Tag Archive Grace

ByKaren

Lather, Rinse, and Repeat

Everyone does it. You go to the restroom and if by CHANCE you forget your phone or iPod, you grab something to read out of boredom or to make the time pass quicker. Chances are, that “something” could be a shampoo bottle. On the back side of that bottle, the directions will say, to wash, lather, rinse, and repeat if it’s needed. Many wonder why you would have to “repeat”. When you use a lot of products in your hair, it builds up a residue, a sometimes STICKY residue, that just washing ONE TIME will not get out, hence the repeat action.

Lather, Rinse, and Repeat - Raising Sticky Hands To Heaven

Now, let’s look at this in a Spiritual aspect. We are walking along on a Spiritual walk, hand in hand with God, and then #WHAM!, you slip and fall. You feel down about it and disappointed that you “failed”. You HAVE to get up, repent, let God wash you clean because He forgives a multitude of sin! Forgive yourself and continue your daily Spiritual walk with God. We are human. God knows that we are human and that we are going to fall at times, that’s why He will keep His hand extended to us when we fall, giving us the boost we need to get up, and washing us clean again when we ask! We can’t stay in the muck and the mire.

Sometimes, we HAVE to go through the LATHER, RINSE, AND REPEAT more than once because of our own stubbornness. Thank God that He gives second chances and repeats His forgiveness!

ByAngie

No More Regrets: Thoughts On Turning 33, Psalms 139, & Running

For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb.
I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.

Psalms 139:13-14

It has been said by many that Jesus was likely 33 years of age when He died, rose from the dead, and ascended into Heaven.

I do not consider myself anywhere near the prestige of our Lord. Not by any means. But this has challenged me, and is causing me to do a lot of praying and thinking.

You see, today is my birthday. As you may have guessed, this afternoon I will turn 33. I don’t know how this is possible, because I am almost certain that I just celebrated 23, but apparently I’m “wrong” and in “denial”. Well, according to my husband, anyway.

Not A Mullet

This is something that I do not carry guilt because of. It’s not a mullet, I was only 5, and I had a really bad perm. Besides, it’s more fun to give my Mom a hard time about it.

100 years ago, I would have probably not sat and pondered every year after turning 29 about what I have done with my life up until now, and what I have to show for it. I have a very loving, faithful, caring husband. I have 5 amazing kids that constantly have me thanking God for the privilege to be their mother. Right there are 6 accomplishments, and by far the most treasured. However, in our present time, without a degree or business accomplishment I am supposed to feel like a failure. A failure for my focus being on bringing my children up to know God and loving my husband with all of my heart.

I just can’t buy into that.

I will tell you where I do feel guilt though… I have not come anywhere close to what I could have and should have done for the Kingdom. Stubborn, introverted, procrastinating me has made excuse after excuse for what should have never been given a second thought. Jesus saved the world in 33 years. Me? I can’t even remember to save leftovers some days.

Yet… He loves me. He loves me so much and I can’t even fathom why. Psalms 139:17-18 says “How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand;” To think of someone that much. How much He loves us. The understanding is not even in my grasp. After my years of running, denial of His existence, self-destruction, and multitudes of other sins, He still wanted me. He called for me. When I turned to run back to Him, His arms were open wide and I could hear Him holler to me, “Run faster, Angie! Run! Don’t stop! Keep going! Run!

 

My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them.

Psalms 139:15-16

 

So today, I’m putting the guilt away. God did not give my mother, who was never supposed to have children, a daughter so that she could grow up and mope. God did not cause my heart to start beating both times that it stopped while my mom labored with me with the intention of me giving up years later. He has not saved my life from many illnesses, accidents, and near misses so that I could say, “Whoops, too late. I’ll just sit here and regret every dumb decision until it’s all said and done.” Nope. He sure didn’t.

Instead I’m going to start doing those things that God has told me to do. I’m going to turn my back to fear and my face to Jesus. All of those horrible things that happened before today, they are no longer excuses, regrets, or things I am ashamed of because they are testimonies to the work that the Lord has done. They are small chapters in a very long story. My senses are going to be more alert to the Spirit so that I will be aware of just what exactly it is He wants to convey to me, because otherwise it is all pointless. It is ALL for Him. My life, my family, everything.

Next year, when it’s time for 34, this shame will not overcome me again. Thank you, God, for the grace you so freely offer through your only Son. You are the God of second, and 842, chances. So get ready, Lord, because I’m still running… and it’s a lot faster than before. I will not be stopping, looking to the side, or slowing down. Show me the way. It’s time to put this free will to good use.

Grab my hand, let’s run together! Will you?

P.s. Thanks for having me, Mom! Oh, and putting up with me. Love you!

ByDanielle

I Am Thankful To God For You

I am not proud of my children.

To say I’m proud of you implies I did everything. In my house we say, “I am thankful to God for you.” For your ability to listen, play sports, do well in school, to do anything that gives God glory. In our house we try very hard to give God the glory. In our confirmation class we were discussing pride & proud. We looked up the definitions of both words.

Pride:

1. a high or inordinate opinion of one’s own dignity, importance, merit, or superiority, whether as cherished in the mind or as displayed in bearing, conduct, etch.

2. the state or feeling of being proud.

3. a becoming or dignified sense of what is due to oneself or one’s position or character; self-respect; self-esteem.

4. pleasure or satisfaction taken in something done by or belonging to oneself or believed to reflect credit upon oneself: civic pride.

Proud:

1. feeling pleasure or satisfaction over something regarded as highly honorable or creditable to oneself (often followed by of, an infinitive, or a clause).

2. having, proceeding from, or showing a high opinion of one’s own dignity, importance, or superiority.

3. having or showing self-respect or self-esteem.

Both of these words focus on me, mine, look at me, see what I did. If it were not for the grace God gave me I would be nothing. Because of Jesus’ great work on the cross, His empty grave! He has given me the ability to be a child of God, a mother, a wife, a sister, a friend. None of these I do very well. I make mistakes, I still sin, I am an imperfect person in an imperfect world.

 

I Am Thankful To God For You - Why Danielle says Thankful instead of proud and more thoughts - On Raising Sticky Hands To Heaven - RaisingStickyHands.com

 

In our home we say “I am thankful to God for you,” for giving you the ability to listen, to do your chores, to get along with your sisters, to play the piano, etc. In this our children know we have joy watching them. They also know God, His love, His grace. They know because of His deeds (His great works in the Bible) that we can trust His character.

Have a blessed day dear ones! You are Loved!!! You are Loved!!!
~ Danielle

ByKaren

Memories…

The following lyrics were written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, otherwise known as part of the Beatles, in 1965. Though I’ve changed the word “lovers” to “loved ones” and made the “you” a personal standpoint to mean God/Christ, the words can still have a great meaning.

In My Life

“There are places I remember all my life, though some have changed. Some forever, not for better, some have gone, and some remain.

All these places have their moments of loved ones and friends I still can recall. Some are dead and some are living, and in my life, I’ve loved them all.

And with all these friends and loved ones, there is no one compares with You. And these mem’ries lose their meaning when I think of love as something new.

And I know I’ll never lose affection for people and things that went before. I know I’ll often stop and think about them. In my life, I’ve loved You more.”

My mind is always flooded with memories. The things that most people would never remember, I have stored in the back files of my mind. This is not always a blessing, believe me. Sometimes, there are several things that I wish I could forget.

Sometimes, an image of a person will come to my mind, but not just that image, but anything that person has ever done towards me, whether it be good or bad, will come flooding back also. If it happened to be an offense that I have already forgiven, I definitely don’t want that brought back to my remembrance.

I know that I don’t want my past sin/offenses remembered and held against me at any given moment.

Thank God, that when we repent, He cast our sins as far as the East is from the West! Never to be remembered again.

 

Memories... Photo By Karen Wilds

 

Not all memories are meant to be bad or dreadful. God allows us to have wonderful memories. Memories of the loved ones who have gone on already and the time that we got to spend with them. Memories aroused by scents around us or a familiar sight.

We come into contact with all kinds of people throughout life. Sometimes, we learn from them, while at other times, we are teaching them. Our main goal is to ALWAYS love them. Yes, they will disappoint us and we will disappoint them, but such is life. We must correct the wrong, ask for forgiveness, LOVE, and move on.

But, I want to be able to tell God, since He knows our hearts, “… in my life, I’ve loved YOU more!”

ByEmily

Mess!

mess- a.) a disordered, untidy, offensive, or unpleasant state or condition b.) one that is disordered, untidy, offensive, or unpleasant usually because of blundering, laxity, or misconduct

A few weeks ago, a sweet man in our church who used to detail vehicles offered to bless my husband and I by cleaning our car. Now let me just remind you that I have 4 and 5 year old girls. My car was a mess! Do any of you moms know what it’s like to have yogurt (yes, yogurt!) smeared on your car window? Well, I do! :/ I know, I know, I’m the only one with messy children.

This brother from church returned our car and he did an amazing job! It looked brand new! Keep in mind, it has only been a few weeks, and I have 4 and 5 year old girls. Today we’re riding through town and I say, “Girls, I’m very upset with the way my car is looking right now. Bro. Willie just cleaned it and did such a good job. It makes me sad that it’s looking like this.” They had dumped puzzle pieces in the seat, left trash in the floor, had toys that needed to be brought in, etc. I went on to explain to them that when we got home, they were going to have to straighten the car up again.

Adah, my precious 4 year old, replies to my gentle ranting with, “Sorry, Charlie. I don’t know why we’re so messy.”

My first instinct was to just simply shake my head. I mean, how else do you respond to that?? But that’s when I realized, life is all about making messes. As humans, we make one mess right after the other, a never ending cycle. The messes we make, however, are not what matters. What matters is how we handle those messes. Do we let them pile up, higher and higher, with rotten stenches seeping out? Or do we do the best we can to clean the mess up and get it out of the way?

 

Sorry, Charlie!!!

 

 

I finally replied, “Sorry, Charlie, but we can’t help making messes in life. That’s why you’re so messy. And sorry, Charlie, but you have to clean those messes up. You can’t just leave them there.”

When we stopped, I got out and helped them clean up the trash, gather the toys and get rid of the mess. I originally intended, to hand them the trash bag and make them do it themselves, but then I decided to show mercy and help. That’s just what our loving heavenly Father does for His children. He understands that we were born into flesh and that making messes is human nature. And just like I, as a mother, expected my girls to clean up their messes, God expects us to straighten up our lives. Even better? If we sincerely turn to Him for help, He’ll show us grace and mercy, too.