new website

Friends, I have moved my blog to a new website. From now on, I will write over there. This means that if you have subscribed on here, you will need to go to the new website and subscribe again. I certainly hope and pray that you will do just that.

Find the new website here: http://www.aboundinggrace.co

I am so sorry for all this inconvenience.

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to you who are tired of trying

This is a repost from a few years back.

2-11-17

“For the mountains shall depart and the hills be removed, but My kindness shall not depart from you, nor shall My covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord, who has mercy on you.” (Isaiah 54:10)

Oh precious one, I know you are trying so hard. Trying to shake off the weariness when you get out of bed in the morning. Trying to face the day and hold on to hope at the same time. Trying to bear the weight of hurt. Trying to be more while trying to be less. Trying to push aside the sadness, and find the beacons of light in the darkness.

I know you are tired. Tired of being disappointed — by yourself or by others. Tired of picking up the trail of broken pieces of your soul, of your heart. Tired of waiting for a change. Tired of trying to fit in. Tired of fighting to believe you are enough as you are. Tired of carrying the weight of worry, of drowning in sorrow. Tired of being tired.

I hear you. I am there with you.

“For I have given rest to the weary and joy to the sorrowing.” (Jeremiah 31:25 NLT)

Know this, dear one — your Father in heaven, He is the God Who Sees. He sees your weariness, He feels the dull ache of your soul. He loves you with His everlasting, patient love. Nothing is ever wasted with God — no hurt, no suffering, no times of trials or times of waiting. He gives beauty for ashes; nothing will ever be wasted in His hands.

So today? Quiet down to hear His gentle whispers, that tell of His love for you. Still for a moment, to grasp the wonder of His grace. You were bought at a price; you were washed clean and sanctified. You have been redeemed; you have been set free. You are a new creation, being renewed day by day. You are being transformed into His image; He calls you by your name. He calls you beloved; you are His.

There is no need to try so hard, to be perfect and to get it all right. The Lord is calling you to come to Him and find rest for your soul. Tell Him of your hurts and hardships, tell Him of your weakness and failures and difficult days. He will never turn away; He will never reject you. He is here, willing to heal you and bind you up. He is here, waiting for you to let go of the weight of this life and turn to Him. He is here. He is love.

“Come, and let us return to the Lord; for He has torn, but He will heal us; He has stricken, but He will bind us up.” (Hosea 6:1)

I love these words of encouragement and hope by Charles Spurgeon:

“No stars gleam as brightly as those which glisten in the polar sky. No water tastes so sweet as that which springs amid the desert sand. And no faith is so precious as that which lives and triumphs through adversity. Tested faith brings experience. You would never have believed your own weakness had you not needed to pass through trials. And you would never have known God’s strength had His strength not been needed to carry you through.”

you still matter

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Dear one — I hear the fears running through your mind, I feel the iron grip that your strongholds have on you. It hurts, beloved. It hurts so much, I know. Those words, they cut so deep and the wound just does not heal. That person having left and gone, it hurts and your soul echoes with the condemnation that you could have done something more. This silence, it shouts that you are not worthy and you cannot help but agree.

But that is not the truth, beloved.

Your spouse walking away? Your friend telling you she no longer wants to be in contact with you? Your child leaving with all that bent anger, walking away from you and the Lord? Your parent telling you once again that you are not enough, that you will never be enough? Your sibling refusing to talk to you at all, to take your calls? Your church family wounding you every time you go to church?

“In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 1:6-7)

That is not the truth, beloved. You are not what these people, what these circumstances deem you to be. Though it feels real, it is not the reality. Because you matter. Oh beloved, you still matter. You are still loved.

I know this moment, these circumstances do not leave you feeling like you are loved, by anyone at all. It feels like you do not matter anymore. But that is not the truth, my friend. You are loved by a good Father, One who gave His everything to save your heart. You are loved by the God With Us, by Him who knows your heart inside out and decides to stay. You are loved by the Almighty God, who parts the Red Sea to make a way where there is no way.

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10)

This is not the end, beloved. You are loved. You are a chosen vessel of God. You are being refined for now, for a glorious purpose coming along the way as you bring glory to God. You are His masterpiece, beautifully and wonderfully made, and your story is being written like the great poem it is. The Lord is not done with you yet, He is creating beauty out of ashes and it will all become something glorious.

And I know, it is not easy to leave these things behind, to let go of all this that feels so real because the pain is real, because the hurt is written in the scars of your heart and because you carry the weight of it all on your shoulders. But in this moment, for this small period of time — let these words of truth be engraved on your heart: you still matter. You are loved. You belong. You have been chosen.

“Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.” (Ephesians 2:19-22)

Linking up: Tell His StoryChristian Blogger LinkupCoffee and ConversationWorks For Me WednesdayCoffee For Your HeartWise Woman LinkupFrom House to HomeFaith Filled FridayGrace at HomeGrace & TruthDance With JesusSpiritual Sundays

you are already more than enough

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“What joy for those whose strength comes from the Lord,
    who have set their minds on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem.
When they walk through the Valley of Weeping,
    it will become a place of refreshing springs.
    The autumn rains will clothe it with blessings.
They will continue to grow stronger,
    and each of them will appear before God in Jerusalem.” (Psalm 84:5-7 NLT)

It took a week and several hard nights, many failures, crying alone in the dark, giving up a thousand times, stretching further than I ever wanted to stretch myself, and a batch of perfectly baked cinnamon rolls — for me to come to the place where I finally faced the reality with an honest but less than a brave heart: sometimes, this life is too much for me. Sometimes, I am not enough.

Admitting this, my friend, wrecks me — because I do not want you to know that I am not enough. I do not want you to know that I should be more than I am. But it is true.

These days, life is busier than I would like it to be and I notice myself forgetting — that the grace of God is right here, in this moment. I cannot help but wonder, when did we take on the assumption that we should expect only perfection from ourselves? When did we decide that failure is never acceptable, that His grace is not enough for us? When did we start measuring ourselves with being enough, doing enough?

Because the truth is, you are not enough. You never have been, and you will never be. But you are loved by a God — and He is your strength, He makes you able.

“Return to your rest, O my soul,
For the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.
For You have delivered my soul from death,
My eyes from tears,
And my feet from falling.
I will walk before the Lord
In the land of the living.” (Psalm 116:7-9)

My friend, you are a beloved child of God. You are so loved. You are loved by your Maker, who has woven together the strings of your soul and He has made you beautiful, just as you are. He is bigger than any storm you are facing right now, bigger than any mountain in front of you. His heart is breaking alongside your heart. He is not disappointed in you. He is never disappointed in you. He knows the things you have done, the things you did not say and the things that went just plain wrong — and it is okay.

That is why He sent His beloved Son, bending down from Heaven to meet with us here, right where we are.

“Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6)

You will still fail, beloved. I will, too. Oh, so many times. But these failures never define you, nor do you need to let them define you. Let go of what is holding you back; let go of what is hindering you from coming to your Father.

You can choose grace instead of angry or mean words. You can put away the pills, the drugs, the drinks, the blade, the websites you should never be visiting. You can go back to church. You can say, “Please forgive me,” and reconcile. You can call your Mom and say you are sorry. You can let go of your ex, of the people breaking your heart. You can call your sister, your friend and ask them to hang out with you. 

See, the thing is? Not one of these things define you. You have not been deemed unworthy, you have not been labelled as complete failure. You are already more than enough because you have a perfect Maker, who only creates beautiful things. He can make beauty out of ashes, yet once more.

It’s okay to breathe again, beloved. You are enough in Jesus. It will be alright.

Linking up: From House to HomeGrace at HomeFaith Filled FridayGrace & TruthGood Morning MondaysMonday’s MusingsModest MondayChristian Blogger LinkupAn Ornament of GraceCoffee For Your HeartTell His StoryCoffee and ConversationWord Filled WednesdayWorks For Me WednesdayWise Woman Linkup

when grace breaks through

We went boating and played hey cow.

These early days of June, sunshine weaves through the morning and reveals a world hidden deep, now springing up towards the light and unfolding in a glorious spectrum of colors. The brilliant light leaves behind flickers of hope, those sparks warming the frozen dreams and fractured corners of our hearts. Afternoons come with summer rain, gently washing away the aching pain echoing through the creation, of the weight of the brokenness carried alone.

Yet, it is never the creation around us that carries the weight of sin and brokenness alone. It is us — messy people sinful to the core, breaking in the midst of the constancy of mundane and carrying the shame of our fall. It is always us, crushed under the weight of this broken humanity,  wounded by all the moments our craving for love is never met. We see the glimpses of glorious light come through the darkness; yet we fail to grasp the hope and let the vision of something better slip through fingers, our hands too weak to be offered open and our hearts too battered to keep hoping.

 “And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” (John 1:5)

Dear one, quiet for a moment to hear this whisper, echoing loud in the walls of your heart: you are not broken beyond reach. You have not been deemed without hope and redemption. Breathe, loved one. Let grace be enough now. Let yourself be touched by Love, this Love that was broken for you and is breaking with you. You have not wandered too far; Love is still right here, just the same. All these pieces, these ones broken and scattered — are held together by nail-scarred hands, more powerful than anything on the Earth.

It is okay now, beloved. Let grace be enough — enough to cover your shame and struggles. Enough to cover your failures and flaws. Let grace be enough now; believing that light has been shone through to the deepest parts of your heart and all has been seen. He has not given up on you. His love has not changed. Never can anything in your heart push you beyond forgiveness or deem you unredeemable. This love sees you and declares you enough, declares you loved.

“Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.” (1 John 3:1-3)

Beloved, this is our God. He has not failed us before, and He will not fail now. This is not the end. This is not where you belong. There is glorious hope, in this radical grace that tells of the better that is yet to come. There will be a day that you will be perfect eventually, for you shall be like Him — this glorious, pure Love weaving righteousness through your soul and making you beautiful, making you complete.

Linking up: Grace & TruthDance With JesusMonday’s MusingsGood Morning MondaysTitus 2 TuesdayTell It To Me Tuesdays