receptive grace



Join me as I wrestle with those hard questions that come up and pull at our hearts. The “What if…” series is a weekly journey into the process of refinement that occurs when we seek hard after Him. I’d love to have you  join me as I look at the ideas that are presented right in His Word for us to reason together and find Him. ( Is. 1:18)


I am a fan of grace.  BECAUSE I need it!

I think of the ways I miss it so much and I wonder when God will be done offering grace to me.

Thankfully, I don’t have to worry about that.


I have mentioned before, I am a recovering perfectionist. It has taken a lot of grace to even say that. Ironically, to look at my house, my family, or me you wouldn’t see perfection.  Yet, somewhere along the line I had this notion that things need to look a certain way to be right.


Why do we do that to ourselves and to others? You know we were made for perfection, but that is a work that is solely  meant for God to perform and not ourselves. ( Phil 1:6)


And then I come to this question I want to wrangle and consider, “ What if we offered grace more, then would it be easier to love and live like Christ did?”


I talk a lot about grace here, I was reminded that it is my word … ironically; it wasn’t my word for 2014.  Although,  LEAN upon grace is closely related to the idea of what I hope to convey today.  Truly, if it weren’t for His grace, then we all would be lost. None of us deserve it, few of us really can ever comprehend it, and most of us really don’t know how to extend it, at least to the ones who need it most.

 Grace isn’t always easy to extend, but it is necessary.

 I need to be real with you. I have a hard time extending grace in certain circumstances.  You know, like the times when you know… that you know …that you know … something is wrong, or when a  person receives just compensation as a consequence for their action.

{ohh, I need to be careful here because I know my fingers are pointing back to me}

GRACE is screaming in this moment. Rather than submitting to my conviction of righteous anger and due process, I need to be praying for the love of God to be shed abroad in my heart by His Holy Spirit so that I can offer the olive branch of hope to the one who is needing undeserved favor so desperately.

You see, I don’t believe that people enjoy placing themselves in positions where they “KNOW” they will endure heartache and pain. But, I have an 18, 15 and 12 year old roaming my house right now that can often make decisions which  leave me thinking the above statement regarding consequences.

I can actually hear myself say in my firm Mom-voice, “Well, what did you think would happen?” or “Did you take time to think about that before you actually DID it?”

{And then there was yesterday}

A day when I was focused, not listening to the hearts keeping time with mine.   A day when I was too preoccupied, seemingly unavailable, to hear their queries and stories longing to be voiced.  A day where actions where reacted to, rather than responded. A day when I wasn’t fully giving grace, rather I was doling out sentences, instead.

It wasn’t that I was ignoring anything important, or that someone’s needs were unmet. I just wasn’t doing what they wanted when they wanted it;  friction was the result.

The heart of the matter is that we, as people, are still so full of our hopes, dreams, wants, and plans that when something comes in the middle of it, we quickly choose to complain and despair rather than give grace.

  • So many times the end of one dream is meant to open wide the sea of opportunity ahead, but because that dream became an idol we refuse to accept the challenge.
  • Other times when one heart has closed the door on another, the chance to extend grace and forgiveness  gives way to another idol that is far more damaging… unforgiveness and bitterness.


One of the reasons we can’t offer grace to others is because we have a root of rejection (unforgiveness, bitterness, unmet expectations, etc.) in our own lives.

 It keeps us from giving grace, but friends, more importantly it keeps us back from receiving grace.


Our recent graduate is an 18 year old young woman who at times has acted with the poise and grace of a woman 3x her age, and other times she acts just like every other 18 year old teenager focused on themselves. She has a few extra weights in her bag of life, but really, we all do.  We all have an ‘issue’ that makes life a little harder to live, but when we push on, it makes us stronger.  Right now, though, the issues seem to be larger than the opportunity ahead, and that makes for a few awkward moments in the journey.

When we are focusing on the issue, we usually miss the blessings that are included in the trial.

Sometimes, we need to see that we have to wait on the opportunities to arrive, packaged in grace, because when the undeserved favor of God shows up at your door there is no striving to attain it. The waiting is often the hardest part, but this is the battlefield where grace can thrive and faith is grown.


I will be honest, I don’t always want to give grace when I feel it is undeserved. Then I remember… I don’t deserve grace. AT ALL.  I am a sinner, saved by grace, cleansed by the blood, and filled by His compassionate love. There is not one thing I have ever done to receive the favor of God in this life.  Any good gift I have given, is His gift in me… being moved through me into the life of someone else. If we were all truly honest we would see that.

“Every good and every perfect gift is from above: it comes down from the Father of all [that gives] light, in [the shining of} Whom there can be no variation or shadow cast by His turning.” ~ James 1:17

Anything good in us is the work of the Father so we should be handing out those gifts to others rather than keeping them back for ourselves . I know this flaw exits, and still I wonder at the reasons why grace is not so easy to give? Perfectionism is rearing its glowing sign right in front of me and I remember that this is why grace is hard to give.  Let’s look at some truths that may helps us remember to seize opportunities to forgo the judgment, by considering a few cause and effect statements.

  • If we are a work being perfected daily (Phil 1:6)… then others are likely to be in the same boat.
  • If we are working out our salvation with fear and trembling (Phil 2:12) … then our friend may be just as uncomfortable as we are.
  • We are being filled with His Spirit to do good works (Eph 2:10) … then maybe we are being presented with opportunities to spill goodness into others.


When imperfection meets a perfect God, Grace restores the heart.


We are imperfect vessels are being changed by a perfect God, daily, from glory to glory. I love this verse in 2 Corinthians 3:18, “ And all of us, as with unveiled face, [because we] continue to behold[ n the Word of God] as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are constantly being transfigured into His very own image in ever increasing splendor and  from one degree of glory to another, [for this comes] from the Lord [Who is] the Spirit.”

This gives me hope in grace.

  • The days I want to rail and the days I want to hold back, are also the days when I need to give grace more.
  • The times I want to respond with harsh words are the times when the soft answer will turn away wrath.
  • The instances when I want to walk away are the moments when I need to embrace fully.
  • The hearts that are hurting in my life are not needing any more reminder of their faults.. they need grace.


The road to grace is always stretching forward because the resevoir of grace is limitless in the fullness of God.

And, consequently, what I am continuing to learn, is that for me to truly even begin to understand what GRACE is, I need to give it.  Then and only then, friends, do we even start to get a glimpse of the grace extended towards us.

This morning as I met my kiddos, eager to start the day on the right foot, but purposeful to set the right tone, I started with an apology.  I acknowledged my error  in not listening to them as I should have yesterday, and missing the opportunity to take just a few moments from my task to invest in their sharing.  I extended an olive branch of grace hoping to receive it in return.  In that moment, the defenses went down and the walls crumbled.  Once that happened, I was able speak a TRUTH to their heart which was received, again, with GRACE.

I love grace! I need it desperately, both to give and to receive.

{The daily living is hard enough, we don’t need to make it harder for one another.}

So, today, I am want to encourage you with a scripture that is imprinted on my eyelids ( not really..I just love it) that comes from Psalm 27:4. It speaks to the heart of the grace-giver and the position of the grace-dweller. It is the call of the child of God and the anthem of the soldier of grace.


One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek, inquire for, and [insistently] require; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord [in His presence] all the days of my life, to behold and gaze upon the beauty[the sweet attractiveness and the delightful loveliness] of the Lord and to meditate and consider and inquire in His temple.


For the days when learning to give grace and longing to love like Jesus I want to ask you, {What if we offered grace more, would we then live an love like Christ?}  Please share your thoughts in the comments section or feel free to email me at


Praying for His Amazing Grace to wash over you, for you to be found basking in the buoyant sea of hope, and that you would  shine in the beauty which only grace can bestow.


Many Blessings!

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Linking up with other grace girls, please visit their havens of hope today.

Holley@ Coffee for your Heart

Jennifer@ #TellHisStory

Lyli@ Thought Provoking Thursdays

Carmen@ Thriving Thursdays

Crystal@ Serving Joyfully