I’ve been think a lot about what grace looks like.
I’ve been wrestling with this for over a week.
Because honestly………–………I don’t think I really know what grace looks like. I think I had an idea – pretty pink frosting & crystal sugar sprinkles, and God is showing me that grace isn’t necessarily pretty, that sometimes grace gets down and works with kneading fingers in the mud puddle and comes up slightly tarnished.
I can’t seem to pour out the words of my heart. These wrestlings….they hide and rumble around like a thunderous Monsoon night.
I fight to make sense of them myself let alone share with you.
Some days it seems like grace looks like patience. Letting go of heavy sighs and grumbling thoughts about the person or thing slowing me down. The cashier taking their time at Walmart. The old(er) man cutting across into the left turn lane after I’d already moved over. In those moments the whispers of what grace looks like say patience.
Often He speaks that grace is forgiveness. Letting go of hurts, of wrongs. This is going to be a long process. Pruning. Purging. Stripping. This is the hardest part. A necessary one. It is one, that if I’m being honest part of me doesn’t want the change. Part of me wants to remain content with unforgiveness, of not learning that part of grace.
I really have no idea what I’m going to look like at the end of the year. My prayer is – of course – that I will look like grace. That my actions will drip of grace like morning dew.
I’ve joked on Twitter that God is already trying to work in me my One Word: Grace. But it really isn’t joking, because He is already moving and has been for the past few weeks. Sending things my way. Reminding me in situations to exercise grace rather than impatience or anger or frustration. What an ideal time to start: Christmas.
It’s like He really wants me to learn the art of grace and He doesn’t need to wait for the count down at midnight.
Today this post from Catalyst’s blog was waiting for me in my Google Reader. He is speaking. He longs for me to be like Him. He is pouring out His grace on me so that I can learn to have grace.
My memory verse for January:
Colossians 3:12-13 (New Living Translation)
Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.
In 2010 I didn’t choose a One Word. Instead my life and emotions took hold and my emotions decided my Word should be fear. Fear seemed to take up residence in so many areas of my life. I felt at times as if i was being defined by fear. It took hold of me in areas it never had. So I decided I needed to be defined by a different word. A word completely opposite of fear: Trust.
For 2011 I decided that I wanted to choose a word ahead of time rather than let one decide to define me. The more I prayed about it the more I felt I was called to learn to live in a state of grace. I am extremely impatient with people. I often refuse to give them the benefit of the doubt. I so often fail to have grace on them, but choose to bestow my silent judgment.
Here are some of the things I’m planning to do over the next 12 months that will hopefully help me become this definition:
Memorize Scripture. I used to be “really” good at memorizing scriptures when I had to for school. Now that I’m an adult. Well…. So one of the things I want to do is to memorize verses that speak of having grace & grace being upon us. I am planning one verse/passage a month. So that is 12 passages by 12.31.11. Here are the verses in no particular order:
At the beginning of each month I’ll share which passage I’m memorizing.
Read books. [links are Amazon Affiliate] There are a lot of really smart people out there. People that God reveals Himself to and gives them an understanding of spiritual things. These really smart people write books. I am planning to read the following books over the next year:
If there are any others you would recommend please let me know.
Tomorrow I’ll share my verse(s) for January.
The winner of the Story canvas is: Bethany.
Congratulations. Please email me your address to prudy[at]prudychick[dot]com and I’ll get it out to you.
Prudence is a 30-something writer who lives in Arizona with her husband Shawn and their chihuahuas Lengua and Zeus. She writes her life, her experiences and her crawl back to hope. Eventually, she hopes to visit India – a place that’s captured her heart without ever stepping foot on the soil.