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April 2017

Amazing Grace

Posted in FAITH
on April 21, 2017

When I started this blog, I had big plans.  A long list of goals, and high expectations.  I wanted to be a consistent source of encouragement, truth and love.  I’m about as Type A as they come, but sometimes life doesn’t go the way we plan, and I am slowly learning to roll with the punches.  To be quite honest, the last few months have been a bit of a whirlwind.  The exciting part is that we sold our home, bought a new one, moved, and have begun remodeling (stay tuned for renovation posts).  But I have also needed to take some time away from blogging to work through the emotions stirring inside me.  I’ve been struggling with my own imperfection.  Feeling less than.  Comparing who I am to the mother, wife, friend, sister and daughter that I long to be.  I’ve experienced shame and guilt that has been unmatched at any other time in my life.  I’ve been facing the reality that I can love more, give more, spend more time with the Lord, serve more, be more kind, more patient, live in the moment better, and be less judgmental and less selfish.  I recognize the countless ways that the Lord has shown me how I can serve my husband, my church, my family, and my friends better, yet I continue to fall so short.  I would begin to make improvements, only to find myself disappointed every time I failed.  Things got dark a few weeks back, and I desperately needed to get out of my own pity party.  Every inch of progress seemed to be followed with a mile of mistakes.  I’ve discovered that it’s one thing to agree that God’s grace is wide enough to cover all of our sins, and another to believe it.  To acknowledge it and to live your life accepting the gift of freedom that we have been so graciously given by Christ’s death on the cross.  For the first time in my life, I decided to seek help, and I went to see my pastor.  My eyes swelled with tears as he gently said, “Skye, it sounds like you need a big ‘ole dose of God’s amazing grace”.  And he couldn’t have been more right.  Friends, I think we all could use a little more grace for ourselves in our lives.  I think sometimes it’s easier for us to dish out grace for others than it is for ourselves, and I encourage you to take it from someone who has been there: it can be detrimental when you don’t allow that grace to flow into your own heart.

I have chosen to be a mom, wife, daughter, sister, and friend who lives her life shining Christ’s light, loving others, and sharing God’s truths.  I will no longer live out of fear of what others might think, or in fear that I am not deserving of Christ’s love.  I have been living in this disappointed little bubble for much too long.  Our society is so focused on “self”, but joy isn’t found in self, it’s found in God and our never-ending pursuit of Him, not perfection.  In John 13:34, Jesus calls His followers to “Love one another, just as I have loved you.  By this, all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”  If there is one thing that I have learned, it’s this: the lasting effect of time with the lord radiates a beautiful joy that draws people near.  Loving others as Christ loves us makes forgiving easier.  It’s more natural to be kind, patient, forgiving, humble and generous. Have you ever run across someone you’ve never met before, and after spending just a few short moments with them, knew that they were a Christ follower?  Christ’s love is contagious, and whether or not we, as Christians, choose to show it has a huge effect on the watching world.

Spending daily time in prayer has brought me closer to the Lord.  I’ve been reading His Word with the intent of deepening my relationship with Him, rather than studying each sentence as if it were a textbook.  Attending and serving at church has also given me a greater understanding of Christ’s love.  And most of all, accepting His AMAZING GRACE, because I am so far from being perfect, yet he loves me.  Imperfect me.

I’ll leave you with these words that Brennan Manning shares in his book, The Ragamuffin Gospel.  I hope you find them as truthful and encouraging as I have.

The Good News means we can stop lying to ourselves.  The sweet sound of amazing grace saves us from the necessity of self-deception.  It keeps us from denying that though Christ was victorious, the battle with lust, greed, and pride still rages within us.  As a sinner who has been redeemed, I can acknowledge that I am often unloving, irritable, angry and resentful with those closest to me.  When I go to church, I can leave my white hat at home and admit I have failed.  God not only loves me as I am, but also knows me as I am.  Because of this I don’t need to apply spiritual cosmetics to make myself presentable to Him.  I can accept ownership of my poverty and powerlessness and neediness.

Love + Hugs,