Sunday, November 8, 2015

Pictures of Grace

What I love about November is the whispers of grace that flow in abundance.

A month that causes people to reflect on all they are thankful for is nothing to criticize or condemn but something to rejoice and encourage. I love seeing a glimpse into the lives of those around me; a glimpse at what makes them shine and lifts them to be the best version of themselves possible. As others share the gratitude in their hearts it is an opportunity for us to praise the one whom all blessings flow as a community.

God works so uniquely in each of our lives. When we come together to voice what He has given us out of relentless love we can truly see a better picture of the vastness of our Jesus.

So I would like to take a moment to share some of my pictures of grace with you.

My first picture of grace - is grace itself. Grace from God - Grace from friends - Grace from family  - Grace from people I don't even know.

I am drowning in His grace. Undeserved, sweet grace. I have a clear view of what my life would be without him and it is such a haunting vision but by his grace I have the privilege of knowing him - the King of my heart, my world...the eternal world. By grace I am saved. By knowing him I have the privilege of seeing what life truly is, what my life if through His loving eyes. There is nothing sweeter than His mighty name that stirs my soul to a place of eternal gratitude.

I have lived and survived on grace this year as I have set out to answer the call he has put in my heart. The call to boldly, bravely stand for him. Bold and brave are two words that I would have never known to associate with who I am but who I am in Him is far more than I would ever know to see without His constant presence in my life.

I have stumbled and made mistakes along the way and received worlds of grace from family and friends as I learn to navigate this newness. I don't even know how to express the gratitude I have for the people and relationships God has granted me.

Which brings me to my second picture of Grace - People.

There are people - Family. friendships, acquaintances, and just plain encounters that have seeped my soul in gratitude.  I have been encouraged to new heights this year. Community is such a sweet gift that can not adequately be described until you are part of it. People are messy (total shocker I know) - put them together and it gets even messier but when you have community you have this beautiful mess that reveals a body. I have learned to be grateful for tensions that arise because God uses them to make things greater than they would be without them.  So many beautiful creatures speak so uniquely in songs of creativity - I struggle to soak it all in. I have experienced friendships deepen, relationships strengthen, watched others evolve into a memory, and met women to whom I have spoke few words that I feel a notable connection with - which I can only attest to God prompting me to take notice of His unbelievably, beautiful child. It is a blessing to witness.

My third picture of Grace - Family

I started this year trying to find a new "normal." I am thankful to have learned that in my family, normal doesn't exist. The word normal implies that things stay the same. We are constantly growing and evolving into what God wants us to be. We have adapted and grown in leaps and bounds this year. My husband is my God picked other half. We are so incredibly different in such perfection. He levels my crazy. He is a man of few words but precise words that hold a weight unknown even to him. My children make me constantly aware of joy - I look to them and see a sliver of God's passion for His children. They keep simple fun in my world and my home doesn't go a day without the song of radiant laughter.  Words to precisely describe who my family is to me are meant to be unspoken and inexistent - they are that precious. That is far from any normal I have ever known.

So there is a small glimpse at my pictures of Grace. I would love to hear yours! Please share them with me and show me God's love in your life!


Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Day 2 - The Kingdom of God is Among You

Today my need for pause and reflection came in the form of a whisper. The gentle nudge of the spirit reminding me of opportunities he places before me.
God is incredibly aware of my need for a reminders.
It was a mellow night in our household. Everyone seemed to be content in their own activities. I was feeling a little more tired than my norm so I decided to grab my Bible and my journal and head to my bedroom for some early quiet time. I finished my reading for the day and started in on my journaling, when my door opened with a "whatcha doing Mom?" from my 7 year old. "I'm having my quiet time" I tell her, hoping it will suffice her curious personality. Not a chance. She happily comes and crawls in next to me and proceeds to interrogate my every move. I do not happily admit, that my thoughts were headed towards frustration when the whisper came.
I paused and intentionally opened my heart to see the amazing opportunity God had given me to show my daughter a part of how I have a relationship with Jesus. I explained to her my reading plan and how I journal and she explored the bible app on my phone that holds my reading plan and asked questions about the verses I was writing down after she read them.  Her little curious heart ate up my every word.
I was reminded that her relationship with Jesus will be as unique as we are as individual humans.
I was reminded that Jesus was the ultimate teacher. That in order to see the Kingdom among us, I need to be open to seeing those teaching moments and do my best to be more like Jesus in the midst of them.

 And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. Deuteronomy 6:6-7


A whisper to pause. An extraordinary teaching moment. A valuable lesson.

Monday, February 2, 2015

My Kindgom Challenge...

One day the Pharisees asked Jesus, “When will the Kingdom of God come?” Jesus replied, “The Kingdom of God isn’t ushered in with a visible signs. You won’t be able to say ‘Here it is’ or ‘It’s over there’ for the kingdom of God is among you.”

Luke 17:20-21

For the kingdom of God is among you…

Easily missed if you are in a worldly mindset but when you open your heart to what God is whispering the beauty of His Kingdom comes to life.  It is among us. Not obvious, true beauty never is, but in the simple things that require a listening heart. The beauty of a sunset for instance, color abounds but when you open your heart you see the creator behind the sunset who paints each one with magnificent uniqueness. Or how a laughing child will bring a smile to just about anyone but when you look at that child through the eyes of the One who made her with purposeful adoration the beauty will take your breath away.
This my friends is what God has laid on my heart today. How often do we go through our days, say our prayers, and go to bed without stopping to take in the Kingdom of God that is among us. Looking at what may be a simple thing through the eyes of the one who made it. Taking it in for what it was truly meant to be. 

God has put a challenge on my heart today. To take the time to focus on one part of His Kingdom a day.  For the next 30 days I will pick something from my day that radiated with God’s love.  It could be an ant on the ground to the glorious sunset in the sky, it will be whatever God prompts me to pay attention to. When He first put this on my heart, I thought, “well, isn’t that doing exactly what Jesus told the Pharisees you couldn’t do by saying ‘Here it is’ or ‘It’s over there’?”  But he gently told me that it wasn’t about the marvelous things I would witness but the change in my perspective, the change in my heart he was after. The opportunity to see true beauty in a fallen world. To see the Kingdom of God through the ashes. It was about opening my heart to the overwhelming beauty of our precious savior. It was about learning to live like the Kingdom of God is among us.
So here goes nothing….

Day 1 – The Kingdom of God is among us….

Today while a few things caught my attention, one thing in particular caused me to ponder and recognize the Kingdom.
The look on a man’s face when he has successfully achieved something he has worked hard on.
 Words to describe it are fleeting, as I suspect most will be inadequate on this little journey of mine, but I will do my best.
Man was created in God’s image.
God loves to create and build with passion.
Men love to create and build with passion.
The look on a man’s face when he has successfully achieved something he has worked hard on.
Excitement, pride, delight, exuberance, joy, satisfaction.
The look on God’s face when he has successfully created someone he loves dearly.
Excitement, pride, delight, exuberance, joy, satisfaction.
A second thought about a delightful moment taught me something about our Father in heaven, that I likely wouldn't have thought about today. That is the Kingdom of God among us.  Not obvious, but simple and beautiful.
What is something you took a moment to appreciate today?

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Your Humanness is Showing.

Why are we afraid to be vulnerable?

We are terrified of being hurt when we open ourselves up to those around us.  Horrified that people will see who we are and reject the heart we put out there.  So we smile and put our “great” face on before we go out into the world. Essentially, we hide our human. 

The fear driving us to hide inside ourselves has become a thief of that which makes our heart worth guarding. Robbing us of the genuine connections that allow us to be capable of loving endlessly. Our fear of vulnerability has crippled our relationships. 

Our worries of what others think drives our every action, often without a thought. We lie to everyone and ourselves and say it doesn’t matter but in the back of our mind it matters. We are more content when we are accepted. The trouble is we live in a world of consistently changing standards and reaching them is but an illusion. 

Jesus has one standard. Love. 

Love Him. Love You. Love Others. 

Just love.
To truly love we must recognize the love that Jesus was and is. He loved limitlessly.
Let me say that again.


He was exactly who God created him to be and He loved everyone as God created them to be. Understanding that every person was a part of His plan and that every person was human, Jesus loved and offered forgiveness to those whose crimes would seem unfathomable to the common person.
How did he do that? Well, sure he is God but in addition to that He was human. He understood our  vulnerability. 

Jesus understands human nature more than we individually understand ourselves. 

Yet, he loves us unconditionally, without an end and calls us to do the same. We are to embrace the creation he made in us that is so unique, embrace our humanity, and embrace the sweet individuality that he has gifted each of us. We are different on purpose. 

More than that, we are to embrace the distinct humanness of other humans everywhere. We are to love people’s differences and celebrate them! 

So why are we so afraid of being different? We are always and unconditionally loved and accepted by the very creator of our differences. 

Being vulnerable does NOT equate weakness but shines of bravery and strength. Putting yourself out there is a challenge but when we don’t let anyone in, we miss out on what God could be sending our way. And if God is involved, you can be sure that love is present. 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Perspective. Purpose. Peace.


 This year has thrown a wrench in my perfect “how it ought to be” plan. I had found myself carrying burdens that weren’t mine to hold. Saddened by events I had no control over and overwhelmed by those that I did. I took a look in the mirror and seemed to have lost myself behind the business that had ensued.
I had to take a step back, breath, and start digging for my roots. The “this really matters” stuff. Not an easy task for someone who looks at the smallest things as the important details. Because frankly, even when everything has an importance there are still things that will outrank in priority. Boy, was that a hard pill to swallow.  I may have had a laugh or two at my own expense when prayers like “Lord, if you could just put more hours in the day I could do it all” came up in conversation with my Father. (Go ahead, laugh its ok. I can’t hear you. ;)
So what was the answer? My cure all? My fix all solution?
I don’t know.
BUT….(and it’s a big one) I am ok with it.
I have taken a step back, a break of sorts and through it God has shown me one thing over and over again. He. Loves. Me.
It became my theme. Over and over again I would SOAP and end up in tears over how much God loves me. (and you too by the way ;)
Tonight was the same thing. Moved to tears by the immense love God has for us. Love that does NOT fail. Can NOT fail. Will NOT fail.
I didn’t get it. I mean I understood to the best of my human ability that God’s unmeasurable love was far more than I could know to dream but I have been praying and praying about what I should do? How best to balance my time outside of work? How to not hurt when I think of the casualties of spiritual warfare and the heartache that comes with it?

Why on earth does God just keep telling me He loves me?!

What I knew with my head wasn’t registering with my heart. His Love is His answer to my prayers. The one He saw I needed. He is my root. He is my foundation and He will NEVER fail me. His love carries me even when I am too caught up in my own world to realize it.
His love tells me that even when the world seems crazy and all seems like chaos, I am grounded.
His love tells me that while I simply cannot please everyone, when He thinks of me He smiles.
His love tells me that I don’t need a lot of stuff to clutter my time, just quality things that point me towards the target.
As cliché as it may sound his love has been the anchor to my foundation in Him. I had floated far enough away to let my priorities become unclear. By following the reminders of his love I was able to pull past the clutter and chaos and realize that the closer I am to my Father the more clear my priorities become.
Do I have all my answers? No, but I have the peace that comes with knowing His love is enough. More than I knew to pray for.
What does God's love tell you? 




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