Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas from the Miller's!

I hope you are enjoying your Christmas as much as we are!  This has already been one of the best ever.  Having children at Christmas is AWE to the SOME!  Love it!

Now that I have Emery, I keep thinking about Mary and what she must have gone through knowing she was giving birth to a son that really wasn't her's.  Wow.  Bless her.  I'm so thankful for the birth of Jesus; what a precious gift a loving God gave me.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

This Point

I thank God that He's brought me to this point.  I can't thank Him enough.

I was praying the other night while rocking Emery (it's one of our favorite things to do).  She loves to chime in with her "Amen!"  As we were thanking God, I just could not thank Him enough for bringing me to this point in my life.  Thank you, God!

At this point in my life I know that:

I am loved.  I am seriously, unconditionally, and passionately loved by my Father.  And, I know nothing can separate me from that love.

My sin is not an issue to God.  It's over and done with to Him.  And, because of this I have the power to overcome it because I know it's not 'who I am.'

I have an awesome little and big family.  My husband is a really good man.  He gives up going to hockey games just so he can help me put Emery to bed.  He loves to cook supper.  And, he's really thoughtful.  I couldn't have asked for a better match for me.  Emery is such a big blessing in a little package.  God obviously knew what He was doing when he made me that little girl's momma.  I also love my 'bigger' family.  They love me and we stick by each other.  I don't care who doesn't like them (well, maybe a little because I don't understand how anyone cannot like them).  I don't care what other people think about them.  My family is called of God and we are fulfilling that calling the way we believe He wants us to.  I don't know anyone else who loves people more.

Jeremiah and I have great jobs.  We both get to help people all day, everyday.

My understanding of God's love and grace keeps growing and growing.  I know I'll never fully grasp it on this earth, but I'm glad He continues to give me more and more glimpses of it.

I have a beautiful home and more "things" than I could ever possibly need.  God cares about the little stuff I care about.

Even though this year has been probably the toughest of my adult life, I know God's always there for me.  And even when people choose to not have integrity, are really two-faced, and blatantly hurt others, I know God will take care of me.  My identity is in Him.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Grace vs. Law

Wow, God is so good and has been showing me so many things lately about His grace and the law.  There's a weird doctrine about law and grace that basically says, "If you feel like you "have to do" something, then don't do it, because that's not grace working in your life, it's legalism and dead works."  I really couldn't disagree more.  I almost let myself feel condemned for doing stuff I didn't want to always do.  I thought..."There's no way I could ever measure up to that!"  Then, my Father spoke to my heart.

My Father has been showing me that He gives grace for grace....that tells me we need a lot of it sometimes.  I don't feel like getting up out of bed every. single. morning. at 6:00 a.m., changing a poopy diaper, and doing all the things that the morning time requires to get ready.  I just don't want to do it sometimes.  Does that mean that if I go ahead and do it I'm under law?  Heavens no!  That's what His grace is for!  He encourages me to get up out of bed and do what needs to be done to get ready.  Why?  Well, I'd hate to have a baby with diaper rash, screaming, hungry, and crying in her crib while I lay in bed with bed head, not getting up and going to a job that God's provided for me so that we can have money, food on the table, a home, and electricity.  

Because I'm hidden in Christ, my identity is in Him, my righteousness is found in Him alone, none of the above actions can affect those truths.  If I get up every morning, get ready, take care of my house and family, go to work, etc., etc., it does not make me more righteous than I already am.  It also, does not mean I'm "under law" for doing those things.  I can rest in knowing that God's grace, HIS ABILITY, can work through me to do what needs to be done even when I don't want to.  That's restful living.  There would be no need for grace if we only did stuff we wanted to do.  Personal motivation would be enough in those situations.  His grace is there to get us through the stuff we don't want to do, face, deal with, and experience.  He'll never leave us nor forsake us.  

I sure would hate to see what kind of life I would have to live if Jesus decided that because He didn't want to die on the cross that He wasn't going to.  But, Jesus even said, "Not my will, but Yours."  GASP.  Jesus did something He didn't want to do!  I bet He even had to rely on God's grace to get Him through.  Grace for Grace (Grace IS Jesus personified). Thank GOD for his GRACE.  And, thank God He made it where our identity is based on Him and not our ability to have the right attitude, actions, and thoughts.  I'm so relieved that I can rest in knowing He'll freely give me His grace.  This scripture embodies what God's been teaching me...

Matthew 11:28-30

"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly."

He'll show us how to walk with Him and work with Him.  There is walking and working involved, but as we let Him transform our hearts and thinking and give us grace to do the work (or live life), that's where we will find true rest. As we keep company with Him, living will become more free and light.  Getting up in the morning and doing won't be a big deal.  It's a process, life-long.  Sitting at His feet and walking and working with Him are not contradictory things.  They really can all happen at the same time.  Grace is really the differing factor.