Have you met Katherine, who writes on her blog, Raising Five?
The name of my blog was loosely inspired by Katherine one day. She was asking her readers to let her know what kinds of things they were interested in, and what they would like to read about on her blog. In thinking about what really draws me to Raising Five, I realized that it wasn't in the subject matter exactly-- she writes mainly about her family life-- but in what is often plainly visible through it: grace. So many times when she describes how she responded (or should have responded--she keeps it real!) to an everyday interaction, I see it. That soul-expanding, life-giving , hopeful, heart-takes-flight release of God's grace, right there in the midst of everyday life. There it is! THAT's what it looks like, flowing outward, reaching into the mundane, touching others and drawing them in. (She's been at it again, simply and quietly inspiring me, with a couple of her posts this week.)
As I responded to her and typed the phrase "in real life," my brain simultaneously translated it to "IRL" in Typespeak, the native tongue of all hip modern keyboarders. ( That whole lexicon of text, e-mail and internet language deserves its own name, doesn't it? What should it be? And who gets to name it? Um, back to the post.) GRACE in real life-- "GIRL". Yeah, that's what this girl is after.
The grace and mercy that God offers, from ultimate salvation to the countless mercies bestowed upon us in love each day, are amazing. But his grace is also meant to flow through us, splashing refreshment, and inviting others to see and know God . What does that look like? What sometimes blocks both its reception and flow through me? What does it look like in perfect balance with discipline and justice? In parenting? In marriage? How do I receive and release grace in the midst of the roller coaster ride that is MY life? Ultimately it is God's spirit that produces and teaches me this, but he's long been in the practice of using object lessons, including ones sometimes found in others' blog posts. I recognize his teaching in the midst of them.
Beyond that, what drew me to the merging of "grace in real life" and the word "girl" is something I can't even articulate very well for myself. It has to do with the life journey I've been on. It's deep and meaningful, I tell you! But unraveling all of that might require a major online therapy session and far too many run-on sentences, even for me. I'll spare you, and stick with the half-baked explanation, ok?
So, GIRL. Grace in Real Life. Now, MY blog, instead of exhibiting the grace of God in full flow as Katherine's does, may be more likely to reveal God's merciful grace, as in, "If God can extend mercy and grace to THAT train wreck, surely He'll persevere with me."
Either way. May it be real and somehow show the real Him.