Well, Haddie's down for another short nap, so we'll see if I can get another blog post in real quick ... ha! 'Cause my blog posts are quick ... riggghhhtt. ;)
I was walking with Haddie at the park yesterday, a habit I'm trying to cultivate. And I was stopped in my tracks by a beautiful scene ... it was just some simple trees and clouds.
But those trees and clouds grabbed hold of my heart and brought tears to my eyes because, for some reason, they reminded me of grace.
I'm kind of on a liver journey, as I'm going to call it. No, not a body part journey ... a journey to real LIFE. Over the past 10 years, I have been in bondage to self-condemnation. It's only been over the past few months that I've come to realize that it is BONDAGE. My self-condemning ways are not just a daily struggle; they have taken over my life and caused me so much pain. I started seeing a counselor recently, and he is helping me begin to see where this condemnation is coming from and how to break free from it. I'm beginning to realize that things as wonderful and godly as my daily prayer and devotional times have caused me pain. I condemn myself so much if I miss even a day of personal quiet times, and I'm seeing more and more that I constantly try to earn my salvation even though I know it is a free gift from the Lord.
So as I saw these beautiful trees and clouds, I got to thinking ... these parts of nature are beautiful simply because God made them. And I am beautiful simply because God made me, and I belong to Him as one of His kids because I am a Christian. I don't have to DO anything to earn that love and beauty. I just have to be me. As I walked around the lake and got closer to the trees, I began to see dead places among the trees ... a bunch of dead, brown leaves here, an entire dead, bare tree there. When I, or other people, look closely at my life, I, or they, see dead places in my life too ... places where I've been hurt, sin I am trying to overcome, bad habits, all kinds of stuff ... but when God looks closely at my life, He sees me. He sees a beautiful creation. And He thinks I'm beautiful because I am His. I. Am. His.
I saw such grace in this picture during my walk yesterday. I was reminded that I am saved and thought of as beautiful and valuable and all good things, not condemning things, because I belong to Jesus, not because I DO everything perfectly or have it all together. So I'm living my days these days to just live in Christ, not strive (struggle in opposition) all the time. I don't wanna be a striver anymore ... I've been that my whole life. I wanna be a liver. An abundant LIVER! And I can be because I'm seen through GRACE, not the LAW or my own unrealistic expectations.
And whatta ya know ... Haddie is just starting to stir ... and I got 'er done! :)