One of my kids’ favorite books is Billy the Goat’s Big Breakfast (Jez Alborough).** While it is not a hugely well known title, it has such great lessons and it is such fun to read aloud.
To summarize Nat the Cat invites her two friends, Billy the Goat, and Hugo Hare over for breakfast. Long story short, Billy makes a poor choice by not waiting for bread to rise before taking a bite out of the bread. This results in his tummy swelling and causes poor Nat the Cat to have to go out to get more food for breakfast (unbeknownst to Billy). What’s even worse is the guilt rising in Billy’s gut, for he realizes his poor choice far too late. (Check out this video of the author reading the whole story! So cute!
While there are a few lessons to take from this story, the one I want to focus on is GRACE. Nat the Cat knows Billy has ate the bread before it is baked (though Billy does not admit it at this time), so Nat goes out to buy more food. When Billy finally confesses, does Nat get mad!? No, she simply explains why he should have waited and why she had to go out. She forgave him. I mean, she didn’t even blink an eye. She forgave him and then the story continues. Maybe it is because I am not so gracious or forgiving myself that this story really hits home or maybe the story really reminds me about how much I need grace every hour of every day.
This book led to a great conversation with my 3 year old about making bad choices and how we all deserve a little grace, even mommies and daddies. And while he may not fully grasp the concept, it did allow a moment for him to think about choices and what happens when we don’t make good choices. And boy has he been testing lately. Terrible three’s I call them, as three, historically, has not been real great for our household.
When we talk about grace, it often seems it is talked about a little too flippantly, but oh how we need grace every hour. I don’t know about you, but I lose my temper far too many times then I care to recollect. Almost on a daily basis I ask for forgiveness for being too harsh, or losing my temper. I pray for God to help me enjoy my children as well as the wisdom to discipline. For it is only through his Grace, will I ever be able to boast in what he has done.
“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12: 9 -10, ESV
We often think of grace in terms of Christian forgiveness, but it applies to everyday life as well in my opinion. We practice grace in the work place and with friends and living daily life. Grace is required, for example, when your husband leaves his cup on the floor for the 5th time that week or grace when your daughter refuses to try her homework (one of my pet peeves, the not trying). Grace for yourself, when you have not checked everything off your to do list or maybe you didn’t even try that day (Netflix binge anybody?). We practice grace on the road, when that car cuts you off or a little grace is needed when latecomers come in on a concert or symphony. Grace is, of course, a word that does not need to be used casually, but it does apply on a daily basis. I need grace every hour and I need to give grace every day as well.
What are your thoughts on grace? How hard is it for you to ask for forgiveness or even forgive yourself?
Thanks for reading! Sharing is Caring.
Check out the videos below for a little encouragement regarding grace:
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