Overwhelmed

Overwhelmed by Your greatness. Overwhelmed by Your love. I see Your hand, Your artistry in people’s lives. You are the Master at taking something lost, ugly, broken, and defiled and turning it into something beautiful.

I find myself in awe of You, asking why.

Why do You love us? Why do You heal us? I don’t understand, Lord…I don’t understand. You are altogether wonderful, beautiful…words cease…You are good.

I pray, You answer, and lives are transformed. You are good.

The God of this universe actually delights in me…how wonderful is that?? I was created for His pleasure! (Rev. 4:11) These are truths that I can scarcely comprehend or bring myself to believe. This truth brought me so much freedom… I don’t have to try to be like someone else, or measure up to the worlds standards. It gives God upmost pleasure when I be just exactly whom God created me to be.

I love this passage in Psalm 139:17-18:

How precious also are Thy thoughts unto me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with Thee.

God’s thoughts toward me number more than the sand? If so, then God is constantly thinking about me. I find myself in awe not really knowing how to respond or what to say.

This holy, holy, holy God is in-love with this sinner. He wants to spend time with me. He holds my hand. He carries me. He feeds me. He constantly gives me good gifts. He takes pleasure in me, and is always thinks of me.

Even after I murdered His Son.

I can’t begin to fathom this kind of love…I find myself speechless. He is so great and powerful, yet so gentle, so loving. He truly is beyond my comprehension. I’m glad I serve a God that can’t fit inside my mind.

Even in the midst of struggles this past week He has been so faithful bringing me encouragement just when I need it. Like on Wednesday I had but just said “Lord, I feel so alone” when in walked two vessels to encourage me. He’s been doing a lot of things like that lately. I am truly overwhelmed with His goodness. Oh praise the Lord, for He is good.

More than anything I want to know God; I want to be close to His heart.

That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye. Being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God. Eph. 3:17-19

I want that. Mmm…Abba, teach me Your love so that I may be filled with You.

There’s so much on my heart right now, more than I know how to articulate. I’m not sure if this qualifies as a post or not…this may not make any sense to anyone but me. Oh well… may you find yourself in-love, in-awe, and overwhelmed with God, friend.

Our God is great. Selah.

In His love and by His blood,

Grace

You Don’t Have to be Afraid~

One day, my little sister Christiana, came into my room and climbed up on my bed with me while I was playing guitar. She started confiding in me all the fears of her six-year-old, and as I comforted her this song flowed out. It’s really more of a lullaby than a song; Christiana asks me to sing it to her often.

Thanks to my cousins, Joanna and Rebecca for recording it!

You don’t have to be afraid,
Jesus is right there beside you–

Watching, holding, helping you,
He will strengthen and shield you.

You don’t have to be afraid,
Jesus is right there beside you.

He promised that He would never leave us,
He promised that He was be here for us.

You don’t have to be afraid,
Jesus is right there beside you.

Ah, my sweet little Christiana is just growing up too fast–how did she get to be so big? She’s by far the sweetest little girl in the whole world–not to mention that she has the most adorable nose ever!

Like me, she loves the story of Esther, and asks me to read it to her again and again. Christiana has the sweetest voice and laugh ever, and is extremely witty. Not to mention a talented artist whose art always seems to find its way to my desk. She adds so much joy to my life…I thank the Lord so much for this precious gift and wonder what in the world I do without her.

She makes my everyday somewhat magical.

Precious notes…
…moments spent talking of the Lord…
…countless “I love you’s”, hugs and kisses everyday…
…fun games…
…inside jokes…
…cuddling…
…picking flowers…
…dancing around the house…
…secret handshakes and confidential conversations…

I love you, Christiana. Don’t grow up too fast.

 

 In Christ,

Grace

~Gal. 2:20

~Letter to Dad~

Today is a special day, it’s my Daddy’s 50th birthday! Unfortunately, he is gone on a business trip today, but I thought I’d write him a letter via blog.

~~~~~~~~

Dearest Daddy,

            Happy Birthday! I hope you are having a good day, I wish you didn’t have to be gone on a business trip so we could be with you today.

            On Saturday, when Richard was reading his letter to you of the most important things you’ve taught him, it got me thinking. You’ve taught me so much, whether on purpose or unconsciously. I think the greatest thing you taught me though, is how to study God’s Word. You have taught me to love and serve Christ—these things are invaluable. I can’t thank God enough for allowing you to be my father; you have influenced my life in more ways then you will ever know.

            Other things that you have taught me are modesty and the way men think. Thank you so much for teaching me this; I know that not many fathers sit down with their daughters and tell them why they need to dress modestly. It means so much that you tell me I’m beautiful and praise me for Godly character. You have also always given me love and attention so that I’ve never needed to look to other men for attention. You have such a loving heart.

            You have invested so much time in me; please know that doesn’t go unappreciated. One of my favorite things to do is run errands with you and just talk. You are a good listener, and a good adviser.

            Daddy, truly, you are one of my best friends. I can always come to you at anytime with my struggles or burdens. You listen to my dreams and encourage me. Moments spent praying and talking with you are moments that I’ll treasure forever. I love having a Daddy whose lap I will always be able to sit on. It’s nice to know that I’ll never outgrow your lap!

            Know that you have my full respect. I give you my respect unconditionally because you’re my father, but besides that, you really have earned it. You love Mom, lead our family, provide for us, and always take time out for us. I respect and admire how open and transparent you are with everyone. I hope the man I marry one day will be like you.

            You are one of the funniest people I know, and I love laughing with you. You are also the best teacher I have ever and will ever have.

             I really do believe that you are the best Daddy in the whole wide world, and I the most blessed daughter. Oh Daddy, I love you so much! Happy Birthday, I can’t wait to see you this weekend.

            May the Lord God bless you as you grow in Him and lead our family this coming year. He still has many wonderful adventures ahead for you. I am so thrilled that we get to discover them together. I love you.

Your little girl,

Grace

 

A Servant’s Heart

It’s been a good start to the year.

As I begin to type, I hear raindrops gently beating on the window. After a dry summer, rainy days have become especially dear to me. So peaceful…and the smell of rain? Beautiful.

I pause and glance down at the keyboard and see on my wrist a bracelet that my little sister, Christiana (7), gave to me for Christmas. It has Matthew 22:37 on it:

 

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.  

She couldn’t have possibly known how much I love that verse, and how much it means to me. Oh, my aim is to love The Lord my God with all my heart, with all my soul, and with all my mind.

Father, give me Your heart to love You with…
I am totally incapable of loving You the way I should.

Ah, the Lord has been showing me much lately in the way of being at home and the selfishness of my heart. For some reason, I’ve always had this vision of when I get older I’ll suddenly be this super-amazing Christian.

Someday I want to pour myself out to others…
Someday I will be a joyful servant to all…
Someday I will show the love of Christ to every needy heart…
I will be ever so diligent and patient…
And whatever I do I will throw myself in wholeheartedly in service to the King.

But my Lord says, “No Grace, that’s who I want you to be right now–in your own home. I want you to invest in the lives of your siblings, and serve them joyfully.”

You see, it’s so easy to go to someone elses home, or church, and serve joyfully and be oh so “picture perfect.” It’s so easy to be a good Christian and pour myself out to others. But what about when I’m at home (when there is no one to impress)? Do I always give my very best? When something is asked of me–in my home–do I jump up to joyfully serve, and go the extra mile? So often I only give the minimum, and only that after a sigh.

If this is the case–if I only work and serve when there are those to praise me– then I am become one who works for the praise of man. Is that my pursuit? Is that what I’m living my life for?

Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God; And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ. (Col. 3:22-24)

Oh! How convicting this passage is to me; for you see, I am one who thrives off of the praise and approval of man. To say I like people to think and say good things about me would be an understatement…so much of what I do is rooted in pride.

The whole fact that I care so much about what others think of me, shows a lack of love for God. If I truly did love God with all my heart, all my soul, and all my mind, then everything I did would flow out of a heart of love for God.  Instead is this pride and self focus…this is really a hard thing to admit.

Oh I want a servant’s heart.
A heart that thinks not of ones self, but considers others first…
A heart that is selfless and sacrificial…
A heart of all-consuming love, leaving no room for pride…
A heart where God has first place.

 The really sad thing is, everything that I do on earth with a motive of pride will burn up as hay and stubble when I get to heaven. That two seconds of praise that I worked for was my reward; I won’t get rewards for the things done out of a motive of pride. Oh! May every motive be inspired with love for Christ!

Lord, I want to live for You and love You more…I want to bring glory to You, not me. But I am so inadequate, oh help me!

He is helping me–ever so faithfully helping me, leading me, guiding me, and holding my hand. I am learning to serve Him and not man…and doing it heartily. No, I cannot give Him any less than my best. Anything He asks me to do I must throw my whole self into; whether it’s something small like doing laundry, dishes, mopping floors or something big like feeding the hungry, winning souls, going on the mission field. Whatever it is I am to do it heartily as unto the Lord, and not unto men.

There’s so much more I could say on this, but for fear of boring I’ll stop–for now. May you serve Christ, dear friend, joyfully, willingly, and heartily.

All for Christ’s glory (and not mine),

Grace

Psalm 16:11

Randomness~

Alright, so my cousins tagged me on their blogs to do this, so here is some random information I’m sure you were all dying to know about me. : )

 7 RANDOM THINGS ABOUT YOURSELF 

1. Because of my inability to swallow pills, my family takes much pleasure in getting a handful of pills and then calling my name. I rush off to see what they want me for, and upon my arrival, they say “watch this Grace!” And proceed to swallow all their pills. It’s rather hilarious when you think about it…

2. I love to sing. Pretty sure I was born singing. : )

3. My younger siblings often call me “mom” accidentally–I’ll take that as a compliment.

4. I’ve never been bored in my life.

5. I love my family. That cannot be understated. My family is awesome.

6. When I get into it I really enjoy house cleaning.

7. Children often wrap thier arms around my legs and call themselves “Grace-leeches.” I absolutely adore little Grace-leeches. : )

Favorites:: 

Name your favorite color(s): Purple, blue, green, yellow, gold, pink, red, orange, silver, brown…you get the picture

Name your favorite song: When God is Near by the Wilds (but it’s so hard to pick a favorite!)

Name your favorite dessert: Pretty much any form of ice-cream, shakes, or smoothies…lemon bars and cookies are good too.

What is annoys to you: If I’m in the right mood, nothing. If I’m not in the right mood, almost anything.

When you are upset you: That varies…sometimes I clean, sometimes I pray and cry, sometimes I isolate myself, sometimes I talk to a parent…it really depends on what it upsetting me.

Your favorite animal: I don’t really have a favorite. I simply love seeing the creativity of my Creator in His creation. He astounds me.

Your biggest fear: That as I get older I will backslide and become a mediocre Christian. This is the last thing I want…I pray that as I grow older I will become even more in love and passionate about my Savior.

My best feature: The love of Christ radiating through me would probably be the best feature. It’s what can take a plain or even ugly girl radiate with beauty. But alas, I do not always allow His love to shine through me. Oh that people would see Him and not me.

Everyday Attitude: Effervescent.

What is perfection: Everything I am not, and everything that God is; which is why I’m trusting Him 100% for my salvation. (but a perfect day would consist of sunny weather and a picnic at the park, or a rainy day with hot tea, big blanket, and good book.

Guilty Pleasure: I suppose this is something that I enjoy and then later feel guilty for? Sleeping in?


I TAG: 
I guess anyone who wants to do this.

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