The Messy Grace.

“Grace is surprising by definition.  We do not earn it, we cannot control it, we will not tame it.”
“Sacraments have their own rhythms that beckon us back.  Take and eat. Repent and forgive.  Bless and heal.”
“And yet I do not believe this road ends anywhere else but the alter of unexpected suffering.  We lose control of our lives once a baby is placed in our arms, and we do not let go of love even when the pain is too great for us to bear.”

“They sorrowed with me: it wasn’t supposed to be like this.  They turned over my palms and smoothed a blessing into the creases of worry.  They lifted up my head from the ground of grief and spoke grace into my red-rimmed eyes.  Their words were oil and their hands were holy.”
“When I remember that this calling is about sacrifice, then I unclench my frustration and soften into open palms.  When I remember that this sacrament teaches us to bend low in love and rise up together, then I turn back toward the spouse I’ve promised to honor.  When I remember that this marriage was never just about us, that we were never sent off alone to make this life a reality, then I welcome back the God who was here all along and ask for the help we need to love each other well.”

“Yet without fail, the maddening days are also the ones when a tiny gem of a moment – a baby who smiles for the first time in the middle of bedtime bedlam, a toddler who blesses my door-slammed finger with a sloppy kiss, or a boy who throws his arms around his brother’s neck in an unprompted hug – peels back the scales from my eyes.  I catch my breath in wonder at how good this parenting work can be, how full of astonishing beauty and joy.  My own cliches scramble to capture the truth already fleeting before my eyes – 
that God is here, that this is holy, that all is grace.

These quote were all taken from my friend Laura Kelly Fanucci’s new book “Everyday Sacrament:  The Messy Grace of Parenting”.  I knew this was going to be a special book when the item I fished out of my very messy purse for a bookmark was a St. Gerard “Prayer for Motherhood” prayer card lost deep in my purse.  Every section of her story rang true to some part of my life.  The love, the loss, the messy grace that is it all.  I think you would find just as much truth in this lovely collection.

7 thoughts on “The Messy Grace.

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  1. I love the picture of the quote written on your hand! I often do that with verses of Scripture I have prayed with in the morning…it is such a comfort to look down at the reminders from God in my prayer.


  2. I've read all or almost all of the posts about this books so far and this is the first one that has made me want to get a copy. Not that I doubted it was a good book, but most “motherhood” books just don't seem to apply to me. I know you know what I mean, Molly. But if you liked it, I'm sure I will too.


  3. Laura hasn't gone through *exactly* what we have, but enough of it. I don't think this is one that us with unintentionally smaller families or fertility struggle-ers will feel left out of. There is plenty in it for those with multiple children to relate too, but there's enough there about trying to get pregnant, miscarriage, marriage that it's still relate-able for us. Even the stories of her boys – most (if memory serves) often deal with one of the boys at a time – so never felt that I needed to know what it felt like to have multiple kids swarming around as a read about a trip to the emergency room, or one boys' fears, etc. It was very well done in that regard too.


  4. It's one of my favorites from Tolkien “It is not the strength of our bodies that counts, but the strength of our spirits”. That is a picture of what I wrote on my hand when I went in for my second D&C last January.


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