Grace Growers

We are still having a great time up here in Michigan – while our friends are roasting in the southern part of our great country in 100+ degree days we are enjoying cool temps in the 70’s with a great breeze… and well it is very nice here!

Here we are in Holland Michigan at the beach – so fun!!

Trying to get out of the wind….

Here is my second son at the sand dune we were playing by


These are from the parade on the 4th~

We have had several opportunities to hit the beach, the pool and nice long walks. I have been able to get lots of sewing done and even some reading.
While reading a good book recently I came upon a passage that spoke to my heart. In this passage a character (a pastor) was referring to people who have been hurtful to him in the past almost causing him to leave his position at his church. It was a group of ladies who were opposed to his arrival at their church. Anyway, the details are not real important, the message is. God uses difficult people and circumstances in our lives as tools to bring forth enduring beauty in our Christian character. If we want to become the person God wants us to be we need to sometimes allow those difficulties to do their work. In this book, these trials are called “Grace Growers.” I love that!
I have felt like God was allowing this time of challenge (the no job part) for a reason, and I just think that one of many reasons is to grow my grace. I am growing my grace (well God is growing my grace) through these difficulties – and that is better to think about than, the worries!
I feel like too often we rely on ourselves, and I am pretty good at that, and that is one thing this time has made me realize, relying on myself will only lead me to be unhappy. So many lessons!! I sure hope God is running out of these lessons and that we are about to embark on the next phase of this journey called life!

Challenges. Are these fun things to deal with? No, but James tells us to consider it pure joy when we face trials. So this character (in the book) decided to shower those ladies with love and kindness despite the ugliness they were spreading in his church. And so I think about this time in our lives and how we just need to embrace the trial part of it (because that is where we are now) – and know that God is doing great things to transform us into the man and woman he wants us to be. Yeah! So instead of getting beaten down by the details of this trail we really should welcome it as a great opportunity for transformation!! No matter how difficult something can be, no matter how long it lasts, no matter what we can choose to approach it with a joy from our heart if we really believe that God is in control and protecting and providing for us.

The other point I read last night in an other book was that when we get discouraged and start to turn negative thoughts over and over in our minds that we are “listening” to our selves in stead of talking to ourselves. Kristen and I have talked about this so many times. About taking thoughts captive, but this author did a great job of really explaining how. Instead of listening to ourselves fret (Will the money run out, will Robert find a great job? Will the house sell?) we should be clinging to scripture : Our trust is in God alone (Proverbs 3:5-6), the Lord will be with us through this trial (Psalm 34:19) this is joyful to go through a trial God allows in our lives (James 1:2-3) All we need is in God (2 Corinthians 12:9) and on and on.

So instead of letting doubts and fears take hold, I am holding on to the promises of God which hold fast no matter how hard I pull and tug!! Praise God.

God really is good all the time!!
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