It makes me smile for you to get to know this sweet sister in Christ. Pull up a chair and a cup of your favorite tea or coffee and join me in warmly welcoming Casey to our kitchen table today as she paints a picture of how our children can be reminders of God’s kind grace.
Guest post by Casey Hilty
I don’t always have a plan when I put a brush and paint to a blank canvas. Using leftover paint from previous projects and an oversized brush, my hand finds a familiar pattern much like it does when strumming a guitar. I fall into a rhythm, subconsciously creating a distinct downbeat with every brushstroke. Painting to the beat of my own drum, I add colors haphazardly. Often, what manifests is chaotic, but a transformation takes place in the final stages. The cacophony of colors are then painted over with layers of texture, hues of whites, and more color mixed with different mediums that alter the properties of the paint. I go wherever the creativity takes me.
After one such paint session, gravity and watered-down paint worked together to create what looked to be a spring shower after a barren winter. I picked up the paintbrush one last time to write the words, Grace like rain falls down on me in gold, cursive lettering.
“And Hallelujah, Grace like rain
Falls down on me.
And Hallelujah, and all my stains
Are washed away, they’re washed away.”
(From the song Grace Like Rain by Todd Agnew).
This painting hung in my daughter’s room above her bed for many years. What a sweet reminder to wake up to every morning. Grace. Grace. Grace. It drips from heaven and hydrates our hearts. It is an outpouring of God’s love for us. Through His Son we receive grace upon grace.
He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. Titus 3:5-7
God’s grace is only the first gift in a line of ever-evolving gifts. As we take baby steps on our faith journeys, He plants fruit along our path. The farther along we travel, the fruit trees become taller and more plentiful. We mature in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23) as God’s grace planted the seeds for such fruit. The Holy Spirit is faithful to nurture these.
Though we often stumble, His grace remains. And my kids are reminders of God’s sweet love for me. After running errands all day, I walked into a disaster at home. Not a natural one—we’ve had our fair share of those living in South Louisiana—but the kid-tornado kind. My husband had been working in the yard, and the kids were “working” inside. Cereal was spilled everywhere, the dogs were covered in mud, toys littered the walkway, and the clean laundry pile that had been on top of the sofa was now scattered on the ground. As I was surveying the damage, the cat walked across the counter to a full cup of milk and knocked it to the floor as if saying, “Do you need more ammo?” There went my tipping point. I lost it. Mom’s evil twin was in full force as I screamed at everyone, including my husband who had been working so hard.
Immediately, I was ashamed. They don’t deserve me. This isn’t the mom I want to be. I ran to my sanctuary—my closet with my secret stash of chocolate for such occasions—before they could see me cry. The dam broke as more hate speech filled my mind. I’m a bad mom. The anger was replaced by guilt. I prayed for God to calm my heart so I could give grace to my family. Make me a better mom, God.
Then came a kid-sized knock at the door—of course they would follow me there. They always follow me. My son opened the door and held out a freshly made sign over my head that read, “World’s Best Mom Under this Sign.” Grace. Grace. Grace. Like rain, it falls on me.
God waved His banner over my head. If my husband and my children can give me grace, how much more does my God extend it to me? His Son’s blood has cleansed us of our iniquities. When we manifest chaos, He washes it with grace. Though we are a work in progress, His hands are forging a masterpiece of His glory as we grow in Christ.
And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:6-7
Friends, God loves you more than you love you. Your kids love you more than you love you. On days when you feel like you are not enough, speak these truths to your heart: I am a good mom. Most days, I bring Him honor and glory as I parent. Yet, in my bad moments, He still loves me. His grace rains down on me. I am eternally His.
What have your children taught you about grace? What lies have you told yourself lately? What other truths do you need to remember this week?