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.
On Monday, January 03rd I will have my first One Word (click the button below for more info) post of the year. I’ve commented on Twitter that God is already trying to work it in my life. Have a great week, I’ll see you on the 03rd or on Twitter.
I’ve been itching to get a new calendar for work since before Thanksgiving. I usually get one in December but this year the itch hit me early. As I looked at my current one sitting on my desk the pages coming to an end. The prior pages filled with red squiggles forming words.
I got this cute plaid one at Barnes & Noble today.
It hit me.
That is what this little book represents. Blank pages. New and fresh beginnings.
Jeremiah writes in Lamentations that God’s mercies, His compassions are new, fresh, unused, undrained every morning.
It also represents memories that haven’t happened yet. People I’ll meet. Places I’ll go.
Sadly it will also represent sorrow. Written in the between in fine lines. Heartaches. Tears.
I’m holding onto hope with this little book. Holding onto the mercies that preface each day. Wrapping myself in the memories that will be written in here. I’ll carry those sorrows that will tear stain pages to God; and each each tear new mercies.
I’m trying to be more intentional about giving grace to others. Let’s just say it goes against nearly every fiber of my being, but in my desire to be like Jesus that means giving grace to those I don’t think deserve it.
Yesterday I didn’t fair so well.
I have this co-worker, we’ll call her Jane. Jane tries my patience every single day. Today….I snapped. I replied to a complaint (one of many that narrates her entire day) in a snide, snappish way. What I said was most likely true, but the way in which I responded was not full of grace. It was full of frustration, lack of patience, and anger.
(click the image to read. insightful)
We are instructed by Paul to not sin in our anger. He does not say to not be angry, but not to sin in our anger. Today…I sinned.
The side effect of asking God to reveal sin in your life, is you begin to notice things you normally wouldn’t. You begin to catch yourself, unfortunately some of the time not until after you’ve already sinned. Yet He is still faithful to reveal it to you.
A friend and I were talking last week about how there is beauty in imperfect things. She shared that she was struggling with Matthew 5:8. In the sermon Jesus is giving He commands us to be perfect like He is perfect. The problem is of course we aren’t. Instead, He takes us and slowly (ever so slowly) begins the task of sanctification. Sanctification takes these useless, chipped, broken lumps of clay and applies us to the wheel and later then to the furnace to form us into images of Him.
The only time we are going to achieve perfection is once we’ve crossed Heaven’s gates. From now till then our lives are spent being formed to becoming like Him.
And becoming like Him, means giving grace. Giving grace to Jane, and all the other Janes at work. It means keeping my mouth closed, and my tongue bit when I feel like spouting off.
Grace means seeking God’s help cause I know I can’t give grace on my own.
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.