Grace Swap

June 8, 2011 | 30 comments

Like old blue jeans and sundresses, grace is a hand-me-down in our house.

I watched the Grace Swap from the kitchen sink this week. Our oldest daughter, Lydia, taught her little sister how to finger weave. She leaned in close, over her sisters’ shoulders as the little one worked the yarn through her fingers.

“Under, over, under, over. Now grab your stitches one at a time, Anna,” Lydia spoke softly. “There you go, there you go. … Now push your stitches down.”

In a Grace Swap, in order for the giver to give, someone else must receive. Receiving is a grace all its own.

Anna tilted her head to one side. “Like this, Lydia?” she asked.

And when grace is received, the natural response is to give it away again — to pay it forward. This is a Grace Passing, and those who give, may give until empty, for they will be filled again.

***

Grace is kindness and favor, and we’re still learning what that means in this house.

Is it just us, or is your house maybe a bit like ours sometimes? In the din of slammed doors and raised voices and arguments over who-pinched-who first, I can barely recognize grace. There is the stomping of feet, and the tantrums. As for me? This mama can lose it over the silliest things.

But often, grace comes barreling through the front door with its shoes on, tracking in and leaving marks all over the place.

But to experience tracked-in grace most fully, we must follow its footsteps, and pass it on.  

God never meant for us to hoard grace. He repeatedly calls on us to give it away to another.  Grace is charis, the holy work of God.  It is divine influence upon the heart.

Who would want to keep something so sacred a secret?

***

Yesterday, I found Anna leaning against the wall of the office, weaving a yarn-chain and mumbling quiet words with chin to the chest. A posture of grace.

“What are you doing?” I asked.

“I am making a prayer weaving for my crew leader,” she said.

Her sister had told her that she could weave a gift, and pray with each stitch  as a way to bless another. A prayer weaving from a child. A bit of thunderous grace, passed on.

Translation: I prayed for you when I made this finger weaving. I hope you like it. I made it for you a long time so I really hope you like it a lot. Love, Anna M. Lee.

Grace. Pass It On.

by | June 8, 2011 | 30 comments

30 Comments

  1. Karen

    This is precious…

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Thank you, Karen. 🙂

      Reply
  2. Nancy

    So many images from this post: giving and receiving grace; passing it back and forth; breathing it in, exhaling it out; I kept thinking about a dance. I love the prayer weaving. I often used to cross stitch pieces for friends, praying for them as I worked, giving both them and me something tangible that represented the invisible work of grace.

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      A dance, yes, Nancy. So beautiful, these grace-waltzes.

      Do you still cross-stitch? I remember cross-stitching in junior high and high school, but haven’t started a project in years.

      Reply
  3. Arianne

    Ahh, the freshness of seeing grace! It is hard to find some days at our house of boys, but I’m learning that it CAN start with ME if I want it to! 😉

    Hope all is well with your farming and crops! We’re a tad behind with all of our rains.

    🙂

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Hi Arianne! So nice to see you again! Our crops are all in. We are thankful for God’s provision, and now we’re trusting him to do that Thing He does. God bless you as you finish up with your crops, my friend.

      Reply
  4. Linda

    The giving and receiving of grace – you are modeling it so well for your girls.

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Hi Linda … Your remarks are humbling. I do try, sweet friend, but I fail so often. I’m grateful for the grace that my girls extend to me, even when I lose it. Children forgive so easily. That’s a huge lesson for me.

      Reply
    • dukeslee

      🙂 … Back atchya girl. Lovin’ you.

      Reply
  5. Megan Willome

    We SO need grace this summer. My son is 15. My daughter is 12. Sometimes they get along great, but sometimes the fighting is so awful I just hide in my room. And that doesn’t even touch the fighting between my husband and son. I feel like Hannah Coulter.

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Hi Megan,

      Yes, I have resorted to hiding. Once the girls eventually found me standing in the shower, fully clothed and hiding. 🙂

      Reply
  6. Michelle DeRusha

    Love it, Jennifer.We have some grace swapping (and then, some other not so graceful swapping) around here lately, too.

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      LOL, Michelle. We have the not-so-graceful kind, too. Sometimes, we go from grace to un-grace in 3.2 seconds!

      Reply
  7. Jessica (thesavingmom)

    Wonderful. I love how you mention we aren’t to hoard grace. What a fantastic thought…when we have nothing else to give, we still have grace. Thank you. ~Jessica

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      I have been a grace hoarder. Sometimes, I’ve been scared to give it away. Fear of rejection?

      I’ve also been horrible at receiving grace. But I’ve learned that if I don’t receive, I deny someone the opportunity to give. But it’s hard to receive. For me, anyway…. Still learning. Grateful for God’s patience.

      Reply
  8. Ruthie

    What a beautiful post! And a great reminder to pass on a simple but profound gift like grace. Thank you for the encouragement! 🙂

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Ruthie,

      Thank you for stopping by. You blessed me. 🙂

      Reply
      • Ruthie

        You’re welcome! Thank you for visiting my blog and for your sweet and encouraging comments!

        Reply
  9. laura

    And just how is VBS going? I am praying for you, my friend! We are doing the Pandamania in a couple weeks too. I can’t wait to hear more. Your girls are so precious. Love to you, Jennifer.

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Our VBS has been amazing. I thought of you this week, and figured you’d be hangin’ with the Pandas before long. What is your role this year, Laura?

      Reply
  10. Tay

    Wow. That is so amazing. Your children are precious. This is such a great example of what I like to call “grace dots” {when grace literally dots our everyday lives}.

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Tay! What a cool thought, those grace dots. I’ll be looking for a polka-dotted day today, thanks to you. You bless me!

      Reply
  11. Diana Trautwein

    Such a sweet story, so beautifully told. Do you sometimes find yourself holding your breath as you watch this kind of grace exchange? I remember doing that, almost frightened to move or speak for fear of treading on holy ground as my kids offered these sweet gifts to one another. Of course, there were other kinds of ‘gifts,’ too. My girls have confessed in their adult years that they were HORRIBLE to their younger brother when I wasn’t around to see it. (And sometimes when I was…) Sweetly, what remains now that they are 43/41/39 is a really lovely friendship filled with love and grace. And it still feels like holy ground to me.

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Hi Diana,

      This is so encouraging to me. My girls definitely have their moments, just like I did with my three siblings growing up. I do pray that even through the squabbles, their relationship will grow and flourish, so that they have deep friendships when they reach adulthood.

      I’m sure that does feel like holy ground to you — seeing your children with lovely friendships formed. What a gift as a parent, and it’s a sacred gift that, quite honestly, I hadn’t really considered until you mentioned it.

      God bless…

      Reply
  12. The Soap sister

    Oh such a sweet example of grace being pa ssed…His grace really is “Amazing”, isn’t it? Thanks for helping me to watch for it, and hopefully pass it along -today! 🙂

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Mmmm-hmmmm … Amazing indeed.

      How sweet the sound.

      Thanks for sharing with me today.

      Reply
  13. Glenda Childers

    We have two daughters who are both grown now. Your post brought back so many memories and sweetly they still teach each other so many life lessons and give grace as adults. What a happy mamma I am.

    I really enjoy your blog and your writing style.

    Fondly,
    Glenda

    Reply
  14. Carey

    Ah…the grace found through a child. Thanks for the reminder as we’re trying to settle into a summer routine here. Midst the chaos of getting used to being all together more again!

    Reply
  15. S. Etole

    seeing grace in action in children … well … it’s all grace!

    Reply

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