Grace

Since the birth of our second daughter I have struggled with pretty severe anemia. Countless times I’ve been asked the same question. “How are you functioning?” According to the numbers I should probably be sleeping 20 hours a day because my red blood cell counts are low. The medical solutions haven’t worked and the side effects aren’t worth it. So, earlier this year I decided to just wait. I believe God is a healer so I’m waiting for what I’ve declared and what has been declared over me to manifest.

I’ve never been a morning person (ask my husband who is up at 4:30 every morning). But if I had to get up, I did and I didn’t stop. Now, that’s not usually the case. Most mornings when I wake I don’t feel rested. I’m groggy and wishing for another few hours rest. Once upon a time when my eyes opened I was up and out of the bed on a mission. The last thing on my mind before I fell asleep was the order of operations for the next day. I didn’t do well with schedule changes and unforseen circumstances. I didn’t believe in leaving things on the list for the next day. Oh how times change. Having a body that doesn’t want to keep up with your mind can be tough. I’d like to do six loads of laundry, bake two loaves of bread and clean the entire house before noon. But, I’ve come to accept the current limitations of my body.  To my surprise, I’ve also come to truly understand grace.

As I write, I think about how busy the past few months have been at our house.  Grace has gotten me through.  I’ve been stretched thin physically and  mentally.  Financially, things have been extremely tight and our income has certainly not been what we thought would make ends meet.  Grace has gotten me through.  Just last week I was ready to give up on pursuit of the college degree that will allow me to follow my vision.  I cried for an entire day over circumstances that seemed to scream “Quit!”  But again grace got me through.  I’ve spent this week reading 2Ti 2 repeatedly.  In it Paul said:

Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.  2Ti 2:2 (KJV)

Ohhh, but for grace where would I be? I’ve learned that anything in Christ Jesus is in abundance.  There’s too much of it to be contained.  So everyday I wake knowing that God has an abundance of grace for EVERY situation I face.  Everything that needs to be taken care of will be.  Grace makes a way! My bills are paid, there are clean clothes for my family, and even a loaf of fresh bread in my kitchen.  At the end of the day I am strong because God’s grace has been more than enough.  What isn’t done is covered by the grace God will show another day.  If not, then it wasn’t meant to be.  I’ve learned to let God control my schedule. I’ve learned to use my resting time to listen and speak to Him.  Instead of being frustrated about the sleep that sometimes  doesn’t come, I’ve learned to meditate on what grace has done for me that day.  I’m embracing this abundant grace that does the work when my body won’t cooperate. I’ve seen grace go ahead of me and work it all out. I’m so grateful.

Walking in grace,

T.

Legacy

In the past few weeks good friends have lost loved ones. One was a father and one a teenage boy. As I sat at the memorial service for my friends father I was moved profoundly by one person in particular. She was a young woman with special needs. When it was time for friends and family to speak she hurried to the microphone. My friends Dad had trained this young woman and been kind to her at work. She was so sad to lose him and she cried, wondering for all of us to hear “What will I do without him?” Her confession was special to me because it was so genuine. This young woman’s sentiment was so profound because people with special needs know, very quickly, if you mean them harm or good. By doing his job with love, patience, and kindness, my friend’s Dad had so deeply impacted this young woman’s life. For days I thought about her and how much he mattered in her life.

Then, a week later, my friend’s grandson was killed in an accident. He was a junior in high school and an extremely popular young man. As his teachers, family, and friends spoke during his funeral, I heard them explain why so many were drawn to him. Everyone said the same thing. His compassion and care for others was amazing. One of his teachers read an assignment that his mother found in his bookbag. It was a letter and in it he wrote about some of the things he wanted to do to help other people. The common sentiments about him were that he was a great listener and encourager. He made others feel important and he brought joy wherever he was. There were teachers, administrators, and kids from 2 high schools in 2 counties. There were family and friends of every race and they came by the hundreds. What a testimony to a short life that was well lived. All of this prompted me to evaluate myself. What will be my legacy?

Pro 18:24 24 A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.

I’m reminded that everyday someone needs me to care for them. They need me to show them the way, lend them an ear, or otherwise encourage their hearts. Life can get so busy that we can miss the value in meeting the needs of others. Jesus didn’t hand out gift boxes. He gave of himself. He offered His substance..the way, the truth and the life. What I do between my first and last breath everyday matters. I have a busy life and it has challenges of it’s own but I’m cultivating my legacy. I wanna be like who I’ve heard about. I want to be for others what Jesus has been for me. I’m gonna be a present help to my family, my friends and those that God sends my way. I want to show myself friendly and in doing so I will be showing the friend whose closer than a brother…Jesus!

Be encouraged and be a friend,

T.

Determination

So I told you yesterday how excited I am rediscovering Paul’s letters. Well last night I had an extra exciting time in Bible study because we were in 2 Timothy. The teaching gave me a perspective that I had not considered. Paul was writing Timothy from prison. That’s something that I learned years ago. What I never really considered was Paul’s position when he was writing. He was a prisoner in a Roman jail. They were known for crushing their enemies and those who broke the law. He was being treated harshly, beaten and tortured yet he was writing to encourage Timothy.

Listening to the lesson made me really think about my own character. Do I resent having to minister to anyone else when I feel like my situation is terrible? Do the cares of my life overshadow the work I’m supposed to be doing? Honestly, sometimes I fail at both because I just don’t wanna be bothered. Paul’s character was on display as he wrote those letters. He was a man with a death sentence who made an informed and conscious decision to minister until his last breath. My purpose is to get there. I challenge us all to reach that place. Just think, if we do, no rocks will ever have to cry out. We will all be doing the work that Paul purposed to continue many years ago.

Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. (2 Timothy 2:1, 2 KJV)

Let’s reach out,

T.

The Good Fight

The Apostle Paul is credited with writing some amazing letters.  How honored the men who received them must have been.  I’ve been excited to spend some time in his writings again.  It”s been as if Paul has been writing to me personally.  In one letter, Paul reminded Timothy to take action. What wise instruction.

I was reading:

Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses. – 1Ti 6:12 (KJV)

At the moment, many things in my life seem to be intangible. While I’m going through my daily life I’m waiting on God to manifest some pretty big promises. I needed to be admonished to do just what Paul said. I needed to be reminded that my faith is a good thing. I don’t trust in a God who is dead. Romans 8:8 says if I’m in the flesh I can’t please God. Rom 11:6 says without my faith I can’t please God. So in my waiting I must contend. These are no small things that Satan wants me to think and speak against. So if I’d fight for anything I’d better fight for this. Well after reading those first few words I was getting excited about things again. I was thinking that I could keep pressing. Things are only temporary. Then Paul did it.
He said to wrap myself around the fact that I’m forever. I’m the Alpha and Omega sent here for the world to see in manifestation. I have to get my grips on eternal life and what it means for me. The words he uses indicate that I need to have a serious hold on my eternity. I can’t kinda believe in the fact that I’m forever. I must hold onto eternal life for dear life!! Without that realization getting to the core of my being, I’m just playing around. Before time I lived in eternity. After time as we know it ends I’ll be living there again. Forever with Jesus and in the presence of The Almighty. I started with Jesus and I’m sticking with Jesus FOREVER..mmm, mmm, mmm that’s AMAZING!

HEY BELIEVERS..WE CAN’T DIE!! Wherever we are and whatever lie Satan is trying to force on us, it has no power. God has called us to Him. Eternity doesn’t begin when Jesus gets back. Eternity is right now. That perspective eliminates doubt, fear and stress. That perspective is built on what I won in my good fight..my faith!

Lights, camera, action!

T.