Currently in process in my little brain is the idea of Grace and how it relates to Humility. If you asked me why God loves me or has grace for me, I could honestly say that I have no idea. I don't know why God loves me. I don't know why he chooses to bless me, or why he gives me grace when I don't deserve it. All I know is that he does. Grace is a mystery to me.
I'm learning to move past the "why," and (once I get past that) to move on to my response to his grace. I have to realize there are things about God that I'll never understand. I could know him more and more each day and still never know everything about him. I have learned to be okay with not knowing why. I am now learning to respond to him even if I don't understand why or how he does things sometimes. I don't know why my heart is as dark as it is sometimes. I don't understand why God is okay with me, even though I'm nowhere close to perfect. I have come to terms with the fact that there is a lot about God that I'll never know.
I'm learning to appreciate the mystery. While I don't appreciate mystery in people (actually, it bothers me and I tend to gravitate away from people who aren't open), I do love that facet of God's personality. I love knowing that I can never know everything about him. He surprises me in a world where so little surprises me anymore. He baffles me at times. I can get a headache when I think about him for a long time. Often, I just can't wrap my head around him, but I know that he sees the bigger picture and that there are things that will make a lot of sense down the road. To receive grace, to fully receive it, you have to trust that God has your best interests at heart. There's no other way around it. So I'm learning to trust him and to trust that his grace is sufficient for me...I need nothing more. I think the least gracious people I've ever met have been the ones who just couldn't trust the heart of God. I've struggled with that in the past, but God is teaching me to let go and to trust.
I've been praying for God to teach me to be gracious and to forgive others the way he forgives me. It's a rough road when you ask God to teach you to forgive because, to forgive, you have to have bad things happen through other people or by mistakes you make. I hate forgiving myself because I'm the hardest person for me to forgive...so I can't imagine how it's so easy for God to forgive me.
All that said, I want you to remember that God's favor and blessings aren't because of what you do...it's UNMERITED for a reason. It's unmerited so that we can't claim any glory for it, and we can't claim it's because of anything we've done. It's not. Humility isn't self-deprecation and not accepting compliments. Humility is what comes out of the awe of knowing that you are forgiven and loved and accepted despite yourself...humility accepts Grace, knowing that it's not at all related to anything we've done. That's the mystery of Grace. It goes completely against human values. We value people's works. We value our worldly view of success. We value prestige and recognition. It's funny that God's values are opposite of our own.
I want God to teach me the humility that comes with knowing that nothing I do will change how God feels about me. That's my hope for you, too. There's a freedom in realizing that nothing you will do will change how God loves you...if all you do is listen for his voice and follow in your own simple way, you are free. The world's values bring constraint and put up walls because we'll never live up to the ideal. God's values allow you to take down your walls and live because you don't have to deal with the worry of what other people think. So live without fear. God has grace for our mistakes if we accept it, and he has freedom for us just because he is who he says he is.
I'm grateful for...
Sunshine. Seriously, my body, my mind, my soul and my spirit needed it. I didn't realize how much. I love the sun. I love blue sky. I also love warmth in the air, but that will come soon enough.
A husband who's having fun camping in the cold. Sean likes snow camping, but don't ask me why. But he and a friend are out there in the wilderness somewhere camping in the snow--at least I HOPE there's snow there. I don't get it, but I chalk it all up to the fact that Sean should have been born a couple of centuries ago. He doesn't like technology or electricity or the complexities of modern life. I like that about him, even though I roll my eyes. I'm grateful that he's getting a night away to do something that fills his survival tank...he loves the idea of surviving in the wilderness.
Learning to accept myself. As I've said before, I am more like a Botticelli than a Barbie, but I'm learning that the beauty of a woman comes when she stops trying to look like everyone else, and she has inner confidence, knowing she's beautiful just as she is. I think God plays a big part in it for me. While I'd love to lose weight at some point, I know that won't happen until I accept myself and love myself fully, no matter what size I am. I'm on that journey. Embrace your curves, ladies. Don't give in to people who tell you that you have to look a certain way to be accepted or to be beautiful. You ARE beautiful.
Keeping my head above water. Lately, I've had moments where I just feel like I'm treading water, like I'm alone in the middle of the ocean. But God has been helping me keep my head above the water. I think I go through these times just because I have to sometimes hit a wall (or fall into the water) before I remember that I truly need God. I'm pretty self-sufficient these days, and that's not always a good thing.
Lazy days. Yesterday (Saturday) was a lazy day and I enjoyed the heck out of it. I watched an old TV miniseries on DVD and it brought back memories of watching it when I was a kid. The boys played together and periodically came into my bed for cuddle time. Happy times.
Today, I hope you remember that you're not alone. God is right there beside you. Remember that. You don't have to know everything or do everything or be everything, you just have to be yourself and listen to his heart. It sounds simple, but for us humans it's a hard thing to do because we always feel like we have to be DOING something. Life is about living. So go live it.