Yesterday I wore a shirt that says, grace upon grace. I need to be reminded of that constantly.

This morning I was talking to the girls, and for some reason I said, that is just the way. My oldest piped up immediately with, the truth and the life. Another reminder of who Jesus is.

Today I met a woman who lost a son, five years ago, at the age of 20. She went through terrible grief and at one point thought she was going to die. She could not eat for 9 months, she did not drink, she heard voices, and thought she was crazy. She went to the hospital and the doctors couldn't find anything wrong with her. They said she needed help, but not physically. God granted her grace that day and now she is learning to cope, have hope, and making a different life for herself. She is amazed at God's grace.

I met a man who needs God's grace. I have yet to tell him about it, but I was wearing my shirt again. His longtime girlfriend took their daughter away. She accused him of horrible things. This man is a gem and has 5 other children who love him dearly. The little girl cries herself to sleep every night because she misses her dad. He needs grace.

Grace is not easily given or received. That's the biggest problem. We have to receive it. It is a gift from the Lord. But as with all gifts, we have to take it from him. It is also not easy to give. I think it is because we have a problem with it, so how can we give it to others. I can give grace if I am in a good mood or if I feel sorry for someone. But it is hard to give it, when I know they deserve grace, but at the same time there needs to be boundaries or someones rights need to be fought for.

Great reminders for me, because the past couple months have been frustrating.

I am in another battle with my ex of 19 years. Details don't matter, but it will involve changes that will be hard financially, and emotionally I don't want to deal with it. After 19 years I want to be left alone, to live my life, without interruption. I need grace and I need to give grace. Both hard, in this area.

I was driving to see the lawyer and it was a 3 hour drive. I left in plenty of time but I thought I was going to be late. I screamed at God. I said, why can't you just move this traffic or make these trucks pull off the road. Why are you doing this to me. (poor me) I was not experiencing grace because I didn't want to receive it.

My friend was late this morning and she prayed that God would make all the lights green. He did, she didn't yell. She received his grace. I learned a lesson from her.

My youngest has health problems. The doctors are starting to say strange things. She has lost so much weight and can't maintain the weight she is at. Now they are telling me it's a culture thing and/or it's her disability. I don't much feel like giving grace in this matter.

She also needs to see a dentist. I had it all arranged with her caseworker. He didn't do his job right, he didn't apologize or try to make it right. I didn't yell at him, but I did ask for another caseworker. At least I didn't yell, which shows a little grace. Just a little. There is more to this story. I am appealing, but I have to talk to the program manager first. I did that and she seemed to be very helpful and willing to make this right. Today she called and acted like she really wasn't sure what was going on. She had told me she would contact the correct people. I gave her all the information. She did not do what she was suppose to and passed it on to my new caseworker. I sent an email and had the answer in 10 minutes. She couldn't do it in 5 days. I'm not ready to get, or to receive, grace in this matter. Much prayer ahead of me.

So where does grace begin? I think it begins with us, fully accepting God's grace. I did not learn this growing up. I was raised by a preacher who didn't have much grace for others, and didn't teach it to us. I only remember learning about a God who will harshly discipline you. You get what you deserve. I believe God does discipline, but I am also learning that he supplies a whole lot of grace to go with it.
Each day I struggle with this. Each day I try to accept and give it. But I fail. I fail miserably at times. But there are times when I get it right too. And because of God's grace he sees me as perfect. He sees me when I do get it right, and puts the bad times behind him. Now if only I could do the same.

What are your thoughts on the subject of grace?