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Caitlin Kennell Kim, seminary grad, baby wrangler, ordinary radical, writes about the life of a convert in the Catholic Church and explores how faith and everyday life intersect.

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June 23rd, 2014

Grace Is Enough

 
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grace-is-enoughMy children — The Dude, The Princess, The Puppy, Reepicheep — and I travel down the highway on our way home from a playdate a few towns away. The windows are cracked to let in the breeze. The gentle whirring of our minivan’s wheels on the pavement has lulled them into a late afternoon nap. Well, almost …

From the middle seat comes a voice. A quiet voice. A voice just barely discernable over the sound of wind whistling through the windows. It’s The Puppy. She is 95% asleep, her eyes nearly closed. She is fighting sleep the way 3-year-old people are wont to do. I watch from the rearview mirror as her long, fine hair blows across her face. She is singing in her almost-sleep, “Your grace is enough, your grace is enough, your grace is enough for me.”

And suddenly I remember. I remember my Puppy the day she was born. I remember how impossibly small she felt when they laid her on my stomach for a moment before whisking her away. I remember her soft labored breathing as she tried to nurse and the sharp ache in my breast when they wheeled her down to the NICU. I remember the days of testing and tubes and beeping machines and the feeling of helplessness. I also remember the day she came home. The way she curled into me and nursed covetously and boisterously and beautifully. The way it felt to have all of us under one roof again. The way she made our house even more … home.

She is so big now. She likes peanut butter sandwiches, Minnie Mouse, and making tea parties for her baby sister. She’s a toad hunter, a puppy (the four-legged kind) hugger, and a delightfully bossy little sparkplug. Watching my big 3-year-old girl — all sleepy and windswept and singing herself a lullaby — I am overwhelmed by God’s grace. For one fleeting second, I can see it in my rearview mirror. One fleeting second. But it’s enough.

Things have been uncertain for us. We are waiting to hear whether or not my husband will be approved to donate his kidney to me. We are waiting and watching to see how long my kidney function will hold steady. We are wondering what lies ahead once surgery can be scheduled, and a new chapter of our life as a family has begun.

When my natural disposition toward optimism starts to get tossed about in the sea of “what ifs,” I think of The Puppy. I think of her heavy-eyed prayer in the late afternoon sun. I make it my prayer. Not a petition. A little act of trust.

God, I see Your grace is enough
I’m covered in Your love
Your grace is enough for me
It’s enough for me

Amen.

 
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The Author : Caitlin Kennell Kim
Caitlin Kennell Kim is a full-time baby wrangler, writer, and ponderer of all things theological. She earned her Masters of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry and Theology from Union Theological Seminary in New York City. She currently lives in Northeast Ohio with her husband and their four small children.
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