Thursday, January 8, 2015

Measuring Out Grace

Hey Friend,
Happy New Year!  I have noticed with each passing year that I have gotten better at breathing in God's grace.  As I grow older, and one hopes I have gained more wisdom, I struggle less with the notion that God is somehow disappointed in me.  I was a tried and true perfectionist who attempted to not sin or disappoint God.  Every time I messed up, I would heap guilt upon my head and feel like a failure.  This is not living how God would want me to live!
It's taken a lifetime for Romans 8:1 to sink in (and I am still a work in progress):  Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.  One translation of the word "condemnation" is disappointment.  Note that the verse does not say, "there is now less condemnation" or "there is now a little bit of condemnation". No, it says, "There is now no disappointment.  There is only grace.
God wants us to exchange our guilt for His grace!  Go ahead and breathe it in!
When I was a little girl, I liked to collect rocks and stones.  Even a glimpse of everyday quartz was enough to catch my eye and deem a rock worthy of being picked up and stashed in my pocket.  On my walk home from elementary school, my friends and I passed by Gracie's store.  It was a little Mom & Pop grocery store with a penny candy counter and tucked way in the back of the store was a glass counter that held the most beautiful gemstones.  I always had to make my way back there and marvel at the amazing crystals buried within what seemed to be ordinary rocks.
I would work hard to save up my money and on special occasions like Mother's Day or my mom's birthday I would pick out and purchase the rock that I thought my mother would love best.  Amethyst was one of my favorites, so I skipped all the way home the day I was going to bestow this gorgeous purple-hued rock upon my mother.  (Just what every mom wants). 
One day, when I was an adult with children, my mom showed me the collection of "rocks" I had given her over the years (both purchased and found).  She knew they were gifts from the heart. 
Giving rocks and stones is one thing, but there are stones that are not so pretty - the ones we throw at others in judgment.  I like to think that I am a gracious person, but am I really?  How quickly do I get annoyed at the person in front of me in the check out line at the grocery store who has 50 coupons (half of them expired or with special conditions) that requires the manager to be called over?  How quickly do I lose my cool with the customer service representative that I've called with a question or problem that isn't getting resolved?  How did my young children learn to call out, "You idiot" to other drivers on the highways and byways?
On a sideboard in my kitchen I have a little plaque that says "Grace".  Beside it is a smooth coal colored stone with these words on it:  "He that is without sin among you let him cast the first stone." (Jesus Christ)
God pours out His grace like rain on me...and then what do I do with it?  Do I pass it on or do I measure out judgment?  God has put it on my heart for me to truly try to walk in another man or woman's shoes before I make hasty judgments.  They are people too - with lives and "to do" lists and frustrations all their own.
If I want to be a directional arrow pointing people toward Jesus...I need to act a little more like Him.
That being said, I have chosen the word "GRACE" as my watch word for 2015 (last year I picked "INTENTIONAL").  As I am learning, with more success, to breathe in God's grace, I also want to grow in measuring it out as well.  Tall order, but with God all things are possible.
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Jesus Christ.  (Romans 3:24)
Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms.  (1 Peter 4:10)
Lord, I thank you for the merciful grace that you not only give, but lavish upon me.  Enable me to excel in the act of giving grace to others.  Let 2015 be the year I consistently measure out grace.  Amen.
What is your watch word for 2015?  Would you share?  If you've never chosen one before, would you consider praying for God to reveal to you what He wants to build in you this year?  I pray so...and let us be transformed together!
In His love,
ps.  Know that if you are reading my blog that you are being lifted up in prayer every morning and every evening.  That is my commitment to blessed.
I will report next week on the great things happening at Redeemer Christian School in Pakistan. 


  1. Happy New Year, sweet friend. So good to be here reading your words again. And what a lovely word GRACE is. Can I tell you that you are totally someone who speaks grace-filled words!! I look forward to journeying through another year together and to see how God grows us in the coming year. Maybe He will bring us the opportunity to meet in real life too. Btw, do you know my friend Dawn of Journeys in Grace. With your word grace, you might enjoy her >>> // You would enjoy her no matter what, actually. :)
    Love you much.

    1. Beth,
      Yes, I'm back in the saddle again after a break from writing. Thank you for the encouragement that I speak grace-filled words...but my first thoughts are not often grace-filled and I need God's power to work that through. I will have to check out your friend Dawn's blog as I journey in grace through this new year. I, too, hope that our paths will cross in real life because I have been so blessed by our relationship. I so appreciate that you are the real deal and you have such a tender and caring heart. Thanks, as always, for your encouragement dear friend.
      Love and ((hugs)),

  2. Hi Bev,

    My word this year is love. When I chose my word, God chose my word, the scripture perfect love casts out all fear. I knew I needed it for me and for my boys. This scripture is to be prayed over my boys and me, and also 1Cor13 is to be studied this year. I am looking at different translations and am praying them. I know I can't do this perfectly, but am to work to the characteristics as goals, and to have a quieter voice when dealing with my boys.

    My class that is graduating will have rocks of remembrance we will present as gifts that my co-facilitator and I will make with the word painted on their rock of their primary goal, or a characteristic we saw developed more fully in each woman.

    So glad to have you back!

    Love and hugs,


    1. Joanne,
      "Love"...what a great word for 2015 especially because it has so many facets. Love is patient, kind, slow to anger...I will certainly be glad to pray 1 Cor. 13 over you and your boys! I'm also glad you put the disclaimer in there that you know you can't do it perfectly, but it is a goal to look toward. How great that you are also carrying this out in your class as well. You are such a great encourager!! I have missed your insights during my hiatus. It's good to be back...
      Love and ((hugs)) dear friend,


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