Category Archives: 31 Days

31 Days of Grace | Day 31 – Daughters by Grace

DaughtersbyGrace

When I debated over my topic of choice for the 31 Days of October, 2013, I struggled to settle on the perfect topic.  I was reluctant to make a choice.  Honestly, I simply felt inadequate to do any topic justice.

That’s where grace found me.

You see, there is nothing I can write here that will ever be perfect.  There is nothing I can say that will make the world a better place.  There is nothing I can do to right all the wrongs.

With grace, we have a second chance.

Because of grace, we find hope.

When I began this soul searching, relationship building walk a few short years ago, I had no idea where it would take me.  In that small span of time, I have traveled leaps and bounds.  God has shown me amazing things – things he’s doing in my life and the lives of those around me, different ways to view things and people, how he can and is using me and my life and that he does have a plan for me.

I am here, by grace.

I am just a girl, imperfect in every way but beautiful, loved, forgiven by Him.

I am His daughter by grace.

The women’s ministry from our church chose this name, “Daughters by Grace“.  At the time, I didn’t quite understand why we even needed a name.  Maybe I still don’t but the truth is, I needed that name.  I needed to hear that it was possible for me to be someone’s daughter, loved unconditionally, without having to give anything away or do anything to earn it.

After the name was chosen, a verse was chosen to be our go to verse.

Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  To him be glory both now and forever!  Amen.  2 Peter 3:18

That verse was chosen to represent the goal of our women’s ministry – to grow – to grow in His grace, in His knowledge and to give Him all the glory.  As He freely, without merit, gives us grace, we gain the ability to grow, to grow as Christians, to grow closer in our relationship with Him, to grow in our knowledge of who He is and what His plans are for our lives.  Looking back now, I realize He has been growing me, drawing me closer to Him, pouring His grace into my life. To Him be all the glory!

Little did I know, this grace theme would repeat several more times in big ways.

At our women’s retreat this past fall, the theme of the retreat was grace.  This wasn’t our own doing – we used a kit provided by another organization that puts out annual retreat kits.  That was their topic but it was most definitely confirmation to me that God wanted to teach me about grace.

There have been songs – I’ve shared some with you this month.  The words have comforted and cradled my heart and taught me more about grace.  They’ve reminded me again and again that there is nothing I can do to earn His grace but He chooses to shower me in His grace because I am His.  Just because I am His.

I admit this has not been an easy journey and as I write this today, on the last day (October 31, 2013) of this journey, I feel no more adequate than the day I first set foot on this path.  I have struggled to write each day – sometimes failing to write at all and then catching up in a spare moment to put out several days at once.  And honestly, some days were just too hard so I put thoughts aside and took an easy road with my post.

In the end, I find myself here…needing grace.

Needing anything is not something I care to have attached to me.  This is a valuable lesson I learned yesterday.  I realized for me to be needy – scares me.  As much as I may truly need people, I am afraid to let them in.  As a little girl, I felt like I was in a world alone.  When I needed someone, they failed me.  When I needed protection, I continued to be hurt.  When I needed a hero, no one rushed in to save me.  When I needed to sleep, I was overwhelmed by nightmares.  When I needed love, I found all the wrong people.  When I needed to be freed from the pain I was feeling, I turned to self-harm.  When I needed anything or anyone, it only hurt more.

But that’s exactly what I need…grace.

So to walk this journey of grace and to hear over and over there is nothing I have done that is so bad or so wrong that mercy, love or forgiveness can’t make it better.  To hear that grace meets us right where we are – in all the imperfect places.  To learn that His love is unconditional, that I am growing in His grace and knowledge.  To know I don’t have to do this alone anymore – to be truthful, it’s heavy.  In some ways, I do find comfort in knowing that but at the same time, I realize I still have so far to go.  I am still at a point where I am not quite sure how to accept that but I know it’s possible.

I am His daughter by grace.

With grace, I have hope.

In His grace, I will continue to walk this road, learning, living and giving Him the glory.

Thank you for accompanying me on this journey. May you walk this road knowing you too, are His daughter by grace!

 

31 Days of Grace | Day 30 – Sisters with Grace

GraceBridge

We aren’t all blessed with the perfect family, in fact, most of us would probably say our families are far from perfect.  While we can’t choose our family, we are given choices on who we choose to surround ourselves.

As an adult, this choice has often been a difficult one.  My family was quite/very extremely dysfunctional.  Out of my closest relatives, only my mom is still living and she and I have had our fair share of struggles and periods that required some distancing.

One of the biggest blessings we can have in life is a sister to share the joys and laughs as well as the tears and sorrows.  Having always been an only child, this was a place I often found myself filled with jealousy.  I wanted this dream relationship with a sister where we reminisced about sunny days by the pool, our first loves, silly things our parents use to say, etc.  That kind of relationship simply wasn’t in the cards with me, but I have learned there are people in my life who I can share this kind of bond with.  God has placed certain people in my life at just the right moments and while those relationships may only last for a season, they have left a mark on my life.

It takes a lot for me to let down my guard enough to make close friends.  When I do manage to get to that point, I am all in.  Even though I probably still tend to be a little reserved with my feelings, I am their biggest fan.  They have won a special place in my heart.  I can tell you there are very few people who have made it to that point.

In Suzanne Eller’s book, The Unburdened Heart, she mentions we need to be wise in who and when we choose to listen to others.  There is wisdom in listening to those who have prayed with you, who do have your best interests at heart, who are courageous enough to have the harder conversations and who love you right where you are.

When you find someone like this, even though you may have difficulty trusting others or issues that seem to get in the way, count this as a blessing, a gift from God.  A friend who is praying for you, looking out for you, wants to see you succeed and loves you is most likely someone that also understands God’s grace.  If you don’t have this relationship, I pray it finds you and you are blessed by it.

 

31 Days of Grace | Day 29 – Verses on Grace

Grace

Some of my favorite verses about grace.  Feel free to share others in the comment section below :)

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.  2 Corinthians 12:9

But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace.  Romans 11:6

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.  Ephesians 2:8-9

For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.  Romans 6:14

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

The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you.  2 Timothy 4:22

But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”  James 4:6

But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.  1 Corinthians 15:10

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.  Hebrews 4:16

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.  John 1:14

And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.  John 1:16

And are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus  Romans 3:24

 

 

31 Days of Grace | Day 28 – Words of Grace

Books

Below is a list of books I have found that at some point touch on the topic of grace.  Some of these are still on my to read list while others I have already read.  Do have have any grace books to share?  Post them in the comments section below!  Enjoy :)

The Unburdened Heart: Finding the Freedom of Forgiveness by Suzanne Eller

A Confident Heart by Renee Swope

One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are by Ann Voskamp

What’s So Amazing About Grace? by Philip Yancey

Grace for the Good Girl: Letting Go of the Try-Hard Life by Emily P. Freeman

Mended: Pieces of a Life Made Whole by Angie Smith

Letting Go of Perfect: Women, Expectations and Authenticity by Amy E. Spiegel

Stumbling Into Grace: Confessions of a Sometimes Spiritually Clumsy Woman by Lisa Harper

Grace: More Than We Deserve, Greater Than We Imagine by Max Lucado

God Loves Broken People: And Those Who Pretend They’re Not by Sheila Walsh

Give Them Grace: Dazzling Your Kids with the Love of Jesus by Elyse M. Fitzpatrick

Grace for the Homeschool Mom by Tamara L. Chilver

The Grace of God by Andy Stanley

The Truth About Grace by John MacArthur

Finding Grace: A True Story About Losing Your Way In Life…And Finding It Again by Donna VanLiere
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31 Days of Grace | Day 27 – Songs of Grace

SongsofGrace

I have already shared some songs but here’s a list I put together of songs of grace that have impacted or touched my life.  If you know of a great one I missed and would like to share it, please share in the comment section below.  Enjoy :)

Grace Like RainTodd Agnew

RedeemedBid Daddy Weave

How Sweet the SoundCitizen Way

Amazing GraceChris Tomlin

Your Grace is EnoughMatt Maher

Oceans (Where My Feet May Fail)Hillsong United

Saving GraceHillsong United

GracePhil Wickham

Only GraceMatthew West

GraceLaura Story

If I Ever Needed GraceJimmy Needham

GraceTenth Avenue North

HonestlyVota

Your Grace Finds MeMatt Redman

Saved by GraceShane & Shane

 

31 Days of Grace | Day 26 – Accepting Grace

TheUnburdenedHeart

I’ve been reading through the book, The Unburdened Heart by Suzanne Eller.  It’s not an easy book to go through as Suzanne digs deep into many areas of forgiveness, but I highly recommend.

In one chapter, Suzanne talks about grace and part of that is being able to accept grace.

Do you find it difficult to accept the idea of grace?
Mercy, love, forgiveness?
Do you feel unworthy?
Punishing yourself?

Often times we struggle to accept grace because of a past that haunts us.  Perhaps our past was filled with abuse, violence, broken trust, or other painful situations.

Part of being able accepting grace is first being able to forgive yourself.

Some quotes Suzanne shares in her book are from women who struggled with this very thought – forgiving themselves.

“I stuff it all down.  I have never given myself permission to talk about what happened.”
“I did so many bad things.  Yes, my past is ugly, but the ugliest parts I brought on myself.”
“I don’t think God even sees me.”
“How can God love someone so mad at Him?”

Suzanne goes on to say, “You bring pleasure to God, yes, you.  Right where you are.  He sees your heart.  He sees your potential.”

“Every day is a new opportunity to love Him and walk with Him.”  ~Suzanne Eller