…to sing thy grace.

Welcome! This is a place for hearts and for grace. A place for life and story, laughter and tears, the serious and the silly. I hope you see my heart in all that I write, and that ultimately you see the Father's heart for you as we learn together to tune our hearts to sing his grace.

Ten Years

IMG_7598

We just celebrated our 10th Wedding Anniversary.

Ten.

The number makes me breathe a deep contented sigh, then a long exhale of praise.

Thank you Jesus.

He is a gift to me. Derek Griz.

God knew him before he was born, and saw him every day as he grew from an adorable rosy-cheeked boy to a handsome dark-eyed man.

And God knew the gift that he would be to me. From the moment we met, to just this morning as he blew me a kiss before heading off to work, and every moment in between.

And there have been moments of pure joy. Laughing together, playing, serving students, adventuring together. Together we welcomed beautiful children to our lives, our home, our hearts.

And there have been moments that have been incredibly hard. Moments of weeping, praying that there could be another way. Saying goodbye, too soon, to one you already love so much…grief too hard to describe. But together we faced each day…days of doubt, worry, and darkness. Together.

Between every big milestone, there have been thousands of everyday moments. The just being there. Every morning, every night…just us…messed up hair, morning breath, comfy T-shirts and hot mugs of coffee. Reading together. Pizza and movie nights. Cookies with milk after the kids are tucked in. Chores around the house, trips to the store, fixing, cleaning, parenting, rinse and repeat…for ten years.

And we find ourselves at ten years a little older, a little wiser, not looking as young and fresh but more deeply woven together as one.

Yet, the discovering never stops.

Each day is another chance to understand each other more. To ask questions, to dream together, to download our daily happenings and talk about anything and everything. I wish I had every single text message over the past ten years…maybe they still exist out there somewhere…but what a steady and constant ping-pong of communication that has provided us! Texting back and forth I love you’s and I miss you’s and updates on each other’s day. Also the hours of phone calls, check in’s, and heart to hearts all keeping the communication open, current, real.

Marriage was so much more than we realized when we set out, young and full of hope and innocence. I wouldn’t want it any other way, but I think back on the kids we were…kids!!!…just 23 and 24, and I love us. So young and full of life. But when I see us now, I think YES! This is just getting better and better. Not because of us….but despite of us. As we both pursue relationships with our Savior, our marriage is blessed with more patience, more tenderness, more oneness with each other.

Constant grace. Always there. Always loving. Not based on what is deserved but on a promise to love no matter what. Yes, there are things you can learn and practice in marriage to make it great…important things, but a grace-full marriage is really just two broken people willing to let God heal them and make them whole and to be completely vulnerable with each other through that life-long process. It is about daily self-sacrifice. Putting our own needs aside and choosing love.

And all of that is impossible to do for one man and one woman. Only God can do that.

Grace.

A Gift.

And as I close this post, I feel it is important to talk to you. Yes, you dear reader.

I want to let you know that I’ve enjoyed writing this as way to step back a little and take a sweeping view of the last ten years. It has been good to zoom out of the now of laundry, dishes, bills, and to-do lists and to set my view on how faithful and good God has been to me. So I would challenge you to do the same. What has God been up to in the last ten years of your life? For you it may not have to do with marriage at all! Wherever you are, consider the gifts of grace in your life. Maybe you are in a difficult season and facing what seems like an impossible mountain. Maybe you are just setting out on a journey, or perhaps you are persevering in the middle, or even seeing the journey coming to an end soon. Step back. Open your eyes to the bigger story of Grace in your life, you may find yourself jotting down a few things too. Feel free to use the comment space provided here.  ;)

May God bring to you reminders of his goodness and fill your heart with deep gratitude.

Singing His Grace,

Jess

 

 

And Maybe I’m Not a Blogger…

IMG_1337

Fifteen weeks is a long time of silence for a blogger.

Sorry about that. But maybe I’m not sorry.

And, maybe I’m not a blogger. Maybe I am writer…with a blog.

Maybe there needs to be times of silence for me to let life happen, to let the feelings/thoughts/emotions simmer and settle deep until they somehow find words to attach themselves to.

Maybe I’m not a blogger churning out content, pictures, how-to posts, etc…

Maybe I wanted to be that at one point. Maybe I really have no idea what this space is for. It is just an internet address, a message sent out into the World Wide Web. It kind of scares me sometimes.

But I keep getting called back here.

I do.

Like a river snaking through mountains, life can slow down and speed up…changing from rapids and white-water to wide-open, smooth water, calm and slow.

It is hard to write in the rapids, no? Too much splashing, gasping, and getting altogether soaked.

 

Today though, for the first time in well over three months, I find my heart and my mind in a pleasant state of smooth open water. I catch my breath and begin to ponder and unpack.

I have words again.

They may come slow.

Nevertheless, I will try to eek them out, just a few at a time, and perhaps even rambling. But God is up to much. Even when we don’t see, feel, or hear it in the usual ways. He is the one who brings  words. He is the author of life who spoke everything into being. He still speaks.

He gives grace after grace…even in white-water where we can’t do anything but hold on tightly for dear life.

He brings the calm, he brings it to our circumstances and to our minds. Only Jesus can calm the storm in our hearts.

 

I don’t know where you are today. Rapids or smooth sailing….

But I know a God who calms me. Tenderly, he provides for my every need. Every worry, every anxiety that crosses my path he knows about it and handles each one in ways that leave me in awe. He can do that for you. Trust him today.

 

 

Hulk Juice

20140416-132906.jpg

 

Today I am bringing you, just for fun, a green smoothie recipe! Or as I titled it for my four-year-old son, “Hulk Juice” ;).

It was delicious! Here are the simple ingredients:

-fresh spinach
-1 ripe banana
-1 1/2 c. (approx) vanilla almond milk
-1/2 c. frozen fruit mixture

Directions:
Fill blender to the top with fresh spinach. Pour in the other ingredients and blend until smooth. Enjoy!

20140416-132353.jpg

The only warning is, this may not make enough. My kids were asking for more! Let me know if you try it! :)

I’ve been thinking about you…

IMG_0487

Hey you.

I’ve been thinking about you.

How life can just drag you down. How so quickly you can feel your steady footing slip. How you can think you are on the right track only to dead end suddenly.

I’ve been thinking about how lonely and lost you can feel in this world. How even surrounded by people you can wonder, does anyone notice me? Does anyone care?

I’ve been thinking about the trials and the suffering, the sickness, the unmet desires of your heart. I’ve been thinking about the pain of loss, the consequences of choices made.

I’ve been thinking about how easy it is to let the darkness take over. How easy it is to stop fighting, to choose the quick fix, or to compromise your convictions for other’s approval.

I’ve been thinking about panic attacks that meet you when you least expect it, depression that greets you in the morning, stress that keeps you awake at night.

I’ve been thinking about all that this world can offer you…pills, prescriptions…plans to get rich, get thin, get fit, get more, be more.

And the noise!

The TV, the tweets, the texts, the updates, and notifications. The mind clutter, the screen coma, and the obsessive checking.

I’m thinking about you because I know there is more for you and me.

I’m thinking that there is so much real, so much good, so much pure…

There can be fullness where there is emptiness.

There can be joy where there is suffering.

There can be peace where there is doubt.

There can be purpose where there is idleness.

There can be intimacy where there is loneliness.

There is a love that drives out fear.

It is not a scam. It is not a bait and switch. It is not a program or a 10 step process. It is not a cleanse or a clique or a ticket to a better mindset and a better year.

It is a person.

Yeah, and he is alive and he is the only way.

But.

It costs you everything.

You have to let go of control. You have to surrender your dreams, your desires, your greed, your bitterness, your unforgiveness, your future. Anything you hold tightly to…good or bad. There is room for only one thing on the throne of your heart. And it must be a King who promises living water that will never leave you thirsty, forgiveness that shatters all shame, and love that can never be taken away. Jesus.

He wants all of you, but he is prepared to give you more of himself than you can ever imagine.

And you, yeah you…the one reading these words…perhaps I know you, perhaps I don’t. It doesn’t matter. I’m only thinking of the hurting heart who somehow needed these words. The distracted heart that needs to let go. The bitter heart that needs to trust. The heart that needs Jesus. He wants you, will you give him all of yourself?

Singing His Grace,

Jess

Hello Life

Hello blank screen. Hello blinking cursor. Hello small words. Hello short sentences. Hello no thoughts. Or perhaps, hello to so many thoughts that none seem to want to surface individually. ;)

Hello writer’s block.

Hello empty blog.

Hello full life.

Hello tons of toys everywhere.

Hello bikes in the driveway.

Hello dishwasher full, and hello washing machine churning.

Hello sunshine streaming in my window.

Hello blossoms pink and blooming.

Hello blue, blue sky.

Hello.

Hello soccer season.

Hello games and practices, coaching and cheering.

Hello grass turning brown to green.

Hello 70 degrees, please stay for a while.

Hello naps in the afternoon.

Hello coffee in the morning.

Hello “As Sure As The Sun.”

Hello women’s retreat this weekend. Hello outlet mall and birthday money.

Hello camera, old friend it is nice to be with you again.

Hello toes in much need of a pedicure, and split ends needing a fresh cut.

Hello sweet niece who turned one.

Hello summer plans already filling the calendar.

Hello new journal, hello blue book.

Hello Easter next weekend.

Hello empty tomb.

Hello life forever changed.

Hello sweet children, may you know this resurrection truth, and may you see it in my life.

Hello need for a savior.

Hello sweet Jesus.

A New Thing

20140324-075115.jpg

“Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 43:19

I don’t know if I am just a sappy English Major or a true poet at heart but I am just a sucker for sunrises and season changes.

I am so moved by the gift of a new day, a fresh start, and sufficient grace for each moment.

And the coming of spring…all the new life and warm sunshine!!! Amazing. It is glorious every year.

All of it is so like its maker. God loves new days and new seasons too. He loves to do new things, especially in our hearts.

As this season changes (the faster the better ahem…) I am pondering the new things God wants to do in my heart and my life. I long for Him to keep making things new!

How about you? Do you long for God to do a new thing?

Singing His Grace,
Jess

Yesterday, Daffodils, and Hope

20140316-221305.jpg

Yesterday came and went, like every yesterday in the history of the world.

It was fairly uneventful. It was sunny. The kids played outside almost the entire day. Daffodils were dancing yellow in the breeze. It would have been a beautiful day for a birth-day.

And though my emotions remained very calm, I couldn’t escape the significance of the day. As a mom who counts, it was a day that marks the beginning of counting the years.

Notifications from my calendar came in on my phone and my computer, but I didn’t need reminding. It was my son’s due date.

I turn 33 on Friday.

I actually had to do the math. This made me chuckle. I could not remember if I was 32 turning 33 or maybe I was 33 turning 34. If I had ANY math sense, it wouldn’t be too hard to keep track of. I would be able to calculate that my husband is one year older than I am, he was born in ’80 that would make 2014 his 34th birthday and one less is 33.

Nevertheless, even though I may not remember my own age, I will never forget the age of the son I met and held but never got to know. I will count up from yesterday, until my mind wears thin with age, because counting is my heart’s way of making much of him. Counting celebrates his life. Counting says, You are mine. I love you. I remember you.

I write to him in my journal. It helps my heart. Much healing is happening. And even the sunshine of spring seems to bring a certain warmth somewhere deep inside. Perhaps it is the soul’s stirring at the change of a season, perhaps it is God continuing to promise beauty from ashes. Hope is still there. It flickers and dances in the breeze much like yesterday’s daffodils.

I love how the daffodil can burrow in even the most frozen ground, that it can poke up in ice and snow, that it can be called forth by the promise of warmth. The daffodil hopes beyond hope for spring.

I too will hope beyond hope for the day when mourning is turned to dancing, for the day when all is set right. The story continues here and now, and though the present holds many questions…the author already told me the ending. It is this Hope that I keep even in the long winter.

Singing His Grace,

Jess

 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...