The Faithful Decade (#jammed daily devo day 12)

January #jammed : Grace in Life’s Face

Day 12 Grace Covers Commitment.

“I can’t dismiss God’s grace, and I won’t. If being right with God depends on how we measure up to the law, then the Anointed’s sacrifice on the cross was the most tragic waste in all of history!” Galatians 2:21 (VOICE)day-12-image

The first decade of my marriage is a reflective milestone of faithful commitment. We’ve
survived the planting of the “treeline,” have disagreed about how to discipline two daughters, decided sell the boat, dropped to one income, built a house, and discovered Disney World.

Prayer has kept our marriage alive through the painful fights and agonizing “firsts.” Faith pulled us through economic meltdown, miraculously healed disease, and sad good-bye’s.  Who knew a couple of Parrotheads from Ohio could be so happy vacationing in Michigan every summer? Only God.

“By nature gifts of grace cannot be earned (Rom 11:6), for a gift earned is the opposite of a gift of grace (4:4). Grace, Christ, and salvation are so connected that those who attempt to earn righteousness have ‘fallen away from the grace’ (Gal 5:4; cf. 2:21).” -Mounce’s Complete Expository Dictionary

God has dried the moss from my rocky past, making it impossible to slip back down. His grace placed me in a present that I might not have chosen had I been the one in charge, and overflowed my life with joy and love. Ten years ago, neither Jim nor I could have imagined this life …and we had big dreams.

Every time I’ve wanted to give up, I’ve given it to Him.

“Take it, Lord …I don’t know how to fix this.”

jammed-tweet-blueBy simply letting go, we embrace the grace we were made to receive.

Father, Praise You for the perfect way You teach us to lean on You. Thank You for watching over us, hearing us, and helping us. We confess that we don’t always look to You first, and pray You will help us let go of more, and let grace cover what we can’t fix. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

What do you need to let go of, so that God can cover it in grace? Get the conversation started by commenting below, and let’s encourage one another as we face life in 2017 armed with grace! 


Happy Giving Up…


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Stay encouraged!

…the other side.

Ahhh, the beginning of Track season.  32 degrees, but the sun was out and the wind was dead.  “Shorts and T-Shirt” weather, as one of our brightest observed.  My view of the track has always been linked closely with pain…and joy…and hurt…and triumph…and nausea…and pride…and…well, you get the picture.

From the other side of the track as a volunteer coach,  I recalled my initiation into track at fifteen. A green pea, I thought over a decade of ballet wold lend me the coordination and speed it took to be a hurdler.  Yet, I took notice of how much fun the distance runners had out on their runs… and I fell over a lot of hurdles.  

I laughed as some of our Cross Country runners deserted the distance crew to be sprinters, and wondered what painful episode caused the sudden change in heart.

Quickly pulled back to reality by my run-away child, I caught the glance of every non-parent in the weight room as she stumbled hazardly through bars and leg press machines.

Practice rolled on, and I fed my 8 month old a bottle while attempting to coax my stubborn ‘almost-3” year old down from the bleachers, I collected goals and last week’s mileage from the distance runners.   Learn new names, calculate workout paces, establish new goals…and chase after my 3 year old who believes with all her little heart that she can keep up with the ‘runners’ as they exit the track to log some miles.

The thrill of the “chase” made me question my motives,  Why coach?  Why drag my 2 kids up to the track?

Truth?  Track is a piece of me.  My little peepsters misbehave and make the experience a wonderful combination of gut wrenching and embarrassment on some days, but being at the track never was a completely comforting experience.

I had drifted towards distance runners, just like I had at fifteen.

I always wonder how people know what their passion is.  (Little kids on American Idol that say they’ve known since they were 2 they wanted to sing.)  Perhaps it’s just what you gravitate to….what you love so much that any pain that goes along with it is overshadowed by the triumphs.

Maybe my daughters will learn to love distance running and it’s masochistic ways, too.  If not in running than in something that they question why they love, until they are out there in it. I’m trying to instill an experience in them that will help shape their determination, by simply showing them who I am.  I might not have it all figured out yet, but maybe that’s a good thing to accept early on in parenting.

Practice isn’t perfect, but it can make it.

Happy Track Season,


Stay encouraged!