Sunday, July 10, 2011

Isn't grace wonderful?

Last week as my son and I shopped we had a wonderful time. We were at the mall going from store to store just having fun. We found ourselves at Macy's. In the purse section of course. The section that brings this girl joy. I mean I can get down right giddy searching for the right purse. It's almost as if they call to you. LOL You girls know exactly what I mean. It's as though you can hear them saying, "Pick me, pick me." Those tiny little things are so adorable. The big bags seem to say, "Yep, I am yours." But as I searched, I didn't find myself going for the "Hot bag" I would have chosen when I was twenty. Maybe I should even say last month. I was searching for that bag that spoke, "Your not twenty-four anymore. You are forty-four." Now don't get me wrong. I am not going to start dressing like an elderly little thing, but it hit me. I am not that same girl I was at twenty four. Life changes and sometimes if we are not careful we want to stay in that same exact place we once were.

I am sure you have heard people say, "Gosh, will that girl ever grow up?" Well, not everyone matures at twenty four. God is always at work in us. We are a work in progress. We were created not only in beauty and in His image, but for a purpose. He has a plan for each and every one of us.

I found that perfect purse. That purse that shouts, "This is me, for the moment!" Yes, for the moment. I can honestly say, I am beginning to be content with myself at forty four. Praise the Lord I am past those twenties that seem so very hard. You aren't yourself and you are trying to find yourself in others, always searching for who you are. Goodness, why does it take so long?

I have had such ups and downs through life. I have experienced many different things. When I was in that moment of despair I never envisioned crawling out of it. But I did. When going through such trying times we never think things will be the same. Should they be? It's funny, down the road, as we have passed that trial that has just about eaten us alive, we can then sit back and reflect. I can tell you that all through life I have always asked, "Why?" Sometimes God has answered right then and showed me. Sometimes I have had to wait on His answer. I am still waiting on His answer for many things in my life. Things I still don't understand and I may never until I am on the other side.

As a mom I have struggled. I am not very good at this almost empty nest thing. I look back to the easy times when things seemed to be all right. Yes, there are times I wish I could go back, just if not for five minutes and soak up all those hugs and kisses from my kids. But, we cannot go back. We must find a way to accept today. Spending too much time wishing for yesterday will only spoil the blessings of today.

As a wife, gosh. My husband and I married twenty years ago. Sometimes it seems a life time ago and others, well, it seems like yesterday. When we married I could only cook five dinners. I was not that girl who could whip up anything in a moments notice. Funny thing is, I still am not. LOL I have learned to cook quite a few new dishes that my family loves. Oh, but there is nothing wrong with throwing in a frozen pizza every now and then. Can I get an Amen?

I have learned so many lessons. Some of them came the hard way. Which happens to be the way I learn. I am one of those girls who takes a step and then looks back to see where I landed. Sometimes I have landed smack dab in the mud. But that is the amazing thing. God's grace is there when I mess up. He is there when I didn't choose to learn the first time. It is His very grace that washes me clean and picks me up to start all over again. In His forgiveness is where I find not only love, but the strength to begin a new day. Through His grace I am learning I am not perfect. I never will be, and that is okay. It is through Christ that I find perfection. He makes me complete.

I am learning if I totally surrender everything to Him somehow He always makes it turn out right. He always surprises me. Sure, there are things in my life right now that seem so screwed up. I sit back and wonder, "What in the world is going on?" Even though I can't see beyond today, God can. His grace covers yesterday. Today. His grace goes beyond tomorrow and reaches past the boundaries of heaven.

All those things that once made me happy no longer seem to do the trick. You would never catch me in a bar dancing with girlfriends today. I don't wear the same clothes I once wore. I don't think my pants seem to be as tight or my shorts so short. LOL I like to wear flats now instead of four inch heals. Okay, I might have rocked those at one time. But now? I would simply break my neck! I can look at younger women now and look at them with admiration. I use to be that twenty four. That young age where cellulite hasn't reached your thighs. That age where you can't leave the house without every hair perfect and make up on. Okay, I might still struggle with that a bit now. You won't see my going out of the house looking like I just crawled out of bed, although I might be feeling like it. And staying out until two in the morning. Are you kidding me? When it gets dark I begin to grab those jammies.

It seems everything is changing about me. Growing older seems to take on a whole new meaning when you are. I look at those older than me and think, "I hope and pray I walk in grace and class as she does." Beauty takes on a whole new meaning. It isn't painting yourself up. It's what's in your heart. It's how you wear Jesus. Is He your light or are you trying to hold your own candle? Maturing means you totally get that it's not all about you. You are not the center of attention and your okay with that because you no longer want to be the light, but in the shadow of the light of Jesus.

Our perspective changes. Our sight and hearing change. Those things that once caught our eye seem to be in the back ground now. Those things we once heard that excited us have been overtaken with new sounds that bring real joy. Joy everlasting. I think I once wondered if I would ever get there. You know, to that place where we are who we are suppose to be. I don't think that time comes until we are home with our Father. We are always changing and growing. Sure, we might take a few steps back every now and then, but if we have our eyes on God, He will teach us during those times and once again we will be on the path to becoming the girl He is creating in us. We never stop growing. I love that!

Friends, may we continue to grow in Christ. May each day we find ourselves a little closer to Him and the girl He is creating us to be. My advise? Don't look back so much. Look to today and see what He has for you. You never know what blessing is tucked right around the corner for your eyes only. A blessing that He has set up just for you. See, when we are young we can't seem to keep our eyes off our self long enough to see anything else. Once we begin to really see, God is all around us. Make today special. With each day that passes we are a little closer to heaven than we were the day before. That is something to be excited about. Really, it is. Grow where you are planted. Make each moment count.

In those times we lose sight of the goal, it's okay. God will get us back on course. Sometimes in our own stubbornness we might want to take our own road, but God knows exactly how to get us back on the road to Him. I have gone off road many times along my journey. It isn't over yet, so I am sure I still will. But God is there. He sees my travels and knows exactly where I am. He isn't letting me out of His sight.

I guess my message here is, embrace who you are. Embrace growing older. Embrace every moment of your life. Each day is a gift. Wrapped special just by God, our Savior. He created you and I with more love than we can imagine. I may not look as I once did when I was twenty four, but I am not suppose to. I am not suppose to be that same girl. I am to move on. Move forward embracing life and all that comes. Those trials and struggles all mean something. This world is our classroom. It's time to open our eyes and ears to all He has for us to learn and experience. Sometimes we might think our experience stinks at the moment and it very well might, but God has something special planned. Nothing is of chance. Find who you are in Christ and trust Him. He is calling out to you right now. I think it's about time to get absolutely giddy to hear His voice calling us to be all we can be for Him and His glory.

"For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and goldy in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good workds. " Titus 2:11-14

"For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them." Ephesians 2:8-10
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