Grace Galore

Sometimes, I think thoughts too big for my head.

And eat too much for my hips to bear.

Or buy more than my wallet has bills for.

But in it all, His grace is sufficient for me.

And when I hear someone else talk about what they are going through and it’s obvious that my problems are small, comparatively, I am instantly reminded of just how grateful I need to be.  My heart remembers what all I’ve been given.

Life, abundantly (hips and all).

Love, never-ending.

And grace galore.

Always grace galore.

May you find that grace for yourself in this new year, my friends.  Yes indeedy!

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How To Cover Your Guilt

One of my son’s vocabulary words this week is “sentimental”.

Sentimental

As the hormotional component in this marital equation, I could wax sentimental about A Lot Of Things, but I’ll spare you.

Instead, my mind instantly went to the fresh new ways God has shed His abundant grace on me, lately.  So. Many. Ways.

I blew it, and big, this very week, in fact.

And, once again, El-Channun (the Gracious God) showed up. And big!

I committed to being  a part of an amazing team of women with servant’s hearts and a willingness to do a Great Thing each day, online.  As a member of this team, my commitment required one time slot over each of four days, over the course of a few months, to do my part in this Thing.

For the last few weeks, I dropped the ball.

And my gracious Team Leader covered my shifts.

I told her and myself, “I will not drop the ball again!”. And I meant it.

But I did.

And the guilt I felt as I heaped ashes on my head.

  • Letting someone I care about down.
  • Not keeping my word.
  • My inability to be consistent now revealed

I let my mistakes become monumental in my mind.

But she poured out grace, instead. God showered me in grace through her.

  • Recognition and praise
  • No condemnation
  • Love poured out

Undeserved.  All.

In this final week of my time studying A Confident Heart by Renee Swope, I came across a couple of words, mid-sentence on page 200 that spoke right into my heart:

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He cannot love me more.  Tears wash my dirty cheeks as I realize, afresh, how very much this God I long to be more like, loves me.  Despite myself.

He loves me no less for the times I snap at the ones I love.  Or whisper wrongly.  Or step forward too quickly. There is nothing I’ve done, not a thing, that He didn’t already know.  There’s not a single thoughtless word or deed that He didn’t already willingly agree to be nailed to the cross for.

God’s love is bigger.

And that is something to get sentimental about!

Yes indeedy.

Thank you for joining me on this journey through “A Confident Heart” by Renee Swope.  Please consider joining us over at Proverbs 31 Ministries’ next Online Bible Study of “Made To Crave” by Lysa TerKeurst, beginning January 19th. Sign ups are here.  If you’d like to read some of the other thoughts participants had on these final chapters of “A Confident Heart”, please click the button below.

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Doing It Scared

There are just so many things.

So many things that I, daily, do scared.

Want a “short list”?

  • Attempt to walk in heels higher than an inch
  • Cook
  • Wear anything white
  • Exercise

And then there’s the more serious stuff:

  • Parent
  • Believe in the promises God whispers through His Word
  • Speak up on others’ behalf
  • Make choices about media, attention and adoration
  • Trust that it really is all Good for those that love Him

And, friends?  That’s the Short List.

I’ve been thinking a lot, lately, about how super-confident others perceive me to be.  And yet, how very little confidence I truly possess. (I do believe some folks confuse the Gift of Gab with the trait of Confidence, but that might well be a different post for a different day.)

I can’t help but wonder if God is allowing me glimpses into all of these things I hold so fearfully in my heart because He is preparing a way for my heart to gain more confidence. True confidence.  In my heart. Where it needs to be.

Proverbs 31 Ministries is beginning their next Online Bible Study on October 13th.  It’s called…

Wait for it…

A Confident Heart by Renee Swope. 

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Can I even tell you how God-orchestrated this study seems to be for the current health of my heart?

Will you consider joining me? And a “couple” of other women from around the world?

Click here to sign up.

And if you’re doing it scared, know that we’re in this together!

All The Editing

I’m keeping the tone of what I have to say light, but be sure of this – I’m sharing deep here, today.  And it’s scary deep, to me.

“Conversations happen in real time and cannot be edited.” *  This quote, my friend Katie heard recently, really stuck in my craw.

Hard.

Then, a few days later, I listened to an online message about looking for likes in all the wrong places. And my ears perked up all over again at this: “Instead of trying to sound interesting, build others up.” (by Steven Furtick)

Ouch.

In all of the thinking I’ve been doing about these two quotes, I keep going back to that first one about conversation. I’ve realized that people only see a sliver of what’s really going on in my real life on social media exactly because I do so much “editing”.

All The Editing can’t be a good thing. It makes it seem like I am so much more witty, intelligent, or jovial than I really am.

Don’t get me wrong here, I don’t believe that being any of those things are negative. In fact, I’m a firm believer that God gave each of us particular gifts to be shared with the world.  As long as we’re pouring Him out into and onto others as we go along, and doing it all for His glory.

But here’s the rub, for me: I start to believe that I am nothing if I’m not able to make enough people laugh (at me), or join the conversation (with me), or show interest.

In me.

I’m cringing as I’ve tapped out those two little words.  They tell me all I need to know about the condition of my heart, deceitful above all things.

I just can’t get that initial conversation quote out of my head, either! Maybe because I’m not supposed to. It sure felt like that quote was directed straight toward my heart when I first read it.  The dagger of truth only sank deeper and deeper in each time it crossed my mind.

I truly can’t edit a conversation. Right? Not if it is happening in the now. Oh sure, I can go back and tweak it, or polish it up to make a point, or highlight certain words for emphasis that I hope others will find interesting or important or impressive.  All of those “I” words that our God actually cares nothing for.  He is not interested in my highest highs being the only thing others see.

He’s interested in being the only thing I show others.

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The more I think on it, the more I believe that was the lesson for me.  No matter how I go about living my life, what tweaks I make, or places in my life that I decide to polish up – I need to be doing it for God’s glory. And His alone.

Every detail, for God. Period.

*(Click on the quote at the beginning of this post and you can read more about what sparked all of this thinking in the first place. You’re going to want to check that out. I Promise.)