Saving Grace or Saving Face {Release}


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: 
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!
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