Pizza & Endless Grace

Hello wonderful, sweet friend!

Oh the stories I have this week. And about 98% of them include my daughter. Yes, I’m “that” mom. Just go with it.

My little girl has definitely been exercising her independence. Which is a nice way of saying she has started wearing her sassy-pants more often. Her likes & dislikes are becoming very clear. If I don’t pick up on her unhappy facial expressions as she tries a meal she’s not thrilled about, she will very clearly tell me what she doesn’t like, why she doesn’t like it & why I should never ask her to eat it again. All of this is communicated in her own little language, but she uses a lot hand gestures, so I know she means business. She will throw her head back in the most precious & dramatic way if she is asked to do something she really doesn’t want to. She will also turn her head & close her eyes. I’m not sure if she wants to disappear or wants me to disappear, but either way, I get her point.

Along with all her dislikes, we have also discovered more of the things she likes. I am constantly left in awe of what a beautiful person my daughter is. The things she does amazes me. She is so smart & I just can’t believe that my baby is now her own walking, talking, exploring, expressive little self. I love when she gets excited over something new or smiles & nods her head in approval for something she enjoys. I have also discovered that this child loves pizza. A lot. Every time a pizza commercial comes on or she sees a picture of a pizza, the entire room fills with her long, drawn out, “Mmmmmmmmmmmms!” The first time she did this, I could not stop laughing. But now it happens every time & I’m pretty sure if anyone were to visit our house during one of those moments, they would think that’s all we feed her. Oh how I adore that pizza-loving girl.

As I look at my daughter, even when she’s wearing her sassy-pants, I gain a deeper understanding of God’s heart for us. I will always & forever love her completely & without reservation & I will do anything for her. There is nothing she can say or do to change that. And like Matthew 7:11 says, if I am a sinful being who can still give good gifts to my children, how much more will God give to us?

Grace is defined as “the free & unmerited favor of God”.

It’s free. And we can’t earn it.

Wow.

When I sit & think about it & really just let that soak into my soul, it leaves me speechless. It leaves me breathless really.

I think we all have days that our imperfections & mistakes cause hesitation to fully embrace that truth- the truth that our circumstances & emotions do not dictate whether God gives us a little or a lot of grace.

To be completely honest, there are some days I feel more covered than other days. My heart knows that isn’t true, but still, I have those moments.

But that’s the beautiful thing I’m learning about grace. Grace doesn’t draw closer to us when we feel holier or more polished. And it doesn’t loosen its grip when we feel dirty or frazzled.

We are submerged just as deeply in His free & unmerited favor when we feel like we’re on the right track, as we are on days we feel completely knocked off course.

Confident & lifting our hands or broken & on our faces. I think grace doesn’t distinguish between the two. We are God’s children. And that alone qualifies us to receive this incomparable gift.

I am so thankful for God’s grace. Our perfect, holy God grants us favor despite our mistakes & imperfections. What a beautiful picture of His heart towards us.

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
Ephesians 2:8&9

At this very moment, His grace is washing over you. And it’s not going to stop.

For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. John 1:16

You are loved. You are precious. And I declare my God as faithful.

A Stuffy Nose & A Firm Foothold

Hello sweet friend.

I am so happy to be sitting & talking with you. The last couple weeks have been an absolute whirlwind. I had a cold for what felt like forever & then experienced a sinus-infection for the first time. Having an almost constant headache, stuffy nose & plugged ears was just pitiful. It got a little awkward asking people to repeat what they were saying over & over. I eventually just started smiling & nodding. I have a feeling that one is going to come back to haunt me. Who knows what I agreed to, signed up for & smiled at at an inappropriate time. I’ll keep you posted on that.

And you know when you’re not feeling well it’s hard to handle normal life stuff much less an emotional blow?

Well, I had both.

I experienced an emotional attack this week. It was just…ugly. And the fact that I couldn’t breathe out of my nose or stop sneezing didn’t help. It was something that would have knocked me down & possibly even broke me a few years ago. But this time, it has actually refocused & empowered me because it made me focus & rely on God’s steadfastness even more. It was a clear reminder that when I am focusing on God, the enemy WILL try to distract & discourage me.

But instead of being overwhelmed or discouraged, I’ve truly been so overwhelmed by God’s heart towards me. His protection & care for my heart has been incredible. His goodness is evident every day, but I guess you could say I’m aware of it in a new way. Experiencing it a little deeper. Pressing into it with a greater intensity.

I know Who my foundation is & I know that He is immovable, unshakable & steadfast. So when the violent winds from this world start blowing, I cannot be broken if my feet are firmly planted on Christ. I remain confident. I remain standing. When the Creator of the universe, the God of the heavens, the Ruler over all covers you with His hand…well, the winds become calm & your foothold stays solid.

The Lord is my rock & my fortress & my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, & the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. Psalm 18:2

Are you experiencing an attack on your heart? Maybe you’re feeling overwhelmed or discouraged. Perhaps the mistakes of yesterday are consuming the possibilities of today. Whatever your case may be, know this…

“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” 1 Peter 2:9

I know what it’s like to not be able to handle things alone. But we aren’t meant to. Your God loves you beyond measure. He promises to always guard over you, always unconditionally love you & always stay with you. Submerge yourself in His Word & trust in His promises!

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “My refuge & my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” Psalm 91:1&2

He is our anchor in the stormy sea. He is our shelter in the violent storm. I declare my God as faithful!