Tag Archives | grace of god

on fairness and hard things.

sometimes it blows my mind.

i mean life. how weird it is. how hard. how cruel.

as i sit here typing this, someone i know is at the children’s hospital watching their child work so hard to get healthy.

someone else i know is fighting for her life after a ski accident.

someone else is a mother and expecting. (well there are multiple of these someones :))

someone else is traveling far away.

someone else is trying to find the perfect job to feel they have a purpose in life.

someone is so lonely.

someone else is trying to help parents learn to love each other again.

someone else is trying to follow a calling and in need of support.

someone else is in need of direction.

someone else is serving in missions somewhere.

friends and loved ones all over the country… well actually, all over the world, going through things. hard things. deep things. life-changing things. things i can’t really help them with.

it’s hard to believe when and understand why hard things happen. sometimes it feels so unfair when bad things happen. why them, God? why her? why are you allowing this to happen to him?

to be honest, i think of this quote i just saw from St. Teresa of Avila who says to God, “If this is how You treat Your friends, no wonder You have so few!”

eek. can we be so honest? does it sometimes feel like not only is the whole world against us, but sometimes… sometimes it feels like God isn’t even protecting us from the evils of this life? i cringe to write that. but in the back of my mind, i wonder how can a loving God allow this to happen?  i hear that a lot. sometimes it’s just in my own head, but often it’s in the questions of other believers wondering, sometimes it’s in the probing questions of non-believers mocking my belief in light of all of this.

but lately i’ve been thinking. is any of this fair?

i mean really, is it fair that i have a great job and husband and home, that i was born lucky enough to be in a loving family, that i have food every single day-every single meal. is it fair that i have clean water while so many of the world doesn’t? that i have friends to go on walks with, to talk with, and laugh with?And yet, I take it all for granted.

and really. i mean REALLY. is it FAIR that i have eternal life? because of faith i believe that my sins are covered by the grace of God-through what Jesus did on the cross. it is only by faith that I can claim His saving grace. is that really fair? Because i’m more than sure that i don’t deserve this. i’m a selfish, ugly little person who so often forgets about others. i focus on my own problems, i get jealous and i lie and cheat  with the best of them.  i am SO undeserving of the grace that a sovereign God gives. We can do NOTHING to earn our salvation-because we just can never be “good enough”.

Fair would be getting what we deserve. What i deserve is eternal separation from LOVE.  From an Almighty and Perfect God.

God never promises that life on this earth will be easy. but HE does promise, all over the bible, that He is HERE. He is now and He is forever. (Heb.13:8) He has a plan and a purpose for us.(Jer.29:11) He has called us to bring Him glory.(Isaiah 43:7) He has forgiven us and taken away our sins. (Isaiah 43:25) and all we have to do is trust in Him. He will help along the way and He will never be apart from us because nothing can separate us from Him(Romans 8:38-39)

so all that rambling about fairness and all i’ve really figured it out is that i do not even deserve what i already have.

i rejoice that i don’t have a “fair” life. suffering will come to everyone in different ways.  it is sad and it is hard, but God never leaves us. (Deut. 3:16) He has suffered more than we ever will… for. our. sake. we can cry to him like the psalmist. we can scream at him and bang our hands against his chest like a little child having a tantrum in her daddy’s arms. but that’s just it… we’re in His arms.

read that part again.

even when the world is falling apart around us… we are IN HIS embrace.

so all i can do with all the hard things right now… is get on my knees, cry into His chest, and pray.

will you join me?

 

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another journey in pictures.

last year at this time, I decided to spend 40 days(well, actually 46 if you count sundays) taking 1 picture a day. this was to help me focus on the beauty and gifts around me that God has given.  You can read more about it HERE. anyway, I found it very fulfilling and it was really cool to see, through the lens of my new camera, something new every day. it also was to help me get better at taking pictures 🙂

So, this year, I was sitting here thinking about what I wanted to focus on this year for lent. you see, rather than give something up for lent, it seems that lately I’ve been adding something to my every day routine. as usual, I have the option to make life easier (one less thing would be easier, right? ha)  and I go and decide to complicate life by adding something.  this is what I was thinking, do I give something up? or add something?

or how about I just do the exact. same. thing. as last year?

um… LAME you say?

yea, that was my first thought too.

But then I thought back to how interesting that experience was for me. I really was able to focus, even if just for a moment every day, on something artistic. I was able to see how I got better at using my camera. AND I was able to give thanks to God every day for something…through my camera.

and you see, this may come as a shock to you… but I’m still not very good with my camera… (I know, gasp!)

so I could really use the practice 😉

ha.

and I could really use the focus.

does anyone else seem to be running around like crazy these days? I really notice how out of it I am when I’m wandering around the house, trying to clean… I grab one thing, get distracted and set it down someplace else to be lost to the mess… somehow, next thing I know, I have a sponge in one gloved hand for cleaning the toilet and in the other I have the nail polish because somehow I’ve decided that it’s time to paint my nails! eek. out of control spaz over here!

so I feel like a routine like this would really help me to focus. to focus on God. to focus on thanksgiving and joy and what that means in this season leading up to Easter.

the other day, I shared this post with a quote from a book I’m reading. I’ve read two chapters of “one Thousand Gifts” by Ann Voskamp and I’m hooked. Anyway, in the second chapter she talks about the meaning of life. ha. yup, just the second chapter and we’re that deep. hee hee. hang with me. She talks about seeing someone reading “1000 places to see before you die” and wonders if maybe that is the point of life… 1000 things by going to 1000 places, then you will have a full-filled life.  But that can’t be it. What about all of us who will never go anywhere? Will we not have a full life? Then she says this, and I love it, "

“The only place we need to see before we die is this place of seeing God, here and now.”

And I’ve been asking myself… how am I seeing God right here, right now? Do I live in Thanksgiving for all He has done for me? Rejoice in the Joy of all He is doing? Do I see His GRACE around me every day and in every thing?

thought provoking, no?

And that’s kind of what I’m stumbling at here. Through these silly little pictures I desire to see more of God in everything, HERE and NOW. This Lent season my focus(as really, it should be all the time) is going to be on Him.

day 1

{so yes, it made perfect sense to take a picture of my amazing birthday “cake” because that is what I’m thankful for today 🙂 hee hee. thank You, Papa, for providing me with such a thoughtful Husbuddy who picks out just the thing to make me smile}

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grace

it’s that time of year. everyone’s busy. i really can’t complain about being too busy,because it’s so exciting to have orders for my little shop. but it has been a little crazy -there just is not enough time in a day! 

so it’s nice to take a moment and reflect on grace.

i love that one sweet customer asked if i could customize her canvas for her(um, of course!!) and wanted me to put ephesians 2:8 underneath the big letters. SO. BEAUTIFUL. i only wish i had spaced it out better so i could get the rest of the verse…}

“for by grace you have saved through faith. And this is not your own doing, but a gift of God.”

because it IS A GIFT. a gift like the gifts that we’re packing up and mailing away to friends and family far away. Grace is a gift. not something i earn or work hard enough to get. it’s so important to remember that.

so even in the craziness of lists and cooking and painting and lines at the post office and things to do…

it is by grace i have this life, that i know where i belong …

and by the grace of God that i’m so lucky to have the best husbuddy in the world! {he’ll even get his hands busy to help me out with the wrapping, which he claims to be the “worst in the world” at.}

he was a wrapping and packaging maniac last night and then a post office delivery person today! {i love you sweetheart!}

all of his help gave me time to finish these:

my life is a gift. these moments are a gift of grace.

i’m thankful for God’s GRACE which has saved me from myself.

i’m thankful that HIS GRACE that IS THE reason for the season.

Take a breather and think about grace with me today, will you?

xoxo-kimberly renee.

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