5 Tools for Finding Grace in the Moment
by Kaitlyn Mason
Nothing in my life has made me seek God’s grace more fervently than Motherhood. In just a few short years, I can recall countless times where I felt absolutely desperate for God’s grace.
Motherhood has a way of bringing me to my knees. Scrubbing spit up from the carpet, cleaning up vomit at 3am, wiping up spilled juice before ants invade, holding down a kicking toddler with a dirty diaper who has other plans – this is the messy, humbling reality.
It’s the stuff you don’t hear about in parenting magazines. It’s the stuff no one wants to talk about. But this is the stuff that can make us grow in virtue if we learn to accept it joyfully!
This is the stuff that brings me to my knees.
Mary has a beautiful way of comforting us and leading us to the grace that is constantly available from her Son, Jesus Christ. I know this because I’ve learned the hard way.
I used to try to make it through my day without help from Mary and Jesus. Not intentionally, I just didn’t know any better, really. I didn’t have the tools in place to tap into God’s grace constantly.
I used to cry frequently in trying moments of Motherhood. Then I learned how to tap into God’s grace in these moments and everything changed.
A wise woman once explained to me that God will not give us grace for trials we must endure in the future. But He always gives us grace for the present moment if we ask!
I can identify 5 tools that have helped me to embrace this philosophy and find grace in trying moments:
1. A Prayer – “Lord, Jesus, have mercy on me, a sinner”
When I feel humbled and unworthy, I like to say this prayer. It’s little, but it’s mighty. It’s a reminder that Jesus already knows I’m not perfect. Somehow, he figured I was still worth dying for on the cross – that all of us were worth dying for on the cross, despite our sinfulness.
Saying this prayer is a reminder that we’re totally dependent upon God for everything. And this humility is the key that unlocks grace. All that’s left is for us to accept it and to act in accordance with it!
2. A Song – “Your Grace is Enough” by Matt Maher
This is my favorite song to sing when I am doing the dishes! Any time I am struggling to remember my worth, I like to flip this song on. My favorite version is online here. It’s a beautiful reminder of what Paul shares with us in 2 Corinthians…
3. A Piece of Scripture – 2 Corinthians 12:7-10
“Therefore, that I might not become too elated, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, an angel of Satan, to beat me, to keep me from being too elated. Three times I begged the Lord about this, that it might leave me, but he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.’ I will rather boast most gladly of my weaknesses, in order that the power of Christ may dwell with me. Therefore, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and constraints, for the sake of Christ; for when I am weak, then I am strong.”
4. A Book – “Precious Treasure” by Elizabeth Matthews
Elizabeth Matthews is a relative of mine who wrote this beautiful book about her autistic son, Patrick. In “Precious Treasure,” she pours out her heart and shares all the little ways God has taught her to seek His grace in trying moments of Motherhood.
She talks about folding piles of laundry only to have them torn down. She talks about cleaning up messes, and how God has taught her that it takes work to wash souls clean.
Matthews shares a peaceful, grace-filled mindset in this book that I have come to embrace and cherish as a Mother.
5. Visual Reminders – a cross, a statue, & a bracelet
I keep a beautiful cross that says “GRACE” above my kitchen sink, right next to a small statue of Mary & baby Jesus.
Glancing at this statue, I’m reminded that Mary was called to embrace grace and to make Jesus manifest in the world. And yet this is a calling for each one of us as well! We are all called to embrace grace and to make Jesus manifest in the world!
The cross reminds me that Jesus lovingly died and rose so that I can tap into His grace always.
On tough days, I turn my statue and cross to face me whether I’m in our kitchen or living room. This way when struggling, grace is only a glance away. All I have to do is look up and refocus my thoughts on Him.
I also wear this beautiful bracelet full of images of Mary holding baby Jesus, much like the one available here from The Catholic Company. I almost never take this off because it is so helpful to me!
I’m not always in my kitchen to see my cross and statue, but this stays with me no matter where I go. It’s within my glance as I carry out my daily tasks of folding, cleaning, and cooking while looking toward my hands.
See, if Mary could do what she did and watch her Son die on a cross for us, I can do what I’m being called to do in this moment that is so insignificant in comparison. “If she can do that, I can do this.”
How do you remember to find grace in the moment? Is this a challenge for you as it was for me? Which of these tools might be helpful for you?
Copyright 2016 Kaitlyn Mason