Perhaps one of the best reasons to start a blog entitled GraceLaced is the constant reminder and accountabiity throughout the day that I've made it known to the world that I am an up and coming person of graciousness, that I desire to be a living testament to God's Grace, that I hope to exude gracefulness in every aspect of my domestic life. There's only one problem...I don't always heed those reminders. "Gracious" is the last word one would use to describe my behavior yesterday afternoon. "Indignant," "uncontrolled," "rude," "harsh," "torrential," "selfish"--these might do the job. The blame could be placed on fatigue, or disobedient children, or a messy house, or poopy diapers, or last minute dinner guests, or my husband Troy's unavailability due to personal crisis, all of which were true...but ultimately, the simple, ugly, ungraceful truth is that I just let my selfishness get the better of me. The details of this blow-up are irrelevant, as is the fact that Troy felt just as ungracious after the argument. I had just spent my day anticipating a good time together as a family that evening, and he had just come down from the mountain (literally), after a time of prayer over himself, our family and our church. Yet, neither of us could remember a time when we had ever spoken so harshly and selfishly with one another...especially over nothing significant. The areas of my life I so desperatly desire to be gracious in: marriage, home, relationships, motherhood; and yet, these were the very rooms to which I was slamming the door. These are the times I'm so thankful for the words of the apostle Paul: "For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate." (Romans 7:15, NASB) Could I be any more thankful that such a servant as Paul would struggle with his ungracious flesh like I do? And how much more encouraging it is to read, only ten verses later: "Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death." "For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve on another...But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh...the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control...If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit." (Galatians 5:13, 16, 22-23, 25; NASB)
I'd be a fool to think that our marriage is the only one that will not flounder helplessly in a sea of marital strife heading toward divorce. Walking by the Spirit, that leads to Fruit, that leads to a God-honoring marriage, starts by confessing there is nothing gracious in me aprart from Christ. He alone can make me the wife, mother, friend I desire to be: "Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold new things have come." (2 Corinthians 5:17, NASB) This gives me hope, this leads me on, this puts a spring to my step...and this assures me that GraceLaced is still the right name for this place.