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gracescapes

imagining a life full of grace, free of judgement.

Living the ReDream

Observations on this beautiful mess.

So, how did we get here?  Let’s start there.  The short and clean version is that our lives blew up this year.  The kids and I moved to a precious little townhouse and started stacking our life-blocks back up.  New motives, routines, places, and things.  A clean break to start crafting what we wanted this ReDream to look like.  I can tell you that it is a hurt I would not wish on anyone, and the tears have seemed unbearable at times.  We are learning that the only way through it is through it.  Lots of grace, lots of try-agains, lots of I’m sorry’s.

The kids immediately named our townhouse “The Adventure House,”  and while I’ve loved that name from the start, it’s only recently taken on a new meaning for me.  We are hitting this season and holidays are new and fresh and brutal.  It’s this weird juxtaposition of missing what was, surviving the day, and hoping for the redeeming.

So back to “adventure.”  I could be playing fast and loose with this, but it was such an affirming blessing to me.  “Advent” means waiting, not passive waiting, but expectant waiting, like you know what is coming is going to be worth it.  So “adventure” is “a story we’ve waited on.”  A story thats been waiting to be told.  A trail to be blazed.  A discovery to be made.  I am finding, again and again, that what is to be discovered is more sweet than I could have imagined.

If you had asked me at any point in my life if I was up for an adventure, I would have immediately said yes.  I love a challenge.  I love pushing myself, and making things happen.  I love control.  I love a plan, but I love having flexibility to stretch the plan. I love seeing the potential and helping it develop into reality.  All of these things are fine and good, but here’s the deal.  I couldn’t make the adventure happen.  I couldn’t manufacture these blessings.  I couldn’t work hard enough, behave well enough, say the right thing enough.  I had to wait for them.  I had to wait.  I had to trust.  It wasn’t that I didn’t want adventure.  It was that it wasn’t time.  Not yet.  But when the nudge happened, stepping into the adventure and saying yes to a complete shift of my world feels like the most “right” thing I have ever done.  The truest.  It’s like I’ve yanked the rip cord and am free falling, knowing that my God is literally providing every thing I need.  Complete and utter surrender, and redemption like I’ve never known.  Lies and shame I have held to my core, and as my core, are being unraveled and his whispers of love are replacing them.  It’s not rainbows and sunshine, it’s hard, grueling, rewarding, beautiful work- it’s authentic. And this is just the start.  I choose what’s real every single time.

What can your adventure look like?  What are you doing with the waiting?  I hope that you find that the ReDream is worth every tear.

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Remain

You know those times when you see your kids and they are triggered and can’t make an appropriate decision, and they are mad and can’t tell you why? When they are just a bundle of emotion? The times when you call them to you and breathe with them and ask if they need a few minutes to calm themselves and sort through things? When you finally get them to sit and then they remember that they are mad at you too, so they jump up and decide that whatever it is they need is the opposite of what you suggest? So rather than sit and calm, they continue to stew and stay keyed up until they pass out exhausted? Does that ever look familiar to you in your life with God? I certainly can see myself in that situation. John 15:4 is red-lettered. Our Jesus tells us, “Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.”

Do we believe it or don’t we? Do we believe that God is good? That he created himself in us? That we are made for each other and bring him joy? That we are saved? We are rescued? What remains in us when we remain in him is his fruit! Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. The things we are most skeptical of, and cynical about! Because Satan has convinced us that God’s fruit isn’t real. Sometimes we forget to remain. We stand up and go take a stroll. That’s when we hear the whispers, the lures, the manipulations. When we refuse to abide. To remain. When we check out and go on our own, we lose the evidence of our fruit. We bury it under layers of self, addictions, comparison, doubt, fear, anger, whatever it is that Satan uses to get us. We bury our fruit under the dirt the enemy willingly supplies. The beautiful thing about remaining is that it just requires us to stop. We stop striving, we rest, we breathe. We count our blessings, we reframe our worries into the light of God’s love and realize that NO MATTER WHAT is going on, God has it. He is our sustainer. He has the answers, and he has us. My prayer for us today is that we can quit striving, and focus on remaining.

When we need a do-over, all we have to do is stop! Stop running. Fall into his arms and just breathe. In the craziness of our schedules and to-do lists, remember that God wants to sustain us. He wants us to remain in him so that he can fight for us. Moses told the Israelites as they were being pursued yet again by the Egyptian armies, “Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the Lord rescue you today. The Egyptians you see today will never be seen again. The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.”

How blessed will our families be when we refocus on remaining, dig out from under the layers that cover us, and display Spirit Fruits in our lives and relationships? So in these last days before school starts back, when our kids are running wild and perhaps being a little defiant, let’s encourage them, and us, to take a breath. Recognize that what they need in the midst of the chaos, is time to take a step back, to calm and recenter. Let’s show them what that looks like as we remain in our Father!

Blessings on your Journey,

Sandy

Oceans, Reheard

I was listening to “Oceans” by Hillsong United this morning and I heard something new.

“You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand.”

My feet may fail. May…as in permission. It’s okay to be overwhelmed, feet! You’re over your head! It’s okay, you don’t have to hold me up. My faith will make me stand!! You just rest, feet. Get caught up in finding God in the mystery and we will stand just fine! Whoa. Does that make sense? We are not meant to be able to stand all the time.  We can be easier on ourselves. We aren’t the ones holding us up anyway!! Such a good mid-week refresher!

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