Tag Archives: grace

Strength in Weakness

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As I reviewed the week, particularly the fact that I had not written any blog posts, I began rehearsing a list of my weakness. I’m messy and disorganized, I’m very impatient, I need to step up my computer skills, our family doesn’t plan ahead, I still struggle with budgeting, and procrastination is my middle name!

During my quiet time, I searched the Scriptures for some relief for the shame and guilt that plagues me. An initial search led me to familiar passages like 2 Corinthians 12:9: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”  Another favorite verse is, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses but we have one who is tempted in every way, just as we are –yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

These verses are great in theory, but how do I live them out in the day-to-day grind? I am juggling many different responsibilities and goals, and if I’m not fitting in blogging, the real question for me was, Should I keep writing?

In this season, my days are full. I am teaching full time and just added the responsibility of mentoring a student teacher. My own children are in high school, so after managing behavior all day I come home to more homework and discipline; in addition, I am taking a course once a week and I am part of a committee that is implementing the new Educator Evaluation system. My husband is in school full-time and working part-time, so the burden of housekeeping falls to me. My son plays varsity basketball, and this week he had three games, which meant most evenings I didn’t get home until 9 pm. In this busy schedule, I want to find the secret of relying on Christ’s strength in spite of my weaknesses, and I continued to wrestle with this problem.

This morning during my devotions, God was so faithful to meet me to assure me of his presence in my hectic days. While reading a portion of Emily Freeman’s A Million Little Ways, the section on “Offer Your Weakness” spoke hope into my situation. She writes, “We must make art, even in our weakness. If we don’t, we are denying ourselves ourselves.” An example written by her father resonated with me. He wrote, “I’m disorganized and messy…Just because I don’t like something about myself doesn’t mean it’s sin.”

When I come home from a busy day at work, the dishes in the sink taunt me. My cranky daughter wants some of my precious time, and I snap back impatiently. The laundry needs to be done so my husband and son have their uniforms for tomorrow, and Satan shames me.

But the Father of Lies does not have the final say. Despite my procrastination and my messy desk and a tiny bank account, and without a writer platform, last year I had 5 articles published, I attended She Speaks, I went to Europe, I received my master’s degree, and I parented teenagers and taught school and lived by faith in Christ.

When you are confronted with weakness, undesirable character traits, messy relationships, and too many responsibilities with too little time, remind yourself, it’s not sin. It’s the ideal situation for God to show up with abundant grace. “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.” Phil. 4:13

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On My Bookshelf

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I have been reading some very good books lately!

  • Caleb’s Crossing by Geraldine Brooks–This is a fascinating story about a Puritan settlement in Martha’s VIneyard in the 1660’s. The heroine is a pastor’s daughter who has secretly befriended a Wampanoag boy. The novel is based on a true story of the first native American to graduate from Harvard College. Go out and get this book!
  • Grace for the Good Girl by Emily P. Freeman–This is a  book that I have returned to several times to soak in each chapter. It really fits the season of my life as I am trying to see what living in Grace looks like for me. I can identify with many of the “masks” that “good girls” wear. I even wrote the author to continue the discussion. I am wondering what role the church has played in this, and then I am curious to see what living out this grace looks like. This would be a great book for a women’s group to study and discuss.
  • The Charles Stanley Life Principles Daily Bible–This year I read my daily Bible in bed before sleep.  It has been a great blessing to end my day with God. I think I even sleep better! I am enjoying the familiar Genesis stories of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph. If you haven’t tried reading through the Bible, it is a great resolution for 2013.
  • The Girl on the Cliff by Lucinda Riley is on deck as recommended to me by my colleague and fellow bibliophile Becky.