Seasons of Grace

It’s nice to be back in the blogosphere again. I took off a few weeks after Christmastime to regroup and re-prioritize life. I got back on track regarding food after eating baklava for breakfast a few days in a row and overeating in general during break. It was a treat and oh so yummy. But there were a few more inches on my waist than I would have liked there to be, not to mention I was feeling sluggish. Spiritually speaking, I was needing to really seek out the Lord’s will and so I made a time of fasting, study, and prayer. As I expected, I renewed my mind and received some revelation. Plus I’m down some pounds and feeling more energetic.

I tackled a lot of to-dos when we got back. I got all of our check-ups planned out for this year- 2 dental visits and a check up for 7 people means you have MANY appointments. Then, we mused about where we might like to go on vacation for this year. So, we settled on the Ark Encounter, Creation Museum, and Horse Park in Kentucky for spring break. Lord willing, I will make a trip to Washington D.C. with Autie in April to check out the sights and see to Joyce Meyer teach a conference. In June, I’ll be making a hiking trip with my mom, aunt, and the Dawn to Hike Inn near Amicalola falls in the summer. Then, I figured out what topics I was going to pursue in my continuing education hours for nursing this year. I also dropped a part time business that I was not loving anymore. It’s so nice to get things straightened up. Last year, I was in no state to do such things. We were in a crisis mode that lasted for months and months. I’m so thankful that the Lord provided a way for us.

We ended up being sick a few weeks during Christmas and then the week following New Years. That is never any fun. It stinks to feel isolated when you are quarantining yourself from others and it’s below 20 degrees outside. The first week that we were back to school we ended up having something to do every evening of the week and miraculously everything got cancelled so that I could have a full blown sinus infection (the kind where your head feels like it is going to pop off). Then the next week with a fairly normal schedule and some breathing room there were snow days and a course of anti-biotics for myself.

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Photo by Corinne Kutz on Unsplash

So this week, all is well (for the moment) and I am thankful. The gutters are going back on after the December snow. Various parts of my house are clean. And it’s laundry day. I caught myself getting stressed out around lunch time when I was managing the barking dog, the gutter men, dentist appointment, laundry, feeding people, and then getting school done. Then I remembered for a minute what I told someone just yesterday. Give yourself some Grace.

I had an opportunity to visit with a lady last night who is going through a similar crisis season that I have had to deal with in the past. We have been connected just since Christmas and I am so thankful that I am now able to comfort another Mom with the comfort with which I was comforted. When she was telling me last night that her homelife had taken 10 steps back and things weren’t getting done like she expected, I reminded her that she is in a special season right now (something I’ve had to hear from others in the past). Yes, it’s crisis from day to day and there are still things that need to get done. The key is in prioritizing and giving yourself Grace. Keeping your eyes on the Lord when difficult seasons come will make or break you. Giving yourself grace will make or break you. I’ve been both made and broken at times.

The word crisis originates from the Greek word krisis meaning a testing or judgement. We enter into crisis periods in our own lives where we have a chance to use faith and trust as Jesus teaches or go for our own “man made” solutions (I’ll try harder, I’ll brainstorm, I’ll google it).

I think that Moms in general have difficulty with this topic. Being a home-manager and teacher-at-home right now, it feels like I work for myself. I keep my hours and my expectations and am constantly revisiting my goals. When I fail, I am my worst critic.

Many people know the bible verse Romans 3:23, “ for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (WEB). But have you ever paid attention to the rest of the sentence?? We can quote bits and pieces of scripture here and there but really applying the message in context is where we find the meaning. Here it is in context:

“But now apart from the law, a righteousness of God has been revealed, being testified by the law and the prophets; even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ to all and on all those who believe. For there is no distinction, for all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God; being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus; whom God sent to be an atoning sacrifice, through faith in his blood, for a demonstration of his righteousness through the passing over of prior sins, in God’s forbearance; to demonstrate his righteousness at this present time; that he might himself be just, and the justifier of him who has faith in Jesus.” Romans 3:21-26 WEB

**Now we are looking at Romans 3:23 and the sentence it belongs in. Plus a sentence before and a sentence after.

So, all have sinned yes. But pay attention, this is the good part: All are “being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” You are justified freely by God’s grace. You are made right by God’s grace. You are righteous by Faith in Jesus Christ.

You aren’t righteous by your to-do list. Not your done list either. None of the lists make you righteous. You are made right by Faith and FREELY by Grace.

If God is going to give you so much grace while you were in the muck and mire can you give yourself some Grace this year? Can you not beat yourself up about goals that you haven’t met yet? Laundry and dishes piled up because you are sick? Messed up schedules because of weather? Things are going to come at you, it’s inevitable. Somethings this year might be devastating others might be plain annoying.  It’s what you do in the times of trail that will matter most. Did you yell, scream, pout? Did you use your self-control, keep your faith, and pray?

“Being therefore justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ; through whom we also have our access by faith into this grace in which we stand. We rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only this, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope: and hope doesn’t disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. For while we were yet weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man. Yet perhaps for a righteous person someone would even dare to die. But God commends his own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we will be saved from God’s wrath through him. For if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we will be saved by his life.” Romans 5: 1-9

God doesn’t send the yucky stuff our way. Suffering is a part of living in a fallen world. Yet, He provides for us a way to live through Him and to rejoice. He provides a way for our suffering to be made into perseverance, then character, and lastly hope. Hope won’t disappoint!

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Photo by Ron Smith on Unsplash

“Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him. “ Isaiah 30:18 NRSV

Say it with me!!!

“This year I will open myself up to His grace. I will be ready for Him to rise up to the occasion no matter what situation comes to me. I will remember that I hope in Him and that I stand justified in His eyes because of Jesus.”

Praise God today!

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