The phrase, “But For The Grace” is one I use often to sign my works of pottery. It’s a phrase I mutter to myself daily, in situations as they arise. But what does it mean? To me the words, “But For the Grace” are a humble prayer of thanks, a reminder to myself of who I am and who I belong to. On days when I find myself out of control emotionally or angry at some one, “But For the Grace” is an instant attitude check. On days and moments of pride or materialistic greed, it is a humbling reminder of what really matters. When I find myself growing frustrated or even repulsed by the ignorance I see displayed in my fellow man, it is a reminder. But For The Grace I am nothing. I am ignorant and prideful. I am greedy and quick to anger. I am judgmental and mean-spirited. I am thoughtless and selfish. I am concerned with and swayed by the lusts of the flesh and of popular culture. But For The Grace, I am all of these things, all of the time. If not for the live-giving Grace of my Savior, I am all of these things all of the time and without hope of changing. A slave to the flesh, But For The Grace. There are moments when the full weight of what grace means hits me and I am brought to my knees. I am nothing, but for the grace. But For The Grace of God, I have a hope and a future. I was saved by grace that day, my sins wiped clean. My sins are wiped clean daily, by the undeserved Grace and blood of my Savior, Jesus Christ. I am aware of and repulsed by my own sin, because of grace. I am learning to be better and kinder because of His grace. He started a life-changing work in me that day He opened my eyes at the age of 11. To explain it in a way that does it any justice is impossible. I will never forget the way I felt that day I gave my life to Him. I wasn’t paying attention that day in church. I was being a silly 11 year old kid, doodling on the church bulletin. The visiting pastor gave a sermon on the reaping of the wheat and the tare, to symbolize Christ reaping those that belong to him. He asked the congregation to ask themselves one question, are you wheat or are you tare? Such a simple question. I couldn’t answer it honestly. Boom. I was raised by two Christian parents, who were raised by Christian parents. God and Jesus was spoke about daily in our home. I could recite verse after verse after verse and yet, up until that moment it never occurred to me whether or not I belonged to him. I gave my life to Christ that day and he washed my soul clean of every sin. The Holy Spirit filled my heart and my mind and my soul in that moment and on that day. In the blink of an eye, I was His child. I have recently downloaded Lauren Daigle’s “How Can It Be” and I can’t stop listening. The simple lyrics of this song are a prayer for me. One of the things I love so much about music is its ability to say the things I feel and experience in a way I can’t always articulate on my own. “How Can It Be” is one of those songs for me. If I had to choose one song to explain how I feel about what my Savior has done for me, it would be this song.

I am guilty
Ashamed of what I’ve done, what I’ve become
These hands are dirty
I dare not lift them up to the Holy one

You plead my cause
You right my wrongs
You brake my chains
You overcome
You gave Your life
To give me mine
You say that I am free
How can it be
How can it be

I’ve been hiding
Afraid I’ve let you down, inside I doubt
That You still love me
But in Your eyes there’s only grace now

You plead my cause
You right my wrongs
You brake my chains
You overcome
You gave Your life
To give me mine
You say that I am free
How can it be
How can it be

Though I fall, You can make me new
From this death I will rise with You
Oh the grace reaching out for me
How can it be
How can it be

You plead my cause
You right my wrongs
You brake my chains
You overcome
You gave Your life
To give me mine
You say that I am free

You plead my cause
You right my wrongs
You brake my chains
You overcome
You gave Your life
To give me mine
You say that I am free
How can it be
How can it be

Ephesians 2:8-9
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and [a]that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.



Hagrid I should not have said that!

I warned you. I warned you of my tendency to quote/embed bits of HP in everything.

Do you have those moments where you instantly regret something you’ve said? Those absolute, “foot in mouth” moments, were you feel horrible, or ashamed, or horrible and ashamed over something you’ve said to or about someone or a situation? I know for me, those moments happen far too often and I am left completely frustrated with myself for not exercising better judgment. Words, once said can not be taken back, they can only be forgiven.  Speaking too much or jumping to conclusions about someone or a situation is a sin I struggle with daily. I try to do the right thing. I pray, asking for the wisdom to know when and what to say. I pray for the will power to resist those moments when I just want to spout off, hurling verbal daggers at someone that’s hurt me or annoyed me. I have good days and I have bad days, but I’m trying. I fall and I backslide, but I am striving.

I saw something in Hobby Lobby the other day that really spoke to my heart. It was painted on a perfectly distressed piece of wood and read, “Grace is when God gives us what we don’t deserve and Mercy is when he doesn’t”. I spend entirely too much time in Hobby Lobby and once I go, it’s hard for me to leave, but I can remember how that simple sign stopped me in my tracks. How often has God shown mercy on me and the choices that I’ve made? How often has he forgiven me for speaking harshly towards my husband? About a coworker or family members? To count the number of times he has extended grace and forgiveness to me would be impossible. Knowing this and holding this fact close to my heart, is the only thing that enables me to stop myself before I hurt someone with my poorly thought out choice of words or my snap judgments. I fail at this daily, but I’m getting better. Does anyone have any thoughts to add? Does anyone reading struggle with this problem? What techniques or methods have you instilled in your daily life to overcome the temptation to speak before thinking, before gossiping?

Proverbs 11:13 Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets, but he who is trustworthy in spirit keeps a thing covered.




Living with intention. What exactly does it mean to ‘live with intention’? I know as far as I am concerned, it is easy for me to slip into a habit of  just ‘getting through this day, so I can get to x’. Settling into that frame of mind is easy, but for me an unacceptable way to use the time I’ve been given on this earth. I am constantly reminding myself to find meaning and purpose in the most seemingly mundane tasks. I am fortunate that I have a job that I enjoy. I work closely with the animals that I love dearly and the people that love them. It is a privilege and honor to spend my days caring for them, nursing them back to health, and providing comfort to the pet parents I meet. I have so much to be thankful for, so much to live for. Yet, I still find myself slipping into that same old mindset of, ‘just getting through it.’ Why do we as human beings do that? We miss out on so much when we are ‘just getting through’ or ‘living for the weekend’. There is so much more to this life than the weekend. So many little moments between weekends that make life incredible.

LIVE WITH INTENTION

SOURCE

Living with intention starts with a decision, a decision to live this life, making the most of each and every breath we’ve been given. Live with the knowledge that we are closer and closer to death with each breath we draw, always in the forefront of our minds. Living with intention starts with asking yourself, ‘what am I doing with my time here on this earth?‘ I have committed myself to waking up every morning thankful for a new sunrise, thankful for a new chance. I as a human being, inevitably fall, backslide and mess it up, but I am trying. I am striving to really live this life, each and every moment with purpose. There is purpose and meaning in each load of laundry, each meal prepared, each bathroom scrubbed. There is purpose in Monday mornings. There is purpose all around us if we have the wisdom to see it. I am so thankful for this life, so thankful for my time here on earth. Thankful I have been given this race to run.



It is our choices that show who we truly are, far more than our abilities.

Well, I may as well admit here and now. I, Kelly, author and creator of KellyElizabeth.org am addicted to all things Harry Potter. You can look forward to countless quotes, references and extreme displays of nerdism in the future. Now that that’s out of the way… I happen to agree with the above statement wholeheartedly. It is our choices that dictate and decided the life we lead. Yes, we are all dealt a different hand of cards in the beginning, but it is ultimately up to us to determine the path we take. Bad choices, bad life. Good choices, good life. Certainly despite making a habit of choosing wisely, bad things will happen and that’s okay. Life is full of bad things, but bad things in the end are what make us grow. The bad things force us to deal with change, shaping and rearranging us into the person God intended us to be.

The world would be a better place if we as humans could all get our acts together. Seriously, I know that statement might come across as a little silly, but there is truth in it. The choices we make have consequences. For every action, a reaction, blah blah. Think before you act. If we all just stopped and asked ourselves, ‘Is this a good choice or a bad choice? How is this going to affect the people around me? How is this going to impact my future?’ , it would go a long way in improving the human race and the relationships we hold. Our choices, each one of them, no matter how small or trivial they may seem have consequences. Our choices affect those around us. At times, they affect others in ways we never imagined.

::Steps down off soapbox::

Well, now that I have that out of my system. Today is going to be a long, but good day. I woke up, I have air in my lungs and my heart is still beating. That is enough for me; everything else is just a bonus. Tonight is my late night at the animal hospital. I actually enjoy late nights with the crew on Wednesdays. Always fun and a bit crazy at times, but I love every minute of it. Thursday will be an early day, but a day spent in a mandated meeting. Meh. Friday is my OFF DAY! A day in which I am free to do whatever it is my creative little heart desires. Over the next few weeks, you will be reading about the 65th Wedding Video project I am working on for my Mamaw and Papaw’s anniversary party the end of June. My little sister is coming over on Friday afternoon to help me organize pictures so we can start putting it together. Well, we are actually adding on to it. My brother and I put the original video together 5 years ago for their 60th anniversary celebration. It will be work, but work well worth the time it requires. Well, the time has come for me to finish up things around the house before heading off to work. Have a great day all!

 

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