Friday, March 30, 2012

It's almost time

I can't believe in 2 days, this devotional site will be up and running.

OK, so Sunday will just be scripture (see the tab above), but on Monday there will be an actual devotion. Remember this isn't going to be your usual little devotional book that you pick up from Lifeway. It will be personal and real. It is my journey in faith. I have asked several people who I admire to also contribute their own beautiful writing, so I think you will find something new and different here every day.

I'm sure there will be failures and glitches along the way. I may quote something wrong or say something wrong. Remember, I'm a sinner just like in this fallen skin and allowing God to refine me. It is a process.

Whether you are a new believer or have not even begun, I hope you will find this to be a sanctuary away from any past religious scars you carry. We all have them. I could even dare say we have all inflicted them. With that said, I always welcome all comments from all walks of life, but I will never publish anything that I find demeaning or hateful.

This is a safe place. I can't wait to meet you and walk with you as we learn, stumble, and seek holiness together.


P.S.-I will be without internet service this weekend, so if for some reason my Sunday post doesn't show up like it is supposed to, I apologize. Charge it to my head and not my heart. I've never claimed to be a techy...and you don't want to know how long it took me to figure out how to put all those little tabs at the top of this blog. *sigh*

Sunday, March 11, 2012

A Beautiful tapestry

Invite God to do something so significant through your life that it's doomed to failure unless HE be in it.

His words burned through me like I had just taken a dose of Nyquil. You know how you get sick and you know one dose of that nasty cold medicine and you are guaranteed a good sleep within an hour?...yeah, that's how I felt. The words were hard to swallow, but I knew they were meant for my good.

I have thought about writing something "inspiring" for a long time. But, I've hid behind some pretty heavy insecurities and lies I often tell myself: you are not a writer, you are not some expert theologian, you are just some slow talking southerner who still doesn't know the different ways in which to use effect and affect, who versus whom...and well, I've already confessed that I really don't even know how to properly use an ellipses. I vaguely remember something from an English professor in college saying not to end a sentence with a preposition. And "Sarah, be careful with run on sentences."

But, my brain is an endless run-on sentence. My ideas run from one thing to the next like someone with attention deficit disorder. (Perhaps I need Ritalin?) It serves me well for keeping up with the minds of three children under four years of age, but I find it difficult sometimes to communicate my wild, ambitious thoughts with adults.

But, the truth is, the idea for this devotional has been in my heart and mind for a very long time. For the longest time, I allowed my insecurities of others seeing my poor grammar or lack of theology keep me from relaying all the goodness that I have discovered in knowing God. I have let fear that my friends of different religions or no religion at all keep me from writing...not because I didn't think they'd still love me, but because they would think I had gone crazy. "Sarah? A writer? Writing about Jesus? Wasn't she a science major?"

It is true. I have a bachelor's degree in science. In my college years, I took only three English courses. One of which was "Women's Literature"...and that was because it coincided with when my boyfriend who was in a class over at Georgia Tech and we could then spend the rest of the day together. That, and it was an excuse to be romanticised by Jane Austin's writings and take a break from from all the human anatomy courses. (Yes, I totally went to college to get a MRS. degree. I graduated Magna Cim Laude with that one!)

But, these ideas, you see...well, they have been floating through my head for such a long time. It is almost as if God had been slowing weaving together a beautiful love story...a beautiful tapestry all this time. But who am I? Just a simple Southern gal who sometimes speaks with a little drawl and ends her sentences with prepositions.

But, I couldn't escape those words when I heard them: "Invite God to do something so significant through your life that it's doomed to failure unless He be in it."

I knew it was time. Time to let those words that have been trapped in my heart and soul and release them to the world. Time to let the world know that God is SO good. I am not good, but He is so, so good. The world is not good, but He is so, so good. It was time to share what I had learned through my trials in this life...that God is a God of grace, not a God of rules. And that it is time we STOP condemning and judging and making people think that they are not good enough.

You are good enough. He created you. He said you were wonderfully made. Like myself, He is creating a beautiful tapestry with you as well.

I write for an audience of one. But, I pray. Oh how I pray that somehow God can show you that you are so wonderful. That this gift of grace is free. That it isn't what most of you have been taught by religion. I write for only Him, but I'd be lying if I said I wouldn't do a happy dance if this had some profound effect (effect or affect...see, I still don't know!!!) on someone.

That God is good. And He is worth getting to know. Because it's really all about Him. And when we surrender that...oh man! There is freedom. He will not let you fail.

So, here I am. In the midst of 47 posts. In the beginning I told God, "OK. I'll do this but only once or twice a week." But, I have felt His pushing to allow Him to speak through the words I type on this keyboard every day. A 365 day devotional. To shed some truth on this God of grace and love. Not the God of "religion" that most people have been scared into. And I am terrified and haven't a CLUE as to how I'm going to do this!!!

And what a better time to start than seven days before Easter. So, this isn't an April Fool's joke. April 1st...come as you makeup, no cleaning yourself up...come with all your sin. Bring a cup of coffee. And meet a savior that ADORES you. Seven days a week, starting seven days before Easter, at seven AM. Oh, and bring a friend! I'm from the South...the more the merrier around here. We are known for our Southern Hospitality ya know?


Friday, March 2, 2012

Seven Days of Grace

There is this thing that happens to many stay at home mothers. Although we love our children with every ounce of our hearts, many of us still seek an outlet to either utilize our intellect or stimulate our minds. There is this moment in many of us where we all of a sudden realize that just because we are mothers does not mean our dreams die. My biggest dream has always been to be a mother. I talked about becoming a mother since I was probably Ella's age.

And my children still are my greatest desire (besides God and my husband). They are the future. After all, raising warriors for Jesus is no easy task. I take this role of mother very seriously. I know I am caring for God's greatest treasures.

However, my dreams, desires, and interests did not go away when I added the title of mother to my resume. My name is still Sarah...I'm not just mom. For awhile, God sprung this interest and passion for photography into my life right after Ella was born. It has been an amazing creative outlet for me and something that has brought joy to my life. I am so thankful to Him for showing me this interest. It was never anything I intentionally pursued. It just happened. I do not currently have any intentions of marketing myself and growing a large business at this time. But, nevertheless, it has been a blessing for us financially.

I have other dreams too. It is no secret that I adore Paris. I may talk about it more than anyone else I know. I may be slightly obsessed. So, it should not be any shock that I have this dream of studying at Le Cordon Bleu. And although they have a campus in Atlanta, for some reason that just isn't as appealing as learning to cook in the City of Light. This dream is on hold for at least the next 25 years (it's just a tad expensive...and a tad far away).  I have no desire to open a restaurant or bakery...only to learn the French way of cooking. This is why I currently have 5 cookbooks full of the most decadent recipes from my favorite city. I figure if I can't go to Paris, well I will just have to bring Paris to me. My family has been VERY well fed the past few months. I may not look like Giada DeLaurentis, but I'm pretty sure I can cook almost as good as her now. Cooking has become my passion and outlet during this season of life where I spend so much time at home. And again, I am so grateful for God showing me things that can bring me joy in my day to day life that can start to sometimes feel a  little mundane and lonely.

Our dreams are why so many mothers blog. It is why so many have discovered a passion for writing. It is a creative outlet for us to share.

I never started a blog because I considered myself a writer. I do not have an English degree and I certainly have less than perfect grammar. I overuse commas and ellipses. Heck, I'm not even sure I know the proper way to use an ellipses! I don't proof read my posts. I rarely even use the spell check function.

I am not a writer. But, recently, I feel led to write. And I don't necessarily mean about the crazy stuff Ella says. But, to write about things in my spiritual life. Which is terrifying because I do NOT feel qualified and I do not have a degree in theology. When people talk about Calvinism and Arminism, I usually start to get indigestion and run the other direction. I usually see two sides of the coin on that one. I plead the fifth so to speak.

But, I love talking with people about theology. I love talking about our struggles with faith. It's a hard world to even bring up the subject of faith in. People basically think you have shot a dagger in their eye if you even mention the name Jesus. Why? Why are we so scared? Why are we scared to talk about our doubts?

Yesterday, in a moment with God, I found myself picking up my laptop and writing the name to a new blog title: Seven Days of Grace.

I don't even know where that came from. My fingers typed it, blogger accepted it and now it is part of the web. I wrote 4 posts very quickly. But, I didn't post them.

Because I'm not a writer.
But for some reason, I want to write.

I am not a writer. I am not an expert theologian. I don't know all the answers. But, I know a lot about grace. I receive grace every day. It pours over me hourly.

And if you are going to write, you should write about what you know. And I know a lot about grace. Because I am a sinner. And grace is for sinners. And I find that I need grace every morning when I wake up at seven am, seven days a week.

So here I am. You will see a new blog, with a new title, although the same voice that you find over at To Him Belong. (You'll still be able to find me over at: -where I blog about my daily musings as a mother and wife)

This won't be your typical daily devotional. You don't need to clean yourself up before coming here. Come as you are. This is not a place you will come and feel guilty and condemned when you leave. It will be our sanctuary, our safe place. A place where sinners come in need of grace. A place where you will ALWAYS leave feeling encouraged and loved.

The start date is to be announced. Send the word out...tell others who you know need a daily dose of encouragement and grace at 7am (or 10am or 5pm...whenever you need it!).