This discussion topic about the power of Grace is from one of our friends in recovery, Alicia. Thanks to Alicia for contributing to the women’s group discussion and for the time she put into collecting her thoughts about recovery. If you’re interested in sharing a discussion topic, please reach out to me here.
Have you ever breathed deeply the smell of Jolly Ranchers melting into stained glass gingerbread house windows?
It’s intoxicating, the sweet scent of candy intertwined with cinnamon, clove and ginger.
Each year at Christmastime when I open my oven and inhale the familiar scent, I’m taken instantly back twenty years to the days when my mom would make her annual gingerbread house.
Her houses are always so perfect, so pristine and neat. Watching her work was Christmas magic at its finest. While most families were putting up their artificial trees the day after Thanksgiving, my mother was busy building a house. Her gingerbread houses christened The Season.
I had one Christmas without a gingerbread house as a newly wed. I didn’t realize how much those houses meant to me until… you know how it goes.
Absence makes the heart grow, but sometimes it just wakes the heart up.
The next year I went home for Thanksgiving, and as my Dad took my still somewhat new husband out on the range for the (day after) Thanksgiving round-up, my mom sat extra long with me and taught me her art.
Did you know the best glue for gingerbread is melted sugar? And if you replace some of the molasses with dark Karo syrup, the gingerbread is more sturdy.
That first house revealed so many truths about me:
1) I’m not neat.
2) I get things upside-down.
3) I don’t understand construction.
4) I’m not pristine
5) I soldier on despite roadblocks
6) I have a very patient mom.
“That’s okay,” she said over and over, “just keep going. Frosting will fix it.”
Frosting will fix it.
Every year when I put a final coat of frosting over my house, I hear her voice, her words.
Frosting will fix it.
The white frosting is made with egg whites and the sheen on the fresh frosting makes us all feel fancy. I love the final coating.
Because 11 years after that first gingerbread house lesson, I still get things backward and upside-down. The final blanket coat of frosting makes all the rough angles and crooked rooftops disappear. All that remains is the soft glow of candy windows and the irresistible scent of molasses wafting through every room.
I thought of my Savior.
He does that.
He’s the final coating on my best tries, my worst fails.
“It’s okay, just keep going. The Savior will fix it.”
The truth of the matter is, when I try to fix my house on my own, I only succeed in bringing out the flaws. The flaws get louder and louder as I try to force pieces to move and mask flaws with bits of candy, and the beauty and potential of the house go unseen.
Only when I surrender my faults to the all-consuming power of the final coating of snow does the beauty of the house shine. After I cover my house in snow and all of the uneven cracks and bumps and gaps are healed, all I notice about my house is the light that shines through the stained glass windows.
This year, I thought of the scripture, “Ye Are the Light of the World.” I realized I am the light of the world because Christ is the light of the world, and Christ is within me.
When I surrender my weaknesses and come unto Him with my heart, He covers me in His Grace, and all that remains is blessed light.
Though my sins be as scarlet, they can be white as egg-white sheeny snow. And where once there was rough edges, there can be only a sweet glow.
It’s okay, Alicia. Just keep going. The Savior will fix it.
About the Author:
Alicia is a country girl out of Arizona who loves to write, cook, drink herbal tea and hire other people to clean her house. She has many interests and dabbles in anything she can get her hands on, and her family is always along for the ride. She’s been married for 12 years, has three children and more pets than she wants to admit. She’s been working a 12-step program for almost 6 years, and has been working the SA Lifeline model with a sponsor for the last 3.