Tuesday, April 16, 2013

{ Grace Storm }

Up ahead: Heavy duty soul baring sort of post. You've been warned. ;)

“ There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm.” Willa Cather

  Since becoming a family of 6. Since our fourth child was named for this very word. Since almost by default it has become my “ word “ of the year for 2013. Since I wear it on a charm around my neck ever day…“ by grace alone!“ Since, as the book of John says.." A person can not recieve even one thing unless it is given him from heaven" and I have written in my bible next to that verse, the this phrase from the beautiful Ann Voskamp:
All. Is. Grace.

  In the past 6 months, I have experienced some really dark times and by dark I mean, secret... in the hidden corners of my heart dark. I tried to push through. I've tried to grin and bear it but I’ve felt: stuck, overwhelmed, discouraged, defeated, drained, exhausted. At times I have felt powerless, I have yelled at my kids, like I told myself I would never do. I’ve felt that it was impossible to do life well or to live a life of love, on my own…I have felt desperate. At times in the past six months I have gone into hiding, been fearful, and my soul has felt lifeless, I have been in survival mode, and I have been blind to the depth of my selfishness.  But thanks be to God, in His perfect faithfulness + loving kindness that leads to repentance, I feel like he is beginning to open my eyes to seeing the condition of my heart without Him and waking me up to the ugliness that is in me, apart from Him. Because as I am learning by experience, as a recovering "good girl" that really, actually, in my own strength I really do not have what it takes to grow and thrive!

“ Therefore He says, Awake O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall shine on ( make day dawn) upon you and give you light! Eph. 5:14 ( Amp )

  In my case, it’s been a storm of grace. This past winter has been hard. I have felt overwhelmed as a mother. We have battled a lot of sickness. Some days it's seemed as though I barely have my head above water. And I have grown so sick of my self, and not feeling like there is way to rise above the mess and noise and fighting and moods to a place of joy. My prayer has become a desperate cry for help, that the Lord would soften my heart and give me the desire to wholeheartedly seek and desire Him like I never have before. And hope to keep praying that daily. That I would be led higher and deeper into Jesus. That I would quit putting Him in a box. That I would learn the secret to living the Christian life, is Christ in me, not me in different set of circumstances ( which today happens to look like bad moods for my three oldest children and a house that is anything but clean, full of laundry that is anything but folded and put away ) or anything I can do beyond opening my hands and accepting His love + grace, His amazing grace and living out of that. And in that place of grace, I have found freedom! In Jesus I have been set free!

He is teaching me that life doesn't have to always be "hard." That if I let Him, He will shoulder the stress. That His burden is easy and light!

He is teaching me that the less time I have, and the busier life is, the more time I need to spend in His presence!

He is stirring my heart and showing me how important it is to not fight harder for the idols in my life than I do for His glory.

He is teaching me that the goal of daily time with Him is not consistency but intimacy!

I am experiencing a renewed joy and gladness in the joy of His presence!

He is teaching me that without Him I am a complete mess. But in Him I am loved as Christ is loved. I am blessed as Christ is blessed. I am embraced and adored as Christ is embraced and adored.

He is whispering to me that I am free from religion and trying hard to perform for God. Free from shame and condemnation. I have listened to this sermon probably a dozen times now and it has become my mantra. And I am so umbled by His and of grae

  This week Jesus is using the Gospel of John, reading through the bible in a year, the book Grace for the Good Girl, this you tube clip called Jesus loves Barabas that a dear friend shared with me, and my loved ones to rock my world!

Jesus please shine your thrist-quenching, life-giving love into every corner of my heart! Jesus help me to know that even if all I have is You, that is More. Than. Enough.

" Therefore this joy of mine is now complete. He must increase but I must decrease." John 3:29 + 30

Look at how much they've grown in the seven months from my last post! And goodness sakes do I adore them!


Andrea said...

love you.

Leslie said...

oh Chelle,
I love how vulnerable you were here, and I need to listen to that sermon. I know this post was hard to write, but glad that "by grace" you were able to find a quiet home moment to tuck away and pour your heart out. I know it will bless and encourage other mama's, others, who are in that... funk. Your such a good mama, your hands and heart are full to overflowing. I thank Jesus for you so often.


Wendi@EveryDayMiracles said...

Dear Chelle - I have been thinking of you SO much over the past few months. Like, alot. So, so glad that you posted. It can be tough to be this transparent. Raw and beautiful. I have been where you are at and can testify to the fact that God is all over the dry times and the grace storms. He is fierce and pursue recklessly.

May your heart soak up that grace-rain.

Love you!!!

Teresa Rust said...

Hello, Michelle!
When I look back on my early years with four kids and homeschooling, etc. I now realize that I was always trying to be perfect and do the perfect thing and I think I was too hard on myself at times and probably too hard on my husband and kids. I loved my family more than anything and I loved Christ but I was always comparing myself to others and trying to be perfect. A REAL life is messy! A REAL life has ups and downs! Be yourself and don't put pressure on yourself to be someone else. In the end as I look back I realize that I sweated over things that in the long run were not really that important. Thanks for sharing your struggles, it will probably encourage another young mom with struggles, too! Much love to you and your family! :) XXOO

Fairlightday said...

Know that you are loved and prayed for and thought of every day. And being a mom is hard. Home schooling is hard. Having a husband who works long hours s hard. And life marches on and kids are still hungry 3 times (or more!) a day and you just want to hide. I feel you ache and that darkness. But, thankfully God's grace is amazing and overwhelming and constant. I have every confidence that you will find your way. Because you have Him by your side leading you. <3

The Farmhouse Junkie said...

Dear Chelle~What a beautiful post! Please know that I'm sending love to you through prayer! I adore your soul and know God is working through you and your family. I too struggle with similar challenges. Thank you for blessing me with this eloquent post reminding me of God's Grace and my daily need for him! I sure miss you and your sweet family. I hope we get to see you all soon! ~ Loves, Devin Hill

Lori said...

I loved your honest post... and the wise and encouraging comments from your friends! I needed that reminder to draw closer to Him when life gets so busy... it is easy to forget that. Blessings on your afternoon!

shabby girl said...

Your children are gorgeous, Chelle!
Life, I think, is never easy. Thank you God, for being everything we need.
I tried several different ways to email you, aroung outlook, but to no avail. Outlook tries to take over my computer.
Anyway, I so appreciate your post and wish you the Very Best of love and life!!

marinemom said...

You have such a beautiful, precious family! My arms are out to send you hugs and I pray that peace finds you and HE restores your soul!

Prairie Rose said...

What beautiful heart-felt words.
And although, I wish with all my heart that you have not had to go through these hard-ships, I feel blessed that you have shared them with us, so we too may remember your words of wisdom.
I to am going through a particular time of chaos and struggling through that bit of "the busier you are, the more you need to seek Him"
We can sure give the devil an easy in when we blame everything on busy-ness, cant we?
Thank you for sharing, and wishing you a beautiful, relaxing and fun summer, with lots of giggles and sunshine.

Megan said...

I so rarely get on to my blog these days. I came across this post and reminds me of a night you and I stayed up to the wee hours of the morning talking, giggling and crying endlessly...

You are such a beautiful soul.

You are the person I strive to be in every way.

Thank you for this post as it speaks to me in many ways as of late, for so many reasons.

Love you and miss you.
Your kids are so big and beautiful. Little Jack and Anniebelle have grown and changed so much. :)