Tag Archives: grace

If The Boo-Boo Bunny Still Worked

Not too long ago I remember putting bandaids on my children’s fingers and handing them the “boo-boo bunny” to miraculously make everything better. Back then I always knew where they were, who they were with, what they were doing, and that they were safe. Every night I tucked them into bed tight.

But slowly, very quickly actually, things changed.

No longer can I make everything better. I don’t always know where they are, who they are with, what they are doing, or if they are safe. And with one in college, I can’t even always be present to take care of things.

This of course is a normal, natural reality. As kids grow up they become less dependent. It is meant to be this way. But as any parent with grown up (or semi-grown up) kids will attest, they will never not still be our babies, which means our hearts will always, forever still long to protect, rescue and care for. Knowing we can’t is hard. Some days – some seasons – harder than others.

It’s not that I want to roll back time to when boo-boo bunny saved the day; I love having older kids. But being able to heal their hurt with a bandaid and bunny sounds really nice right now.

Instead my only option is to trust God as the ultimate and perfect parent to my kids. Interesting isn’t that as our kids become less dependent on us, we have to become more dependent on him. But when he doesn’t do what this parent thinks he should, my struggle is with him.

He promises to be our rock, our fortress and deliverer. Our shield and our stronghold. To lead us beside still waters and to restore our souls. We need this since his word also tells us to not be surprised by trials that come our way.  But how long we sometimes endure without seeing him be all these things for our child is excruciating.

Congnitively still, I know God is always there in the boat, steering. But visibly when waters are rising, my heart yells out for God to hurry. I know he can, so why isn’t he?

If the boo-boo bunny still worked I wouldn’t have to wrestle with these tough questions that are hard to ask. But thankfully King David shows us in the Psalms that we can.  So I will keep crying out to him to “give ear to my prayer.” In this tension of calling to him and out against him, I trust he’s using the very same circumstances of my child to show me too his “grace abounds in deepest waters.”

And isn’t this what we need to know with utmost certainty when we can’t protect, rescue or care for our child ourselves?

Weakness Is Strength

As I came out of my class at the Y the other day, I saw what looked like a large coin hit the ground. I asked the lady walking toward me if it had fallen out of her bag. She said, “No” and kept walking so I stooped to pick it up and saw it inscribed with “Wifey.” That seemd like an odd word to carry around, plus it was kind of beat up so I tossed in the trash can on the way to the water fountain.

But as I was filling my water bottle, I thought to myself that I should have turned it over to the front desk not thrown it away. Before I could go retrieve though, I heard a lady ask the front desk worker if a coin had been turned in.

My ears perked up, and my heart beat faster. It was the same lady’s voice who said it wasn’t hers. Yikes, it was afterall! Not wanting her to see me I snuck around the wall out of sight, but within ear shot. Once I knew she had headed back down the hall to class, I went back to the trash can. My plan was to grab it out and turn it in thinking she woud stop back by after class to see if it had been turned in. But the coin was gone. (Don’t worry the trash can was mostly empty minus a gum wrapper and plastic lid resting atop a discarded flyer so I didn’t have to dig deep!)

I assume the woman got it from the trash can herself, but I I felt awful for deeming it worthless and then hiding instead of running to tell her where it was! Who does that?

I’ll tell you. All of us, starting in the Garden when Adam and Eve hid from God after eating the forbidden fruit. This is when God came calling after them, “Where are you?” But clearly he’s God, he knew where they were, and what they had done. What he was really asking was, “Why are you hiding?”

Like Adam and Eve and all of humanity since, we have hidden in shame, trying to cover our sin and pridefully – rebelliously – acting as if we are innocent. Today we do this by wearing the mask of perfection to appear as we have it all together. We do this by covering up with the “fig leaf” of performance so no one will suspect we aren’t as “good” as our behavior begs them to think. And, by living out of our own strength, we deny our weaknesses, suppress our sin, and fail to see how needy we really are.

But not living weak and needy is to live not needing Jesus. Because who needs Jesus if you are strong and perfect on your own?

Lately, God has been showing me weakness is actually strength! What’s funny is I’m reading for the 4th time Barbara Duguid’s book Extravagant Grace with the subtitle: God’s Glory Displayed in our Weakness, but I’m hearing in a new way Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 12:9, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.

That means I can be honest about my sin, without fear. I don’t have to hide – behind a wall, my “good” behavior or pride. I can go freely  – not shamefully – to God with all of my sin, and in all of my need for the only suitable covering there is – his righteousness.

Do you know Grace like this? Do you give it to yourself? Do you extend it to others? If you don’t, I hope you will begin seeing the key to drawing nearer to God is not sinning less and less and getting better and better, but becoming weak and dependent. His power – his strength – perfect in my weakness.

 

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How Parenting Out of Weakness Strengthened My Relationship With My Teen

“Can I talk to Dad now?”

Right in mid-sentence, my college daughter interrupted me and asked for the phone to be handed over to my husband. She had called me – upset and stressed out – needing someone to talk to, but then abruptly decided my husband was actually the one she preferred. While not easily offended, I would be lying if I said this didn’t bother me at all. I’m thankful she likes to talk to her dad, but what about me? Couldn’t we just all be on speaker?

I desperately wanted to know what she was thinking, experiencing, and doing, but every time we talked it felt like I was walking a fine line, not knowing what question or comment would push her too far and cause her to retreat. Even before that night I had sensed her shutting me out, and I couldn’t figure out why.

To find out why, and how it has led to better communication with my daughter follow me over to Rooted Ministry here.

 

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