Celebration of Grace

I read a quote the other day that said, “The art of really celebrating life isn’t about getting it right – but about receiving Grace. The sinners and the sick, the broken, the discouraged, the wounded, and burdened – we are the ones who get to celebrate grace!” It was Ann Voskamp who said the words but they could have come straight from my own heart.
It’s a theory I’ve been wrestling with for quite some time. We live in a society that screams “Get it right!” every day. Your pie must be firm but soft and your home must be clean enough for health but with enough mess to make others comfortable. Your hair can not be gray and your eyebrows must be full…because thin eyebrows are soooo last year. Your parenting must be without flaws and your schedule must be the perfect balance of home, work, school, party,etc. Your children must be well behaved yet not robots and your spouse should always be supportive and have a twinkling gleam to his or her teeth when smiling.
All those things are lovely, although I now have to paint on eyebrows after years of over-plucking to get the “perfect thin” and sometimes my work/party balance is off. It’s too much. Really. I’m done.
God calls me, as the old alter-call hymn says, just as I am. Broken. Wounded. Burdened. Thin browed. He takes it all and wraps me in a giant blanket of grace where I get to curl up in his arms and experience his love.
In this season of frivolity and celebration I am often tempted with the perfect sparkle and just the right amount of twinkle. I want the brass music to be loud and clear and the bells to be bright and clear. I want just the right sprinkling of glitter.
That wasn’t how the season started though. It started thousands of years ago in a dirty stable with a teen mom. There were sheep and probably cows. It was less than ideal and I feel certain there were no icicle lights. It wasn’t how a king should enter the world. It was smelly. It was broken. It was discouraging. It was full of grace.
God became man so that we might celebrate grace. He did it for the sick and the broken and the wounded. He did it for moms like me who get over stressed and drink too much wine and eat too much pie. He did it for the dad who stresses over finances and therefore works too many hours. He did it for the kids that can’t sit still and for the grouchy old people that throw rocks at kids. (Okay, I’ve never actually seen that happen anywhere other than a Bugs Bunny cartoon. But it could happen. And grace would be there.)
The celebration comes from the gift of grace. The celebration is the grace. I’m grateful for the offering of grace.

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