So there’s a song; yes another song… Alicia Keys is the artist. “Dragon Days”is the song. Listen to it.
Grace is God’s unmerited favor toward us. We cannot earn Grace. It’s a great gift. While we cannot work to receive Grace, we are called to work in the sense that as Grace is given to us, we are also to show Grace to others. Grace abused is Grace that’s constantly received, but hardly reciprocated.
Now, as humans, we are not in position to show Grace to God, at least not in the sense He shows it to us. Our task is in our relationships with others. My greatest challenge and blessing is my parents. I am extremely grateful for everything they’ve done and worked to become. At the same time, because I have shared my life with them since birth, and always will, our relationship is a constant work in progress. Thank God our relationship is healthy and growing, but it takes work and lots of Grace.
My parents show me Grace daily. I was able to move back home and even when I offer, they don’t accept rent from me. I help out in many ways and I know they appreciate me, but overall, I’m incredibly blessed. Their love toward me is like Grace magnified. I know it’s the hand of God who gives to them as they provide for me. At 30 years old, I fight constantly between being the child in the house and being an adult woman at the same time.
I left home at 19 for college and from on campus housing to my first apartment and eventually marriage then a move to Texas, I got pretty used to being independent. On one hand I was eager to prove I could take care of myself. On the other, I was grateful to not have to need my parents as much. But you know the story… I’m back home, again. This time, I’m different, and so are my parents. They’re older. Settled. Retired. Happy. I’m blessed by it.
I’ve received much Grace from God and people He’s placed in my life. My focus lately has been walking in Grace. Grace is all good when it’s being showered down on you, but when it’s your turn to be the faucet, you’ve got to be ready to flow. In this house, my mom and dad are the head. I do my best to stay in my own lane out of respect but also because I recognize that they’re at an age where they’re fortunate enough to be able to finally enjoy their home. Saying that, as a personal rule of mine, I try not to use the kitchen while someone is in it. I like to use cutting boards and have my ingredients measured out and ready for use on the counter while I’m preparing. This can make the kitchen a little cluttered if someone else is simultaneously working a separate task, so I slide in and out when it’s vacant. I also help keep it clean.
Nonetheless, yesterday I waited until the kitchen was free and decided to chop my fruits and veggies and bag them in portions to freeze, etc. I’m in my groove, doing my thing, content in my bubble although I do miss my entire apartment to myself, and suddenly, mom is hungry. I have pineapples and celery and all sorts of things going on and she needed the kitchen. Now, she doesn’t care that I’m in there but again, cluttered spaces are recipe for bumped heads. Just my opinion. I learn from my experiences. So, I initially wanted to be annoyed. Like I waited until she was done; gave her the space she needed, then I go in and get busy and bam! But I was reminded of all the Grace I’ve been shown. Is it that big a Deal? Probably not. So I moved over to the table, continued working and no one was in the other’s way.
My point is, I had an opportunity to show Grace and it led to a blessing. Someday Mommy will transition to Heaven, and I’ll stand in that very kitchen or some other kitchen and wish she was there to bump into. Personal space is fine and dandy, but some times we have to be open to sharing it with Love.
Which is how all of this connects to that song. I refer to myself as a Princess because in many ways, I really believe I am. The structure of my family, how I was raised, the spirit in me… some days I feel locked in my palace. I’m not the Queen, but I’m significant. I’m not the source, but I’m well taken care of. I sit on some days and it feels like life is literally dragging on. It was 2002 or so when The Diary of Alicia Keys was released. I related so well to so many of the songs. Two songs I still resonate with are Dragon Days and Nobody, Not really.
My life is part of a spiritual battle. There are several fires blazing on the battlefield. The fire is hot. In the midst of becoming and growing, learning and leading, following and some times failing, it gets lonely and dry. It becomes a desert. But God is my water. The promises of God quench my thirst. I don’t always feel it but I know it.
Like the desert needs water, I need you a lot.
I am Eryka