The Bag (#jammed daily devo, day 84)

March #jammed: Grace Revealed.

Day 84: Afraid to use it.

“Do not waste time arguing over godless ideas and old wives’ tales. Instead, train yourself to be godly.” 1 Timothy 4:7post-image-84

“I think I’m ready for a nice bag,” I told my husband when he asked for Christmas ideas. This thrift store gal feels like paying half price is splurging, and sure enough, when I opened that big designer box for Christmas …I could finally say I owned something really valuable.

Listen. I’ve used that bag a handful of times. The rest of the time it sits in my closet and looks really pretty. I like to look at it, but I’m nervous using it. I don’t want to be the one to break it in. Second hand purchases are way less stressful.

“To meditate on the Scriptures is to think about them, turning them over in our minds, and applying them to our life’s situations.” Jerry Bridges, The Pursuit of Holiness

The other issue lodged in my heart was guilt. There are hungry people, and I’m carrying this bag. Bleh. Just makes me feel all sorts of ugly.

Then, there’s worrying about what people will think. “Oh, she has that bag …hmmmm.. must be nice.”

“Train yourself to be godly…” todays’ verse says. What does that mean?

“godliness-Reverence for or devotion to God, producing a practical awareness of God in every aspect of life….in this verse’s context …godly living demands self-discipline.” Dictionary of Bible Themes.

Grace is not afraid of our worthiness. When we accept more than we deserve with a thankful heart, it displays gratitude …which is a discipline of the heart. To be thankful. I’m not sure how much I’ll use that bag, but I do know myself. I requested a neutral, timeless color that wouldn’t drift out of season or style. I may grow into it.

Grace, on the other hand, is one size fits all and for all seasons and walks of life.

jammed-tweet-blueFather, Praise You for grace. Thank You for blessing us with nice things on this earth, even though they will fade away along with the life we live here. Forgive us for valuing any ‘thing’ beyond Your grace. Bless us with grateful, disciplined, hearts. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

What is your favorite thing to look at “up close?”  Get the conversation started by commenting below, and let’s encourage one another as we face life in 2017 armed with grace! 

#greatgrace17

Happy Bag Hunting,

Megs

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The Year Without Cheer (#jammed daily devo, day 83)

March #jammed: Grace Revealed.

Day 83: Say it loud.

” Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,” James 1:19b

There was something magical in the air the first time my oldest daughter walked out ontopost-image-83 the track at the local football field, pig-tail ringlets bouncing and smiling ear to ear. Hand in hand with her bestie, placed by her favorite varsity cheerleader, I thought my girl’s little self would never walk away from those jubilant cheers.

Yet here we are, third grade, and she’s already moving on.

“It’s just not my thing, mom,” she plainly stated.

She’d been stating that for the last few rounds of mini-cheer, but continued to participate for the camaraderie of her friends. As glad as I am that she’s embracing her inner girl, I’m hesitant to embrace this glimpse of my grown up baby.

This mom’s heart is ‘all in’ when she prays for her babies. I pray for things that are years from even being an issue, because my frightened heart and incapable mind don’t know what else to do. It’s either pray or freak out. So I pray …a lot.

Daughters growing older highlights the importance of marital bliss, for before we are ready we will be uniting against their teenage rebellion and waving good-bye as they walk towards their dreams and down aisles. I wish I prayed for my marriage as much as I prayed for my kids.

“God impressed upon my heart that I needed to pray that my husband would choose to have ears to hear God’s voice.” Stormie Omartian, The Power of a Praying Wife

When we pray for our husbands’ relationship with God, we free ourselves from a responsibility that was never ours to own.  Jesus comes after each individual heart. Though in marriage, two become one, He still fosters relationship with us individually. That sounds different for everyone. Praying for our spouse’s walk with Jesus is better than trying to single out a behavior we don’t understand or wish to change.

Now, when I pray for my husband, I pray also that someone is praying for my daughter’s husbands, too. Who am I kidding? I pray for them …wherever they may be.

jammed-tweet-blueFather, Praise You for the gift of marriage. Thank You for allowing to experience deep, lasting love with another person. We confess that we take ownership of that person all too often. Forgive our attempt to control, and help us to redirect our prayers to align with Your will for our spouses and families. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 Get the conversation started by commenting below, and let’s encourage one another as we face life in 2017 armed with grace! 

#greatgrace17

Happy Praying,

Megs

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The Super Strong Coffee (#jammed daily devo, day 82)

March #jammed: Grace Revealed.

Day 82: Stronger than we can handle.

“My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 HCSBpost-image-82

Coffee and me have this thing. And it’s growing …stronger. The process is getting lengthier. The time invested is stretching. Flavor is expounding on my taste buds, and now it’s an experience. AKA, I’m a coffee snob, as my husband likes to put it.

Guilty. So snobbery when it comes to coffee. From throwing a cup in an pushing a lever to grinding my own beans every morning, the relationship with my morning cup of joe has become a bit of a fancy-pants habit.

The privilege I feel when I crack God’s Word open is akin to the same love …and abundantly more. As the days run on into more life lived, I no longer need a quick bit of wisdom to hold my sanity together as two crying babies pull on both pant legs. My Father and I are growing old together like a fine wine … or a snobbery cup of coffee. Well invested, minutes stretched.

“I invite you to drink deeply from the exceeding riches of My grace- My favor, mercy, and lovingkindness. It is a free gift that opens the way for you into eternity. It also provides what you need to live now, in this fractured world.” Sarah Young, Jesus Today

The second half of today’s verse states: “Therefore, I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may reside in me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9b

Jesus knew us before He accepted the cross. Every flaw and failure, but every smile and spark, too. Joy is in the journey with Jesus when we realize our weakness leads to growth. In the healing of our frailties, wisdom is produced. The ways of God are not our ways. He doesn’t always heal as we ask, He heals out of provision and love of a good, good Father. When we embrace our pain we acknowledge His sovereignty.

jammed-tweet-blueFather, Praise Your sovereign hand upon our lives. Thank You for loving us beyond what we are capable of understanding. Thank You for the simple joys in life like a good, snobbery cup of coffee. Forgive us for taking the little things, and giant pains, in this life for granted. Bless us and heal us. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Get the conversation started by commenting below, and let’s encourage one another as we face life in 2017 armed with grace! 

#greatgrace17

Happy Coffee-drinking,

Megs

Get the #jammed Daily Devo sent straight to your inbox each morning, by subscribing to Sunny&80. 

The Police Reports (#jammed daily devo, day 81)

March #jammed: Grace Revealed.

Day 81: What we don’t want to know.

Do you understand how the clouds float,
those wonderful works of Him who has perfect knowledge?” Job 37:16post-image-81

There’s a social media feed that pokes fun at one of the local police scanners in our area. It’s hilarious, really. Pets getting lose, odd sightings and off-the-wall reports. But recently, I sat down to scroll through the actual reports …and was surprised by what I wasn’t aware of. Beyond the normal assumption that criminals are caught and the innocent are protected are the numbing stories behind the names up top.

“Who are they?” my heart wants to know.

“What happened …what is their story …do they have a family …what exactly did they do?”

The reports only list the call the officer responded to. Professionals that are privy to this kind of information alongside the backstory are gifted beyond what they realize. What the general public doesn’t know is that someone’s life just changed …or ended …or ceased to be as they knew it.

What happens when we are able to read all of the information? Information overload. Recently, I decided to read all of the food labels as I grocery shopped. All of them. The headache that I brought up to the check out line with my groceries was no joke. Turns out, the food industry isn’t sneaking anything by us …it’s all on the label. Once I took the time to read it and educate myself on what I was fueling my ‘temple’ with, I felt better -physically and mentally.

“It will take a little detective work, but learning to be a smart label reader is one of the most important things you can do for your health and the health of your family.” The Daniel Plan

Whether it’s paying more attention to what we consume or showing more concern for who we don’t know, it’s empowering to read beyond the minimum requirements. When we dig into information we are exposed to, we find people to love on. My family is healthier because of my obedience to God’s ‘healthy’ nudge. Listening to His movement in our lives and reaching out to the names placed in front of our eyes is a life lived in the trenches with Jesus. Those are His people. We are His people. Are we reading deep enough to love?

jammed-tweet-blueFather, Praise You for doctors, social workers, and public service professionals. For parents, pastors, and people that do something to love on others. Thank You for the big, compassionate hearts You created in us, and forgive for shutting off the valve and putting on the blinders. Bless us to see who needs us. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Get the conversation started by commenting below, and let’s encourage one another as we face life in 2017 armed with grace! 

#greatgrace17

Happy Label-reading,

Megs

Get the #jammed Daily Devo sent straight to your inbox each morning, by subscribing to Sunny&80. 

The Joined Arms (#jammed daily devo, day 80)

March #jammed: Grace Revealed.

Day 80: On the road together.

 “He said to them, “Go tell that fox, ‘Look! I’m driving out demons and performing healings today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will complete My work.’” Luke 14:32

The morning was quiet, and off the shelf came fixed day
the trusty old devo book that I’ve been creeping through every so slowly to the tune of God’s timing over the last few years.

“Beloved, find security in the fact that nothing is haphazard about the activity of God. He has a goal, and He has a definitive plan that is to be executed precisely and according to His will.” Beth Moore, Portraits of Devotion.

When Jesus jumps off the page, it’s intentional …He wants our attention. Our God is a God of connection, weaving obedient and faithful authors together with their readers through  amazing channels of communication. Ways of making friends we would have laughed at back in the 90’s. But He knew, and I feel like …He couldn’t wait.

Now, we can reach out and touch another person who has touched us no matter how many miles, states or countries separate two souls. Friends are my favorite. To me, this is a dream come true. So, that particular morning, I clicked on the little blue bird and sent one of my favorite Bible teachers a ‘thank you.’ ‘Thank you’ tweets can be just as sweet as snail mail notes.

Don’t be afraid of connection, and as our verse today reminds us …don’t doubt purpose. Our God is an intentional God. Jesus isn’t messing around, devil’s annoying schemes or not. He’s on a mission, and it has a number of days. “I will complete my work.” Woo! Chill bumps and Hallelujah’s!

jammed-tweet-blueFather, Praise You for Jesus! Thank You for connection. We confess that our busyness keeps us from communicating what our hearts long to say, and we pray that You give us the gumption to step out and spread loving words …whether across the street or around the world. Nothing is impossible for You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Get the conversation started by commenting below, and let’s encourage one another as we face life in 2017 armed with grace! 

#greatgrace17

Happy Friending!

Megs

Get the #jammed Daily Devo sent straight to your inbox each morning, by subscribing to Sunny&80.