1.17.2013

Saving Grace or Saving Face {Release}

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Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you...
Psalm 73:25

It's early morning.
I rub the sleep out of my eyes and push myself up out of bed. 
It's a new year.
I am looking forward to routine returning to our home. 
I am looking forward to what's to come and yet, this particular morning- January 3rd, before I have my first cup of coffee and smile at my reflection in the mirror, my plans are altered.
My plans.
Immediately on day three of 2013 my plans are already displaced. 

Such is life.

One thing you and I can count on in this life is this: we never know what the next minute holds.
I mean, we can plan. We can pray. We can hope and hold to our expectations.
But your next breath is not guaranteed. Nor is mine.
I try to keep proper perspective in light of this reality.
This truth has driven me and this truth has held me. 

I ponder this word: 
Release.

I wonder what God wants to teach me this year through this word. 
I am weary of flesh that stretches tight across bones that grow stiffer with years.
Yet bones are actually living, growing tissue. Moldable. Healthy bones are strong.
Healthy bones are not brittle. 
Brittleness comes from rigidity.
Stiffness comes when bodies are mastered by minds that refuse to move.
Bodies were made for movement.
I think hard these lessons that come from years of pondering physical reality and truth.
There is always  an observable spiritual layer when looking at the physical realm. 

He gives eyes to peer into the unseen realm of spiritual truth.

I wonder where have I grown stiff in my own spiritual thinking. 
I wonder where my Christian cloak has choked grace from my manner.
What do I need to let go of as I consider this particular word and what it reveals about God's will for me in this season? What are my expectations of others? What are my expectations of myself? What are my expectations of God?

It's easy to deceive ourselves into believing that we hold little expectations of others and God. It's easy to think we have high expectations of ourselves. But I have found that great expectations lay hidden, dormant like seeds beneath winter snow. They are there...buried, unseen, still. Yet they hold great potential. In due season, change and growth will allow the seed(s) to mature. Each will become what it is created to be in it's time. 

Do we trust that God is able to properly nurture the seeds which He predestined where they are or do we trust in our own ability to control the soil, manipulate the environment and push the growth ahead of time?

Whether seeds of relationships, gifts, talents, prayers, or hopes for ourselves or others, all are in His hands. 

Holly Miller says, "If a situation is beyond our control, we should take neither credit nor blame for it". I find great wisdom and comfort in that statement as a parent and as a Personal Trainer. We live in a time when everyone wants credit or bragging rights for themselves and those they believe they influence. I think in our culture this borders a little on idolatry quite honestly. The only person we should ever take credit for controlling is our self. The only person who should hold that much power over you is God and you. 


Already I am letting go of a dream...a dream I held for my daughter that she did not want...and I release this dream, trusting that His plan is not thwarted. I recognize stiffness in some...and myself. Yet I see pliability, freedom and movement in others who are showering grace and encouragement on the journey unplanned which we are now taking. I am caring less the opinions of others...I am accepting more the consolation of the One who knows the road ahead. He already has chosen new friends for the journey...and old ones who will continue to stand faithful. I am not worried about the upcoming obstacles along this new path. Because my Guide does know the way. He's already provided peace, and provisions up ahead I know not yet. He is good. Whether lions, tigers or bears (oh my!) I know we will be OK. 

How about you? 
Are there expectations you have that God might be asking you to let go of so that grace may prevail? Are you willing to release your expectations of others, yourself and God and trust His that His outcome is good even though it may not be what you had wished, planned or hoped? 


I said to the LORD, "You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing."
Psalm 16:2


Linking with Melanie for the One Word Monthly Link Up Party and Tracy (I love this button!) and Emily (one of my fave Thursday hangouts! ) Phew!
Join us?



16 comments:

  1. There's much I might say to this. The writer in me wants to respond to every word. The Spirit counsels me to say just this: I will be with you on this journey. You can count on me.

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    1. Oh, Appreciate and I would take any of your words and feedback, my friend. But your grace, and presence here is greatly appreciated.

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  2. Hmmmm.... I definitely am with you on the new year starting off with news that changed expectations. I got my news on the 31st of December, actually, so I could start day 1 wondering what was going on! :)

    About the expectations, I don't know... I feel like I've spent my whole life letting go of expectations and have not learned how to release expectations while keeping motivation. The two seem to go hand-in-hand. And giving up motivation can be really unhealthy. So this is an ongoing struggle, I guess...

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  3. Dear Dawn
    I found your blog at Emiliy' link-up and am glad for your honesty about the frailty of man is so true. I experienced that when a chronic disease, Fm/CFS took my life on a totally different path than what had planned. Yet, I know and can see how He has used this to mold me and to provide in the needs He knew I had.
    Thank you for sharing with us
    Mia

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    1. Mia, I will pop on over and so glad you stopped in !

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  4. Interesting that I just started a new Priscilla Shrier Bible study on Jonah last night called "Life Interrupted". We discussed different life scenarios and whether they were unpleasant disruptions or divine interventions. We know that God works all things together for good, even those things that others may have meant as harm, even those things that are as a result of our own missteps, or that which we have no control over. Love that Holly Miller quote BTW. I know that more than a year and a half ago my life took a turn I neither anticipated nor wanted because of my son. The plans for this season of my life have been greatly altered...perhaps permanently. I have no choice but to release it to God, even as I deal with its impact each day. Praying for you my friend as you walk this new path...that you would experience God's overwhelming Grace, unfathomable Peace, and rich Blessing.

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    1. Toni, thanks for jumping in and sharing your words here today. Big encouragement coming from you and I appreciate that...I know you have had similar challenges and understand. It means a lot to know we are not alone in this type of battle!

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  5. You have some good thoughts in this post. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thanks, Cecelia- hope you received your book.

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  6. Ah my friend. Much of this post makes me want to transport meself over the many states between us and give you a supporting hug. Are we setting ourselves up when we "choose" a One Word? Hmm.

    Feels like somebody is setting up somebody!! Ha! Either way, we are here to learn and I love the grace (though you may not recognize it as such) that you show in your open and honest heart. We love you for that and it keeps us coming back here for more.

    Here we go 2013!

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    1. Well as far as the setting up ...it's been coming so yes and probably. These things are like a slow revelation sometimes then suddenly WHAM. WHen all the time it was there we just were trying to avoid looking. ;) Thanks - I have been wondering what keeps people reading my stuff (as a random thought stream) prompted by some writing post some crazy wrote. Mybe on Copybloggger- they always suck me in. I accept the hug even though from a distance. It IS well with my soul. The rest, eh...we roll with it.

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  7. I am completely taken by your perspective on "stiffness."
    And this?
    "I wonder where my Christian cloak has choked grace from my manner."
    This I will be pondering on for a while.
    Visiting from Imperfect Prose.

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    1. Holly, you bless me. Period. Thanks for visiting and pondering with me.

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  8. I am reading a book about grace at the moment and how grace is opposite to what the worlds way of being is. However God's Grace is a gift not earned or bought. Releasing grace to each other is a gift and so life giving to other people. I enjoyed reading what you have said Dawn-so true as well. Also I love that photo. Smiles.

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    1. It really all is grace...an eternal spring which is not man made but God given. When you say "smiles" it makes me think of Brian Miller!! ;)

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walk along the shore with me and leave your footprints in the sand-
I'm listening, friend...in November I will not be replying so often, but instead slip quietly over to your place for a visit. ;)