Thursday, June 30, 2011


The topic of God's grace has been hot in my heart these past couple of months (cue Matt Maher's chorus: Your grace is enough!). My understanding of the depth of God's grace is blossoming in my heart - slowly, surely, beautifully. It is something I always knew, but didn't understand like I do now.

I posted on Facebook this afternoon this status: I love how you can feel God's grace and you are SURE that's what it is...because it is clearly what you were missing before you knew you were missing it. Amen ♥. This is where I am in understanding His grace. I know I had it because I feel it when I cover it up with other feelings,thoughts and insecurities. I don't mean to shroud God's grace - why would ANYONE try to do that - but it is easy to do...kinda like it's easier to throw the clothes you tried on but didn't like on the chair instead of hanging them back up (I would NEVER!! Ya right!)

I recently read in I Corinthians 15 where Paul was preaching about the fact that Christ died for our sins, He was buried and on the third day He rose again. When He rose, He appeared to Peter and James and to the apostles ... and to Paul who was not an apostle. Paul felt humbled and not worthy of Jesus' visit because when he was Saul (not Paul) he persecuted the church. What comes next in verse 10 is my revelation: "But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect...No I worked harder than all of them [servants of Christ] - yet, not I but the grace of God that was with me"

Follow me...

Paul is talking about what I like to call "He grows, I glow" (thanks, Mike R for that analogy!). Every day, we should decrease and God should increase in our lives. We should become as much like Him as we can. We do this through prayer, submission, obedience; and we are allowed to do this by the grace that He bestows on us. Saul turned to Paul by the GRACE of God. When he received grace, he worked as hard as he could to be the hands, feet, eyes, & ears of God. He wanted, desired, and succeeded in being an extension of Him Himself. In this verse, Paul is recognizing that without the grace of God, he never would have been able to accomplish what he did. He didn't do anything - God did it all through Him with the power of the Holy Spirit and the anointed grace he was given. 

Fast forward to 2011. My life. My full, chaotic, crazy, intense life. A life where the gospel can be spread on Facebook and sermons can be streamed on phones. I recently struggled with something and wondered why it was bothering me so much...because at last I checked, things like that didn't really have time to take root in my heart. Well, this one did. After an entire night of praying, reading, journal, reflecting, and laying it all at the cross, God gave me my answer. I struggled because I let the issue cloak the grace He has awakened in my heart. I struggled because I decided to live in the struggle instead of bask in His grace. We all know that His grace is sufficient and His power is made perfect in my weakness ... but by not allowing myself to admit I was weak, I couldn't receive His power. Without His power, I couldn't acknowledge His grace...

I wish you all could have seen the hope that exploded in my heart - and the freedom that followed - when this revalation hit. What a gift His grace is...I can't fathom my life without it.

Love & Light

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Out of the Mouth of Babes

My kids are pretty smart. Yes, I'm their Mom so I can say that, but I truly believe it - all biases aside. One of the things that strikes me daily is the amount of wisdom these babes of mine have.

I posted a gem on facebook the other day. It came from Ace, my middle daughter (Ace is her nickname...and it fits perfectly). She said "The rain is God's way of showing us His wisdom, right Mommy?" Ummmmm. Right, Ace. Exactly true.

How many times have you been here - picture this - the rain is pouring, we're soaked, our shoes are ruined, our clothes feel heavy, we can't get warm, and shelter wouldn't matter because we are beyond what help it offers. Been there? I have. Figuratively speaking, of course (and physically been there once when I was taking a motorcycle safety class - but that's another story for another time). When you're in this storm, you would do anything for reprieve...a fresh hoodie and some sweat pants, a cup of coffee, a warm, dry place to simply rest.

Where do you go when you need a hoodie to cover and comfort you and a place where you can find warmth and shelter? Can you guess where this is going? I'll bet you can, my smart readers. You know me all too well.

I find cover and comfort in my bible. I find it in my time of prayer and reflection about where I went wrong and what I need to do to fix it. I find it in my repentance because usually a storm is brought on by my disobedience. I find it in the faint sun that appears when the storm and the threat of a new storm have passed.

In my bible today, I was reading the parables in the book of Matthew. I found two places to prove that Ace's comment was truly inspired.

1. Matthew 21:16 - "Do you hear what these children are saying?" they asked him. "Yes," replied Jesus, "have you never read, "'From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise'?" This prompted me to ask where Jesus was referring to - it must be in another part of this gospel. So I backpedaled and found this:

2. Matthew 11:25 - "At that time Jesus said, "I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children." Can you see the aha moment??!?!?

Of course Ace would be ordained with all these nuggets of wisdom...because GOD HIMSELF has hidden things from the wise and learned and revealed them to LITTLE CHILDREN!! Clearly, out of the mouth of babes is true wisdom that finds us when we need.

We can ask for wisdom - my bible tells me so. We can pray for wisdom - my bible tells me so. But children? They are bestowed with wisdom ... what a wonderful gift. I know I have seen the blessing of it in my life.

How about you? Do you have a "out of the mouth of babes" story? Post it in my comments. I would love to know!

Love & Light

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Dance Like No One is Watching

I have to share a funny story with you guys. It's about my oldest daughter, Maya. For those of you who don't know her, she is quite the little girl. She is stubborn, beautiful, loud, creative, whimsical, bold and did I mention beautiful? Anyway - here is the story.

One day this week, her school was hosting a spaghetti dinner. She DESPERATELY wanted to go. Me...notsomuch...(that's not really my shtick). We hadn't done any family things during the year (Again..not really my shtick) and I knew this would be our last chance. She is switching schools in the fall - so truly, this was it.

So my Mom graciously offered to watch my other two daughters (it was expensive!!) and off to the spaghetti dinner we went. We got there and, man, I wish you all could have seen her face. It was pure joy. Her friends were there, there was food, there was SODA!!, there was music, there was...EVERYTHING!! So we got our tickets and we got our pasta and we sat down. She couldn't even eat she was so excited (what is she going to do at prom! LOL!). I forced asked her to at least finish her salad and she was glad to comply. I told her she couldn't go play until she was done. Three HUGE bites and a gulp of soda (yes I did!) later, she was ready to go. She grabbed her friend Chloe and they marched to the dance floor.

What happened next was magical.

Maya has no formal dance training aside from the weekly dance parties we have at home (no, I'm not posting a video LOL!) but girlfriend L O V E S to dance. She shakes, she shimmies, she jumps, she leaps, she cartwheels - she does it all. Now, the music that was playing was not what we listen to. It was the dreaded Justin Bieber - which apparently Maya has heard before?? So anyway, she was SO INTO this dancing. All the other kids felt the need to be 'cool' on the dance floor...and there was Maya. Jumping, leaping, shaking, shimmying, moving not so gracefully around the dance floor. She owned it. Every. Single. Move.

It brought me so much joy and satisfaction to know that she felt comfortable enough with herself to just get lost in the music. She TRULY didn't care what the other kids thought, said, did - she wanted to do what she wanted to do. I was proud of her that she felt like she could express herself in that way. It was beautiful.  

For me, it was a parenting success story. I have always desired that my children understand that they were created to be the person they are; that they are beautiful just the way God made them. We talk about beauty all the time and my hope is that they understand that beauty is more than looks - its about confidence, self-worth, standards, and self-love. We tell them all the time that they are beautiful on the inside and the outside. Our hope is that they believe it always - even when the world tells them otherwise.

My hope for you all is the same - that you all understand you are beautiful even when the world tells you otherwise. It is true that beauty comes from within. Your heart is where the embers of beauty are. The more you believe it, the hotter the embers glow. The hotter they glow, the faster you have flames. When the flames are roaring, you are glowing. Believe in the embers that lie in your heart. Fan them every chance you get - and before long you will be convinced of the beauty they create.

~ Love and Light ~

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Expect Expectationless Expectations

Got it? Blog post done.

Just kidding...

I struggle with expectations. Personal expectations. Professional expectations. Expectations for friends, family, acquaintances. Too many expectations for too many different situations. I cut some people more slack than others. I set the bar different for different people. My tendency to set expectations is my Achilles' heel.

A good friend of mine brought to light that it is important to realize that there are expectations that are too high and there are expectations that are unrealistic. A thunderous round of understanding and wonder echoed in my head when I truly understood this. Often, I place unrealistic expectations on myself, and others, and I am constantly disappointed (also in myself and others) in the result. I often do the same with expectations that are too high.

So what does one do when this happens? Does one lower their expectations? If expectations are lowered, what does that say about the person lowering them? That they are OK with accepting less?

So - lowering expectations should be easy right? Is it? No. It's the hardest thing in the entire world for me. Maybe if I weren't so stubborn Maybe if I learned to expect expectationless expectations, I would be able to digest a lot more. By setting expectationless expectations, you still have the satisfaction of setting expectations without the required follow through. Perhaps this will work with someone like me who struggles with follow through to begin with (see the previous post for more details). Can this work? Can this be the breakthrough that I  need?

Stay tuned to find out. If expecting expectationless expectations works for me, I will be sure to blog all about it. I'll be too excited not to.

~ Love & Light ~