“Faith is what makes life bearable, with all its tragedies and ambiguities and sudden, startling joys.” 

Madeleine L’Engle from Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art

“We throw open our door to God and discover at the same moment that he has already thrown open his door to us. We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand-out in the wide open spaces of God’s grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise.”

Romans 5:1b-2 The Message 

Days before Christmas, the day before our holiday travels began, I sat at my desk thumbing through my brand new Grace Planner . A slightly recovering perfectionist, the look of blank pages begging to be written on, gave me joy. I turned to answer my Sweet Man, knocking over a full mug of coffee.

I saved my laptop, my journal, and to no avail, attempted to save my new planner.

I had been pondering my word for 2017, nothing had reached out and grabbed me. I stared at my sopping wet journal, thinking, perhaps it was meant to be imperfection.

If you struggle with perfectionism, OCD, or control issues, as I do, you can imagine the near state of hyperventilation I found myself in.

Sucking in my breath I laid out the planner, hoping it would dry, praying my twisted heart would get the message. “Okay, God, I’ll roll with this, imperfection it is,” a knot of tension forming in my neck.

Alas, the planner was not to be saved. The pages, now heavy and soaked, fell loose from the binder. There was nothing to do but replace it.

In the days following the coffee~planner fiasco, Romans 5:1&2 began to show up all over the place. A podcast, a book, a blog. In The Message form. Every. Single. Time.

I journaled through the words.

“We throw open our door to God and discover at the same moment that he has already thrown open his door to us. We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand-out in the wide open spaces of God’s grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise.” ~Romans 5:1b-2 The Message 

I soon realized imperfection was not my word.

I found myself, standing at the edge of a new year, closing a year fraught with all manner of hard things. Hard things we not only survived, we thrived in.

To even say that sends a million thoughts and emotions dancing on my heart. To even think it sends fear shivering deep in my soul.

Sending us to the wilderness where our need for God grows overwhelming and we fall to our knees, crying out. And we thrive.

I have lived three years in The Wilderness. I have stood in the wide open spaces of the unknown, uncertainty, and fear.

I have lived drenched in His grace. In the wide open space of His arms.

I read the words again. Thumbed through the coffee stained pages of my journal. Over and over again, I had circled the word OPEN.

There, penned upon the pages, was my word. Open. It had been there all along. 

God is calling me to be open.

Open to embracing the imperfections. Embracing the interruptions. Embracing the unholy hard.

To open my door, my life, my heart. To give back a bit of what He has given me in the wilderness.

Open to whatever and wherever my story may lead.

I suspect, just as His Word tells us, there may be more hard as well.

“Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides.” ~James 1:2 The Message   

I want to be open to each and every gift in the wilderness, stand in the wide open space of God’s grace and glory. I want to open my heart, my words, my space, and share the gifts, The Gift, with you.

I long to be open to the startling joys God has laid out before me. Standing tall and shouting praise.

Happy New Year!

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Join me on my journey through The Wilderness, as we seek Gifts of Grace along the way. You can do that  by signing up on the right side of this page. By doing so new posts will be sent directly to your inbox.

Thank you!

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 I chose Timothy Willard’s Longing for more as my fifty-two week devotional for 2017. 

I had the opportunity to meet Tim at The Nest Fest back in October, making the book and his story more personal. 

I am loving it! 

“Sometimes beauty comes to us unexpectedly in the quiet corners of the day.” ~Timothy Willard from Longing For More

 

Gifts of Grace