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Grace

1 Peter 4:10
Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.

Of all the things I am, and all the things I am becoming, a faithful steward of God’s grace is not included. Not that I wouldn’t like it, and not that God isn’t trying to teach me.  It is just that I’m very sure the way I live my life isn’t allowing me to learn to be a steward of God’s grace.

How do I know that?  I know my attitude.  I know how my attitude has been pulled and dragged and pushed to places I thought I’d never come back to.  I react with annoyance and frustration rather than grace.  I respond with judgment and gossip instead of grace. It’s embarrassing, but true. The worst part is that I am evolving into this person while I am actively engaging in following the call God has on my life.

I am working to complete the tasks God has set before me. I think when I first became a Christian I really believed people who were working for God must have gold-plated lives where everything works out perfectly because they are working for God.  You can laugh with me, because you probably thought the same thing.  The reality is that to accomplish the tasks God has given me I must work with imperfect people, difficult people, people I don’t want to work with.  And in the midst of this existence where I have little control over who I work with I can see so clearly that I have been looking at my heart through rose colored glasses.  Yes, I can be loving and grace-filled…as long as I like the person I am with and have chosen to show grace.  But put me on a project with someone difficult and the ugly shows.

I will say that God has a funny sense of timing.  I would have put of having to learn such a big lesson until I wasn’t knee deep in school work.  But God seems to think now is the time to learn how to have grace for difficult people.  So here I go, jumping in with both feet.  You’ve shown me where my heart is wrong God, now make it right.

Needless to say, the blog will be alot about grace for a while.  It’s a great topic for parenting though.  How do you parent with grace and mercy?

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Jennifer Vanderlaan CNM MPH is the author of the BirthingNaturally.net website. She has been working with expectant families since 2000, training doulas and childbirth educators, and midwives. She has worked with midwives in Central America and Sub-Saharan Africa. Her interest in public health grew in 2010, and she is now a PhD student in a nursing program learning to become a producer of knowledge.

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