Is Grace Enough?

My 92-year-old dad’s health is rapidly declining. My dog just had surgery and we are awaiting test results to see if it’s cancer. My kids are each going through their own wrenching challenges. My husband’s job has been erratic. And on and on it goes. What’s your list look like?

This is just the obvious stuff. The next layer is even more tender. There’s the grief of losing my mom and the anticipated grief of losing my dad soon. The fear and helplessness of not being able to influence my children can take my breath away. The decision fatigue of managing so many things at the same time sometimes leaves me wanting to run away at best, or zone out and binge a show at worst.

And underneath all of this is my love for God. And the love from God.
I have to stop and pause. I have to stop and remember. He is the way maker.

More than a great song lyric, He really is the one who makes rough places smooth. His light leads through the darkness. He takes me on well-worn paths and to uncharted trails. He guides me through the fire, through the flood. He sets me high upon a rock.

He leads me to green pasture. To rest. To settle. To focus again.

Since I know that nothing is a surprise to Him,
since I know He plans ahead for me,
since I know that He is always with me,
I can turn to Him, see His face, hear His voice, and understand what He wants to show me in these very harried moments.

Today, He says that life is a gift. Don’t waste it by complaining about what is wrong but look for the good, His goodness in the moments.

Today He says that my faith in His provision is my gift to Him. Regardless of the swirl, He has already provided for me and I “get to” watch and anticipate His movement in my life.

Today He says that grace is a reality for me to pull on, to expect, to stand on. It is a divine presence in every situation. I can bank on it.

Last year, God gave me this beautiful revelation about the word grace as represented in Hebrew letters. Hebrew letters are pictures that reveal a much deeper meaning. The word “grace” is literally the letters that mean “beautiful camp.”

The Israelites were a nomadic people so they would travel and then set up tents in a circle close to each other. They would overlap the tent cords on the outside circle of the tents to form a barricade from animals and invaders. Then they would open up their tents to the inside of the circle so that they could freely visit, the children would play safely inside the tent circle. More on this later.  However, God gave me the phrases:

Protection from without.
Provision from within.

That is what I can expect and hope and trust and rely on when I say I need grace. His grace.

God’s protection from without. God’s provision from within. He’s got me, and you, fully covered in grace. I truly am in good hands. And so are you.



Let’s Love Our Kids—and Our Company

True confessions.  I used to get so stressed out cleaning and perfecting that my family hated having people come over.  It hit me like a ton of bricks the day both my girls whined, “I hate having company.”  Whaaaaat? How have I failed to teach them hospitality? How could they be so insular? so selfish?  Then the rest of their sentence rolled out.

“You are always so angry and stressed out that it’s not worth it.”


How could I teach them love for others when I was not loving them under pressure? I am glad that hard conversation came when it did. And I am sad that my temper tantrums lasted as long as they did. Hospitality, it turns out, begins at home. So does honor, respect, patience and valuing others, no matter how old your kids are. Unskilled toddlers or resistant teens.

I know some of you sweet, calm moms have no idea what I am talking about. But some of you do.

We want everything to be so perfect, so under control, that we try to manage our children like little chess pieces on a gameboard to keep everything “just right.” Here is the kicker. If I have to yell to get my chore list done to my satisfaction, I don’t have my priorities in place.

“Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me,” the hymn rings out.  Maybe it is better said, “Let there be peace in my home, and let it begin with me.”

God changed me.  I have had many people over in the last four years. The chores have gotten done, or not. The table set beautifully, or not. The food delicious, or not. And none of those “things” have been more important than loving on my kids and husband well in the process.

I didn’t realize it before, but my explosion on them was inadvertently saying, you don’t matter as much as the company does. Although my message was “let’s love on other people,”  my actions said “let’s love on other people at your expense.”

Okay take a deep drink from the cup of Grace. He loves you no matter what. But let’s learn some new ways.

Here are a few guardrails God gave me to keep all the “getting ready” energy flowing in peace:

• It doesn’t have to be perfect to be well done. Be satisfied with less.

• If I am getting charged up, I am not trusting God in the details. Stop and pray.

• My kids are going to learn from me, so I might as well teach them grace instead of rage. Worship instead of worry.

• And finally, understand that the peace in your home is more important to everyone than the looks and the food.

I can go anywhere for food. I can’t go anywhere and get the peace of God. Invite Him to rest in your home while you prepare it for others.

Okay. Enjoy getting ready for Thanksgiving. I mean it. Enjoy it. All of it.


Porter LeBoeuf enjoying some of her grandmother’s, Kate LeBoeuf, delicious goodies. And her peace.