Simply joys~

I sport a baggy, comfy sweater with my hair piled into a messy knot on the top of my head as I sit down. The house is dark and quiet–quiet at last. Although there is a beauty to be found in the noise of a house full of people, I treasure the quiet too. Perhaps it’s this time of year, the weather, or the black coffee… but there is an overflow of memories, praises and lessons from this fall so far and I’m thankful.

Yes, thankful for things like…

-The opportunity to learn and start on my Doula certification.

-Iceskating with sweet cousin and little sister… I might as well have been flying and dancing in the air.

Iceskating!

 A Grandmother willing to give up her week to help us paint

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The countless inside jokes, times of laughter and fun that happen every single day around here… Siblings are the best.

The fragrance of fall: chai, candles, the fireplace, that cold fall scent in the wind…

-Opportuinities for this little Texas girl to wear sweaters.

-Many little hands learning the skill of basket-weaving. Stories. Laughter. Wednesdays.

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-Heart-felt prayers with dear friends in the parking-lot. Marveling at my God’s power as He had worked mightily in the lives of the ones I prayed with. Mightily indeed.

-Rotten milk and finding the lesson in it.

-Deep discussions and driving lessons with my Dad.

-Indian/Mediterranean treats.

-Friends in Christ whom when you ask “how are you doing?” it is always meant and answered at a spiritual level. And conversations that could go on forever about the Lord.

-Morning devotions with family.

-Forgiveness, grace, and lessons… oh so many lessons. Oh so much more to learn.

-Learning to choose joy. Like earlier this week as we were getting ready for some last minute, out-of-state guests I was frazzled. And I showed it. Little sis wanted to know what was wrong–why I wasn’t being “me.” I tried justifying my attitude, but then the Holy Spirit pricked my heart. My attitude wasn’t helping anything and it wasn’t honoring my King. Even though it was the last thing I wanted to do, I smiled. “Abba, help me choose joy.” And I began to sing to the Lord. As my praises wafted through the house my heart was transformed from one of complaining to one of praise. I want to be a woman of joy, a woman of praise–not ungrateful or complaining!

-Encouragement in the form of conversations, e-mails, verses and comments.

-Oh and Jesus. My precious Yeshua. Learning afresh of His love for me–letting the beauty of 1 John 4 sit in. Longing to know Him and His love for me even more. There is Joy in His presence.

These things are just a few–only a drop in a bucket. And so I slip into bed whispering thanks and asking Him once again to draw me nearer.

-Grace

A little girl and a loving God

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There have been many moments in my life that have greatly impacted me. But this one stands out among them all, for without this one, all those other things would not have impacted me the same way. I wrote this today as a writing project my brother started this month. So without further ado, I give you one of my fondest memories, whether you care or not. : )

It was more waiting than my five year old heart could endure. Why wasn’t Dad back from work yet? What could be taking so long? Didn’t he know how important this was?

My mind wandered over the last day and a half; so much to think about. It started the night before as I lay in bed listening to Richard and Melody talk in the bathroom. Their nightly custom, as I recall, was to talk while getting ready for bed; in my mind these conversations were sacred, and a privilege of highest degree to listen to. This night the subject was on Eternity, Heaven, and Hell.

Fear stole into my heart as I listened and realized with a horror never experienced—I am not ready to die.

Belief in God is one thing, but asking Him to cleanse you of your sins and live inside of you is another thing entirely. Yes, I believed in God, but I knew that if I died that night I would not be ready to meet my Creator.

Tearfully, I called out to one I esteemed as knowing everything. “Richard…Richard…”
Like a knight, my older brother came to my aid. Upon listening to my distress, he advised me to go speak with Dad, and assured me that he wouldn’t be upset that I had gotten up from bed. So I quietly crept down the stairs and entered my Dad’s office.

The colors of the room appeared in dull blues and grays with the only light in the room coming from a computer monitor. “Daddy–” my pathetic voice whimpered. “I w-want to g-go to heaven.” I climbed in my father’s lap and we began to talk. I asked questions, he answered them, then he asked questions to see if I understood. We talked of our sinfulness and need for a Savoir, about God’s love in sending His Son to die, and how He took the full punishment of our sins. After a good while, he prayed with me and sent me to bed, promising that we would talk more in the morning.

Like a hound dog, I ran downstairs first thing in the morning to find my father. I spotted him. There he was in the kitchen juicing carrots! With his hands still orange from the carrots we sat down on the couch to talk. We revisited the same things we talked about the night before. Enough talk. After all, I was five—which was so much older than four— wasn’t I big enough to understand everything? I just wanted to pray already! He left for work with another promise that we would continue this when he came home.

Anxiously, I awaited my father’s return; the day could not have seemed longer. The new information played through my mind again and again as I contemplated it all. This was a matter of utmost importance, and I knew my life was about to change forever. What was that? My heart skipped a beat. The door opened; a familiar voice. Yes–it was him! Still a few minutes passed until we both went to his office. In the quiet of that room he led me in a prayer.

I repeated each phrase slowly with great reverence meaning each word I said. “Dear God, please forgive me of my sins, and cleanse my heart. I believe in You and that You sent Your only Son, Jesus, to die in my place. Please come and live inside my heart and make me your child. I want to be your disciple.” Memory fails me of the exact words, but they don’t really matter. It is not the prayer that saves you; it is only God that can save you.

Joy washed over me as the love of Christ penetrated my little believing heart. Yes, I was overwhelmed with indescribable love and joy–pure joy—more than a five year old could contain. I would never be the same again. Never. My feet were swift as I ran to tell all in the household this great news. So much more special than any gift or toy, I had a relationship with God and I knew I would spend the rest of my life serving and loving Him.

A funny moment…

I don’t have a lot of time today, but I just wanted to share a funny moment in my life…

You see, I have an affection for rolling down hills. The grass is soft, you get dizzy, what’s not to like? One day a year or so ago I was rolling down the beloved slope at the pond close to our house. At the bottom of this slope is the pond…I’m pretty much an expert when it comes to rolling down hills and have always stopped in time. That is until this time…

So there I was, happliy rolling down the hill…I stopped and checked to see how much farther I could go. I could get at least two more rolls out of this. And then before I knew it, *splash!* Grace rolls right into the pond!

That was the most shocking feeling I’ve felt in my whole life. It was epic.

  That’s me, wet and muddy, describing how it happened…took me forever to wash the mud out of that shirt. : )

Sometimes I think I can feel God laughing right along with me; this was one of those times. Mmm…Christians ought to be the happiest people on the planet. After all, it’s our God that created laughter and joy!

I hope you have a Wonderful Wednesday! May the joy of the Lord fill your heart. And should you roll down any hills, be careful!

In Christ,

Grace

P.S. I hope this made you smile.

Arise My Beloved, and Come Away~

 

Will you arise when He calls you?

Right now, the most important thing in my life is my romance with Jesus Christ. Oh yes, He is all that matters. My heart sees Scripture through different eyes now; it’s all one big love letter from God to me. And when I’m in-love with Christ, I jump up in the morning and eagerly read His Word, just as I imagine it’ll be like when someday I’ll receive letters from my earthly prince. Oh that everyday was like that! *sigh*

I love this passage from Song of Solomon; my Jesus is so good. This is what I think of when I’m daunted with insecurites, or simply feel alone. It helps a lot knowing how Christ–my Prince, sees me.

10 My beloved spoke, and said to me:

      “ Rise up, my love, my fair one,
      And come away.
       11 For lo, the winter is past,
      The rain is over and gone.
       12 The flowers appear on the earth;
      The time of singing has come,
      And the voice of the turtledove
      Is heard in our land.
       13 The fig tree puts forth her green figs,
      And the vines with the tender grapes
      Give a good smell.
      Rise up, my love, my fair one,
      And come away!
       14“ O my dove, in the clefts of the rock,
      In the secret places of the cliff,
      Let me see your face,
      Let me hear your voice;
      For your voice is sweet,
      And your face is lovely.”

Some mornings when I wake, I know God woke just for the purpose of spending time with Him and this passage comes to me. I can almost hear Jesus say with an outstretched hand, “Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away! I have so many wonderful treasures to show you, dear Grace.”

With His strength I will crucify my fleshly desire for more sleep, take His hand, rise up, and go with Him. Isn’t it truly wonderful that God Almighty loves us, saves us, and wants to spend time with us? His love and goodness towards us is truly unfathomable.

O Lord, set my heart on fire for You! Give me a love for You that precedes everything else. Rip my flesh away, no matter how painful. Oh, give me a love for You. a.l.o.n.e.

In Your presence is fullness of joy. Absolute fullness of joy.

Blessings,

Grace

Psalm 16:11

Bits and pieces~

My heart is so full of joy right now. So full. Mmm…Jesus, I love you. Thank You for leading me closer to You today, and being so patient with me, even through tears and the desperation I felt today.

 This evening I got to errands with my Dad; we had a wonderful time. Daddy, you are so wise, and have such a heart for God. Everyday I marvel at how I ever got you for a dad; God is so good to me. Please know that I pray for you everyday as you lead our family. Talking of spiritual things with you is the best.

 On another note, we got to try our first batch of homemade sauerkraut today! Can you say “yum?” J

 

This quote from Charles Spurgeon literally stopped me in my tracts when I read it the other day:

 “If you never have sleepless hours, if you never have weeping eyes, if your hearts never swell as if they would burst, you need not anticipate that you will be called zealous. You do not know the beginning of true zeal, for the foundation of Christian zeal likes in the heart. The heart must be heavy with grief and yet must beat high with holy ardor. The heart must be vehement in desire, panting continually for God’s glory, or else we shall never attain to anything like the zeal which God would have us know.”

 I want to be this kind Christian. I long to be dynamic, radical, zealous…I want to be a true follower of Christ. May I be the kind of Christian, who, when knees tire in prayer, fall flat on their face before their King and keep on praying. May I be a real Christian ready to give up all comfort for the sake of Christ, and not shy from persecution. Oh, may all of my life glorify Him.

 

Also, this video clip I watched the other day really encouraged me so I thought I’d share it. I can not tell you how encouraging it is to see young people zealously living for Christ, and willing to give all to Him. Even if that means giving up seemingly fun things like dating just for the sake of being in a relationship. Relational purity is so important, and is something that I don’t think is stressed enough. Anyway, had I more time, eloquence, and wisdom I would write more about this; but for now I’ll leave it at that for now.

 

One last thing and I’ll be done. This verse has been popping up in my mind recently:

“And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. 1 Timothy 6:8

 I realize I have so much more than food and clothes, and yet, so often I am discontent. Right now though, I am perfectly content. God provides well beyond my needs; I am so blessed! That said, it would still be pretty neat to get this for Christmas. *smile*

Well that’s it; please excuse me for the randomness of this post! Have a wonderful weekend; and “whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”

In Christ,

Grace

Psalm 16:11