Six for Grace

Choose your favorite quote about grace from the ones I’ve listed below. Tell me how it speaks into your situation. Extra credit for eloquence.

Just kidding!

We’re not in school, y’all.

This isn’t a course on “The Magnitude of Grace in Daily Living”. (Although, I’d totally take that course!)

But, you’re here.

With me.

And I can’t help but wonder if it’s because you need to have grace poured out, and in, just as much as I do.

To kick off this week, I’ve chosen to share my six favorite verses and quotes about grace with you. I’m hoping that one of them will be a balm to that raw you are tenderly shielding.

Here we go…

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I live and die by this verse. Life carries on, day-to-day, knowing that I can approach That Throne. That I can find Mercy & Grace there. (They hang out with commitment, I’ve learned.) The multitude of daily deaths, played out in each mishap and screw-up, descend into hell with each fresh shower of Mercy & Grace.

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For every choice that led me down the path of destruction, I met Grace. When I started purposefully looking for Him, my wasted years that the locust had eaten? Restored. Life is messy. Grace is the beautiful blood-stained rag that cleans that mess right up.

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I am in awe of the fact that He chooses not to remember. And Lord, You know that I give you plenty of those “opportunities”, because…

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This is The Message version; and, really, this, in 1 Timothy 1? I can’t separate a verse out of the entire passage to like more. Because, Hi, I’m Missy, and I’m a sinner. Chief among them on more than one occasion.

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Grace longs to leave no man or woman behind. Ever.

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I’ve been told, more times than I can count, not to take Bible verses out of context. And, truthfully, I hesitate to take any idea, message, or command, that is built around one small verse, without any heed to the context that the other words around it provides. But, because life is not black and white, and neither am I, (this may explain why my favorite color is gray), I make an exception here.

Because, He does.

Every. Single. Time.

And, always.

Indeed.

Would you be kind enough to take a quick moment to share one of your favorites with me in the comments?

I’ll be recording them in my journal.

As ammunition against the opposition to Grace.

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This post is day 6 in the Write 31 Days challenge.

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Two for the Road

Driving is a source of great pleasure to me.  I know I’m not alone.

Although I much prefer to be. Alone. In my car.

My thoughts can breath. Aspirations and inspirations and exultation’s stop getting all mixed up. Moments of clarity become stretches.

How many times have you had a conversation with a parent of kids under 21 who exclaimed, “And, I got to drive for twenty whole minutes, ALL BY MYSELF!”?  How many times?  Maybe it was you who uttered that very thing just this week?

One of the most precious get-away moments comes as I press play on a song that mama wants to hear. Can I get an amen?

Here are two of my favorites. I’d like to share the music, of course. But, I’d also like to share the why, because I like each one for radically different reasons.

If you’ve never heard the words “amazing” and “grace”, together, about a song, then I ask you, where have you been living for the last 235 years?

There is a version of this song that has undone me more times than I care to count. Amazing Grace, (My Chains Are Gone) was the song I first sang upon realizing the extent of my deep need for True Grace to swoop down and save me. It was later the song that ushered in a realization that addiction was part of my DNA. It is The Song that reminds me, again and again, that my chains are exactly that – mine. I’ve truly been set free.

And Grace reminds me that it doesn’t matter what I chain myself to – or how many times I attempt to chain myself to anything other than the God who made me – He. Will. Find. Me.

And set me free.

While I won’t apologize for my taste in music (it is, after all, thinking in sounds), I will say that some things just appeal to my inner need for a beat.  When I first heard “Letting Go”, by Bethel Music, I was on the verge of making some rotten decisions.  The moment the words “you’ve brought me to the end of myself”, I knew.

I knew that Grace would meet me there. At the end of myself.

And He did.

And does.

What tunes go on the road with you? Share please!

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This post is day 2 of the #write31days over at The Nester’s website.

One Thing Better Than High Hair

I attended a rockin’ Twitter party last night.  It was a happy hour filled with flying fingers, cracked jokes, and community building. I was surrounded by a couple dozen amazing women, many of whom I am able to call “Friend”.

And, it was grace.

“The grace of God means something like: Here is your life. You might never have been, but you are because the party wouldn’t have been complete without you.”

– Frederick Buechner

Because, the party wouldn’t have been complete without me.

Without me?

Yes!

And it’s not complete without you, either.

It took me twenty some-odd years to own that.

And, my season of High Hair ushered that lesson in.

One of the most painful memories I have, is of being labeled an outcast by a group of middle school girls that I thought were my best friends.

I could say it was because I developed physically before they did and they were jealous. Maybe. It’s possible that they were acting out of a need to have control over some part of their out-of-control lives. Beauty wasn’t my friend back then; and that didn’t do me any favors, either.

I might never know why they shunned me as they did.

What I do know is that as a tender 12 year old reed, it broke me.

And, I took my broken pieces and receded into the safety of my tomboyish ways. Hunting and fishing with Ahab, skateboarding with Brother, keeping my face in the pool and away from the eyes of those who sought to bore holes into my heart. Those were my survival techniques.

And I surely did survive.

But God wanted me to see Him. And He wanted me to do more than survive.

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So, He sent Grace striding into my life, all high hair and hairspray, frosted lips and Northern accent. That unmerited favor modeled a grace for my fragility. That one longed-for friendship did so very much to repair some of the damage done to my heart.

God tenderly repaired this broken reed and set it straight.

I learned a beautiful lesson that year: sometimes Grace comes through people. And He reminds you that what happened then doesn’t matter near as much as what you allow to happen now. It pours over you and into you and shows you that you are not alone, that you are loved, and that the pain of the past does not have to define your future.

Indeed! While Beauty and I never did make amends, Grace and I?

We’ve become BFF’s.

Has grace ever found you in friendship? Would you share here?

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This is post #1 in my 31 Days of Grace series. The Nester is hosting her annual 31 Days of Writing. If you’d like to check out one of the thousands of unique contributions, click here. You can find my introduction post here.