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!