reconciled grace

 

Celebrations stir up memories because they remind us to pause and remember the people and places we have visited in our journeys.  Sometimes they are bittersweet, even in the rejoicing.  As the vacancy of our temporal living makes its mark upon our days, we feel the presence of the missing even more.   I have been thinking about legacies and leaving a footprint upon the path we walk and how fleeting time can be lately.  Sometimes, it feels like I am missing the living right in front of me  because I see it slipping away like sands sifting through the hourglass counting time at an alarming pace.

Because of that, friends, the words may be few here at Journeys in Grace this summer.  I am hoping to revamp the website a bit and perhaps make a plan that allows me to connect with you on a deeper level, which is really what I want to do.  I want to write words that touch hearts, but more importantly, I want to point you to the only One who can change our hearts.

 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believes. -Romans 1:16

Summer is the gathering season in so many ways.  Family and friends spend themselves and their resources to open hearts and homes for hospitality…and the grace in this fellowship is blessed, friends.  We collect ourselves and disperse in random directions to connect, to meet,  and to build memories which connect hearts tangibly.

Summer is meant to be a time of resting in the middle of the working, of taking time to slow down even when we are staking and pulling weeds, a time of just ‘being’ even when we are busy… and this resting is a gentle grace that pulls us into His embrace.

This last month has been an anthology of gatherings for me: conferences and meetings, lunch dates and telephone messages, letters and memos full of words.

It has flown by like a breeze, like a vapor and it is gone, and I am overwhelmed with the passage of time I can’t reclaim.

We are walking through a passage of time that leaves us wistful,  grasping for a semblance of control and order in the midst of the swirling busy of the calendar.

I am learning to stop and wait in the journey more because  even though life’s pace has not changed, I have.

garden bench in herbs

Instead, I long to echo the art of reconciliation in my living.

I want to let grace tinge every moment so that I can hold onto the sacred moments for the breath that they are. As I allow the incense of their scent wear upon my heart, I feel the vibrations that reconciled grace creates within and somehow I can bind the frayed edges and tie them close in the web of grace I am holding tightly to.

Reconciling  grace changes the definitions of how we spend our living.

And God purposed that through ( by the service and intervention of )  Him [ the Son] all things should be completely reconciled back to  Himself, whether on earth or in heaven, as through Him,  [the Father] made peace by means of the blood of His Cross. – Colossians 1:20-

I invite you to subscribe to this changing, friend, perhaps to just sit with me and rest a while. What will it take for you to reconcile grace moments in your daily journeys?  Rather than letting the busy consume me this summer,  I am challenging myself to fill up on love’s promise  of hope because when love is defined by Truth, then hope becomes the anchor of our souls.

But what about those days we didn’t plan for, or the unexpected battles we are fighting?

Sometimes they threaten to rob the graces we are soaking up. Hard things come often, but we don’t have to let them steal  the power that reconciliation reveals. Because when we look to the point of grace, we start to see the beauty  already waiting to be found. Even when it isn’t fair, even when it hurts beyond hope, even when we can ‘t summon joy to the surface… we can surely echo His favor in beautiful waves.

We have to take the good with the bad, don’t we?

Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks:  for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. Prove all things: hold fast to that which is good… And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he that calls you, who will also do it. – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18,21-24

 

That is what makes grace so scandalous. That is what leaves the imprint of eternity on the heart of those we love well.  That is the pen that writes the legacy of hope we long to leave. That is the scroll that collects the moments and organizes the stories that testify of the victories in the midst of the difficult we encounter.

This overcoming is our heritage and  the resting is the fuel that keeps us going to the end.

We rest, still and confident in the faithfulness that He provides. We can ride out each storm, knowing His hold on us is secure. We walk forward in trust, finding surrender sets us fully free. We grab on to life, unhindered by the hard and let our own mark reflect the power of reconciled grace.

And this is a legacy of hope that he gives us.

As the summer is the season of our waiting and watching, we look for him. The storms come strong in this season. They are often frightening and take our vision off of the promise. But what if we choose to see it differently? 

Perhaps the storm is a place where we pause and process the power of building legacies and defining grace in our season of waiting. Instead we find that we are being forged in the fire of his refining. As the heat burns us while the bellows blow the fire hotter, we are molded and stamped by the iron of His rod and staff. We are stronger for the trial and we are changed into something new and glorious because of the experience. The discipline of His love is always productive.

Mercy and grace extend as a byproduct of this discipline of love, and because of this truth, we know these valleys are also resting  places on the journey, even when they are hard and fearful.

  • I am pondering legacies and pedigrees and destinies as I think of the ones who are riding stormy seas right now; loving those who may lose the battle of the temporal long before we are ready to lose them. I know I am not ready but loss is in our living and I remember this is not our home. We are just passing along on the journey.
  • I am sifting through the changes that the calendars bring with the seasons of life, not quite ready to flip the calendar page; closing doors and opening windows on good things that have left their imprint on my days. I don’t always like change because that means I have to say goodbye to things that I have filtered through my heart and I remember that I need to set my heart on things above, on the eternal.
  • I am sowing and staking, watering and weeding the garden of hope that He has tilled in my heart; trusting the surrender that comes with pruning. Surrender is scary and it takes trust and every time I take that step I realize my faith muscles may have atrophied a bit and I need some serious conditioning. I remember that faith is the substance of things hoped for and evidence of those things that we don’t yet see, and it is built by hearing His Word and planting it deep in my heart.

morning glory on fence

 

 

Friends, He has given us so much to hope for, so much to hold on to.  His hope is our anchor in the seasons we are journeying through. He has already entered in for us, and all we have to do is wait within His strong refuge and let Him anchor us close to His heart.

Accordingly, God, also in His desire to show more convincingly and beyond doubt to those who were to inherit the promise the unchangeableness of His purpose and plan, intervened with an oath. 

This was so that, by two unchangeable things [His promise and His oath] in which it is impossible for God to ever prove false or deceive us, we who have fled [to Him] for refuge might have mighty indwelling strength and strong encouragement to grasp and hold fast the hope appointed for us and set before [us].

[Now] we have this [hope] as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul [it cannot slip and it cannot break down under whoever steps out upon it – a hope] that reaches farther an enters into [the very certainty of the Presence] within the veil.

Where Jesus has entered in for us [in advance], a Forerunner.

Hebrews 6:17-20

I am praying big, expecting hope, and praising Him for the pause as I reconcile the grace moments that summer is bringing my way. And friend, I am praying that for you as well.

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I have met some amazing hearts on this journey who take the time to encourage others. I’d love for you to visit them as well:

SDG Gathering, #TellHisStory, Coffee For Your Heart, Wednesday Prayer Girls, Three Word Wednesday, Thought Provoking Thursday, Grace and Truth LinkUp, Counting My Blessings, My Freshly Brewed Life, Still Saturday, Saturday Soiree, Give Me Grace, #RaRaLinkUp, Playdates With God, Unite, Moms Morning Coffee,Fellowship Friday, Faith and Fellowship Blog Hop.