The days are slipping by faster than I can count them. It feels like one season is here and gone within a heartbeat. And the busy season or the prepping season seems to be converging upon one another, morphing into a single space that has little room for pause.
It is a little unsettling for someone who does not thrive on busy, for one who craves quiet and slow and still. The resting that my soul requires even seems hurried, maybe even planned, and that feels unnatural to plan for rest. I don’t do that well…but I am learning.
I am remembering the busy seasons of toddlers and more than one student in my home schooling all around me and how I had to make time and save space to count grace, because if I didn’t I would surely miss it. I was exhausted then, as I am now. There was a welcomed rest at the end of the day, similar to now… just different… and it centered on recognizing His presence. It required me to learn to listen more and to wait in the sacred space grace provides.
We need to count the graces that settle in our day. We need to recognize and remember the way God meets us in favor and fills us with His Presence. It’s the key to the stillness… being with God in the midst of the busy... being present even when our today needs more than 24 hours and our record book has forgotten to pen down the graces He has given repeatedly.
Each new season takes some getting used to, some sifting and sorting and processing through the different and the unusual. However, those skills which equipped me to journey through the crazy early unsure moments of my faith and my mothering existence, are still the tools that He is using to sharpen, to shape, and to mold me into His image every day.
Because that, too, is the another key of this journey in grace…mirroring His grace so that others see Him instead of me.
And He always makes room for grace in us and for us and towards us.
But he gives us more and more grace…- James 4:6
A friend asked me recently if I made time for Bible study every single day. Without hesitation my answer was a definitive yes. We both smiled knowing that the real source of strength, the ultimate vitamin of hope, and the discipline of success comes from making time daily to take in the bread of life … without cessation. And we both knew it wasn’t an easy feat to accomplish. So I reminded her that it was an intentional journey to in the day, not always planned and set apart.
Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. – Romans 10:17
Certainly, early on in my journey that was hard to do…making time to get with Jesus regularly. But it was a necessity I learned to appropriate. Early morning devotions were a monumental mountain for me when my kids were little. No matter how early I awoke, the light would slip under their doors and poke them none-too-gently awake and soon they’d find me hiding out in the dark trying to read by the light of the still hovering moon. Yet, I learned then, that while the first thing in the morning I crave the wisdom of His Word as my first meal, when I couldn’t get quiet time then, I needed to find it later. In whatever way I could.
Sometimes it was during naps and other times it came while supper was cooking and my TV-babysitter captured their attention for a few minutes. (gasp…yes, I did put movies in so that my 3 littles would be quiet all at once) But most of the time it came in the late evening hours when the house was asleep.
When the world was slowing down, my heart was being built up by purposed study of His promises and prayer.
And it wasn’t so much the scheduled reading time, or the plotted prayer points, or the notes in the journal that grew me stronger… though they helped to shave off the rough pieces of me. It was the purpose of seeking His Presence at the end of my day, praying for the day to come and for peace and rest to descend on my home and my people, and of meeting close with the One who spoke intentionally to my soul.
I was learning to listen…to wait and to hear and to heed and to see. Because many times when we hear something, we purpose to look for it. And He promises when we seek Him, He will be found. So seek him early, late and always… friends. It’s not about the time we set aside, though who doesn’t benefit from early morning prayer and petition and study of His Word? It’s all about being present with God whenever we can. Letting our hearts listen as He pours grace over us.
“Disciples are walking listeners.” -AdamMcHugh
My oldest girl turned 22 this month. We share birthday months. We share a lot of the same burdens and blessings. She’s taught me so much about living brave and walking tall when life tries to knock you down. Even though much of her life has been full of struggle and burden, she loves Jesus. And always, her smile speaks to me of joy and grace and overcoming. Her resilience is inspiring.
We had a rare moment of quiet the other day. An unplanned coffee break right in the middle of our afternoon when I had to taxi one progeny to a planned event and we didn’t have errands to complete or a place to be. So we rested on some bright comfy furniture with caffeinated drinks and an almost quiet location. We put down phones, and settled low to just be present together.
She is a quiet soul. I have to pay special attention when she shares, because if I don’t I’ll miss it. I asked questions, she answered. We enjoyed our drinks. We sat still. And then she looked right at me and smiled. (And, yes, I pulled out that resting phone to take a photo because it was beautiful.) Being present is a gift we give to one another that always starts in the space that grace has carved out within us. If I had not purposed to first put down my phone and to wait with her in the brief respite of the chaos of our living, I would not have captured her loveliness in that moment, because that smile was more of a conversation than all the words that spill out in our communication. Her heart required my heart to listen without words being said. And this #gracemoment, it is still wrecking my heart with the healing balm it was intended by God to be.
The reason we collect grace is because we are remembering the moments when His presence is so close it is palpable like in the sigh and the smile of a soul content to know they are valued and precious. Even in the busy spaces, grace is like that break in the clouds where you have a small window of glorious in the midst of a storm, you have to press pause and look, listen and feel the fullness His always sacred grace provides.
As I was driving to work yesterday, I was overwhelmed by the power of His presence in my present moments and I was reminded of my girl’s gift of grace that day. And it was a reminder to continue to listen and look for His glory, to be still and wait for God to show up and show off. And in those times when even though it is rocky or turbulent or exhausting, we can always know he provides grace and refreshing. Always.
How are you purposing to be present in His Presence, to collect the always grace that God gives and gives?
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.
Feel free to download this graphic and print it out for you. It’s a #gracemoment gift to collect and to share from me to you because I am so very glad you are here.