LOVE will cover a multitude of sins….

February…..

❤️ Valentine’s day is quickly approaching….a day typically set aside where many of us are more intentional in finding creative ways to express our love…. To trade in selfishness for selflessness… To invite compassion in exchange for judgement…To celebrate one another in spite of our differences and to offer Grace and Gratitude for the blessing of being in relationship ❤️

I was so encouraged and humbled by the reminders from this Devo this morning and from the exhortation found in

1Peter 4:7-8…

“But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers. And above all things have fervent love for one another, for love will cover a multitude of sins.”

Check out this short teaching from Christopher Hilken at North Coast Church: What if we lived as if Christ was here and as if He was near? Message by Christopher Hilken. http://bit.ly/dose367

So thankful that we have the opportunity to be in relationship with a God who is always present and who modeled this great sacrificial love for us by sending His Son to a cross to pay the penalty for our sins…a debt we could never pay on our own. No greater love….

With LOVE and sincere prayers,

Stacey

Monday Menus!

 

bowl of vegetable salad and fruits
~ Healthy Mind, Body, Spirit and Soul ~

Growing up, mealtimes in my home were always an important aspect of FAMILY LIFE.  I remember times as a little girl, sitting with my mom, long after the meal was over, where we would continue to “pick” at the leftovers while we engaged in meaningful, life conversations.  It’s where I learned the VALUE of FAMILY….it’s where I gained the valuable lessons of life, learning from my mom and feeling cared for.

As I grew up, I attempted to carry these same traditions into my own family. Whether it was simply for the sake of hitting “pause” on the demands of our schedules to the purpose of fueling our bodies, we’ve made it a point to sit, at the end of each day, together as a family around “the ‘ole oak table”! I believe our children have come to find value here as well.

The motivation for these times around the table has gone from everything for giving sustenance to our bellies to nourishing our hearts and souls.  Some times have brought forth CELEBRATION (and much laughter) while other times have given space to sharing the burdens (and maybe even some tissues) of the day…

All in all, it is where the love of family has been most carefully protected and nurtured.

Scripture calls the woman who puts forth the great effort to nurture her home a “woman of strength” Proverbs 31:10-31….her strength coming from the Lord...”Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” Matthew 6:33

It is a precious gift that God betows upon us, His daughters, a gift that is to be treasured in our hearts when we are blessed with the privilege of partnering with God in the nurturing of our homes.  It comes with great intentionality to turn off the noises that distract us and to work to create an air of calm and peace…a place for allowing conversations to form that help to build relationships, express love and provide encouragement.  Mealtimes around the table can be that sacred space where we accept the invitation that God has given to “Come To The Table” and offer Him praise and thanksgiving.

Would love to hear what you’re favorite mealtime traditions are?  What memories come to mind as you reflect on times spent around your “‘ole oak table”?!  Please feel free to share in the comments below!  May we glean creative ideas from each other that serve to bring encouragement and help to further God’s purpose for the FAMILY!

 

  • Healthy Menu Tip: Try keeping this “visual” in mind when preparing meals for your family…..Divide a typical nine-inch plate into these three sections:                    (1) fruits and vegetables (50%), (2) protein 25%, and (3) starch 25%

 

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In Thanks to God,
Stacey

 

 

May We Never Lose Our ‘Wonder’!

Happy New Year!

Over the last few years, our family has enjoyed the tradition of bringing in the new year by setting aside time to pause and reflect on the trials and triumphs of the year gone by, to affirm one another in the goals that we’ve reached and to support each other in the endeavors we’ve yet to attain!  We enjoy being each other’s cheer leaders, championing each other on to persevere in the direction the Lord has set for each of us.  Over the years, I’ve found this is how the Lord builds unity in our family and calls us to closer intimacy with Him and with each other.  It’s the beautiful way He reveals His love to us through our communion with each other. It’s the ups and the downs of life, the experiences we’re willing to share with each other, the opportunities to ask for forgiveness and to extend grace and the moments of grandeur that leave us in awe and wonder of the many beautiful ways God works!

IMG_20181230_113006255This year, we took time out to explore the beauty of Yosemite National Park.

“For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.” Isaiah 55:12
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Creation itself is a gentle reminder that life is full of different twists and turns, seasons of joy and seasons of grief, times where life is full of activity and times that are meant to be still, times for answers and times for waiting……life here on earth isn’t easy, in fact it seems to be getting more and more difficult as our world continues to compromise values, challenging us to stay true to our convictions, telling us we’re not enough and we need to be more…..it feels at times, like we’re the fish swimming up stream, against the current. 

But in this space of reflection on the beauty of God’s creation I’m reminded of His Majesty and Power and of the fact that He is the ultimate authority over ALL.  The Creator, the one who called light out of darkness and who placed the stars in the sky, is the same Creator who directs my steps and says I need not worry.  If His promises are true, which I believe they are, then I can find rest in knowing that He works ALL things together for my good.

IMG_20181230_130239230Oh, for the intentionality and determination it takes for me to die to self and choose to live by His Spirit that I may stay reminded of His Grandeur! Just as the mountains and hills break forth in singing, so may my heart go out in Joy and be led forth in Peace and may I never forget the wonder of it all!

God’s blessings to you in this new year and may we all continue to learn to live in the Rhythms of His Grace,

All for His Glory and With Love,

Stacey

 

What’s in a Name?

Click Here to listen to River of Grace by Christy Nockels

So, What’s in a Name?

Why the title, “Living in Rhythms of Grace”?

I believe that God uses His children to inspire and encourage one another and to help us stay reminded of His truths.  He desires to fill our lives with the Light of His Hope so that we might shine brightly for Him and that He would be glorified.  A couple of years ago, my daughter and I had the privilege of meeting singer/songwriter, Christy Nockels. We were so touched by the overflowing presence of God’s Spirit through both Christy’s heart for worship and the beautiful words of the songs she sang. One song in particular spoke directly to my heart and I sensed the prompting for a title!

Rivers of Grace.

There is a place, far from this worried world

Where freedom awaits, that burden you’ve got locked inside, how we tend to hide

So won’t you go there with me

Down to the riverside, Where the water runs free

And you can let your heart swing open wide,

Won’t you swing it open wide

‘Cause baby, you aren’t meant to carry such a load

Lay it down and we can watch it go

Down the river of grace, the river of grace

And all it takes, is a little bit of faith

And Jesus comes, and carries it away

Down the river of grace, the river of grace

Here’s the beautiful thing, that river runs inside you

And you can go anytime, and it’s there your Savior waits for you,

He’s waiting there for you

Cast your every care, cast them way out there

In the river deep, in the endless supply

And feel your heart rise up, from that cleansing flow

So clean and free, so true and alive

So true and alive, so true and alive.

Hearing those words brought life to my soul, reminding me of the beautiful Grace, that never-ending supply that is all-sufficient to meet my every need.  The reminder of truth found in John 1:17, “For the law was given through Moses, but GRACE and TRUTH came through Jesus Christ.”  Grace and Truth go together…we can’t have one without the other…they are inseparable….they live in the embodiment of the character of Jesus Himself.

As a child of God, His Word reminds us that we’ve been given the promise of His Spirit, the guarantee of our inheritance. (Ephesians 1:13-14) Jesus in His amazing, unconditional love for you and I stepped down out of His place in heaven, and humbled Himself by coming to serve, taking on the form of our humanity and demonstrating to us the power of His Grace.  This Grace….such a mystery to our finite minds!  This Grace….something I feel so undeserving of, so unworthy to be given….

BUT GOD…..

 GOD, in His Amazing Grace, would love you and I SO MUCH, that He CHOSE to send His Son as the ultimate sacrifice for our sins, to pay the penalty that we could never pay on our own.  Yes, in my flesh, I choose to go my own way, determine my own plans, stand for my own justice and “carry loads I was never meant to carry”.  And through it all, Jesus stands, calling to me to “cast my cares on Him” because He cares for me.  He calls me to live in the power of His Spirit, His endless supply of Grace in me, His Truth in me……He washes over me and cleanses me with this abundant, beautiful Grace. It’s by this Grace that I am set free….given the privilege to live the abundant life of Joy and Peace that is truly and completely only found in Jesus.

The “River of Grace” painted such a visual picture for me….the meandering, gentle ebbs and flows of a river…..the bending, twisting turns of the flow of waters moving to and fro over the changing terrain….isn’t that a picture of life?!….Life in its myriad of different seasons, trials and triumphs, losses and gains.  Without the constant flow of living water, the river runs dry; without my constant connection to the One, Jesus, who supplies the LIVING WATER, I run dry.  Jesus said, “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, “From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.”

There’s a rhythm here that I want to lean into…a rhythm that causes my heart, mind and soul to want to stay yielded to….to stay reminded of the truth that no matter what season I’m in, there is ONE who is carrying me, calling me, loving me and offering to me His Grace….His Grace that causes me to live, truly alive and free!

It’s here that my soul wants to find rest.  It’s here that I continue to want to learn to live my life.  That I would spend my days, learning to live in these rhythms of His Grace.

All for His Glory,

Stacey

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Grace, Gratitude and Thanksgiving

So, where do I start?!  What should be the first entry?  My prayer for months has been, “God, I give you thanks for Your inspired Word, for filling my heart to overflowing places of Gratitude and for Your all-sufficient Grace that supplies for all my needs. Please show me what you’re calling me to.  May I be an instrument in Your hands to bring encouragement and hope to others.  May our story be used for the sake of furthering Your Kingdom and may You receive all the Glory.”

And yet…..I hesitate….I wait…..I pray…..I pray some more….I delay my obedience to what I feel God has called me to begin.  Quite honestly I’m finding myself to be fearful.  Fearful of starting something new….something that requires some creativity (which until recently, I believed to be “dead”)….fearful it will not be “good enough”…..fearful I simply don’t know where to start, somehow in my mixed up thinking, forgetting His Promises to supply for all my needs…and so I delay…..

UNTIL…..my husband, spoke words of deep, heartfelt encouragement and my heart and mind were finally able to receive.  Last night, with tears in his eyes, he exhorted me to not let anything else stand in the way of what we both knew God had been calling me to.  At that moment, I knew I could no longer delay.  It was time for me to repent, turn away from my fears and ask God to meet me in this space.

And so, with this first post, this stepping out of my comfort zones with a hope to express the beauty of what God has taught and continues to reveal to this broken and messy heart, I give God great praise for His Grace.  I thank Him for His forgiveness that He offers me on a daily basis, even in spite of my fears and my disobedience.  I thank God for giving me a husband and a family that encourage me always to pursue God’s highest calling.  I offer Him a prayer of Thanksgiving for the many ways He teaches me His “Rhythms of Grace”.

I pray that those who visit here and read these humbled words of mine, may leave this space feeling more encouraged than before…..knowing that whatever circumstances you face, there is One whose love for you is unconditional.  You are not alone in the struggles you face….the struggles are real but there is ONE whose GRACE is All-Sufficient, and ONE who paid the penalty for your sins, so that you wouldn’t have to face an eternity in despair.  May you be inspired to know the LOVE of our Savior, JESUS, just a little bit more having spent time with me here on these pages.  May you know the depths of His AMAZING GRACE and may we each be encouraged to give Him praise.  His Grace deserves every ounce of our Gratitude!

“For all things are for your sakes, that GRACE, having spread through the many, may cause THANKSGIVING to abound to the GLORY of GOD.” 2 Corinthians 4:15

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!