Got grace?

Last week I found myself knee deep in a toddler meltdown, which seems to be a common occurrence these days. I was flustered because it was happening in public, sweating because I was chasing my 2.5 year old around with a baby in my arms, and anxious because of what the other moms could possibly be thinking about me and my wild kids. Half way through this mom-and-kid playgroup I was ready to run for the hills. I was gathering my stuff when I heard God’s still, small voice say, “push through”. So I stayed…begrudgingly. My toddler still fought me and my baby still squirmed, but we stayed. Had an awesome God-centered talk with my friends, but I was worn out at the end. Why so worn out?

Well the obvious reasons being that I was literally physically exhausted from momlife. But even deeper than that, I was subconsciously trying to be accepted and loved through my performance. And since that was going completely left field, I felt like a failure and inadequate. I had to face the hard-to-chew fact that I’m an imperfect human who must stop trying to appear perfect.

When the uncontrollable chaos erupts, we have no choice but to submit to humility and receive God’s grace. 

It hurts my pride when my kids refuse to obey. But if I am honest, it’s not always because they aren’t doing what they should. Sometimes I get frustrated because I feel like I should have it all together and I don’t. Gasp.

I know no one else could possibly struggle with that too.

I’ve known that I had an issue with people-pleasing and I have finally overcome that this year. But I didn’t dig deep enough to see that people-pleasing was just a side-effect of basing my success in life off of my performance. It has left me constantly trying do this or that right and not always measuring up because I’m mundane. Which in return leads me to feel less-than or down on myself. Feeling that way doesn’t push me to be better, it just leaves me..stuck.

Judgement doesn’t move us to true repentance, only grace can do that. 


 I am my own worse critic..even worse, I am trying to be the Judge of my life. I keep pleading ‘guilty’ and sentencing myself to ‘life with no parole’.

Yuck.

It’s time to release this burden once and for all.
Truthfully, this particular day with this specific toddler meltdown was the best thing that could’ve happened to me. At the end of the study, my new friend, Andrea, asked me to grab lunch. The sleep-deprived part of me thought, “with these kids, are you crazy?!” Once again, I felt spiritually nudged to go. We started to walk out and I told her that I felt bad for not being able to help her pick up the house that my kids helped destroy. She replied, “Lacey it’s fine. you need a little more grace today.

I need a little more grace.

Bingo! Yahtzee! Winner, winner chicken dinner! Thank you Andrea for listening to the Holy Spirit and shaking me awake with those words. I needed it.

The constant struggle of basing my success off of my performance is me living life without grace. And if I relationship with people that way then I relationship with the Father that way too.

“For it is by grace [God’s remarkable compassion and favor drawing you to Christ] that you have been saved [actually delivered from judgment and given eternal life] through faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [not through your own effort], but it is the [undeserved, gracious] gift of God;”- ‭‭EPHESIANS‬ ‭2:8‬ ‭AMP‬‬ (emphasis added)

The Greek word used for ‘grace’ here is ‘charis’ literally meaning gift/blessing brought to man fromJesus Christ, favor, charmgratitude, and liberality (to name a few).

Accepting God’s grace liberates you from sin!

It’s not what I can do, but what He can do. Knowing that and owning that is one of the most freeing and motivating realizations there is.

Receiving God’s grace deposited in to our hearts influences our actions. Not the other way around.

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”- Ephesians‬ ‭2:10‬ NKJV

We could all use a little more grace today!

Seeking God first by reading His word and meditating on His goodness will organically transform my life.

“I will also meditate on all Your work, And talk of Your deeds.”-‭‭Psalms‬ ‭77:12‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

So as a person thinks, they speak, and so as they speak, they are.

Accepting God’s grace in your heart will move you from a place of “I need to” to “I want to“.

F R E E D O M

I’m going to stop trying to be a Christian and just be a person actively pursuing my Jesus through the valleys and mountaintops, the stumbles and the victories.

I am going to be Lacey living in God’s grace.

(My sister creeping on me and my daughter at the playgroup)


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References:

• Greek meaning of ‘grace’:

“Grace.” Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance: New American Standard Bible, updated ed.,     Lockman Foundation, 1995. Bible Hub: Search, Read, Study the Bible in Many Languages., http://biblehub.com/greek/5485.htm .

I’ve got the Joy 

I saw a post on Facebook earlier today that is buzzing around different moms’ pages. It’s meant to be a sweet “list of rules” to one’s daughter, but within the encouraging words is the phrase “happiness is not a permanent state”..and something about that kind of bugged me.

Especially today. A day where I have felt that all too familiar spirit of mental unhealthiness sinking its claws in me.

See, recently I have been writing quite a bit about overcoming the battle of mental health.  Which, by the way, I don’t want it to ever seem like I am minimizing that struggle because it is a struggle that I face myself. However, we overcome the enemy by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony (Revelations 12:11). Jesus tells me, “It is finished”( John 19:30).

Regardless of how I feel or how my life appears, the battle is already won and done. I am an overcomer. I am victorious.

But recently, satan has craftily used circumstances and other people’s words to draw me back into the craziness. Over the past two days, I have been slowly withdrawing back into my shell without even realizing it. Isolating myself not just from God, but from everyone. I’ve still been socializing, I’ve still been reading the Bible, I’ve still been praying, but I haven’t been listening. I haven’t been receptive. I’ve kept God at arms length. And that makes all of the difference between winning and losing.

Believing God’s truth over my counterfeit version of truth makes all of the difference between living freely and being a slave.

Just two days, y’all. Two days of not holding my thoughts captive, and my head was  starting to become my “safe place” again…which is really nothing but a lie weaved by the author of confusion- he is disguised as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14). The only safe place I have is in the arms of the Father. He is my One true refuge.

“God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.”- (Psalms 46:1 NKJV)

Books are not my refuge, coffee is not my strength, and my husband is not my very present help in trouble.

My husband rocks, but putting him on a God-shaped pedestal is not fair to me or him. Only God can be all of that for me, and when He isn’t…well you can clearly see the mental/physical downward spirals that can quickly occur.

I was so thankful to walk into church with my family today and be reminded of that truth. God’s truth is like a glass of cold water in the heat of summer (or fall in Texas)- shocking, awakening, and refreshing.

As someone with a history in losing mental health battles, I have to be very intentional in holding every thought captive if I plan on continuing my forward path in freedom and victory through Jesus Christ.

 “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholdscasting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,“- (2 Corinthians 10:4-5 NKJV)

That scripture says it all.

So back to this mom/daughter “rules list”. It’s true. Happiness is shallow and temporary.

Joy on the other handjoy is depth-less.

Joyfrom the Holy Spirit is never-ending and eternal. I want my daughter to know that. I want my son to know that. I want my friends to know that. With Jesus, we don’t have to carry on through life with broken hearts. We don’t have to. We can. And we can still love Jesus while broken-hearted. I’d even go so far to say that we can still follow Jesus and carry depression. But we don’t have to. He died for our sin and our pain. Our guilt and our shame. He died to take all of our burdens, not just some.

Jesus is the healer of all, whether it be body or mind. We can have eternal and life-changing joy. We can. We can be sad and yet still have joy down in our hearts. We can laugh while we cry. Because we know the promise, “It is finished”.

When fighting the giants in this life, we can dance while we slay. We can smile while the battle rages on. It doesn’t make sense, but that’s what accepting God’s peace offering looks like.

The peace offering 

In times of chaos, we pray for peace. If my kids are acting wild, I will whisper ‘shalom’ in prayer over them until they stop (doesn’t always work). If I’m feeling anxious or overwhelmed (which is a frequent occurrence some days) I’ll pray for God’s peace to fill me up. If I read a news article about what’s going on in the world today, I’ll pray for peace for the broken state of our world. It’s a term so frequently used and so desperately needed that the depth of its true meaning can often become lost.

What if I told you that you were the one in control of your emotions? It’s all in your head.

Or atleast made in the image of God, you are intended to be able to control your thoughts and emotions. 

But sin was chosen, the fall of man infected the generations, and now we are creatures of feelings enslaved to our broken hearts and shattered minds. We’ve forgotten our true identity.

The peace of God became necessary for us to start seeing our true heritage as children of God.

God enstilled 5 levitcal offerings, or sacrifices, designed to atone for sin and bring the Israelites back into relationship with Him. But for this blog I just want to focus on one..

The peace offering.

“‘When his offering is a sacrifice of a peace offering, if he offers it of the herd, whether male or female, he shall offer it without blemish before the LORD.”– (Leviticus‬ ‭3:1‬ ‭NKJV‬‬)

 The peace offering was a voluntary gift given to God from man to establish a peace alliance, a friendship. It had to be preformed continually, perpetually for the peace to remain, for the friendship with God to remain (Leviticus 3:17). This offering was a restoration of communion with God. It was the only offering or sacrifice that consisted of a meal eaten and shared with the Offerer, the priests and God.

This was the beginning of modern Christian’s communion (Luke 22:29): a sacrifice given, then unleavened bread and wine taken in thanksgiving and fellowship with God.

But this was merely a shadow of what Jesus was going to provide.

“For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”- (Isaiah‬ ‭9:6‬ ‭NKJV‬‬)

Being the Prince of peace, Jesus was the living peace offering. But this time around, the offering was from God to man. The alliance was extended from Heaven to earth. The challenge no longer existed in the works it took to kill one’s innocent livestock or in the financial loss the animal would’ve provided the family..the challenge is now in perpetually or constantly accepting this peace offered from God.

““I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.”- (John‬ ‭14:27‬ ‭NLT‬)

Jesus is the final and ultimate peace offering establishing eternal fellowship with man and God. Peace is a gift given voluntarily to us. Peace is constantly available, and constantly accessible. The work isn’t in constantly asking for God to give us peace or through sacrificial means, the peace is already ours.

No, instead, the work is in training our minds to always accept the peace that God has freely planted within us through His Holy Spirit.

How do we access this peace when the chaos becomes too loud?

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”- (Philippians‬ ‭4:6-7‬ ‭NKJV‬‬)

Pray! Constantly pray to God. Praise! Constantly praise God.

Even when life doesn’t feel praiseworthy.

Speak both prayers and praises out loud so you can hear the requests and begin to believe that they will come into action.

Give up the baggage, give up the negativity, and give up the overwhelming chaos. The burden was never meant to be yours. Throw it all down at the foot of the cross where the final and ultimate sacrifice was given through Jesus Christ! Let it go.

“Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.””- (Matthew‬ ‭11:28-30‬ ‭NLT‬‬)

As a woman who has lived a large part of her life battling mental health disorders, from suicidal thoughts (and attempts), to eating disorders, to severe anxiety, I was a walking billboard for mental instability.

I was living my life as a daily sacrifice trying to establish a peace that can only come from God.

And that’s why the peace was always fleeting, always absent. The medication didn’t fix me- it was only temporary until I took the next dose..and the next. The alcohol and drugs didn’t fix me. The toxic relationships didn’t last. No. Only the peace of God provided through acceptance of Jesus has transformed my mind and, in return, my life. The anxiety is less intense and short-lived. The depression is non-existent. I see myself in God’s image now. I’m not perfect, but I have the transforming mind of Christ.

If I can change, you can change.

It sounds hard and sometimes it feels like it, but I can’t exactly trust my feelings, now can I? It’s a daily acceptance of peace. A daily choice of a renewed mind through Christ.  A daily acceptance of God’s ultimate offering to us- Jesus.

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”‭‭-(Romans‬ ‭12:2‬ ‭NIV‬)

Speak peace over the chaos with the authority given to you through the Prince of all peace. Believe peace is here even when it doesn’t look like it with your eyes or sound like it in your head. You will transform through accepting God’s gift of peace through Jesus.


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  • I am in no way a doctor or psychologist. So please don’t take my word for healing your own mental health issues. Read the Word, the Bible, for yourself and listen to whatever God tells you through it. I’m merely sharing my found healing through Christ. Read and see for yourself!