Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Abide{in Prayer}

1 Thessalonians 5:17 says "pray without ceasing"
Do you find this verse intimidating? Something that seems out of reach? How is it possible to 'pray without ceasing?!' We have huge demands upon us each and every day and the "noise" level is often off the charts. How can we find time to slip away someplace quiet and pray, without stopping?!
As I've spent more time with Jesus and our relationship has grown, I've come to understand that "pray without ceasing" is indeed possible. That doesn't mean I slip away to a closet or dark corner and talk to Him in peace and quiet.
What it does mean is that I'm constantly talking with Him about my day, about the circumstances and situations I'm facing. Just as you would text, email or call a friend throughout the day, you can talk to Jesus throughout the day.
He wants to be involved in every minute detail of your day. Do you realize that? I mean really understand that it delights Him when you invite Him into your day and share everything with Him. It's mind blowing, really.
The demands of our days are real and the pressure can be intense. And it can be easy to think we can handle it on our own OR feel helpless to handle it at all. But, we always have Somebody ready and willing to help us face and walk through whatever the day lays before us.
Philippians 4:6 says "do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let you requests be made known to God."
Share your day with Him. Share your thoughts and feelings about whatever is consuming your mind throughout the day. Abide in Him today.
abide prayer 1 thessalonians 5:17

Monday, January 26, 2015

Abide{In Praise & Thanksgiving}

Last Friday we talked about Abiding in Him. That each morning we have a fresh start, a new chance to align our mind and day with Him; that we can begin our day abiding in Him.

But, as the day wears on, life can get crazy. Something can happen at work, or school or home that takes your mind completely off of Jesus and on to the task, crisis, or circumstance at hand. And then a downward spiral can begin in our minds.

So, how do we get back to abiding in Him when we lose focus?

For me, it's praise and thanksgiving. I've walked through some deep pain, life crisis' I would never wish on anybody. And I've allowed my mind to be taken off of Him and onto the chaos around me.

But, inevitably, when I literally stop what I'm doing or thinking, turn my focus to Jesus and praise Him for being Him, my problems lose their weight in my mind. No, they don't magically go away or solve themselves, but my focus shifts onto the One who can do something about them.

Psalm 51:15 says "O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise."

Psalm 146:1-2 says "Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord, O my soul! I will praise the LORD as long as I live; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being."

1 Corinthians 14:15 says " What am I to do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will pray with my mind also; I will sing praise with my spirit, but I will sing with my mind also."

So, if you find yourself overwhelmed or stressed out with your day or circumstances in your life, stop what you're doing and praise Jesus for being Jesus.

Turn on your favorite worship music and belt it out to Him. Allow yourself to realign your focus and abide in Him once again.

abide 1 corithians 14:15

Friday, January 23, 2015


What consumes your mind? Is it the next item to check off on your to-do list? Is it the disagreement you had with your husband last night? Is it the difficultly your child is facing at school?
Who consumes your mind? Your husband? Your children? Your friends?
As children of God, we are called to abide in Him. John 15:4 says, " Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide I me."
This is a convicting verse for me. It's hard, isn't it?! The things that consume my mind aren't bad in and of themselves. However, when they take the place of Jesus, that becomes a problem. How can we abide in Him if we are so consumed by our lives?
Romans 12:2 says "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect"
We each have jobs we are called to carry out in our lives...each day. God has placed us, or allowed us, to be exactly where we are. And He wants to use us! But, when we are distracted, not abiding in Him, we will miss what He has planned for us in each individual day.
It is possible, and important, to address the thoughts that come through our minds. But, it's even more important to turn them over to Him and not be consumed by them.
Every morning we have an opportunity to start fresh; to align our minds with Him; to align our day with His plans; to abide in Him. We do that by submitting our day and mind to Him, and allow Him to transform our minds.
When we're abiding in Him each day, we will be equipped to properly handle what come our way. We will live out Isaiah 26:3 which says, "You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in You."
Practice abiding in Him today! If you have trouble, stop that minute and start over. Remember He is grace
isaiah 26 3 abide

Friday, January 16, 2015

Uncommon Grace{In Forgiveness}

Forgiveness is hard. Especially when you are wronged and the offending party doesn't ask for forgiveness. How can forgive then? How can we forgive ever, for that matter?
Jesus and His abundant grace He has poured out on us allows us to extend forgiveness to others, whether they ask or not.
Ephesians 1:7-8 says "In him, we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight."
He has lavished grace upon us, forgiving our sins, which enables us to forgive others. In fact, we are called to forgive others just as He forgives us!
Luke 6:37 says "Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven."
As you read farther into Luke 6, we see that we are called to forgive others, treat others how we wish to be treated, so that we can also receive forgiveness from others. None of us are perfect, we all need grace and forgiveness.
If you are in a position to forgive somebody, there obviously has been pain. Sometimes deep pain. And you may not know how you can ever forgive that person, that hurt.
But, I'm telling you, you can! And you must! For your own well being, you must! When we are unforgiving, we open the door wide open to bitterness. Unforgiveness and bitterness only hurt you.
Hebrews 12:15 says "See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no "root of bitterness" springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled."
This is where God's grace, and abiding in Him, allows us to do things we never thought possible. It will take time and intentionality on your part to forgive others, especially when they haven't asked for forgiveness, but through Christ you can do it.
I know. I've done this myself.
The pain won't go away when you extend forgiveness, but freedom and healing from the pain begin immediately!
Give your burdens, your hurt, your pain to Him. Let Him heal you and give you the grace to forgive others, just as you have been forgiven.

luek 6:37 love grace and hope

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Uncommon Grace{In the Bad}

Life is hard sometimes, isn't it?! It can be ugly, messy, painful. It can be hard to see God during those times. To understand why we're walking that difficult path. Is God really there? Is there grace in the bad?
Even in the bad, God is there and His grace is present.
2 Corinthians 12:9 says "But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me."
When we're walking through difficult seasons, heartbreaking seasons, we are faced with a choice-turn to God or turn from God. Where we have placed our faith and trust in the good times is revealed in the bad.
When we chose to turn to God, sometimes turning minute by minute, we begin seeing God's grace scattered throughout even the worst circumstances. A sweet word from a friend you haven't spoken to in years; a glimmer of hope from a new doctor about treatment options; His grace in revealing sin before it could fester any longer. His grace is in everything.
Life is hard and we will have difficulties, but God never changes. He is always faithful, always waiting to pour out His grace upon our lives, upon our circumstances.
James 1:17 says "Every good and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change." (Emphasis mine)
2 Timothy 2:13 says "if we are faithless, he remains faithful."
Truth Him today. Run to Him. Look for His grace in all circumstances.
2 corinthians 12:9 love grace and hope

Monday, January 12, 2015

Uncommon Grace {In the Good}

It is so easy, isn't it, to not pursue God when things are "good" in our life. Work is going well; the kids are doing well; you and your husband are connecting like never before. Life is good!
We often get so wrapped up in the flow and goodness of our day that we don't stop and see God, His grace, in all the goodness of our life.
James 1:17 says "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change."
Ephesians 2:7 says "so that in the coming ages he might show immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus."
We've already seen in Scripture that God waits to pour out His grace on us.{Isaiah 30:18} He delights in giving us good gifts!{Luke 11:13} We need to slow down and recognize where, and from whom, those good gifts, gifts of grace, are coming from. And then thank Him for them.
When we look for Him in the good, and thank Him for His gifts, we are training ourselves to be aware of His presence in all things, in all circumstances.
I especially love the second part of James 1:17 in which we see that God never changes, He is always there in the good...and the bad.
Take time today to see God's grace, His good gifts, in your life. And then thank Him for them! Allow these moments of gratitude and recognition of Him to strengthen your faith, so that the foundation is laid, strong and ready, to turn to Him, in all circumstances.
james 1:17 love grace and hope

Friday, January 9, 2015

Uncommon Grace{to Others}

What does it look like to pour out grace on others? Is it possible only in big ways? Can we show grace to others every single day? In the little mundane tasks? What about in the big? In moments of pain and heartache caused by others? Can we pour out grace then, too?
Yes! Undoubtedly yes!
BUT, it's not always easy. And it's never something we can do on our own. It is only by Jesus' power within us, working through us, that we can pour out grace on the little and the big.
John 15:5 says "I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing."
When we are resting, abiding in Him and receiving the grace He pours out on us, we can, in turn, pour grace out on others. The key is abiding in Him.
As a mom of two little ones, I have opportunities all day, every day, to pour out grace on them in little ways, in the mundane parts of my day. They can try my patience and push my buttons and there are many times I fail to show them grace. But, when I'm abiding in Jesus, He puts a check in my spirit and gives me grace, to give them grace.
And it's when we make the choice in the little things to show grace, that we are more likely to show grace in the big things. Really big things.
Colossians 4:6 says "Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person."
But, again, this is only done through Christ in us. We must submit ourselves to His grace and let it transform us so that we can pour that grace out on others.
2 Corinthians 12:9 says "But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my weakness, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me."
Let's submit our natural inclination to not show grace to others and be transformed by the grace of God. Let's pour grace out on others!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Uncommon Grace{to Ourselves}

I don't know about you, but I have a terrible time showing myself grace. There are all these voices and loud noises shouting at me, telling me I am not enough, I shouldn't do that, but rather do this. That I'm not worthy as a wife, mother or friend.

And I believe them.

So, I strive for perfection in all I do. And, I increase my expectations on myself while simultaneously increasing my work load. I become exhausted before my feet even touch the floor in the morning.

BUT, all those voices I'm hearing are lies. Lies straight from the pit of hell!

Jesus, sweet Jesus, sees me completely different. He sees me as His beautiful creation. His masterpiece! {Ephesians 2:10}

The very reason He came to earth and died on the cross for my sins! He sees me as somebody He wants to spend eternity with! And He sees YOU the exact same way! {John 3:16}

He pours out His grace on me! 

He views my weaknesses and insufficiency's as opportunities to let His strength rule in my life. Listen to these incredible life giving words He has spoken over us!

2 Timothy 2:1 "You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus."

Hebrews 4:16 "Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need."

2 Corinthians 5:17 "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come."

Matthew 11:28-30 "Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."

What incredible words of truth and life! Let them sink deep into your soul.

I wish I could sit with you over a cup of coffee and tell you that you are enough. You are beautiful. You are God's masterpiece!

Give yourself grace today! Jesus is...!

grace 2 Timothy 2:1 lovehopeandgrace

Monday, January 5, 2015

Uncommon Grace

Grace has been defined as unmerited favor; favor bestowed on sinners who deserve wrath.

Is it difficult to think about yourself as a sinner? I mean, you're a nice person, right?! You help others out when you can. You smile to the stranger you pass down the Target isle. You hold the door for the sweet old lady who cut you off turning into the parking lot. You couldn't be a sinner, right?!


Romans 3:23 tells us 'for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.'

All of us. You. Me. Everybody.

But, verse 24 goes on to tell us that we are 'justified by His grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.'

Or, maybe you're on the other end of the spectrum. Your past is so tainted and wrought with heartache that there is no way Jesus would ever want a relationship with you, right?!


Isaiah 30:18 says, "Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you and therefore He exalts Himself to show mercy to you."

Isn't that incredible?! He is waiting to be gracious to you! And me!

Whether we're comfortable admitting it or not, we are all sinners in desperate need of a gracious Savior.

John 1:14-17 tells us that Jesus came, just for us, to pour out His grace and mercy upon us! Though the law revealed the depravity of man and the reality that we could never earn our way into God's grace, Jesus came. Jesus came in love and grace and made a way for us to have abundant and eternal life with and through Him.

We have been gifted incredible, new every morning, sufficient for the day, grace from Jesus!

Relish that today. Soak in His grace. Receive it. Walk in it.

isaiah 30 18 uncommon grace chalkboard print

Thursday, January 1, 2015


I am so happy you're here! I'm excited about this new journey. I want to take a minute to share my hope for this blog.

My greatest desire is that this is a place where you come and are encouraged in Jesus. That you see me as somebody who is far from perfect, but pursuing Jesus with my whole heart. I hope you are encouraged to see that you don't have to have it 'all together' to know Him personally and intimately. I hope that you are encouraged to grow close to Jesus and see Him working in even the smallest details of your life.

I want this to be a safe place. A place where we can come together as women and share our hearts, our fears, our concerns, our questions and know they will be received in love and without judgment. I want to walk through Scripture together and learn from each other.

One thing the Lord has been revealing to me in a big way is that we are to walk in community, to 'do life' together. That our life stories, our struggles, our victories, are not for us alone. But, rather, we are to share those with one another in order to encourage each other and bring glory to His name. As He leads, I look forward to sharing my story with you. To share how He has been doing a miraculous work in my life! And I hope that you will be encouraged to share yours with me!

Let's walk through 2015 together. Committed to the Lord. Committed to growing in Him. Committed to walking with each other, learning, growing, loving together.

I'm excited you're here!! I hope you'll stick around and invite your friends, too.