Grace in Broken Places

Scroll through Facebook or Instagram and if you allow yourself, it is easy to fall into the trap (and lies) that everyone else has his or her life together and well, you’re just a hot mess.

I’ve been in this place. I think we all have in one way or another. My life hasn’t exactly followed the trajectory of events I had planned.

I had a rough day recently. Work issues. Family issues. Feeling as though I am getting sick. Those feeling of anxiety, worry, inadequacy, insecurities all wanted to creep in causing my sleep to be restless.

I read a post this morning reminding me to start my day by offering it to God. Read here

It was the reminder I needed to stop and remember who is always in control. Grace is found in those broken places and spaces in our lives. We aren’t called to fix everything when everything feels out of control.

When I think back on my life to those times of struggle and then reflect where I am now, I can see the growth and lessons I learned. Whether it was through life as young parents, illness, financial issues, our son’s adoption, or countless other moments of feeling uncertain, afraid, or broken over the years, God’s grace has seen me through.

Keep trusting. Keep listening. His grace fills all your broken places.

#write31days #grace

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Grace in the Storm

As a friend shared his son’s struggles with my husband and myself, he made a comment that has been marinating in my mind. He said that he has never really struggled with much in his life so he couldn’t really reference those struggles to any of his experiences. Then, he looked at us and said, “You guys have struggled so much, but you have always trusted God.”

Have we? Have I?

It has stopped me a bit in my thought pattern in my current situations.

That same Sunday, our pastor reminded us that our situation does not have authority over us. As children of God, we have the power of His love, mercy, and grace through any storm.

As I reflect back over the past twenty years of my life, there have been multiple storms. Some were so intense that I questioned whether I would make it through. Although my fears attempted to scream louder than my faith at times, my friend is right about one thing-I trusted God.

Each struggle has been just that- a struggle. Every struggle has also been an opportunity to cross that threshold between faith and fear and step out into the journey of trusting Him without seeing the end of the path. Oh, that’s hard, but there’s a whole lotta grace along the journey.

Struggles have purpose, and God’s grace is sufficient for us.

Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 2 Corinthians 12:9

Whatever you may be struggling with today, remember to keep His promises close to your heart. His grace is all you need.

#write31days #grace

Sunshine Blogger Award

This is way overdue but please forgive me…I have been doing a lot of this lately.

No, it’s not relaxing. It is studying. A lot!! When I am not working, spending time with family, or sleeping, it has been study time.

I need to take a way overdue moment to say thank you!!

I really appreciated the blog award.

Check out my nominator’s blog…click here!!

Thank you, Barb!! I am sorry for my late delayed thank you!!

Now, to study some more!!

31 Days of Grace…just breathe

Breathe.

It seems like such a fitting name for where I am today. I really needed to step back and catch my breath. I am attending the Breathe Christian writing conference this weekend. 

I’m still not feeling well. I have never done well with antibiotics. If there are side effects, I experience them. My tooth hurts so eating is a challenge because well, quite frankly, it hurts to chew.

But, I am here. My best friend who I actually met at this conference two years ago is attending with me. My husband is supportive of my writing. For two days I have the opportunity to be surrounded by people who get this writing thing.

I am grateful to be with a friend who extends grace to me and accepts me as I am. Over caffeinated and talking a mile a minute on the way to the conference…but she is the one who bought me the coffee 😉. She recognized that I was not feeling well and was willing to drive to find a restaurant to accommodate my crazy food sensitivities coupled with my now chewing difficulties.

I am grateful for the grace she extends me. 

Sometimes, a writing conference is less about writing and more about life lessons God has for me.

It’s all part of the story. Just breathe.

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!!!!

 

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?


Breathing through the Clutter

Clutter. 

This past Sunday, I came home from church and looked around at the current situation of my downstairs. From the busyness of our lives, everything had become cluttered. Nothing was in its place.

My life had been feeling a bit cluttered, too. I was spiraling from feeling as though things were out of place.

With the “voluntold” help of my husband and son, we spent hours decluttering and organizing our downstairs that day. An unwanted chair that had become my son’s dumping station for school stuff was taken to Goodwill. An old couch was placed on a Facebook garage sale group and sold. We picked up, we pitched, we organized. 

The minimalist look of my front room, my reorganized laundry area, and my scaled down living room have left me with breathing space.

I needed to declutter.

I needed some whitespace.

Life gets like this. 

Sometimes, we need to declutter the distractions around us and quiet the noise. We need to evaluate all the things that compete for our time and decide what really matters to us.

Sometimes, we have to say no to something so that we can say yes to something else. Sometimes we need to strip down our lives to the essential things that matter most.

We have to fight through the noise of the clutter so we can catch our breath.

This morning, I sit in my living room. The hum of a light is my only noise. I savor these moments before I must begin the day. 

A life uncluttered, focused on those things most dear to my heart, Christ as the foundation…that is the life I seek.

What “clutter” in your life might you be able to declutter so that you can see more clearly and catch your breath?