Grace Today

  (Photo cred Annevoskamp.com)

Grace has been on my mind a lot lately. My words for the year are scandalous grace, words that I’m just barely starting to grasp, much less put into practice.

I’m trying this at home with my children. They need scandalous grace from me to cover all the mistakes and missteps and bad decisions that already have been and that are to come. 

I’m also working on scandalous grace towards my soulmate, my love, my Mr. Wonderful. The fault line between lover and caregiver is ever shifting, and I’m trying to rain down wifely-ness more often than caregiver-ness, because that’s what I was first. With a spouse I’m finding that scandalous grace matters almost as much in the little, everyday moments as it does in the big earth-shattering ones.

And to the world at large: I’m going to try my best to offer scandalous grace to you as well. To the friend who has cut me out of her life, to the woman who has cut me off and driven slowly in front of me, to those who have hurt me and those who will: the world says I should get even. Take revenge. Trash your car or at the very least, you’re good name.

But I no longer live by the world’s standards. I live by the scandalous grace of the One who has loved me more in this second than I could love my whole family for my whole life plus a thousand lifetimes.

Scandalous grace is so hard. It means forgiveness, even when they don’t want or ask for it. It means showing kindness when I’d really rather throw a temper tantrum and slash their tires. It means having a strength that the world deems weak, getting past the past, moving on and letting go. 

 (Photo cred Lifehack)

Scandalous grace is also something I have to give myself: when I fail, when I don’t live up to mine or others’ expectations, when I make a bad call. Every day is a chance to practice scandalous grace on myself or someone else. Every day is the opportunity to try again, even if I missed the mark the day or hour or minute before.

Scandalous grace is very simple, but it is so hard.

┬ęCopyright Meredith Shafer 2016. Swing by Instagram and Twitter to say hi!

Last Weekend

I had the most amazing twenty-four hours last weekend! I flew out to Colorado to lead a ladies retreat that was supposed to bless them, give some lovely ladies much deserved rest and relaxation.

As it turns out, I was also blessed.

I’m so surprised how that worked. I spoke most of the day, helped facilitate small groups at our breakout sessions and then flew back immediately following. I should’ve been exhausted.

Instead I was exhilarated.

The ladies came to this retreat with a lot of stuff in their suitcases: relationship troubles, deaths of loved ones, job issues, sadness, regret, soul sickness.

It was not a day at the spa.

This was hard work for some of these ladies. And they stuck with it, worked through it, and left a lot of the baggage they brought with them at the retreat center when they left. Many of them walked out lighter, more determined, and more convinced than ever that they have a special place in this world that only they can fill.

And I left there wondering at a Maker who would create our beautiful surroundings, give us much needed time to discover his peace and give us hope just by being together in his presence. 

 

(Statue in the Mother Cabrini gardens, photo credit Meredith Shafer 2015) ┬ęCopyright Meredith Shafer 2015)