Tag Archives: grace

YOUR ROLE

This Christmas season is my first being a mom, and it’s really got me thinking about what Mary must have gone through. She was scorned for becoming pregnant before marriage, her birth experience was full of discomfort and inconvenience, and she raised this perfect baby boy to later watch him die right before her eyes on the cross. I’d like to think that knowing he was the Son of God gave her a bit more peace and understanding, but he was still her child.

Mary was the only person to watch Jesus come into this world and leave this world. She held him as a fresh warm newborn and also as a cold lifeless man. We can imagine that even if she’d known all this suffering would take place, she still would have said yes to being Jesus’ mother.

Would you have said yes? Would you have endured all the pain that was required of Mary? And if so, why weren’t you the one God deemed fit to fill this role?

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose. -Romans 8:28

The thing is, we all have a part to play. Maybe we weren’t Jesus’ mother or father. Maybe we aren’t called to leave our homes and go overseas. Maybe all we’re meant to do is get up and go to our 9-5s and live life with the people in our office. But whatever it is, it’s been assigned to you specifically by God. The same God that chose Mary has chosen you. You have a special role to play in fulfilling God’s will, and it is just as important to accept your task as it was for Mary to accept hers.

But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth. -Exodus 9:16

We’re all in this for the same reason. Our decision making should begin and end with God. Ask Him what your job is, and work fervently towards it. There will be ups and downs, but you were created with that purpose in mind. This is your part. And He’s trusting you with it because He knows you are exactly who He needs.

He has saved us and called us to a holy life — not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. -2 Timothy 1:9

#thingsadored

GRACE

I struggle at times with being selfish at home. A problem arises, and I take it straight to Morgan no matter how weary his own day may have been. I put my issues on the forefront of not only my mind, but his. It’s a mistake I’m constantly reminding myself not to make, but as quickly as I remember, another upset causes me to forget. Hot water is low, tell Morgan. Bugs found their way back into the house, tell Morgan. I’ve put too much on my plate, tell Morgan. And heaven forbid he do something I don’t like because if so, I’m definitely telling Morgan. Those are the quickest complaints of all.

I recently finished “Resolution for Women” by Priscilla Shirer (if you’re looking for an inspirational read, I urge you to get this book). In one of the last chapters, there was a short story that I cannot get out of my mind. It was a perfect example of how a wife can create peace in her home – a lesson we can all afford to be reminded of. So, I’d like to share.

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He was a struggling salesman, rising early each morning to go from one proverbial closed door to another, attempting to sell a variety of products made by the company he worked for. The days were long and exhausting, and he often had little to show for his efforts – certainly not from lack of trying, just from lack of takers.

His young, redheaded wife had been only eighteen when they married. And as their family grew, she spent the better part of each day trying to figure out how to make their small living quarters an enjoyable, satisfactory space, given the difficulties of their financial strain. Yet the day came when the strain turned into the kind that can make a girl want to give up – when she went to flip a light switch, and no lights came on. Thinking it was only a mishap in the electrical system, she went to another light source. Again, nothing. Another, nothing. Throughout the house she flipped switches – nothing – confirming what she already knew but didn’t want to believe. Their electricity bill hadn’t been paid.

Worse yet, it couldn’t be.

So for the remainder of the day, she did the best she could to take care of her household responsibilities. Even as the lengthening shadows of late afternoon slowly shrouded the kitchen in dim light, she prepared a makeshift dinner, then set it out with care and dignity on their darkened dining room table. A flashlight search uncovered some half-used candles, which she lit to create an elaborate place setting. The scene was gorgeous. 

When her husband arrived, tired and road weary, he found her and the children seated at the table, smiling and waiting to have dinner with him. They enjoyed their candlelit meal. Had good conversation together. The children especially loved the unique touch of candles at dinner. Thought it was fun. Their home was full of peace and serenity despite the circumstances – circumstances the children didn’t even know about. 

Neither did her husband.

He went straight from the table and collapsed exhausted into bed, beside which she’d lit more candles. She never said a word. It wasn’t until the next day, when he arose to get ready for work, that he realized there were no lights. Putting some mental pieces together he realized what his wife had done – how she’d preserved his dignity, how she’d opted for peace and beauty rather than friction and discord in response to the inconvenience. 

He walked past the bed one more time on his way out the door that morning, just long enough to brush the red wisps of hair from her cheek and whisper, “Thank you,” into her ear. Whether she heard or not, he didn’t know. But he was too grateful to let the opportunity pass him by. Grateful to be sharing a home – sharing a life – with a woman committed to being gracious, promoting peace, overlooking shortcomings, providing an environment in which her family could flourish, even when living in less than desirable circumstances.

And at their fiftieth wedding anniversary, adult children and grandchildren standing at their side, this was the moment he recounted when someone asked to share his favorite memory from their life together.

This is the picture of a woman living with grace.

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This is who I want to be. I want to be a wife that promotes peace and love and grace. Our homes are holy ground, and we are charged with creating an atmosphere worthy of praise. It’s not always easy, but it can be done.

I hope that when Morgan heads home from a long day at the facility, he looks forward to walking in the door. I pray I can give that to him. I long to have the patience and the grace to do so. And I pray that the Lord constantly reminds me how.

#thingadored

SPIRIT OF GRACE

“I once was lost but now I’m found, was blind but now I see.”

These lyrics describe my life perfectly. Without God’s amazing grace, I would be completely lost in myself and of this world. There was a time that I felt the emptiness when I chose to exclude Christ from my daily life. I experienced the darkness when I enjoyed living in sin more than showing obedience. I felt the presence of the enemy when I no longer responded to my convictions. And then I was shown God’s mercy when I decided I couldn’t bear to live like that any longer.

For quite some time, I believed my faith was genuine and strong. Peer pressure was never an issue because I knew right from wrong. Being raised in a Christian household will do that to you. You learn what to say ‘yes’ to and when ‘no’ should be applied. However, in hindsight, all I had were the right answers and other people’s faith to live vicariously through. I thought that as long as I did the right things and had other Christians surrounding me, I was fine. Basically, I was a Pharisee – walking through the motions but completely missing Jesus Himself.

Once I got to college and was living on my own, I abandoned all aspects of Christian living because I was no longer surrounded by the right answers. The only answers I was getting were earthly and selfish; they came from frat houses and magazines and pop music and bars at 2 am. I can recall starting to doubt whether God was real or not. I couldn’t feel His presence anymore and was blaming everything and everyone but myself for that. Blindness took over me because I failed to keep Him close, and for the first time in my life, I was truly scared.

Haven’t we all been there? Hasn’t there been a time in everyone’s walk with Christ that we look back and can’t see the cross in the distance? With faith comes an element of responsibility. Too often, we fall victim to our lack of desire for God because we don’t make sure we’ve done our part. “In everything you do, put God first, and he will direct you and crown your efforts with success.” (Proverbs 3:6). True, our thirst for the Lord can be quenched simply by asking, but most times we fail to do just that. Ask. It wasn’t until I stripped myself of my pride and asked God to give me the desire for Him and His Word that I received it. I was ashamed that I didn’t care about reading my Bible or going to church, and I was embarrassed to admit it in prayer. But in reality, He knows our sins before we even commit them. “You, God, know my folly; my guilt is not hidden from You.” (Psalm 69:5). God already knew my shame, but He loved me and guided me anyway.

We spend so much time thinking we’ve boxed out God from our lives that we convince ourselves He’s given up on us. We tell ourselves that we missed our chance at a full life, a life with Him at the center. But God loves us more than we could possibly comprehend. We may think we’ve hit the point of no return, but truthfully, there is no measure of sin that can remove us from the region of His grace if we belong to Him.

“As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient… But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ, even when we were dead in transgressions… For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:1-2, 4-5, 8-9).

Grace is a gift, a gift God is ready and willing to give. All that’s required of us is recognition that we need Him, and He’ll be there waiting.

#thingsadored

Originally posted by The Well Studio >> check out their site!

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photos by Anna Grace Photography