Our third daughter's middle name is Grace. Aubrey Grace Littlewood.
We did not give her that middle name simply because we thought it was pretty. Although I do think it is an incredibly sweet name.
It actually started as a joke between Scott and I....before we even knew she was a girl. "If we're going to have a third child...if we're going to have a third GIRL...we're going to need a LOT of grace around this place!"
We joked about the drama...the kind of drama that can only be explained by many females living under one roof...and said many times..."This one better be a boy!"
Of course, now that she is here, we wouldn't have it any other way...But I will say that I have already calculated that there will be at least one year where we will have 3 teenage daughters all at the same time...19, 17 and 13...and oh my heavens will that be a crazy day. 365 days actually. And oh my heavens will we all need to offer grace and space to one another.
The truth is, family dynamics and parenting are incredible training grounds for learning and practicing grace.
I must offer myself exorbitant amounts of grace for all that I lack as a mom...the times when I lack patience, when I am not a good time manager, when I overreact to something small, when my house is way messier than I could have ever imagined, when my children's rooms and faces and hair is a messy tangle and their clothes are scattered in piles all over the house. When I am not living love as fully as I always thought I would have as a mom (you know, before kids when you think you'll do it all right?)... When I function out of my tired mommy self rather than relying on God...and it SHOWS!
Oh...I need grace.
And I need to learn to teach grace. To teach my girls how to be kind to one another, to be patient with each other, to forgive one another...not IF one of their sister's wrongs them or hurts them in some way, but WHEN...because it's going to happen.
And the grace Scott and I must offer each other...constantly. Daily. It's hard sometimes, to be two people, with two different temperaments and personalities and ways of doing things. Sometimes we joke about how God must have looked down and thought it would be really humorous to put man and woman together in marriages just to see how poorly we would begin behaving...what silly (and not so silly) things we would fight about...how we would drive one another nuts...how our parenting ideas would differ...and our approach to stress and how we handle it would differ and how all of that would create fireworks of the not so pretty kind.
Grace. Grace. Grace.
So...Aubrey Grace...I love to say her name because it is a reminder of a gift we must offer to each other on a very, very regular basis. It is the salve that heals and mends and strengthens and restores relationships.
There is something really amazing about grace.
(This post is part of 5-Minute Fridays...a space where Lisa-Jo Baker offers a prompt and hundreds of lovely ladies write for 5 minutes about that word(s). Here goes!)