Beauty and grace are performed whether or not we will or sense them. The least we can do is try to be there. – Annie Dillard
This place, this space, exits as an opportunity to invite you in. It is a welcome to touch on the deep things and to consider the hard things in the freedom of being accepted because you have a value set upon your soul. And, friend, today, I hope you will accept the invitation being offered.
I hope you know you are welcome to pull up a chair and sit with me a while and rest in a bit of grace together. Let’s explore this gift that we have been given in Christ.
Grace… it is a deep wide expanse of God’s divinity waiting to be discovered by those who choose to be found there.
Our lives are the mosaic of moments that we capture and keep, sifting and ordering them out of the chaos of our memories. They are pieces that build us, and sometimes break us, as we proceed to live life. And grace is the space that allows us to be present in the midst of our living together. It allows us to feel welcomed…to know we belong.
It’s this living that always amazes me though. Because my head knows these truths, the visceral knowing of righteousness and mercy which are extensions of redemption’s collision; and my heart longs to be willing and ready to wear these grace garments that He hangs in the closet of our hearts. Then somehow, somewhere, I get in the middle of my moving forward, flesh meeting spirit, and I fall smack flat on my face.
Some days, I find myself with the mud splattered hands and the tear-stained face of a woman who is just touching this topic of living a life where grace defines each moment. Some days I wonder if I know anything about grace and His love and walking by faith. And yet, He is faithful to meet me here at this divide of the soul; the longing for the holy and letting go of the crude impostor that sometimes take up residence in my thinking.
And this is essentially my table set before you with the simplicity of this invitation which is really about sifting through these moments together in order to build up on the experiences that we share. Because, ultimately, in grace, we are all called to the place of belonging. That is the glorious scandal of it, really. We don’t get to put a limit on who receives grace, but we do get to step into the restoration it provides. And when we go together, how sweet that grace is.
And friend, if we were sitting close here at my table, I hope we’d settle in to that place where the freedom to be real and the atmosphere of transparency hovered close. I’d want you to talk more so that I could listen and learn, and I’d want to bathe most of it in prayer inviting Him into our gathering.
Those are precious moments that we can’t take for granted because in our very busy worlds, there is little time to just sit close and dwell deep together.
And then I’d ask you some questions.
How are you? I mean.. really… how are you? Are there any rips in your covering, friend? Are you needing a little mending of the soul?
We all need a safe place, a sacred place where we can sink into that seat and let it mold and hold us. Our soul needs to rest in the safety of just being enough, of just being there. And we all need to know that we are not alone in the trial. To be reminded that when the wind that blows strong and sudden, sometimes unexpected, and we have no idea where to take shelter, that there is always hope ahead. Even when we could see the storm clouds building, we can take refuge in the fellowship of prayer together.
That is what a table of grace is meant to provide. Not just a meal of sustenance but a serving of refreshment that enables us to keep moving forward as we go.
Eventually we’d talk about grace, together; if we were seated face to face. And you’d ask me the same questions, I’d imagine. And we’d start the pattern that weaves a tapestry of connecting tying us one to the other. That foundation would enable us to throw out life preservers to one another when the hurricane of reality threatens to reroute our courses.
And sometimes we may just get downright real with one another and lay out the hard and the holy in a conversation that will rock our boat, letting in the salty waters of refinement. But Grace it lets us mend those holes and call one another out into the open to see just how strong this foundation really is. Because grace moments are really seen in the hard every day, real and transparent, and the broken sometimes hopeless moments.
“So it is with a soul under the conduct of grace. Its fixed design is to live unto God, but in its course it meets with storms and cross winds and various artifices of sin…But where grace has the rule and conduct it will weather all these obstructions; it will restore the soul and bring it into order.” – Josh Owen
So, let me be real with you here, because it is fruitless for me to write about grace and not live it out. If it is scandalous, because it is offered to those who don’t deserve the favor of a holy and just God who painted wood red and joined mercy and righteousness together, then I, friends, have to admit I don’t deserve it. But I am so grateful He has offered it to all of us who are broken and seeking more of Him in our wandering.
This grace thing is all about the journey for me… these many lessons I am learning about living close to His heart and letting His goodness shine into my brokenness in order to bring healing. If not for just me, but also for you.
Will you join me at this table of friendship and grace?
Since you are here, let me tell you a few of those grace moments in my week as we sit across this virtual table together. They both involve people and learning how to respond in grace like Jesus would, and realizing I have so much to learn. They both left me thinking and processing, usually with tears spent, because I am so far from finding the finish line, but so thankful that He has already made it there in my stead.
– A dear friend challenged me to really consider how I actually view grace. That was a blow at first because it felt like everything I stood for was being attacked. I mean.. I talk about grace all the time, right? And truthfully, because I have a little history of not handling rejection well, my heart was slow to “hear” the words that were being said. I had to process the conversation a little longer just to get past myself and get to the meat of the question proffered.
Once I did, and with some study in His word and prayer, I realized it wasn’t a challenge as much as an opportunity to discuss a topic that we both need to continue to learn about. Is grace really something we will ever get to the end of?
This friend is one of those individuals who isn’t afraid to say the hard things. She speaks truth in love. She seeks to honor God. And because she believes I am on that same journey, she is comfortable to sit across my table and be real with me.
We need those friends.. they are the real people who love you enough to be the refining fire of grace in your life. A friend loves at all times. Proverbs 17:7
– My kids are at an age where they are old enough to make decisions that perhaps we don’t like, or their ideas don’t always look like my own. If I am not purposing to parent in grace, I can easily overwhelm them with my persuasive dialogue, essentially undermining my own influence in their lives.
Oh, this parenting thing is hard, friends, and I miss the days when the questions were easy and the solutions made me look like supermom. But, I love who they are becoming. We raised them to be thinkers and to ask questions. I love that they are learning these things here, at my table, and that they still think it is important to bring their thoughts to it as we sit together.The chance to love my kids with grace as the ruler is the best indicator of His work in both of our lives.
I may fail daily as a parent, but because we have taught them to seek the Father, they will always know they are loved, always by Him and additionally by us. And all your children shall be disciples [taught by the Lord and obedient to His will], and great shall be the peace and undisturbed composure of your children. Isaiah 54:13
Grace moments are the pieces of restoration that can often be found in the storms and the crosswinds of our lives.
So, let me ask you, what are the grace moments you have found in your week? I think we all can find common ground in learning how to connect with people whether they are friends, acquaintances, or even those special individuals who are related to us.
I am praying for each of you to be found fixed and stable under the shelter of His mercy and love and that all your journeys will be blessed by the knowledge that you belong right smack in the middle of His grace for you.
You are welcome to link up any inspirational post, but if you are needing a little encouragement as you write I’d love to share a writing prompt for next week’s link up for you to consider. ( And thanks for your grace as I learn to navigate this whole link-up thing!)
What does it look like when we wear grace like a garment?
GRACE MOMENTS LINK UP:
Each Wednesday evening I will share a post for the Grace Moments link up with a prompt for you to write about. Every Thursday there will be a linky here at Journeys in Grace for you to share your stories with me, to sit across the virtual Table of Grace here at Journeys in Grace and participate in community of friends that encourage, equip, love and pray for one another.
If you are a blogger, link up here with a post that answers the writing prompt (from the previous week) or one of your favorite inspiring and encouraging posts from this week.S Share your thoughts in the comment section telling me about the #Grace Moments you experienced this week. *(only 1 post per link please)*
Take time to visit your neighbor next to you, and if you want visit a few more friends on the journey. We all need a little encouragement and affirmation as we travel together.
If you don’t have a blog, you can connect with me via my Journeys in Grace FB page by sharing a photo or a comment. Or you can join the party by sharing your images on Instagram with #Gracemoments hashtag.
Each week I will try visit as many of your amazing posts as I can and share some of my favorites on my FB page.
This is a safe place to sit and dwell in grace together, friends. I can’t wait to pour a cup of friendship with you and take in the grace moments you have to share.
Share the grace moments which have encouraged you in the comments section or on your blog with the writing prompt from the previous week.
Link up your inspirational and encouraging posts below.
Invite friends to join in by posting the Grace Moments badge on your post.
Copy and paste the permalink to your post.
Using the linky tool, enter your link.
Find someone (or two) in the link-up to encourage with a comment.
For out of His fullness we have all received one grace after another, favor and gift heaped upon one another. – John 1:16