Grace, Love, and Joy

As sleep seems to be eluding me once again, I have decided to finally make myself write again.  So many ideas of topics and posts have swirled through my head in the last couple of weeks, but I didn’t write any of them down.  So as my state continues to be mostly closed due to the ridiculously cold weather (-14 F (-25 C)) and very heavy snow, I’m finally ready to write at least a couple of my thoughts down and share them with you.

Transitioning to college has been an interesting things.  At first I was on a crazy high of new excitements and adventures, then it lowered to a more realistic picture of my new reality which had its ups and downs.  And now that I’ve been home for Christmas break, I’ve gone into a more reflective mood.  I was told by wise people in my life to enjoy my time at home (in highschool) because once I moved out I would never have a time like this again.  It’s so true.  I love college, but it’s become my new home.

Being back in my room reminds me of why I loved it so much.  On sunny days I was surrounded by a cheerful natural yellow light as I lay on my bed reading.  My bookshelves covered half of one wall and I could find any book I owned instantly although they weren’t ordered in a fashion that would make sense to most people.  My little brother slept on the other side of the room and during the day he would play legos on his train table.  The fish tank made a cheerful noise in the background which helped block out some of the crazy sounds that naturally arise from being part of a large family.

Now the room has been reverted to the boys’ room.  Both of my brothers sleep side by side and almost all of my 400+ books are packed away in boxes in the attic.

After sleeping on the floor a couple of nights and then on the sofa, my littlest brother (14 years younger than me) graciously offered to let me sleep in his bed (my old bed) and he would sleep on his old bed on the floor next to his brothers big bed.  So that is where I’ve finally landed until I return ‘home’ in a couple of days.

Every night I’ve been home for the past week or so my little brother has come to sleep with me in the middle of the night.  One time he woke up screaming, the poor guy.  You can’t really refuse when your little brother is upset and is asking you to comfort him.  But inevitably a couple of hours after falling asleep with him curled against me, I’d find myself on the very edge of the bed with him moving against me almost pushing me off.  He moves a lot in his sleep and likes to use up a lot of bed space.  A twin sized mattress (or even smaller, the sofa!!) can be challenging when one of the two people moves a lot in his sleep.  :p

Last night I had finally decided that I would simply carry my brother back to his bed if he came over again because I needed to sleep and not stay awake worrying about him falling out of bed.  But then I heard him say, “I can’t fall asleep” (around 1 am) and he climbed out of his big brothers bed into mine.  It was so sweet.  Of course, later, the same thing happened that always happened.  But before that I had time to think.

I was trying to figure out what exactly to write in my next blog post.  Somehow I jumped to thinking about a comment one of my closest friends made to me recently in a really good 3+ hour conversation.  I don’t remember the specific comments before it, but we were talking about my reaction to forgetting things.

I hate to forget anything, and I told her (when asked) that I get upset with myself when I can’t remember or I forget something.  “Why?” she asked.  “Do people typically have perfect memory?  Is it a common trait to be perfect in that area?”  After about a half second of reflection I replied, “No.”  She then asked me why I expected such a high perfection of myself when no one else expected it.  I said I didn’t know.  I simply did.

My next thought (last night) went to how I view myself and God.  We are called to walk humbly with God (Micah 6:8).  We are not called to walk perfectly and then walk around in shame when we fail.  God wants to walk with us through life, not just in the ‘perfect’ parts (as if there are any of those anyway).  He calls us to a relationship with Him.  Even when that means sharing with Him that you don’t even want to give up parts of your life, He’ll take that.  He’ll walk with you and gently guide and discipline you.  He’s not sitting up in heaven with a ruler smacking His fist demanding to know why you failed yet again.

Instead, like a Father, He is right beside you to pick you up, comfort you, and hold your hand as you persevere towards godliness and holiness.  He gives you grace even when you can’t give it to yourself.  One reason I think so many of us struggle with accepting and giving grace and love is because we don’t truly understand how much grace and love God has given us.  If we did, our lives would be radically different.

Little by little God has been revealing Himself to me over the past couple of months.  His grace is so beyond anything I could ever imagine or deserve!  And yet He keeps giving it!  And the joy that comes from truly knowing God (instead of knowing about Him) is beyond anything I’ve ever experienced.  One reason I haven’t written is because I don’t even know quite how to put into words all the things God has been revealing to me about Himself and about me.  It’s a challenge to explain my experiences to you, but I’ll try as I start my second semester.

Although I’m learning about grace and love my outward actions have not changed much.  It has to affect a heart change before I can expect my attitudes to have a lasting change.  So, if you wouldn’t mind praying for me I wold be very grateful.  I will be praying for you that God would open your eyes to the relationship (or a deeper relationship) you can have with Him.  It’s the only thing that will truly give your life meaning and it’s what you were made for–to know and worship God!  🙂

Prayer requests:
~For God’s grace and love to penetrate deeply into my heart–so much that I would be able to extend grace and love to myself and others.

~For everyone here at Moody to be growing in their relationship with Christ Jesus–that we would be overflowing with Christ’s love, joy, and grace that it would naturally flow into the lives of those around us–believers and unbelievers.

~For a realization day to day, hour to hour, that I’m in constant communication with God.  Wow!  How awesome is that??!  That I would remember and worship Him all day every day.

“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances;
for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
~1 Thessalonians 5:16-18~

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2 Comments

  1. Angelina Lynn Lebedeva said,

    January 7, 2014 at 1:13 pm

    Awesome post. Praying for you!!! Love ya.

  2. Jose said,

    January 7, 2014 at 2:14 pm

    thanks for your thoughts Elizabeth.


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