31 December 2012

The Year of Charis. Grace

In November a tummy bug swept through our home. It started with one of the little boys waking me one morning with: "Mommy I'm nauseous..." I frantically cleaned up after him. Sent everyone out of the room. I did everything in my power to avoid the other children getting this too. Everything went well. Three days passed, no one else got sick. Then Wednesday afternoon, as we were preparing to visit the dentist, my little girl bent over with tummy ache. "Mommy, I'm not feeling well..."  As I cleaned up, I tried to convince myself, it was only an anxiety attack, she feared the dentist, the drill, the injection etc. Nothing to worry about. Then on Friday night our baby boy laid weak in my arms, and without warning it came. My big girl cleaned up, while baby boy and me got in the bath. Everyone was helping. Me to deeply in need to send anyone away in fear they will catch the germ. During Sunday night three children came down with the bug and before dawn three loads of washing were ready for the washing line. Praise the Lord for extra linen and an automatic washing machine, working all by itself while I tried to get some sleep and listened for the slightest sound of discomfort from my little ones.  By Tuesday I've cleaned the home from top to bottom, loaded the washing machine more than I could count, washed hands over and over again, but still all 10 of us got the tummy bug!

How does one know where the germs’ hiding place is? 
How do I get rid of that which is unknown? 
So much havoc caused by that which cannot be seen.

This past year was the year of Eucharisteo - thankfulness. 

It was no easy year. 

Two miscarriages. Dreams trampled in the ground, leaving nothing more than me with empty heart and, empty hands. 

A son who entered adulthood. Quite challenging to watch him in his independence. Could this be, my firstborn baby, dependent on me for everything, now driving himself to where he needs to be? 

My little girl breaking her arm, my sensitive one. The one who so easily get worried and stressed out. Also the one to whom taking care of others come as second nature. How do I comfort her in her pain, while waiting in uncertainty for when they will take care of her?

In this all, and much more, Eucharisteo was the life line to my loving Father. The window through which I could look into heaven. See Him taking care of me. The mirror of His love reflecting on to me.

But then in my thankfulness I identified my biggest need... As I observed God’s grace to me, I identified my need for grace.

Eucharisteo in the original language means “give thanks”.

The root word of Eucharisteo is Charis, meaning “grace”. 

It isn’t possible to live in Eucharisteo, without Charis - grace. 

As I counted the gifts of thankfulness, I saw God’s grace in the every moments of my life. And I realized I’m lacking grace on my loved ones, grace on myself, grace on friends and acquaintances. Big time. 

I’m very much a control freak, a perfectionist, hard on myself, hard on every one around me. I like things to be done the correct way, little mistakes… little grace.

I know all the verses, I'm memorizing them, I know the truth, I know my Father of grace. I know the amount of grace I have for others, will be be given to me... And when I'm trying hard, be intentional, I'm capable of walking in that grace, but what about those tiring, overwhelming moments, when grace just slips through my fingers, robbed from me, even before I owned it?

I’m frantically trying to get hold of grace. Almost like getting hold of the germs in my home, that month of November.
Where is grace hiding from me? 
Without grace there is havoc in my life, in the life of my loved ones, loss in relationships.
How do I practice more grace?
Might there be more to this walking in grace? Something deeper? 

I'm yearning to truly possess grace and gradually I came to identify it.  Grace is in the here and now. In the hurry and running around of every day life, grace is missed. That is the story of my life. I’m constantly rushing to the next thing, missing the now, due to what happened a few minutes ago or because of what need to be done a few minutes from now.  But what about the now?
"Life is not an emergency.In our rushing, bulls in china shops, we break our own lives.Haste makes waste. The hurry makes us hurt.Whatever the pace, time will keep it and there’s no outrunning it, only speeding it up and pounding the feet harder; the minutes pound faster too.  Race for more and you’ll snag on time and leak empty. Hurry always empties a soul.”          Ann Voskamp
I often run on empty, exhausted, little left to give, but I thought it was because I’m to slow. It might be the contrary:
“Life is so urgent it necessitates living slow.”      Ann Voskamp
What if I intentionally focus to be slow? Yes, life in 2013 will be busy! Little children are demanding, unable to provide for their own needs; foolish in their actions, getting into trouble in no time; then there are my older children who needs more of my undivided attention, more of my mothering instinct to recognize their unspoken emotional needs. 
"Life is not an emergency. Emergencies are sudden, unexpected events - but is anything under the sun a surprise to God?”    Ann Voskamp

This is where I need my training for 2013.  A whole new mindset on the ‘emergency’ situations in my home. What if my goal is not for me to get everything under control, but to slow down and take care, thank God for the moment of being even more dependent on Him and making a difference in the life of my loved ones.

Taking in the moments with my large family, the good and the bad. Let these moments, which I already know are filled to the brim with God’s grace, fill me with grace. 

I have no idea how I’m going to do it, but I’m surely willing to learn and eagerly looking forward to master the how.
This year I will name - Grace.  I will deliberately walk in slowing down, experience the grace.  

Living in Eucharisteo, took me a whole year to accomplish, and I'm only at the beginning. 

May the Lord in 2013 grant me the grace to hurry less, slow down more, experience more of His grace, extended His grace more to my loved ones.

It is my prayer that the Lord may also reveal to you more of His Grace in 2013.  A Blessed and happy New Year!

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With much love


Anonymous said...

Dankie vir die deel Linnie. Alles van die beste vir die nuwe jaar vir julle as gesin.
Elize van der Merwe

Judith said...

Linnie, I just started reading what Ann VosKamp writes and it is blessing me tremendously. I chose the word, JOY, for my year. I like the word, grace too because it is what we are given though we don't deserve it. I loved seeing your pictures and reading what you wrote along your journey. It is hard some days but by the grace of God you can do it. You have a lovely blog!! Have a wonderfully blessed day!!

Linnie said...

Thank you Judith! May your year truly be joyful in The Lord! Wow, you are in for a blessed year. Have a blessed day too, it is already night time here in South Africa! :-)

Linnie said...

Dankie Elize! Se├źn ook vir jul jaar. Liefdegroete

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