31 Days of Grace…even in a Toothache

“I’m worried about you, Tammy.”

These were the words expressed by a trusted friend as I shared my heart with her regarding my anxiety struggles with time and balance.

I looked at her. I knew she was right. If I didn’t listen to the warnings to slow down and breathe, God would find a way to grab my attention and do this for me. 

It came in the form of a massive toothache yesterday morning. I don’t think there is anything worse than a toothache. The side of my face was swollen. My head ached. I couldn’t eat. It hurt too much. 

I pushed through my day because that’s what I do. I am tough. I don’t have time to slow down. There are deadlines to meet. I went to a doctor’s appointment in the morning and left with an appointment for an ultrasound. Huge sigh… definitely don’t have time for that. Then, I worked a late night.

This morning, I was up by 4:30 working. When I let my boss know that I wasn’t feeling well but would be in a little while later, she had a different thought…stay home, take care of yourself.

I don’t do well at that (taking care myself).

Well, you are going to get better at that.

So, I have been to the dentist and have been awarded the patient with the most reactive body. The infection was not deep, just barely on the first root, but it was definitely infected. I walked away with two appointments for a root canal and a prescription for an antibiotic.

I am home now after waiting forever at the pharmacy. I am nursing a raging headache but I am resting and working. It is quiet.

God knows how to get my attention. Everything will be okay.

Breathe. Life is all about perspective. When you can see and feel the grace of God in a thumping toothache He uses to slow you down, you know you are loved deeply. Sure, maybe it’s not the way I would have preferred to be slowed down, but His ways are not our ways.

I received this in a text message today from that same friend:

Tammy, I  just love it when God gives that confirmation! You are definitely on the right track! Taking care of you is most important because that is indeed what God wanted to happen in your life. The rest will all fall into place under his plan.

Breathe…God’s grace is sufficient for me.

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31 Days of Grace

I absolutely love rainbows.

This particular photo was caught one morning. There was no sign of rain yet here was this huge rainbow.

I felt something as I gazed at its beauty for a few minutes longer. It was as though God was whispering a promise that He would be right there alongside me.

I walked into that day right into a very difficult situation. God knew what awaited me. He was already there. He promised to be with me.

God’s grace. I wish I could say it was an easy situation I worked through but it was not. What happened, though, was I experienced God’s grace. Through this situation, I grew tremendously in my faith and trust in God to protect, provide, and take care of me.

God’s grace…in everyday moments if we are expectant and watchful. An unexpected morning rainbow can spill out colors of His grace and promises.

31 Days of Grace

31 days of grace.jpgIt’s that time again…the Write 31 days challenge. Every October, bloggers worldwide are invited to join in a challenge to write on a theme of choice every day during the month of October. To learn more…Write 31 Days

This year, I will be taking a moment each day to write about moments of everday grace. In the world we live in with so many negative things threatening to steal our joy, it is important to step back and not miss those moments of everyday grace.

I invite you to join me on this journey of 31 days of Grace.

Happy October!!!!

 

Just Enough…

I attended a wedding last night. It seems like Friday night weddings are becoming more popular. As the pastor delivered the wedding message, this phrase really resonated with me…

May you experience just enough failure that your hands stay tightly in His and may you experience enough success to know you are following His calling for your life.

I think we underestimate the importance of failure. I think we forget the value of learning from our mistakes. 

If we are brave enough to honestly look at our lives and allow God to peel back the layers, the areas where we need to surrender and grow are exposed.

Some of my most difficult moments in life have been wrapped up in failures. Yet, some of my most rewarding moments have been unraveled through those very same failures.

Enough failure to lean closely into God and enough success to smile and know…yup, God is working through the mess in my life.

I am reading In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day by Mark Batterson. He believes that our trials have a way of helping us rediscover our purpose in life.

I have seen that play out in my life time after time.

Trust God. Embrace failure. Celebrate success. Seek your purpose in Christ. And chase those things you believe He is calling you to chase. Discover all you were created to be day by day!!


Rooted Trust

What do you root your trust in?

For He shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; but its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will it cease from yielding fruit. Jeremiah 17:8

Those two words jump out at me…fear and anxiety. 
I heard a pastor reference this passage and I have been reflecting and praying over it.

It’s not about our circumstances. Life is messy. It is about our response and where we root our trust. We don’t need to fear the situations that complicate our lives (the heat) because God can and will use these situations to produce good things in our lives. We need not be anxious when life feels like it is falling apart (the drought), because God sees the whole picture and is working in our lives.

It is easy to trust when things are going well, but this verse reminds me to keep my faith rooted in God despite my circumstances.

He can create good stuff in my life.

Character

In Sunday school, our teacher shared that he had read there are three things that can tell you a lot about a person’s character…

1. What makes a person laugh?

2. What makes a person angry?

3. What makes a person cry?

Those are questions that have me thinking about myself. What about you?

One of my catch phrases that I   am known for telling my family when having to do something they don’t like is this…it builds character.

In Romans 5:3-4, it says…we glory in our sufferings because we know that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance character, and character, hope.

Can we truly experience hope without having experienced suffering?

Think back on some of your most challenging times. These may just very well have also been some of your greatest moments of Hope and Blessings.

Hope even in the smallest dose is still hope.

The smallest step is still a step.

Character is built of the stuff in us that refuses to give up and keeps pushing forward.

How big is your God?

Recently, I had a conversation with someone who told me that at her age, she was done growing. She did not see any need within herself to continue to grow.

It struck me as very sad and very prideful. I think that when we stop thinking we have opportunities to grow then we resign ourselves to a place of stagnant stuckness. We become stuck with the mindset we are enough. 

Having read Draw the Circle, the 40 Day Prayer Challenge, by Mark Batterson three back to back times, I decided I needed to start something new. My friend bought me another one of Batterson’s books…In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day. 

This morning, I read something about growth that really captures the essence of growth…”the more we grow, the bigger God should get. And the bigger God gets, the smaller our lions will become.” Mark Batterson
God is bigger than my fears. God is bigger than the barriers that seem to stand in the way of my dreams. God is bigger than my problems. God is bigger than the people who oppose me. God is bigger than anything or anyone I face.

In the midst of trouble, conflict, or anxiety, do I allow God the Glory to be bigger than all the odds that seem stacked up against me or do I shrink back in fear?

We all face lions in our lives. 

For me, the lion last night was the anxiety that awoke me from my sleep. Taking the advice of a dear friend, I pulled out my Bible and began to read the Psalms. This morning, I praised God for His peace and my ability to fall back asleep last night.

In the book of Joshua in chapter 1, three times in verses 1-9, Joshua is instructed to be strong and courageous. The Lord your God goes wherever you go.

Life is not perfect. There are obstacles out there. Not everyone is kind. Hurricanes are real. Jobs are lost. No, life is not easy, but when you have trusted God with your life, He goes with you. When we trust God with the challenges we face, He presents amazing opportunities for us to grow. If we are open to growing, He will grow us.

How big do you allow God to be in your life?