21 August 2012

the turning

This summer has been a tough one.  I've wrestled with putting pen to paper and listing out every hard thing - from the little to the big. I wondered if I saw just how many "various trials" there were that somehow I could find balance in the heaviness I still carry.

But I don't think that is the answer.  Seeing it all in black and white.

No, I want to see it through the lens of His grace.  The grace that carries, chases, and holds close.  The grace that says you don't have to try-hard or strive more or dig deeper.  The grace that says let the peace of Christ rule in your heart.

Yes, I want to remember the summer of 2012 as a milestone of God's amazing grace in my life.

I re-read Grace for the Good Girl slow with some awesome women {good girls, really}.  I am reading Grace-Based Parenting.  And its grace upon grace upon grace in my life.  As the big boys start school and challenges continue to pile up - with a quick trip to MI, and an important long-awaited-court-decision pushed back two weeks, and a potential "permanent profile" for Brad.

I sense that the hardness of the summer is lingering.  And its still heavy.  I plead to let peace rule.  As often as it takes.  Behind the steering wheel, in the shower through tears, after disappointments resurface.  And His grace finds me.

There have been a handful of out-of-the-blue-THIS-is-THE-life-moments in my life.  Times when it almost feels like a picture was taken and a caption was written "You are exactly where you are supposed to be right this very moment."  

I'm not talking about a wedding day, or a baby's birth, or a redeployment ceremony, or even that sweet moment when your grandparents meet their great-grandchild.  No, I'm not referring to the obvious "I ADORE THIS WONDERFUL LIFE" moments ... I have so many of those.  And they are certainly part of my stored up treasures that I revisit during hard times.

However, every once in awhile when everything isn't right, when there hasn't been a conclusion, when relationships still hang tense...Grace finds me and gives me that out-of-the-blue-THIS-is-THE-life-moment anyway.  I have a pretty crappy memory, but these moments I can recall perfectly.  I remember that moment driving down the mountain from Julian to Oceanside with my window down, and jammed onto a smelly bus with my knees alternated between Gambian knees, and after driving through the gate between open fields and Wilson's school while Brad was deployed - these vivid, etched-in-my-brain moments of God whispering, "Child you are exactly where I want you to be right this very moment - and I know its hard even still, but believe me I am with you."

This weekend as 5 out of 6 of us battle a cold and we head into Brad's crazy week... God gave me that moment.  I'll add it to my treasury.

It was late Saturday - late for us is after 10pm these days.  All of our boys were in bed.  Brad was prepping the coffee for Sunday morning.  I walked up the stairs, and turned the corner just past the loud creak, and I paused - deciding whether or not to hide and scare Brad when he came up the stairs {because we are very mature around here}.

And Grace found me.  And peace rushed over me.  And I knew in that moment that we are exactly where we are supposed to be.  As I stood in the glow of the nightlight, I breathed that deep breath of joy. And smiled wide  And decided not to scare Brad this time.

I turned the corner.  Peace rules.  Grace wins.  Always.

"Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful."  

Colossians 3:15

This post "When you are finding it hard to keep up {Chased by Grace}" by Ann Voskamp speaks of this Grace in a much more beautiful way than I ever could.


  1. Amanda, I love you. I love your honesty. I love picturing you scaring Brad. I love the smile you bring to my face. I love your faith.

    I am thankful for your friendship.

  2. you made me tear up and smile! thanks for sharing your heart!

  3. I really admire how you work through the hard times in your life Amanda. You tackle them with grace, as you say. I often just roll with things and don't face them, hoping that they will melt in to the background and roll off in to the past. This doesn't always work. Your reflection is beautiful and your honesty is unique and tender. You and Brad work steadily at having an authentic life, in accordance with your beliefs. I think that you will always end up being surrounded with love and light as that is what you believe is true and real. Don't sweat the small stuff. You know how to create a house full of love and faith no matter the circumstances.