Thursday, December 19, 2019

The Scandal of Grace

Bless my heart, I’m all over the place in my Bible studies, y’all. 

In my Chronological study, I’m in Ezekiel. For the Intermediate Bible Classes I’m teaching I’m in Genesis. Our Friday Ladies class has me knee deep in Galatians and I’m still wrapping up my morning studies in Proverbs. 

(I use a lot of bookmarks.)

In my digging into Galatians, I’m uncovering a lot of truths I hadn’t really considered. A lot of Big Picture concepts I hadn’t thought about before. IT IS GOOD STUFF. 

A big one is grace. 
It’s HUGE. Monumental, even. 

You see, I woulda been a TOP NOTCH Pharisee. I love lists. Rules. Black and white answers. Boxes to tick. Checklists to scratch off. Concrete, tangible proof of a life lived righteously. The Law would’ve been my JAM. I would’ve carried my Old Testament measuring tape and been SURE AND CERTAIN I never travelled too far on the Sabbath. BLESS MY HEART. 

Gray areas are harder for me. They’re cloudy. Murky. STRESSFUL. Unknown and hard to grasp. I live in a constant guilt-good behavior-screw up cycle (don’t we all) so you can see how relying on intangible things like grace and faith and love for assurance and calm AND SALVATION could be hardish and difficult for me. 

Gimme a turtle dove or a spotless lamb, lemme sacrifice it and be on my way- confident and assured that I’ve done my duty for repentance of sins. Whew. ::scratches it off her To Do list::

It’s really lazy, actually. 

To sit back and allow my life to be covered in things like Christian Hospitality and Good Church Attendance and Daily Bible Study and Active Prayer Life AS A WAY OF WORKING MY WAY TO HEAVEN. Earning my keep. Showing up with a basketful of Good Works. 

When I live my life through a Please Don’t Send Me To Hell I Promise I Will Go To Church Twice A Week attitude- I AM MISSING OUT ON THE MOST SCANDALOUS PART OF THE GOSPEL. 

Plus nothing. 
Just Jesus and what He calls me to be. 

Paul’s whole entire point of Galatians is this one word. He so desperately wanted to free his church family from the bonds of law keeping. To remind them that THE PRICE HAS ALREADY BEEN PAID. To go forward, living righteously not fueled by fear of punishment but propelled by LOVE. (I could write a novel about uncovering this concept. MAYBE I SHOULD.) 

So that’s where I’m growing these days. Out of my Fear Filled Rule Keeping and into Love Fueled Following. I am finding and growing and stretching into so much freedom in this season. I can’t wait to find out where He leads me in 2020. 

Galatians is an amazing book to study. If you’re looking for a place to dive in- here’s my recommendation. 

Have a great week, y’all. 
Open your Bibles. Dig in. You 1000% won’t regret it. 

Wednesday, December 11, 2019


I know it’ll be hard for y’all to imagine- but our morning today was ROTTEN. 

The kids woke up squabbling. I had a sinus headache. Schoolwork was waiting. The kitchen countertops were mysteriously sticky and somehow a toilet was clogged. 

And it kept building. 

Like a slow boil, everything began to rumble. Voices got louder. Whining was almost unending. My coffee got cold as my temper flared. By the time breakfast was over I was maxed out FOR THE DAY and it was only 7:43am. 

Sick of putting out 57 different fires, I did what any sane homeschool Mom would do: 

I gathered up pencils and workbooks and readers. 
Blankets and pillows and fresh coffee. 
Spelling books. Phonics pages. Perler beads. 

I threw all of it, along with my three homeschool hoodlums and our dog into my room. AND I SHUT THE DOOR.  I sat down and exhaled. Then questioned my sanity as I set out to get everyone stated on SOME SORT of home education.  

(Can we talk for a minute about the weight of schooling three elementary kiddos? There is almost ZERO work they can complete independently because they’re all still pretty young. They are all dealing with long division and subtraction with regrouping and phonics and adding dimes and nickels AND EVERYONE NEEDS HELP WITH ALL THE THINGS ALL THE TIMES. I’m borderline overwhelmed like 97% of my day. Which is why I pray so much and drink a lot of coffee.I digress.) 

I FINALLY got everyone started and the dust settled. I drank some coffee and did some spelling lessons. Then some grammar. Then some phonics. Blankets were spread and pillow piles were climbed. Perler bead patterns were made. 


(It’s like a Hallmark movie. Almost. But not really, bless it.)

Turns out, when I was close to snapping- instead of pushing my kids apart and separating them from each other WHAT WE NEEDED WAS TO BE TOGETHER. Locked down like a jailhouse in one room with nothing but Number 2 pencils for company. Desperate times called for desperate measures, you know? 

I reckon God does the same thing for me. When I’m moody and tired and cranky and depressed I don’t need distance from Him I NEED A HUG. I need Him near me most when I’m my most unlovable. When I’m prickly and testy and wanting to pick fights THAT IS WHEN I NEED TO LOCK MYSELF IN A ROOM WITH HIM. Man, my crew really does get it honestly, don’t they?? 

It might now work for me every time, but today, lockdown was the thing we needed.