I don’t make resolutions any more.
February taught me the lesson of begin again, long ago. I call it the grace month. Who are we kidding, I want to title everything grace. But in truth, February’s anthem has often been a do-over as I adjust to the gigantic goals of January.
Now, truly… goals are good. They are necessary and they give us forward momentum. But when our goals are not the covenant keeping kind of pursuing, we are walking down rabbit trails that lead away from I AM and the purpose He has already appointed us to bloom within. Our tendency to plan beyond His expectations often lead us into failure and disappointment, especially when we lean on our own abilities and wisdom.
So I stopped making resolutions and I decided, instead, to resolve to seek grace everywhere because chasing God is an easier pursuit. Rather than pursue the unrealistic that my ideological self perpetuates, I am choosing to count those #gracemoments that lead me to look for lovely and champion brave in my people and myself.
And though January is still a time to plan and renew and start again, the cycle of choosing what I am not called to, in order to check off a list, often leaves me counting failure rather than grace. When I can’t meet the unreachable I set as my goal, instead of letting Him layer grace in my planning, my resolve wavers and my energy is zapped. It can become a repetitive cycle of destruction, but I am learning to let grace win in my days.
Life is a constant classroom. It is a perspective shaping reality that often becomes a lens we look through. Our worldview is shaped by many things: experience, education, heritage, passions. And yet, one meeting with the Author of Grace can so alter our view that we are no longer the pursuant, but the pursued. This path becomes a constant awareness of stepping into that space where we look for the ‘more than’ moments He provides.
All the paths of the Lord are mercy and steadfast love, even truth and faithfulness are they for those who keep His covenant and His testimonies.- Psalm 25:10
Choosing to be resolved to grace has inscribed the purpose of rest on my soul.
Choosing to chase grace lends to living from a place of resting with God. The more I learn about Sabbath Living, the more I see the power of living creatively from rest. It is the very requirement our souls were made to be filled by; there is no substitute to communing with God.
The more I read about making space in my life where rest is the place I settle, I see how even our resolutions steal grace from our days. Even the good things get in the way of progress and change and goals to the point that we create more stress when we try to initiate a change that is not from His hand.
Sabbath-keeping isn’t a magic formula we follow in order to attain preferred outcomes, but a recognition of God’s sovereignty over the minutes.- Shelly Miller, Rhythms of Rest
I realized as I started writing, that I think of you as my Thursday People. It’s funny that I categorize things as I do, compartmentalizing them in my mind so that I can have a semblance of order and control. Yet, there is a grace in the naming that sets things aright. The Lord leads us to name those things that we have been given, to call life into them.
And here, this space, where we gather together and bleed hope, I want to name life for you. To spill encouragement into the emptied reservoirs of your hearts so that may be resolved to continue. So that you can carry forward on this journey.
Momentum is a force that moves us on and it is hard to stop forward motion in any space that allows it to flow freely. I wonder if we resolve to recognize intentional grace as a momentum builder, how it would change our goal setting? What if we make our resolutions a resolve to be intentional with the force grace provides instead of falling prey to the opposition?
I asked my children yesterday, as we waited for a train to pass by, whether or not it took more force to stop a moving train or to start a loaded one. My daughter is taking a Physical Science class this year and we have spent a great deal of time discussing inertia, the theories of motion and the science of relativity, and how to relate it to everything else. Newton’s universal laws of gravity and motion remind us that we will keep going on unless we are stopped by a force stronger than our momentum, that the law of gravity has a greater effect on what we do than we can really understand beyond mere acknowledgment, and we will continue to stand still unless a kinetic force is strong enough, mass moving force, to propel us to move.
Her understanding of motion is completely changing because she is learning the minutiae of how laws are established and how theories are tested. And when a locomotive passes by right in front of us, we can start to analyze the theories for what they are. We can see how they work, if only just in part.
Equally, we apply the same principles to the power of His Word in our living. His law converts our soul as we settle close. It enlightens and enlarges our space and give us the ability to testify, to name and to declare truth where we are.
The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.- Psalm 19:7
We can name what we see with a better clarity. We can sift and sort and even build the parts back up. We can find the particulars that are a part of the whole picture because without one there wouldn’t be the other. We can unravel the mystery and look for the Master who has woven it all together in a tapestry of order. And through it our perspective is changed.
Grace does that.
Grace is that connecting place that allows us to sit in the space where God waits for us. Although our life is continually spinning, our days are moving on and keeping the rhythm of time in a repetition that doesn’t even need awareness…with God our souls can always find rest. And we need to connect with this idea of resting while moving forward.
If we do not allow for a rhythm of rest in our overly busy lives, illness becomes our Sabbath…Wayne Muller
Unless we find rest, IN Him, we come up lacking. Our planners, our goals, our attending is our undoing. Because rest is our sojourn. It is our refueling. It is our begin again. It is our do-over.
We need to be built into the resting that chasing grace may provide.
I heard Jill Briscoe speak this weekend at the IF:Gathering. Her words, her story, her passion resonated in my heart. She spoke my language…and my heart heard her words.
She spoke grace and truth and hope.
She spoke of courage and obedience and of promise.
She reminded me of need to recharge in our February moments. The dreary doldrums of holding on and passing time and making space and, yes…chasing grace. Because He is always waiting to be found.
She told us that when Jesus sits down on the steps of our soul we need to wait with Him. He answers with words beyond beauty. He answers in words of love and faithfulness, because where have we gone that he has not waited for us? It was my undoing the depth of those words.
Go to the deep place and sit on the steps of your soul and talk to the Lord; then come back to the shallow palaces of live and tell those you meet what God said to encourage you, which may then serve to encourage them.- Jill Briscoe, Spiritual Arts
I learned that choosing to be resolved to chase grace, rather than resolute to change the direction of my journey on my own, allowed me to sit on the steps of my soul and wait for God.
We never stop our forward motion when we pause with the Father because are choosing to chase grace together.
Wherever we go, He has already been there waiting for us with answers that go beyond mercy and fill us with truth, goodness, and beauty.
One Word from God can change the way we see everything. It can change our direction. Our inertia is changed because of God’s Word… Jesus.
And this is the way we sit at the steps of our soul and wait while the world continues to spin unstopped.
We encourage, we build hope, we spill life, we pour grace.
As we get close to God we observe the immutable laws of Creation and the unchanging nature of His Word work in tandem to bring us into His Will.
Grace can change the momentum we carry forward. Grace is one word of hope. Grace is one word of promise. Grace means our location has been altered by the presence of the Father, because grace is His our language.
And because we get close to God, we can empower people. Empowered people change their world, one word, one heartbeat at a time. Sometimes these words are a spilling of hope. Sometimes they are a token of faith. Sometimes they are an empowering to pursue, but I know they should always be a message of grace.
Here in the busy place, where we are all unraveling for want of time. Stop and be encouraged. Be lifted up. Be built.
Today, sit at the steps of your soul and wait with Jesus. Pass time while the world passes you by. Your momentum won’t be changed because you are moving forward in every sense of the word, but your destination will be altered at the altar of His love.
Then choose to settle onto the step of another’s soul-space. Wait with them in the journey as they are moving onward. Be the encourager that empowers and ignites hope.
Instead of giving in to the drama of the world’s stage, can I challenge you to spill grace more today? Can I entice you to look for the doorstep of a heart that needs to be built up in His Word? Can I encourage you to choose first to get close to God for the express purpose of being a winsome word warrior into the life of someone else?
For out of His fullness we have all received one grace after another and spiritual blessings upon spiritual blessings and even favor upon favor and gift [heaped] upon gift. – John 1:16
IT’S YOUR TURN TO BE A GRACE COUNTER! SHARE YOUR GRACE MOMENT IN THE COMMENTS BELOW AND THEN COUNT GRACE WITH A FRIEND WITH COMMENT ON A BLOG OR TWO.
If you are a blogger, link up here with a post about finding grace moments in your life or one of your favorite inspiring and encouraging posts from this week. 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.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. Don’t forget to leave a comment below, I love to hear from you.