Grace's Gift

"God saved you by His grace when you believed. And you can't take credit for this; it is a gift from God."
Ephesians 2:8 NLT

While Judgment flicks lint from his suit jacket and wonders why others don't serve like he does, Grace watches carefully for those using their gifts, and thanks them for their ministry.

While Judgment gloats in his punctuality and perfect attendance, Grace greets the late with a warm heart and a warm hello.

While Judgment scrawls his name on the sign-up sheet for all to see, Grace shows up with sleeves rolled up, ready and willing to serve.

We are each given spiritual gifts, and are called to serve in different ways. Some sing and some teach, some play musical instruments and some preach; some introduce our little ones to Jesus, while others arrive early to unlock the doors and flood God's house with light.

While we learn to identify and utilize our individual spiritual gifts, there is one gift we have all been given and that is grace. We have all been shown a remarkable example of Christ's perfect love. Instead of being quick to criticize or judge, how can we learn to err on the side of grace, and instead of judgment, offer more love?

Let's love better. Grace is a "one size fits all" gift: it is wonderful both to give and receive, and never goes out of style.


Kindred Spirits: Telling & Celebrating Our Stories

Image of {Seeking Grace} ~ Prayer Journal

Last summer I stumbled upon a kindred spirit. This kindred spirit not only loves journaling and helping others to capture their stories, she creates her own beautiful, unique little journals and sells them online. I immediately loved her personality and creativity and emailed her to tell her that we were obviously kindred spirits. 

Thankfully, she graciously emailed me back promptly, complimented me on Live Art.fully and agreed that we were definitely kindred spirits. {She's just cool like that.}

My kindred spirit is none other than Katie of Gadanke. Katie divides her time between Germany and a unique house made of tires in the Rocky Mountains. 

If you don't know Katie, here are my Top Five Reasons to Adore Katie (in no particular order):

1.) She celebrates stories!
2.) She's eco-friendly
3.) She can fly a plane
4.) She's always creating
5.) She has a fabulous personality

Sample Journal Page

A couple months ago, Katie sent me her Seeking Grace prayer journal. I journaled about loss, faith, illness, trust, friendships, and much more and sent it back to her. Katie photographed some of my pages and you can see them here: http://www.gadanke.com/share?loadJournal=6 {just click on the Seeking Grace Prayer Journal by Jenn}.

Katie makes journals that are super fun to fill. They come with rings that open and shut so you can rearrange the pages, add things, and completely personalize your journal. They are small and easy to toss in your bag or pocket and take with you. They come with prompts, brightly colored cover options, and well.... just see for yourself: http://www.gadanke.com/products

Are you inspired yet? Want to create your own Gadanke journal? Well, you're in luck! Katie has generously offered    my readers {that means YOU!} 10% off all orders for the next 5 days. Just go browse her shop and when you check out, use discount code LOVEJENN10.

Need more info?

Finding Katie and Gadanke:  
*blogging about creating a simpler, handmade life and celebrating our stories
motto:  celebrate your story!
about Gadanke: 
Document who you are and what you crave and believe.  Handmade journaling products at Gadanke are filled with creative writing prompts and tidbits to make you think (and laugh!).  These baby books, prayer journals, travel books, and diaries make your writing process more meaningful and fun!  Plus they're totally eco-savvy with 100% recycled papers.

I know you will love Katie & making her journals your own. 


On Writing and the Decisions We Make to Tell Our Stories

We must write what we feel called to write, and the year after my grandfather dies, I write a short essay about him and how he took to my firstborn. Those who read it receive it enthusiastically, and shortly thereafter I become inspired to tell more of the story and I begin.

When the girls are just babies -- Natalie an infant, Hannah three, I take laptop to bed one night and stare at the illuminated screen, tapping at the keys until well after my household sleeps.

I wake the next morning, re-read what I wrote, and decide that not only is it a story worth telling, it may be the best thing I've ever written.

Having never written a book before, nothing but a couple of novel starts over the years, I spend time brainstorming on paper, writing down memories, reading books on writing. I find that despite my inclination to write and having a solid story to tell, the ability to map out a book is not as natural as I had hoped.

Structure, plot, story arc, where to begin and where to end ... it's all foreign.

I know what I want to tell, I know the meaning behind the story, I just don't know how to tell it.

It's slow going at times, this weaving of narrative. But I return again and again to what I felt when I began -- it's a story worth telling. So I will tell it.


Taking His Name

I pay for groceries and the check-out attendant says, "Thank you, Mrs. LeBlanc!" Sometimes they pronounce it correctly, but oftentimes they say "La-BLANK" or stumble over it apologetically.

When I married my husband, I wore a white dress, vowed to love and honor him through all my days, and became a LeBlanc. I took his name as my own, changing my driver's license and social security card to make it official.

When we become a Christian, we take the name of Christ and use it to identify ourselves. Lately I've been mulling over the seriousness of that name-change. If we profess to be Christian, we are "taking the Lord's name." We equate the command not to take the Lord's name in vain with profanity, but what if we profess to belong to Christ (we are His church, His bride, part of His family) and the name change is the only change we make? What if people stumble over the idea that I am a Christian; they had no idea or see nothing in me to merit the name-change?

What if His name, when used as my own, contains no value? Is that not vanity? Have I not, then, taken the Lord's name in vain? For nothing?

Jesus paid a high price for us. He has plans for us, for great futures of hope. He remembers us by the marks in His hands.

What can I give in return?
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...