Off & Running
a Blog of Life on the Run


The meaning of grace has been lost. 

Do you have a tough time with family at the holidays? Ancient history is dragged out from under the carpet blowing around in the air, electrified by the time of year. Old hurts and misunderstandings fester. Smiling faces turn sour quickly as someone crosses a line with a few words. One person's angry words can ruin the quality time.

Every year, I petition to skip the holiday season. If we could just cut out the end of November through January 1st, I'd stop being punchy. The last few years, I've spent the holidays alone or with friends to avoid drama, blow-ups, and tears. I seem to be the misfit in my immediate family and recently found out that I've "really been missing for years, even through childhood." 

When we talk to those we love, especially when we're telling them how proud we are, a "But" should never enter the conversation. "I love you, but..." It actually erases all of the good feelings of love and pride. All of it. It places blame on the person we're speaking to. Grace is removed.

The Christmas holiday is a season for remembering the grace God gave us. The grace His birth brought to the world. Forgiveness, not blame. The patience He has for our stupidity is beyond anything we can have for one another, but why not try? This gift of grace we receive, the ocean of grace we swim in, the grace of His love no matter what we do - if we can't give that to one another, how can we expect God to give it to us? Good thing it doesn't work that way.

Grace means that we give each other room to be who we were made to be. Grace gives us the freedom not to have everything blown out from under the rug. Grace removes the blame of our childhood and past. Grace shows concern and compassion. Grace allows for the space not to understand each other but love anyway. There is no "but" with grace.

Why aren't we living out grace to one another? Especially in our families? Our closest family members are the ones who know us best and who can hurt us most. Why not use that grace to show love and support?

It's time to live grace. 
Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas.

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