Seeing God’s grace even in the storm

Some days, like today, it’s hard to see God’s grace because all I can see is the humanness of those around me. I feel challenged today to find peace and grace and I know it’s because I have taken my eyes off God and put them back on man. It’s easy to live in God’s grace when I’m home surrounded by the quietness of the morning, the comfort of a hot cup of coffee, my Bible close at hand and prayer my forethought, not an afterthought. But here, back at work, with the pettiness of co-workers, the lack of concern of students, and the isolation of a small cubby hole with no windows, all I feel is alone. I know it’s not God. It’s totally me, but why? I don’t want to be that person. You know, the one who can only live in grace when there’s nothing around to provide a stumbling block or to hide His truth. But today, that is the person I’ve allowed myself to be. And, as I sit here and think back over my day, I realize that HIS grace has  been with me, in the reply to an email sent in anger, in the one student who gets it, in the co-worker who does take the time to be nice and to say hello. And in my heart where His peace does still reign and where His grace is in control. His grace. Even on bad days. Even on rainy Mondays spent in the same solitude as that spent at home, but that here feels like isolation. Even as I contemplate what He wants me to glean from the process. He hears my heart, he knows my heart, HE is my heart and I will praise Him all the days of my life because that, after all, is what He wants – worship and communion despite our circumstance because that’s when He knows and we can say “It is well with my soul.”

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Girlfriend retreat

God’s grace never ceases to amaze me.

I look each day for ways to communicate His grace and His love to the circle of friends He has allowed me and now (in)courage has provided us with such a great way to get away from the craziness of our lives for just a little while and seek Him first above all else. And, the best part is, we don’t even have to leave Tallahassee!

Thanks to the ladies at (in)courage, we can bring the beach to my living room and share a time of seeking God, sharing stories and reveling in His majesty together. All the information you need is in this link:  http://www.inrl.us  so hop on over and see what it’s all about. I have signed up to be a host and I am getting ready for a great day with God!

If you are in Tallahassee and looking for a great way to connect with other Christian women, then join me please on April 27th and 28th for the chance to see God at work not only in your own life, but in the lives of other women in our area.

(in)Real

Happy Valentine’s Day

‘Til Death Do Us Part

“To this day the best love story I’ve ever heard! And still just as in love… Inspiring!”

Wow!!! For a former student to still see that ten years after hearing the story is amazing. And, as I looked at the two of us in the picture she commented on, oblivious to the chaos around us, I realized that we are still just as in love as ever. But, that, in and of itself, is a God thing. Sometimes when I think back on our story, I am humbled and awestruck that God loves me enough to be sure that I “get it” where my husband is concerned, otherwise this love story could just as easily have fizzled out before it even began had God not had his hand on my life and his plan on our marriage.

Dave and I married after only dating for approximately six weeks. A record even for my family, who is known for its short engagements. But, the story that Crystal knows began several months before we actually met, when we worked for the same bank. His job required us to talk on the phone almost every day and I looked forward to hearing his voice. Because, you see, it was his voice that got me first. And, it’s still his voice, 28 years later that gets me. I fell in love with the voice and the person who went along with it, long before I ever saw him.

When I met David at a corporate function months later in late summer, it was love (or maybe attraction) at first sight. We ran headlong into a relationship and were married shortly before Thanksgiving. So, where does the God thing come in? Where hasn’t it! But, seriously, within a month of being married, we both realized that there were things we should have taken the time to get to know about each other before we said “I do”. We didn’t, however, and we were already feeling the obvious differences rear their ugly head in the form of distrust, anger, resentment, and maybe a little regret. I knew my history. It was time to cut my losses and run! But, God had a different plan, and He made it known to us a short time later when we discovered that we were expecting our first child.  Now what?

I should have known better than to ask that question. Two months later Dave’s dad died, and then in August, almost five weeks before he was supposed to do so, our baby boy made his appearance. (And that birth is another God thing that I’ll share with you a little later.) This little person arrived early, was only 17 inches long and weighed less than 5 pounds! Not exactly what I was expecting, and not exactly sure what we were going to do with him. Add to that the fact that the tiny woman Dave had married not even a year before was now 50 pounds heavier and looked nothing like the person he had met only a year before and you can begin to see the problem.

Any one of these things could have been enough to break apart a newly married couple, but when you put all of them together, the odds are not good. However, we made it through that first year and we’ve made it through 28 more. They haven’t all been idyllic but they have been an adventure, and along the way the God thing stories have just become a constant part of our lives. When you see the world through God’s filter then you see that He really is in control of everything we do and every choice we make. So even all those years when I was not walking with God, He was still walking with me. He protected me, and my family, and He waited for me to return to Him just as is promised in Proverbs where Solomon say “train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it”.

And, when you believe like Dave and I do in the commandment Jesus gave in Matthew 19:6 where he says:  “What therefore God hath joined together let not man put asunder.” that’s what you do. You stick it out and you love each other even when you may feel the other person is unlovable. And that’s what we have done. We know that our marriage is a God thing and we wouldn’t have it any other way.