Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Joy Dare: 3 Startling Graces of God

A Holy Experience
Ann Voskamp's Joy Dare
Do you dare? Click here. 
Jan 14 Joy Dare: 3 Startling graces of God

I am not sure startling is the right word to place these under, but they are graces of God in my life.

1 Gift #57
As I spoke with my children today about the Catechism I found a short and to the point phrase that will hang on my wall for a good time to come.
   Fit your life into God's plan. Do NOT try to fit God's plan into your life.
The reason this is important to me, is because I had been sitting here trying to explain to my children how our lives are supposed to be led by our striving to find, and then live, God's plan for us in this world. It is so difficult at times to go on day after day and continue to search for that plan. It is especially difficult when it seems all the world (or society) seems to be telling us that what ever WE want to do is fine and that doing that will make us happy.
God's grace to me on this subject was to enable me... no to directly place the exact words I needed to speak directly in my heart so that my children would have to stop for just a minute and say "I get it, I understand."  And give me a phrase by which I can remind them to seek out God's will FIRST and their own desires LAST.

2 Gift #58
God has placed within my marriage an overabundance of His grace. I still get frustrated at times, there is no doubt, but all that we have gone through has put enough strain on us to end several marriages. We have made it through hard work, and above all God's grace. And it ties directly into the previous gift as so many times we tried to put God in a place in our lives so that He would fit the rest of what we wanted our lives to look like. And that is usually when things would get rough. When we seek out God's will and His plan for us, that is when our lives get easier, more fulfilling, and we are happier. It is always that way, without fail. It's more than coincidence. Our faith is directly related to how well we weather the storms in our lives. I am and have been extremely blessed by this grace of God.

3 Gift #59
After having 6 children and losing 4 more I have been able to see that God's grace extends to every part of our lives. Each one of my children have come into our lives at the "perfect" time. And with a personality that enhances our family not only in good ways but in the EXACT ways that we need it at that moment.

My oldest child was so easy, but when he cried, he REALLY cried. He would often cry until he threw up. That does not sound like much of a blessing probably, but it was that child that taught me the difference between being an attentive, nurturing, caring mother and a mother who demanded that a baby fit into a schedule or routine just because I said so (or because a doctor advised so). Just like that example, all of my children have taught us something that we needed to learn, even the ones we lost to miscarriage. Because of God's timing and sense of humor (at times) we have learned to be better parents and better people.

I guess maybe the startling thing about God's grace on us might be that when we need it, it is there, regardless of our openness to it. BUT it is easier if we just seek out God's will. It makes the roller coaster just a little less shocking to the senses.

Thanks to the Babe in the Manger for making it possible for me to receive God's grace in so many ways and so many times.

Here are January's prompts. Click the pic if you dare!

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