I have a tendency to collect words, writing them down on notes and in lists for later. Etymology and word building fascinate me. I pour words out over my kids and my students like their souls are an arid desert, hoping tumbled vowels and consonants rolled together will drench inspiration.
I long to be a passer of good things, to change how they see rhetoric. I want them to see that it is more about good people speaking well, not poor words spoken in selfish division. Sometimes speaking well and speaking goodness are not on the same level, they are not synonymous. But when they are, when they work together there is always beauty and truth.
Eloquent speakers give pleasure, wise ones salvation. – St. Augustine.
I laugh when my friends describe me as the a ‘Word Girl’. There is something sacred in how my people see me, in what they see in me. Though I laugh at their label, it is who I am and what I do that reflects what I believe to be true. In every snippet of sarcasm, in every half-truth and joke, there is a sliver of fact that bites into our words. We may say we believe in one thing and yet do another, like Paul says, but in truth, what I believe about Him and what He says about me, in light of His truth, is the most revealing.
I am sure you have word people in your world. The ones who sow grace syllable by syllable like scattered seeds falling in abundant measure. And rather than be one who scatters carelessly, I have been pondering the power of being a ‘Woman of the Word’ more than a ‘word girl’. Collecting His words into the storehouse of my soul instead of the lists of rhyme and meter that make me smile. Considering the life-seeds we can sow, because they’ll always bring a harvest instead, instead of the empty words that germinate weeds and void.
My oldest daughter has a verse scripted in chalk on a bold blackboard hanging in the entryway of my home. I noticed it today as I was waiting for the rays of the morning sun to illuminate the dark moments of the night’s recession. It was the message I needed to read this morning. God’s providence always astounds me.
The sun shall no more be your light by day, nor for brightness shall the moon give light to you, but the Lord shall be to you an everlasting light, and your God your glory and your beauty. – Isaiah 60:19
These morning meditations awaken my spirit to see in a different light. To look with purpose into the grace that He gives. To collect #gracemoments intentionally because if we look diligently, we will find them waiting to be counted. In the deep and in the shallow and in the quiet and in the noisy spaces, they are hidden; in the searching they are found.
It is the glory of God to conceal a thing, but the honor of kings to search out a matter.-Proverbs 25:2
Psalm 119 tells of the power of His Word in our lives. It is light, it is life, it is honey, it is mercy. His word is settled forever, it is renewing to the soul, it is a hiding place for our soul. This psalm consisting of 176 verses that point to the power of His Word tied to every single letter in the Hebrew Alphabet. Each letter built into words that bleed life into the soul; illumination so bright that our journey is altered completely and there is a heavy awareness of the holiness of His Word as it is poured into our heart.
Your Word is lamp unto my feet and a lit unto my path. -Psalm 119:105
Words are a vehicle in which we are able to convey His grace to others. They are the way He has chosen to reveal His message to us, the Gospel Truth of Jesus’ life…the Living Word of God. Powerful life giving soul dividing words that pierce deep, penetrating eternity with the tiniest confession.
His Word is always light.
Words can build up souls and tear down lives. They are a means that we bring grace in or a weapon we wield in an effort to destroy.
And we use them to make our points. We use them to protest. We use them to prove. We use them to grow our platforms and buy our way into spaces.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made. In Him was life: and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness; and the darkness comprehends it not. …And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. – John 1:1-5,14
But maybe we aren’t meant to use Words as a vehicle to achieve our goals, because if the Word was the beginning, and the first words of Genesis are the origin of our knowing, then ultimately our words are meant to line up with his. Everything God speaks into existence is encoded to bring life forward.
Life begets life.
It’s a universal law.
So we ought to speak life in order to build lives.
Matthew 12:36 reminds us even our idle words are counted, but for grace…we would all be smothered in the mountain of weight our words produce. And still because of grace we are called to disclose the Gospel in gladness.
But when He, Who had chosen and set me apart [even] before I was born and had called me by His grace, saw fit and was pleased to reveal His Son within me so that I might proclaim Him among the Gentiles as the glad tidings… Galatians 1:15-16
Because of GRACE we are called to reveal Grace to others in words…. in tidings of favor and truth.
I have learned in these twenty-one years of being a mom that if I am quiet long enough, they will come to me and spill out their stories. What I am never prepared for, though I shouldn’t be surprised, is how I feel when I see them weave grace into their conversations with others. It blows me away. It is surely a #gracemoment and I am more than grateful to see them spilling life into others.
Because sometimes I worry that that my mistakes will be stronger than His promises. And I wonder if I am showing them how a girl goes after grace like it’s her job. I want to be a light that points to Jesus but there are days I feel like a shadow chasing after holiness.
I am reminded of those midnight prayers, the planting of His Word into the soil of their souls. I remember asking God to water it and shine His light of love over their lives, constantly. His Word bears fruit. It does not return void. He’s crossed the chasm to spill grace and they are the vessel He pours into. So I should expect the harvest.
My son is the most forthcoming of my children. The other day as he found his way to my kitchen table I recognized the moment for what it was and waited a while. He was either going to ask me what I was making for supper or he was going to spill out something he had discovered or experienced. Would it surprise you if I said it was both?
The first request made me laugh, but the second confession filled my heart with joy.
He has been struggling with purpose this final year of High School. It has kept him unsettled and me in prayer. His story began with a conversation he’d had with a friend and the chance he had to share Jesus with someone. I saw a glimpse of his purpose and a bold brave wonder at his faith.
His unashamed witness of Christ over the course of letters on screen, words and bytes and digits together, he laid out the gospel for a heart only God could’ve prepared. His words were an invitation to meet the One who held his heart. What blessed me, was why he felt led to speak truth. You see, when we choose to shine for Jesus, people see it. They mark the difference. My son had a chance to reveal why he is chosing to be careful with his relationships and His life, and he offered an invitation to church and youth group and to pray with a seeking soul.
We both remembered the words of a friend years ago in that moment. The one that has hung heavy over his soul for a long time. He was challenged by someone who loved him deep and saw potential. This mentor in his life told him if he wanted to he could change the world like Billy Graham. She spoke grace -words right into the open door of his heart that day. It was a seed that God began to water and to shine light upon. And then when the fruit started to bloom in his heart, he knew it was time to give it away to others.
There are moments, when you will step right outside of your realm of influence and right into the calling God, has for you…and you will shine for His glory.
Look for the open door to grace as a welcoming announcement of who you are, where you are from, and what you do. Your #gracemoment is a #faithmoment where you become that Word-Warrior who sows Truth with intention.
Wherever grace shines on our path in life, we can spill light onto the journey of others.
I love the way the Lord has used the lessons of motherhood and teaching to speak right into my soul. Grace…it’s for our kids and our people who we are pouring life into, but it’s for us too. Grace shines into those spaces we are called to, the places within the fullness of His plan, where the message is encoded inside of us and we share it with others.
When you don’t know your purpose….Grace is a light that shines on His Word and brings clarity.
When you forget where you are going…. Grace is a light that reveals the compass of His heart.
When you’ve lost sight of what you are doing…. Grace is a light that illuminates the darkness and opens the way.
I have been holding that #gracemoment for a few weeks, grateful that my son shared it with me when he did. I am tucking into my memory for the harder days when it is easy to forget. But I want to challenge you, to think about the light grace shines.
Remember you have a purpose today:
Sow grace… be the one who has grace sown into them.
Look for good … be the one plant words of hope.
Shine bright… be the one to let the light spill out.
Bear His good tidings…be the one who chooses to count grace.
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.