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sufficient {Gracelaced the book}

My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness” 2 Corinthians 12:9

this verse has been on repeat in my brain since reading a chapter in my new book, Gracelaced.

sufficient.

His grace: sufficient.

it’s easy to think that verse applies to the big things. the huge issues in life. like a death of a loved one or a loss of home or a job… His grace is sufficient for those, yes…

BUT! in the verses just before this one, Paul is talking about a “thorn in his flesh”. when you think about thorns, how big are they really? not that big, right?

a few weeks ago Sophia was running around bare foot in the backyard. she was across the yard when she started screaming bloody murder. ON TOP OF HER LUNGS. i was sitting in the grass with Cora and since Cora puts everything in her mouth, i just motioned for Sophia to come to me. i tried to reason with her, just come here and tell me what’s wrong. from my point of view it couldn’t have been much and i really just needed her to stop screaming. she wobbled over, screaming the whole way, (i thought she was just being dramatic) and then shows me her foot. she had a thorn stuck in her heel. it was about 1/4″ long and she didn’t know NOT to step on that heel, or even to just pull it out. she walked all the way across the yard with it. (oops, mom fail moment-i made her come to ME instead of running to her… don’t judge.) i pulled it out and she was shocked how much better she felt instantly. and then she told daddy all about it when he got home.  but she was perfectly fine, no harm done. she did talk about it for days though, it made quite the impression.

thorns are on raspberry bushes and rose bushes…they are usually pretty small. but man, they pack a sting.  Paul says he asks the Lord three times for Him to take away the thorn but He didn’t.  He says that the Lord told him, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.”

i guess i never thought about that thorn of Paul’s as being something “small”. but really, it’s the “small” things that really nag, really chip away at you, make you cry every time you put your foot down on it.

those things are like unresolved conflict with friends, that just feels painful every time you see them.

like the unrelenting financial strain- when we just can’t seem to get ahead.

like the fear and pain of being a pastors wife- who is going to say what to me next time i see them?

like the worry and frustration of parents not acting like Christians… or maybe even adults.

like children who will not obey, it feels like one step forward and two steps back…or babies who won’t sleep and just the daily dealing with this wearing you out.

… nope, none of those sound like my life or anything… ahem{some of these examples are mine, some from Ruth’s book}

but i LOVE how she put it:

“… we miss the lesson when we pick at the thorn…nurse it…bemoan it…curse it. The enemy would have us so blinded by the pain of the thorn that we can’t see the beauty of the rose garden…so consumed by the discomfort that won’t go away that I can’t experience what fragrance of grace lies just ahead…”

-Ruth Chou Simons Gracelaced

THAT. those three sentences right there describes my life completely the last year. i am distracted by the thorns, i’m focusing on them and bemoaning them.

And i was just stopped dead in my tracks as i read it. and i just felt God whisper into my heart, right then and there,

“MY Grace is SUFFICIENT.”

As i burst into tears,

Christ is enough.

THAT is why Paul rejoices in His thorn. He was given a gift of seeing that “His grace is sufficient for the thorn He chooses not to remove”(Ruth Chou Simons).

She goes on to just convict me even more. She says,

“Friend, would we praise Him for His sustaining strength in our lives if it where not for reaching the end of our own strength? Would we consider Him enough if we did not find ourselves lacking? Would we know humility if not for the discomfort of obstacles and the pain of intrusions?

…Don’t be surprised when our heavenly Father chooses to allow the wounding of our pride this day. He does so lovingly, sovereignly, and without mistake…that we might find in Christ’s sufficient grace- in our unremoved pain- the rose we long to behold, just beyond the thorn.”  

 

Can i get an amen?

***

(don’t mind me as i quote almost an entire devotional…oops. it’s just soooo good and such gold, you have to know how deep it goes into my heart!)

You know how when you find something so sweet or so awesome you have to share it? That is how i feel about this book. It’s like i can’t stop talking about it or sharing it with my friends! Really, it’s too good not to share. .

At the beginning of the summer, one of my favorite people to follow on instagram posted that she was looking for people to get advanced copy of her new book so that we could share it with our friends and on our social media. i filled out a survey and next thing i know, i was in! i was kinda shocked that i got picked. Maybe they took everyone who filled out the survey, i don’t know, but i was pretty excited and felt honored for this opportunity.

i’ve been known to highlight and cover a book in notes. and this book she has space for that! she encourages you to bring your pens and really soak into it. Dig deep. She also has verses for each devotional to look the topic up further study and thought. Each devotional really could be used as a daily moment to sit and breath in God’s goodness and grace.  i am pretty critical of devotionals because i hate it when they are too surface level or just make you  “feel good”. This is so filled to the brim with scripture that it is not surface level at all but because the living word of God is used throughout, it can speak to me over and over again.

Book Details:

{below is from Ruth’s website, but i wanted to share with you all the details of this beautiful book!}

GraceLaced is about more than pretty florals and fanciful brushwork—it’s about flourishing. With carefully crafted intention, this beautiful volume of 32 seasonal devotions from artist and author Ruth Chou Simons encourages readers in any circumstance to become deeply rooted in God’s faithful promises. GraceLaced extends a soul-stirring invitation to draw close to God while…

  • resting in who He is
  • rehearsing the truth He says about you
  • responding in faith to those truths
  • remembering His provision to sustain you, time and time again

More than 800 individual pieces of art came together in the crafting of this book, including dozens of new, hand-painted Scripture vignettes that Ruth is known for.

Who we are and who God is never changes, even though everything else rarely stays the same. Let this book point you to truth as you journey through the changing seasons of your heart.

If you want to see more about this book, check out the book trailer here: click here! 

About Ruth:

Ruth Chou Simons is an artist, writer, entrepreneur, and speaker. As creator of the popular GraceLaced online shoppe, blog and Instagram community, she shares scriptural truths daily through her hand painted artwork and words. Ruth and her husband, Troy, live in New Mexico and are grateful parents to six sons- their greatest adventure.

In Ruth Chou Simons’ book, GraceLaced, you will be pointed to God’s truths that remind you the Bible applies to where you are right now no matter what season you’re in! You can get your copy by going to gracelaced.com/gracelacedbook. (Or at wherever books are sold…ie Amazon, Barnes, Christian book, Target etc.)

This book is gold you guys. It’s going to be sitting by my bedside for a long time to just reread over and over.  This is definitly a promotional blog post about this book, but know that i only share because i love ya! Let me know if you get it so we can talk about it, mmmk?

xoxo-kimberly renee

 

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