Surprising Grace

I was sixteen when my father lost his job. Worry found me that year, stomach tight, thoughts all jumbled, and eyes dropping tears. Tension was high in our house. I hid away in my room where the “what if’s” of worry kept me prisoner, “What if we can’t buy food?” “What if I have to leave my school?” “What if he can’t find a new job?”

God often sends us grace silently, like an unexpected gift.

It could be a smile from a stranger, a needed hug from a friend, or words of thanks from a child. Sometimes it’s found in the heady scent of a flower or in seeing the sun break through the clouds. God gives us gifts in thousands of ways, including little pleasures and the things we enjoy.

Yet, sometimes grace comes as hope when it seems there was none. For me, hope came in the shape of teenage friends.

The first gift arrived in a bag of lunch. I was sitting with a friend during lunch at school and she handed me a sandwich. “What’s this for?” I asked. “My mom made an extra one” she said.

Had she noticed I hadn’t been bringing lunches to school for a while?

Every day, until my father was employed, my friend brought me a lunch her mother had packed just for me.

Just before Thanksgiving that year, another gift of hope arrived. It was Sunday evening and I heard a knock at the door. I opened it to find three kids from my youth group at church. They were carrying bags from the grocery store. They had brought us everything we would need for Thanksgiving dinner. That was a Thanksgiving meal I never forgot and probably never will.

Even when hope seems lost, He leaves a trail of gifts. Sometimes they are small, sweet treats, and other times they are much-needed provisions. Following the trail, counting the graces as they are found, leads to new-found hope.

And sometimes, it’s the unexpected graces that linger in the heart the longest.

Counting His gifts and all the unexpected ways He loves (1399-1420):

The way God provides for all our needs

Traveling with my husband while he works

Kids who are used to flying and traveling–they know the routine

Homeschooling away from home

Meeting up with a blogging friend!

Touring the Atlanta Botanical Gardens–I could have stayed for days!

My boys and my friends kids had a blast together

The beauty of God’s creation in bloom

Salad of mixed greens, figs, and blackberries

Listening to birds sing while sitting on the porch

Shrimp and grits

Visiting Legoland Discovery Center in Atl.

New legos to build

The kids discovering honeysuckles at the park and experiencing its taste for the first time

Beautiful weather

Meeting up with old college friends

Exploring the Chattahoochee Nature Center

Kids pretending to do the weather

Almond encrusted french toast

Rope burns–evidence of fun on the ropes course at Stone Mountain

Psalm 34 and 1 Timothy

 

 

 


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22 Comments on Surprising Grace

  1. R.elliott
    April 16, 2012 at 8:22 am (2 years ago)

    Love…unexpected graces that linger the most…such sweet pictures…especially the weather man:) blessings~

    Reply
    • toshowthemjesus
      April 16, 2012 at 11:00 am (2 years ago)

      Thanks! It so fun to pretend:) Blessings to you!

      Reply
  2. Aisling Beatha
    April 16, 2012 at 8:49 am (2 years ago)

    I was only 11 when my family went through that. We had moved out of the family owned business location to make more space for the business and were living in a rented house, it is the one thing I am thankful for in all of that, we didn’t have the worry about losing our home hanging over us as well, when the business went bust. We lost so much but we didn’t have to move house.

    Reply
    • toshowthemjesus
      April 16, 2012 at 11:01 am (2 years ago)

      His light shines in the darkness. So thankful for his faithfulness. And thank you for visiting!

      Reply
  3. Lisa
    April 16, 2012 at 9:49 am (2 years ago)

    Awesome testimony o His provision. Looks like a fun week!

    Reply
    • toshowthemjesus
      April 16, 2012 at 11:02 am (2 years ago)

      It was a fun week! God is good!

      Reply
  4. Michele-Lyn
    April 16, 2012 at 10:43 am (2 years ago)

    What great blessings you share about here! And by your testimony of grace, I am encouraged to seek out my own gifts of grace. When it is hard and there is disappointment, God still shows up and lavishes His love on us. Thank you for this… blessings to you.

    Reply
    • toshowthemjesus
      April 16, 2012 at 11:02 am (2 years ago)

      Even in the midst of trials, his love and grace is there. Thanks so much for visiting today!

      Reply
  5. Judy Fox
    April 16, 2012 at 10:45 am (2 years ago)

    Now that is adorable! Budding weathermen!
    Love, Mom Fox

    Reply
    • toshowthemjesus
      April 16, 2012 at 12:43 pm (2 years ago)

      They are adorable aren’t they? Thanks, Grandma!

      Reply
  6. Kathy
    April 16, 2012 at 10:51 am (2 years ago)

    God’s grace is so amazing. Thank you for sharing your encouraging testimonies! Helps me to be sensitive to how God may be moving or providing grace or any of my needs today. Thanks!

    Reply
    • toshowthemjesus
      April 16, 2012 at 11:04 am (2 years ago)

      Counting these graces does make me more sensitive to what He is doing. His grace is amazing! Thanks for stopping by!

      Reply
  7. Kari
    April 16, 2012 at 11:25 am (2 years ago)

    LOVE this! All of it! Thank you for sharing your testimony. My husband lost his job for 7 months and I went into a freak out mode. But as always, God was faithful. We were given so much! A new van, new camera, diapers on our door step over and over. We never went without, never were hungry and all because God used His people and they listened. We had a zero dollar income for seven months and no savings, but we were given more in that time then we could have done on his income before or even now. God is amazing! He is faithful always.

    Reply
    • toshowthemjesus
      April 16, 2012 at 12:45 pm (2 years ago)

      That is a wonderful testimony of His love and faithfulness! Thanks so much for sharing it!

      Reply
  8. Carrie
    April 16, 2012 at 12:16 pm (2 years ago)

    What a fabulous post! God works beautifully. Your boys are so lucky to experience places in different states! And I agree…I could’ve stayed at the Botanical Garden! I look forward to going back and taking more pics! Blessings!

    Reply
    • toshowthemjesus
      April 16, 2012 at 12:46 pm (2 years ago)

      He is generous and always provides. Thanks for visiting!

      Reply
  9. Meredith
    April 16, 2012 at 6:56 pm (2 years ago)

    Your writing– no, your spirit blesses me!

    Thank you for sharing the stories of God’s provision during your growing up years. I will remember them.
    <3

    Reply
    • toshowthemjesus
      April 16, 2012 at 9:06 pm (2 years ago)

      And you are a blessing to me! Thanks for your sweet comment!

      Reply
  10. Court
    April 16, 2012 at 8:43 pm (2 years ago)

    Wow. Thanks for sharing. I’ve been on both sides of that, receiving from others very timely gifts and lovelingly chosen to give the gifts. And I have to ask… that lego man, was it like in a toy store or something?? It’s huge!

    Reply
    • toshowthemjesus
      April 16, 2012 at 9:07 pm (2 years ago)

      The legoman was at a Lego discovery center. It was kid size:)

      Reply
  11. Shelly Miller
    April 17, 2012 at 5:13 pm (2 years ago)

    It sounds like you had a wonderful family getaway and meeting a blogging friend is just awesome. We went to Atlanta with my kids for spring break last year and had a great time. Your friend bringing you lunch every day, that really touched my heart. God loves us so much. And it reminded me of Jeanette Walls book the Glass Castle. Because you and I have some similarities in our background, I think you might like it. (It’s a memoir and she’s not a Christian but its well written)

    Reply
    • toshowthemjesus
      April 17, 2012 at 6:14 pm (2 years ago)

      Thanks for the book recommendation! I’ll put it on my wish list:) Blessings to you!

      Reply

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