Before my little girl was born, one of my biggest hopes was connecting with her the same way my mother had with me. Since my mom’s passing almost 19 years ago, I’ve always been a bit nervous about what kind of mother I would become. In my eyes as her daughter, she was perfect, and I wanted to be every part as kind, generous, and loving as she was.
Of all the qualities she possessed, her ability to speak grace captured my heart. While noble and admirable, I have learned that speaking grace is not an easy task and it must be intentionally developed.
It takes a conscious effort of yielding to the Holy Spirit and allowing Him to shape our hearts to respond in grace; and I watched my mother live that out in everyday moments. Each and every time she chose to speak grace, it was like precious seeds were being fertilized in my heart.
When I remember the relationship I had with her and consider the one I am cultivating with my daughter, the strength of our connection can be traced back to places where grace was needed or provided–often both.
What I love about showing and speaking grace is this–it doesn’t suddenly happen overnight. You won’t wake up with a badge that says “grace girl” or have a trophy handed to you when you finally “get it”. The Bible says in Philippians 1:6 that “...being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
Friends, that means God is growing us. We may not always get it right, but we can be sure that God will help us develop this gift that works for mothers and daughters alike. I get the greatest joy when my daughter comes to me for the comfort of grace-laced words and actions to fill her heart. It reminds me of the many times I sought grace as a daughter at my mother’s feet.
I always want to speak grace over my little one as my mother did for me, yet I know this is the work of a lifetime. In my awe and respect for her, I had to remember that she wasn’t instantly endowed with grace when she became a mother. She had to believe God for it, and so do we. Daughters, know you aren’t merely a carbon-copy of your mothers; (it took me a while to learn this). Allow God to begin a good work in you that may or may not resemble the work He began in your mothers. Praise Him as He works it out in you, and completes it when He returns.
In my years as a mom, I’ve become a huge advocate for grace–for myself and for others. In speaking grace, we as mothers and daughters can model the heart and behavior of Christ.
~Quantrilla Ard, PhD