Wednesday, January 29, 2014

IT'S ALL GRACE

In honor of the polar vortex that is sweeping our nation yet again, I am posting the pictures I took back on Lily's birthday.  Since I came down with the stomach bug later that night and had the birthday party that weekend, I never got around to using these pictures.

In my normal day to day life I don't have a large amount of time for introspection.  And, when I do have time for looking within, I often don't look that far or deep.  My mental energy is usually taxed and spent.

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Our church is going through Galatians and talking about grace.  They are preaching it from the pulpit, and we are reading an excellent book on it in our small group.  I have been a Christian for as long as I can remember.  It has been an accepted fact in my life.  But, as an adult, I can see that really, truly grasping God's grace is a lifelong journey.

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It requires me looking inside and seeing the depravity in my own heart.  I don't have to look far for that.  I only have to remember back to yesterday.  My selfishness rears its ugly head time and time again.  Sometimes it is more subtle and "justifiable" and all the more dangerous for it.  I want "me time."  I don't want to mess with the logistics and realities of potty training or the heart work that goes along with it in our house.  I don't want to be flexible when my husband needs to change plans.  I don't want to wash the bottles again.  I don't want to put a Puff in my baby's mouth every 45 seconds.  I just want to be left alone to craft, peruse Pinterest and blogs and spend money online for things we don't really need.

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But God will not leave me in that state, and I am so thankful.  My default is so ugly.  I don't get things right in my own strength, and even if they look right on the outside, I can assure you that my heart is a mess.  I want people to notice me and sing my praises, though I hate to admit it.  I am not a people-pleaser, but instead, I expect and imagine that people will hold me in high esteem.  It's not pretty in here.

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But his grace covers it all.  All of the ugly.  Grace transforms the ugly, wintered woods of my heart into something beautiful.  Something fresh and new and only from him.

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Several times over I have read the idea that the longer I walk with God, the more I will realize my need for him.  I don't look better, but slowly and surely, God is transforming my heart, and part of that transformation is realizing my utter need for him.

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So, today I am thankful.  It's all grace.  The good and the bad that happen - all of it.

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Jesus came to bring the dead to life, to trade a heart of stone for a heart of flesh.

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I need to preach this to myself daily, hourly, secondly, because I quickly forget that all is grace, and it is a free gift that I may humbly accept.  Thank you, Lord.

1 comments:

Carmen Smith said...

Beautiful words. Beautiful photos. Thanks for sharing for it is thought provoking. xoxo