About the Author

Lisa-Jo is the best-selling author of Never Unfriended and Surprised by Motherhood. Her newest book, The Middle Matters: Why That (Extra)Ordinary Life Looks Really Good on You invites us to get a good look at our middles and gives us permission to embrace them.

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  1. Thank you, Lisa-Jo! I too want to serve the meal of grace. Like an irresistibly good meal. And to serve to my children. “The deliberate, generous call to obedience as opposed to the easier default to using fear to force it.” Just like Jesus! Yes, thank you!

  2. For some reason, this post brought tears to my eyes. Not because I can really remember a time I hurt my dad, although I know I have, but because I realize that there are many times I have not extended grace to others. Thank you for a story that reminds me of the grace I have been shown and thus want (not just need) to show to others. I need to remember this even today, when my high school students will surely do something that I’m going to need to remember to serve grace in response.

  3. This is excellent, Lisa. Thank you so much for sharing your heart, and for showing us such a vivid portrait of what that grace through parenting is. (Great picture of you and your Dad, too.)

  4. Ahhhh…Grace. How lucky you were to learn this from a real, breathing father. I learned it at the feet of Abba. Unfortunately, not all earthly fathers truly KNOW Abba. What a perfectly beautiful story. Lots still do not grasp grace. Thank you for this illustration. It’s one that needs to be heard. There is so much hurt in our world, and all of us need to know of this wellspring of hope. 😀

  5. Oh, Lisa-Jo! An amazing story of grace.
    My favorite: “Here was gentleness where I had been callous. Here was careful deliberation where I had been rash. Here was respect where I had been rebellious.”
    Quite a lesson for a teenager and something my thick noggin’ still needs to remember! I want to show gentleness, thoughtfulness and respect to my children, too. Thank you for writing this!

  6. Very touching…thanks for sharing this moment. Sometimes it is very hard to share moments when we are not so full of grace. I wonder what moments my children will remember of how I showed them grace, and more than likely, how I did not show it to them :0(.

  7. Amazing grace indeed. It is very difficult to describe what grace is and you did such a lovely job. Your Dad’s action is worthy goal to strive for as parents. I hope your Dad gets to read this!

  8. @Dee: That is a hard truth – and a good one to raise. And the amazing thing about our Abba Father is how he shines through even the most cracked and broken of our earthly parents. This story is my version of that – because my dad had a notorious temper when we were kids, and the fact that he chose to be gentle on this particular

  9. @Bria – I agree, the meal of grace is a hard one to find time to serve between managing busy and often mischievous children. Someone else reminded me today that in this Lenten season, Communion is the ultimate meal where we are served grace. How I aspire to parent like that!
    @Beth: you and me both, friend!
    @LeAnna: Thank you – I LOVE that picture too. It’s from the last time I was home in South Africa and the first time my father met my second born who was two months at the time. He is two years now. Ouch. Time to go home again soon!
    @Tammy @Steph @Lindsey @Cameron – thank you so much for your gracious and encouraging words!
    @Kristen – the teenage me was way to thick headed to learn that lesson. It’s taken 20 years for it to finally sink into this thick noggin!
    @Deb – Yes, it will certainly be interesting to experience these moments from the other side moving forward!
    @Donna – I know – I worry about that too. How my children will remember me is a daily reminder to dial up the grace in all I do!
    @Wendy Lu – you know I love you so much for always, always showing up to comment and extend grace to me in all my moments – public and private!
    @Amber – Your encouragement means more than you could know (from one lover of words to another).
    @Lucy – I want to be more like that too!

  10. Oh my!! What a beautiful post!!
    I just recently found incourage and I am just feeling so blessed right now.
    There wasn’t a lot of grace for me growing up, though as a teenager I really didn’t deserve much.
    I try to share grace and mercy with my children each day. There are times I will get mad or upset, but sometimes I choose grace..
    PTL for Grace and God’s constant reminder of it…