Twelve years ago, we had four children. Jim really thought we were done, I was kinda ready for another one or two or three, and God obviously was ready for us to have more as He surprised us with a gift we didn't deserve. On October 3, 2001, our beautiful Laura Grace was born. We gave her the middle name Grace because the word "grace" means unmerited favor. It is a gift undeserved. God had been teaching us in amazing ways just what that meant in our lives. Laura was a surprise blessing that God gave us not because we were worthy or even because we'd asked for another child, but just because He wanted to give us something very good, very precious, very priceless.
Today our girl turned eleven. We celebrated her milestone with pancakes and presents and candles. We watched Mr. Bean and Jim played Jenga with the younger three and Laura had less jobs to do. We celebrated how much we love her, and in celebrating her birthday and how much we love her, we were also celebrating God's goodness and His love.
Because Laura is symbol of God's lavish affection for His children.
All around me, I look and see evidence of the Father's love for us, His grace. So much of the goodness He has blessed me with is totally undeserved. I'm selfish and lazy and mean-spirited and self-righteous. But He still loves me and accepts me as His child anyway. He still sent Jesus to live and die and prepare the way for me to be made right with Him. While I was stil a sinner, He called me to Him, He made me His own.
That's what's so amazing about grace.
And that's why our blue-eyed Laura is also our Laura Grace. She is a living, breathing reminder of that crazy-good truth.