1. Today was a day filled with an insane amount of blessing. I feel as if my Father looked down at me and simply smiled upon me. Started the day off with a cherished friend. I thank God every time I think about her and how blessed I am by her friendship. She let me blabber thankfully and in doing so I feel like more things that have been floating around in my head have clicked into place and have handles. The biggest of all is the grace God bestows upon us. I heard a beautiful sermon at NSP about grace that really got my spinning churning. The thing I latched onto then was this idea of common grace or rather the thing I can remember.
I've noticed a big distinction between my past church experience and my most recent ones. The biggest preaching difference is the focus on grace. I've really needed to hear messages dripping with the reminders of grace and what God has done and who He is rather than our charge as Christ Followers. I think both are important but one tickles my flesh more than the other. I struggle with pride and self reliance and I like the thought of trying to rise above and becoming an all star Christian. I've had to get my butt kicked hard enough to realize I can't do any of it. Everything in my life that is good and anything "good" I can muster is simply due to grace. Grace, this beautiful and wonderful thing that I can barely grasp or get a handle on, is truly the key to everything. In every one of my strengths is His grace, in all of my weaknesses is His grace. Every good thing that is bestowed upon me is His grace, every struggle and hardship that He uses to mold and shape me to become more like Him is His grace. Everything is by His grace and everything is for His glory. If everything is due to His grace I have no reason to boast other than His name. If it is by grace and grace alone that I'm saved how dare I judge anyone? As if out of my own strength I've managed to rise above? Am I capable of giving my own blind eyes the ability to see or give my own deaf ears the ability to hear? Absolutely not! It is simply by His grace that I know Him at all.
Oh the things He has given me eyes to see lately. I'm thankful for my house. Although there are things that would be nice to have, maybe some day but maybe not, I feel incredibly blessed and content. I've never thought about our house situation in the context of manna but today it rolled off my tongue. Then I saw the big picture. When we first moved into our house it was HUGE after living in an apartment. I will be honest I wasn't completely content when we first moved here. I was at first but then it was too easy to glance at the neighborhood next to ours and long to have what was over there. God's been gracious and kind to me and thankfully that wasn't a struggle I had to wrestle with for long. Being in our neighborhood and up and down our street trying hard to get to know the people around us grew my heart to love our home and our street. Although I wish we could have taken more strides or rather have more tangible evidence of our efforts God has been so gracious to us here in many many ways.
Big shocker I've rambled. Here is what I want to remember and embrace. When we first moved in we used two out of the four bedrooms we had. It didn't take long to turn another room into a nursery which we never ended up really using that way. We moved in with two babies and one on the way with abundant space for our little tribe. Now we don't have abundant space. Our space is just like the manna God provides the Israelites. It's not too much and it's not too little. Our space is just enough. I'm choked up writing this but He has taken our abundant space and used it to provide for the abundant blessing of family. The space is now manna but the blessing inside is insanely abundant. I've missed seeing things in that way and I'm so thankful for the grace to have eyes that see today.
Today I was also thinking about man hate and how I can bring that baggage to the table. I think man hate is what can turn women off to biblical manhood and biblical womanhood. I do wonder if women who have been wounded by men truly saw biblical manhood at work if that would heal their hearts. While thinking about this I couldn't help but be overwhelmed by how my husband sacrificially loves and serves me daily. It's in the many many little ways he constantly puts me first. My hubs hates eggs. It's not a dislike of eggs. He is revolted by eggs. The smell, the look, everything about them is offensive. Yet, he gladly and willingly cooks me eggs and he does it often. Our kids probably haven't fully connected those dots but one day they will look back on it and his sacrificial love in cooking me eggs will impact them deeply.
So I've been praying for this boy. A boy who I've felt needs something that's his own. Piano lessons has been at the back of my mind for this kid for awhile. He's the only one who really wants to take them and tonight even offered to use his dollars to pay for them (insert my melted heart). So I've been praying that God would show us what this thing of his own should be this year. Get a text about somebody giving away their full sized keyboard. We have a keyboard also given to us by sweet friends but the cord is jenky and temperamental and it just doesn't always work. I've known piano lessons equals getting something to play on. Today the thing we needed to move ahead with lessons showed up on our doorstep. It was so sweet to look my precious boy in the eyes and tell him I've been praying for him and to look how God answered and provided. He then turned around and told me how he had prayed that God would help his brother's base plates work. Might not seem like much but for a little boy who has been wrestling with God it was pretty sweet.
God used a keyboard to remind me of all the ways He has everything in His hands. He has a bigger van in His hands, He has our future and whether or not we move and how all the details will work in His hands, He has a little boy's heart and hurts in His hands and He will use even the deepest wounds, setbacks and mistakes made for His glory and use them as a way of bestowing His abundant grace. God loves my precious boy and He loves our family and He loves me. He will never leave us or forsake us. He loves us and is so very gracious to us.
Thankful for the end of 2016. Thankful for the renewed laughter and for the desire to hunker down and drawn us back together again and regroup as a family. The Lord is good and I am thankful.
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