Buckets.

Today is a weepy day. I played “Fountains” by Jon Thurlow on repeat this morning as I let buckets of tears pour down my face. Some carried sorrow, some joy. Some carried grief and repentance, others thankfulness and hope.

Today is a special day, one I may always remember. It’s Mother’s Day, a year after we met Norah, and she has made me so much richer. It’s also our last Sunday at Mosaic Community Church, and she has made me so much richer, too. The joy, and the life, and the yields of increase I have received both from my daughter and from my church are great, great wealth to me. There has been no greater calling on my life to serve my family, my daughter, and to serve God’s Bride, the church. I’m overwhelmed with thankfulness. I’m overwhelmed with God’s grace.

I also grieve each opportunity that I missed the mark. I grieve the moments with Norah that my weariness won. I grieve the days that I chose frustration when God was handing me an abundance of grace. I grieve the times that I chose selfishness instead of consistency in discipline. I grieve the opportunities God offered for me to throw myself deeper into Him, finding revelation of His Father’s heart, that I passed up. Cue more buckets of tears.

With Mosaic, as an administrator, as a leader, as a member and a friend, I grieve the moments I pulled back instead of pushing in. I grieve the days I chose myself when sacrificing my life for someone else would have brought Jesus much greater honor. I grieve the opportunities I missed to invest and cultivate deeper friendships with some of the most radical people I have ever known. And my time here is up. Big Buckets.

And as I repent, the most beautiful thing happens. God’s grace wins. My sorrow turns to joy when I remember that He is the rewarder of those who seek Him. My mourning turns to dancing when I remember the power of the cross. When I reflect on all the days and moments I fell short, I don’t walk away in defeat and guilt. I walk away in victory and hope because my good works don’t determine my eternity, nor my intimacy, with Him. For that I’m overwhelmed with thankfulness, for too often I fall short. I just need to keep coming back to Him. He has everything I need.

And it’s only the beginning of my journey. I have more opportunities ahead of me that I can intentionally not miss. I have more moments where I can choose to receive grace, and choose to press in, and choose to sacrifice more. And today, whether I feel like I’m doing a good job or whether I feel like I’m falling short, I’m thankful for the cross and I’m honored to have been given such important roles by God.

Today at church we sang one of my favorite songs. The chorus sings, I see a people, changing the nations, now rising up to take their place. And I see an army, righteous and holy, filled with the Spirit and unafraid. They carry a banner, written Jehovah, the Lion of Judah, the King who reigns. Christ the Redeemer, He is our Master, and we conquer all in Jesus’ name. And as buckets of tears again streamed down my face, I thanked God for the last 2 years of my life. For giving me time to walk with a people who are changing the nations! A people who are rising up, who are filled with the Spirit, who are unafraid. It’s been an incredible honor. And I thanked God for the last year of my life. For giving me a daughter, the first, hopefully, among many children, to train up to be the same–righteous, holy, unafraid. World Changers.

I’m honored.

And one who deserves greater honor than me is my own mother. A woman of supernatural compassion, patience, and grace. A woman who is married to an incredible man, but also an incredibly stubborn and strong-willed man, and who has mothered 4 incredible, but incredibly stubborn and strong-willed children. Job well done, Mom. Today, I hope when you reflect back on your many years of being a mother, you find honor. I don’t remember all the moments where you “fell short,” but I remember a mom with love the size of an ocean. I remember a mom with patience as deep as the deepest well. I remember a mom with compassion as strong as a tower.

I had a few days this week that honestly, when Norah was awake, I was counting down the hours until her next nap. A mixture of teething pain, moving stress, newfound will, and boredom made Norah difficult. I can say I loved her well…when she was sleeping. When I reflected this morning on those last few days, in my own disappointment at not responding in unconditional love and with unwavering grace, I remembered that Norah’s response to me didn’t change. She still ran to me for comfort. She still laughed and smiled at me adoringly. She still found rest and peace in my arms. I may fall short, but because of the cross, His grace is sufficient for me and even reaches to my daughter.

So Mom, today, may your reflections on motherhood be filled with all the ways you have not fallen short. May your reflections on motherhood be filled with honor. You loved me well. You extended to me much grace. You gave me empowering encouragement. You showed me victorious patience. You mirrored a greater love. You mothered me well. Thank you.

My prayer today is this: God, let me with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that I may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. When I feel overwhelmed by failure, by the power of the Holy Spirit help me abound in hope. Thank you that I can unload all my weaknesses at the foot of the cross and walk away in victory. Help me press in to You so that I have greater love, more grace, and increased patience to give. Thank you that your grace is sufficient.

And as I humble myself before Him, He picks me up and says job well done. And I walk away with a face stained by the buckets of tears, but smiling.

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