The Crazy Critter Jitters (#jammed daily devo day 8)

January #jammed : Grace in Life’s Face

Day 8: How Forgiveness Disciplines.

“Think about what to say, and come back to the Eternal One. Say to Him, ‘Forgive all our sins, and take us back again. Bring us into Your good grace so we can offer You praise and sacrifice, the fruit of our lips.” Hosea 14:2

jammed-day-8-imageForgiveness has the power to discipline.

On any given day a drive past my house will lend the scene of my kids running laps around the yard or picking up puppy bombs for mouthing off …or filling my phone memory with stupid cartoon pictures ..or just bothering me. They suffer groundings, get things taken away,and are privy to a lot of lectures from their long winded momma. But on occasion I simply forgive …sometimes even apologize. (and the facial expression are priceless.)

In Old Testament times, sin’s prevalence required animal sacrifices and rituals to be right with God. They could not be in God’s presence because of it. In the New Testament, and on to the present, those efforts are replaced with repentance and forgiveness.

Even though He was an Old Testament prophet, Hosea’s name means, “salvation.” His very existence testified to Christ’s coming, over 700 years before He was born in Bethlehem. That babe grew up to crush sin on the cross and restore God’s people to Him. God’s great grace found a new way. He doesn’t make me run laps after I ask for His forgiveness, so every once in a while …I choose to let it go. And my kids may just think I’m nuts now, but maybe some day they’ll pay it forward.

jammed-tweet-blueOur Father brought is into His “good grace,” through forgiveness. Balm that can soothe relationships with our children, spouses, friends, and ourselves.

Father,  Praise you for your patience! Thank you for the rich lessons in Your Living Word. Help us to grow in prayer and study of Your Word daily, so that we may know when the time to extend Your forgiveness to others is upon us. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Ever had to apologize to your child for overreacting? I have! Get the conversation started by commenting below, and let’s encourage one another as we face life in 2017 armed with grace! 


Happy Shock-facing,


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The Winter that Wasn’t. (#jammed daily devo day 7)

January #jammed : Grace in Life’s Face

Day 7: Grace to Cope in Unexpected Seasons.

“There Jesus grew up, maturing in physical strength and increasing in wisdom, and the grace of God rested on Him.” Luke 2:40 (VOICE)

The first snow caught me off guard this year. Normally a bargain shopper and stocked up jammed-day-7-imageon last years clearance boots, gloves and snow pants; last year’s winter gear lay untouched without one opportunity to sled or build a snowman. Of course, that’s when it decides to snow before Thanksgiving in Ohio.

My daughter trekked out into the snow with a pair of my rain-boots pulled over a woolen pair of socks to compliment the rest of her mis-matched snow gear, but nothing mattered as she tumbled out into the wintery wonderland.

We wear some seasons better than others. Some, we are prepared for. Others side-swipe us. No matter it’s presentation or time of arrival, each season we endure isn’t a surprise for Our Father. He grew His own Son over three decades before His ministry began. “The grace of God rested on Him.” And shone brilliantly, too, through every miraculous healing and earthly step.

Rest in knowing that God’s grace is enough to cover the calamity of the complicated seasons in life. It’s not the first thing that comes to when things don’t go as I’ve planned …as I want them to go …or as I think they should go. We can look to Jesus in faith and receive His peace by preparing ahead of time …with Him. Through prayer, and a daily dose of His Word, we can walk through any season in hope.

jammed-tweet-blueFather, You are patient beyond explanation, and love is who You are. Praise You for growing us in Your time. We confess our unpreparedness and frustration with tough seasons that side-swipe us, but look to you in confidence knowing grace is always available to comfort us. Bless our hearts to feel the peace that comes through Your Son. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

What unexpected seasons have you lived through. Share one here. Get the conversation started by commenting below, and let’s encourage one another as we face life in 2017 armed with grace! 


Happy Winter-ing,


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The Purple Unicorn (#jammed daily devo day 6)

January #jammed : Grace in Life’s Face

Day 6: What Seems Unreal Can Heal.

“God has graced me with the gift of laughter! To be sure, everyone who hears my story will laugh
with me.” Genesis 21:6

The signs of my fourth decade approaching are clipping in at a rapid rate …the Trolls are jammed-day-6-imageback with clothes, and “unicorn” is used as an adjective.  My youngest daughter has asked Santa for a giant unicorn three years in a row, and they are seriously encroaching upon on our existence. Bare with me as I try to piece together the remnants of Facebook pop culture unicorn speak…

“Calling someone an unicorn conveys a sense of mystery and means they stand out from the pack… ”

Note: ‘You’re like …so, unicorn’ is a compliment.

“It is a quick way to indicate something is very unlikely to happen…”

Possible hashtag: #whenunicornsfly. Wait, do they? I should ask Lo…

“Just keep in mind that is hard to live up to people’s expectations when they are so enamored with you that they are calling you a mythical creature to your face…” 

FYI: Unicorn life = social pressure.

“When you add in a rare color like purple, the person in question must be a one in a million type…”

Lo’s favorite color is purple.

“Purple is traditionally the color of royalty because the first dyes producing this color were far too expensive for anyone else to purchase.”

No wonder she thinks she runs the house.

“Purple unicorns aren’t just unusual or uncommon, they are downright unique. Light shades of purple are also tied with femininity or a softer side.” 

And beneath her ability to make everyone smile, is a tender heart that breaks in two for her family and friends …and teachers …and Misty. #unicorn

Jesus is our unicorn.

Rare, but unmistakable, His presence shakes us alive without being typically present. His death on the cross to save all humanity from sin? Highly unlikely …but completely true.

jammed-tweet-blueGod is funny. Our great God in heaven blessed Sarah with a baby in her old age ..not over thirty-five and “high risk” old …seventy-some years old! Sarah laughed! God’s
incredible miracles are the stuff of imagination. They are the products of His grace, because His heart breaks in two for us … they are “unicorns.”

Have you been privy to witness or experience a miracle? Get the conversation started by commenting below, and let’s encourage one another as we face life in 2017 armed with grace! #greatgrace17

Happy Unicorn-ing…


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The Awkward Cargo. (#jammed daily devo day 5)

January #jammed : Grace in Life’s Face

Day 5: Where we Fit in.

“I am writing to all of you in Rome who are loved by God and are called to be His own holy People. May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.” Romans 1:7 (NIV)

jammed-day-5-imageA small city of lights appeared on the horizon as I pulled into the parking lot. Without wake, the crew guided a bulky cargo ship through the river’s mouth at sunrise, disturbing only the birds.

How can we be called ‘His own holy people ?’ God is holy.

Paul’s simple greeting reached out to people carrying a heavy load. Early Christians faced an uphill battle, but Paul’s sentiments assured them nothing is too heavy for God to carry. Faith grants us an unworldly peace that doesn’t jive well with modern realism, but Jesus navigates the river without stirring up waves.

When we accept Jesus as our Savior, the Holy Spirit begins to increase our holiness from that moment. The cross covers what we can’t carry with grace.

Faiths may look different on everyone, but it’s found by the same wooden waypoint. Take heart in the awkwardness of the journey, knowing that below surface level all of humanity is wired to arrive at the same port. If you feel like you stand out, don’t fit, or have “gone mad” (as Alice suspected of her dreams of wonderland…), look to your Captain, and keep sailing home.

Father, You are not just capable of carrying our heaviness, but desire to lift it off of our shoulders. It’s not easy to feel like we don’t fit in. Help us to look to You in faith for comfort and guidance. Thank you for the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross to allow us to come to you. Forgive us for running away from Your help, and bless us with the power of the Holy Spirit to recognize Your will for our lives. In Jesus Name, Amen.

jammed-tweet-blueShare a moment when you felt like you didn’t fit in. Get the conversation started by commenting below, and let’s encourage one another as we face life in 2017 armed with grace!  #greatgrace17



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The Unavoidable Toil. (#jammed daily devo day 4)

January #jammed : Grace in Life’s Face

Day 4: Work Hard Without Working so Hard.

Then Moses and the children of Israel sang this song to the Lord, singing,

 I didn’t realize was how much of a responsibility I would feel to the dreams thrown into my daughter’s hearts. Overkill is an understatement of the freight train that escapes my mouth before I can silence a ‘deserved’ lecture. The disciplinary balance between anointing them with lifetime laziness for leaving their laundry behind the bathroom door to picking up work to pay for their passions is often a space of five minutes.

“…how He overwhelmed them with the waters of the Red Sea as they were pursuing you…
 Deuteronomy 11:4 (NIV)

Time constraints can strangle dreams unless we recognize our Author’s ability to stretch our minutes. The Israelites made everything harder than it had to be, even though God literally led them as a pillar of cloud each day and fire by night. He provided food for them, and respite from the Egyptian army as the sea swallowed them up. Hard work doesn’t have to be so hard.

But reason cannot grasp all that took place that day. When God’s covenant people were on the verge of extinction, God stepped in to fight for them. No one survived that day except by the miraculous grace of God. (Exodus 15:1 commentary, VOICE)

Jesus died for our freedom to walk in God’s grace through the effort to achieve the dream He planted there. We’re not promised a painless life, but joy and hope to endure reach onward past our goals and eventually home to His arms in heaven.

“God can see needs and hazards we can’t. He works to met our needs and protect us. We must trust that His way is best.” Lucado Life Lessons Study Bible.

Dreams require work. There’s no way around it. Lucky breaks happen in life, but when they hit unprepared hearts they fizzle out like fireworks. Just as An empathetic ear and the opportunity to fail often foster the most successful ownership of our children’s dreams, God is dabbing grace in the wings of the work we put forth to achieve ours.

Father, You are powerful to plant dreams in our hearts. Praise You for each light of hope we’re drawn to achieve in this life. Forgive us for overworking our abilities without tapping into Your strength. Forgive us for taking credit for talents You crafted, and bless our hearts to obediently follow Your will for our lives. For we know that is joyful work. In Jesus Name, Amen.

jammed-tweet-blueIs there something you are striving to achieve that exhausts all of your efforts …something that you should prayerfully ask for God’s gracious guidance to ease the load? Get the conversation started by commenting below, and let’s encourage one another as we face life in 2017 armed with grace! 




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