Friday, February 12, 2016

Grace in the unexpected..........

I did not expect to be home tonight, sitting at my computer, blogging.  There is a speaker at a church fairly close to my house, and I have been anticipating hearing him for several weeks.  So, in spite of the "Severe Weather Warning" for a wind chill advisory, I set off for the meeting.  However, when I finally arrived at this church, there was an all out traffic jam.  The very small parking lot was full and every street was filled with cars parked on both sides.  I drove around for several minutes and then decided that I would have a very long walk (in the very cold) if I even could find a place to park.  So I turned around and headed for home.  On the way home, all I could think about was there MUST be a reason that I was missing this speaker!

Isn't it interesting how easily we get distracted when things don't go as we had planned?  Yes, I was very distracted and disappointed on my way home.  But, thankfully I had on my favorite Christian Radio station and there it was.....a great song about grace.  In all situations.  Grace.  So I took a couple of deep breathes, and gave myself some grace.  And then came home to my nice warm house.
And this project.........
 I've been working on this cross stitch for a long time.  And as I am nearing the completion of this project, all I can see are all of the "not perfect" parts of this piece.  It is NOT turning out exactly as I had imagined.   Yet another area where I need to give myself a bit of grace.  But I am hoping when this is completed, all of those imperfections will make this a special, one of a kind piece.

This week marked the beginning of the Lenten Season.   I have marked this time in many different ways over the past years.  When my children were young we always did a daily devotion.  One year I did a very intensive Bible study that actually took a bit of time each day to complete.  I remember a year that everyone in my church was challenged to commit to ADD minutes of Bible reading rather than giving something up.  Today I saw a Facebook "Lenten Challenge" that was interesting.  Someone had taken a large black garbage bag and attached a card with this challenge.... each day during lent, find something in your closet or cupboard that you don't need and/or use and put it into that bag.  At the end of the Lenten season you will have a large bag of items to donate to someone else.  Remember that one man's trash in another man's treasure! As an added bonus you will gain a closet that has been cleared of unused items and more organized cupboards!  Additionally, each day you can pray for the people who will benefit from these items when they land in the resale shop.  Now this is a challenge I can sink my teeth into!

  I added some items to my bag tonight, remembering to pray for the people who might want these "treasures"!  It is a good way to keep our focus on Jesus.... on His great sacrifice for us.  These items that I am donating really don't qualify as a sacrifice to me.  Like most of us in the United States, my family is very blessed.  As I said, I came home to a warm and dry house on this cold day.  I have a closet and cupboards filled with many more items than I really need.  I am sure I will be adding prayers of thankfulness to those prayers over each item.

So along with showing some extra grace to yourself  (and others) when your plans don't turn out as your expected, you can join me in this Lenten challenge.  

Jesus, thank you so much for music that speaks to me.  Thank you for grace in those times of disappointment and distraction.  Holy Spirit help us to keep our focus on Jesus during this time Lent.  And remind us how blessed we are, in spite of those unexpected things!  Amen

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