggled. Every meal prepared and set on the table. Every giggle. Every piece of burned toast. Every "tubby time" with the boys. Every "will you pway wiff me momma?" Every "Please go sit in time out." Every long, slow kiss. Every "How was your day at work, babe?"
ALL IS GRACE.
Oh that my heart would remember more often and more deeply that this good thing we've got goin' is pure grace. And that my momma heart would trust that when the good thing we've got goin is hard and painful and complicated... grace and goodness will meet us there. And that I would join Kara and the cloud of witnesses in the middle of all that hard and agree with them that ALL IS GRACE.
And that I would keep busting out the body paint and celebrating all that grace with the people who have my heart. I want to embrace the mess that is childhood. I want to let my bare chested boys, with their backwards undies, paint whiskers on their cheeks and color tattoos on their legs and fill their belly buttons with green paint. I want to stand them up in front of a mirror and marvel at the good work God did in the knitting and the growing and the building of their bodies. And then I want to fill a tub with bubbles and let them soak until their stained skin is pink and clean and their toes are wrinkled and wet, and thank the Lord for all that grace.