Christian Mentors, Moms, Parents, Stay at Home Moms, Women's Ministries

Framed by Grace

Have you ever gone to a museum?  I mean, to really go and appreciate the art and the artist? This past summer, we had the amazing privilege of visiting several museums, galleries, and palaces on a trip to Italy and Spain.  It was truly the trip of a lifetime for two reasons ~ our entire family of 5 traveled together and my husband’s fabulous company that he works for basically paid for our time there!

At each point of sightseeing, we took in each scene with great delight and considered the awe of the history that we were witnessing.  I actually think that I paid more attention to the places we went to, because I wanted to make sure that we were taking into consideration the huge blessing of the fact that it was all being paid for by someone else.

To see works of art in Spain: the Picasso museum in Barcelona, along with the art park showcasing the works by Gaudi, and of course the 100+ years of on-going construction of the Sagrada de Familia there….breathtaking!  The King’s Palace in Madrid; the 900 B.C. monastery in Toledo; and the architectural details of just about every building in Valencia!  WOW!  Every day was an artistic adventure!  Being able to be with my daughters and see Michelangelo’s David, in person, stationed in front of the Palazzo Vecchio (the government palace & residence of the Medici’s in Florence, Italy) was absolutely breathtaking.

All of these memories come to mind easily, because I have all 1200 pictures I took on that trip as a rotating screen saver on my computer.  All the fun we had as a family, all the places we saw, all the beauty of the artwork ~ I’m reminded of it every day.  And it just dawned on my today, how that trip was completely framed in grace.  Our family was given something we didn’t do anything to deserve.

Grace ~ the undeserved gift of salvation that we are offered by God the Father through His Son, Jesus Christ, who came to die and rise again in order to bring us to a reconciled relationship with our Creator!

While I was praying about how this theme of “framed by grace” could be translated into this blog, the Lord gave me the recollections of all those amazing pieces of artwork I saw this past summer.

I remember thinking how the framing process is the last piece to the artistic puzzle.

First, the artist comes up with an idea and out of his passion, he creates a masterpiece.  It is something to be shared and displayed, not hidden away or put in a stack of papers on a desk.  Once the piece is finished, the decisions begin as to how to best frame the artwork.  What color should the mat border be?  Should there be two colors or just one?  What color frame? What type of wood?  What style of frame?  Should it have glass on top, or just the framing? What kind of materials should be used for hanging it….metal nail hook or wire?  So many decisions to make sure that the frame is worthy of the precious and priceless piece of art.

My friends, YOU ARE the artwork!  You have been specifically created by God and are precious in His sight.  The color of your hair, your eyes, your skin…your height, the freckles on your nose, and the size of your feet.  Every little detail has been carefully chosen by The Creator of the Universe. Part of the artwork of your life is also inclusive of the seasons of your life.  The Lord does not just paint one setting for you to live in…the art of your life is fluid and changing, and all a part of His plan.

Psalm 139:13-16 (NLT), You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.”

Psalm 139 verse 13-14

And He has framed your life with His grace.  You are His child and His creation. He wants you to be surrounded with His love and with the tender relationship He desires to have with you.  He wants to show you off to the world and say, “Look here!  This one is mine!  Isn’t she beautiful!  Look at the way her eyes sparkle when she is singing songs of worship.  Look at the love she showers upon others who are seeking encouragement.  I did that for her!”

If you have followed the Lord for your whole life, or just for the past week, you already know that the life of Christian isn’t all daisies and roses.  There are trials in our life ~ but even that part of our life {the struggles} are STILL framed by God’s grace.  We are still hemmed in on all sides.

Psalm 139:5 (NLT), “You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head.”

Like a garment is hemmed ~ with the express intention of keeping that piece of clothing from unraveling.  We are hemmed in by God into His frame of grace.  We may feel like our life unravels at times, but we always have a safe place within the calming strength of the Lord.

1 Peter 3:3-5 (NLT), All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation, and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay. And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see.”

What a remarkable truth that we carry in our hearts when we follow the Lord!  The salvation God has gifted to us, resulting in a priceless inheritance and an everlasting relationship with the Creator of the universe, is truly a precious and irreplaceable work of art that has absolutely been framed by Grace.

Go boldly forth today and every day, with joy and authority, sharing your story of how God has framed your life by His goodness and His grace.  We all have a testimony to share ~ someone needs to hear yours today!

Blessings,
René

Psalm 139 verse 5

Christian Mentors, Moms, Parents, Stay at Home Moms, Women's Ministries

Have you forgotten your worth?

Have you forgotten your worth?

Today, before you start reading, I would like to ask you to quiet your heart and your mind. Ask the Lord to speak to you and show you all the ways the enemy has tried to steal your royal worth.  Then ask the Lord to begin to repair all those hurts, to fill the voids you’ve been struggling with, with His love, grace, and joy.

Take a deep breath….let’s get going!

Let’s first look at a beautiful passage in Psalms 139:13-18 ~

13 For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts,God!
    How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
    they would outnumber the grains of sand—
    when I awake, I am still with you.

All you need to know about your worth is right here ~ How amazing are your thoughts concerning methat’s a literal translations from verse 17.  We are precious to the Lord and He is enthralled with us, His children!

He did not make any kind of mistakes when He created us.  He didn’t get confused, or distracted, or annoyed.  He kept His eye on us the whole time while we were formed in our mother’s womb ~ and He continues to watch over us.  We are created in God’s image…He is worthy…we are worthy because we find our worth IN HIM.

There is a tremendous amount of distraction in our world today ~ tv, magazines, the internet, social media, neighbors, and people….pretty much everything we are surrounded by on a daily basis.  When you start to believe that you are worthless….why is that? What is happening?  What lies are you believing? What happens to skew our thoughts about our worth?

I John 4:1-3 is a picture perfect warning from the Scriptures: Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.”

I feel like I can trust you with my vulnerability here and share a few that I struggle with…

Not being good enough

Not being thin enough

Not having enough finances

Driving around in a scratched up, dented up car

Not being able to afford to pay for our kids college expenses

Not being able to afford to have my hair dyed professionally (the struggle is real my friend!)

Okay…that last one is a little silly, but in recent weeks, my hair was a catastrophically BAD color!  I dyed my hair VERY well…and it was VERY scary! In looking for sympathy, I turned to my youngest daughter.  In all seriousness, she looked at me and said, “It’s not like someone was standing next to you at the store telling you NOT to get that color Mom.”  Well….yeah…but come one!  Feel sorry for me!  My hair is burgundy and that is NOT a good look!! (btw…my husband drove me to the store at 10:30pm to get a box of dark brown to cover up the mess I’d made…we both knew I was in no condition to drive myself!)

In that moment of looking at my horrifying hair color (can you tell I’m still a bit traumatized here!), I felt worthless.  If this hair color deal couldn’t be fixed I was contemplating not going on a weekend trip with my husband that next day.  We had been planning this for months.  But I felt that I would be an embarrassment to him (and personally, utterly mortified at the thought of being in public!) ~ of which he wisely denied that would be the case. So not only did he drive me to the store, he stayed up with me until midnight when complete disaster was averted. He didn’t laugh at me.  He didn’t scold me.  He just love me and supported me through my crazy!  I love my man!!

How like the Lord is that?  When I have made a decision, all the while ignoring the still small voice of the Holy Spirit warning against poor choices, then realize the consequences I’ve created….ugh!  My sweet Heavenly Father doesn’t chastise me; He doesn’t mock me; He doesn’t make me feel guilty.  He stands beside me waiting for me to get off the bus to crazytown (a place of my own creation…you might know what I mean!), then gently guides me back onto the path He has for me.

Satan is the one who plies our mind with those distracting, and sometimes devastating, tactics to make us think we have lost our worth. God’s grace is sufficient to rescue me when I seek His face and ask forgiveness for those moments of weakness.

Matthew 10:30-32 is a great encouragement ~ And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. “Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven.”

Do you realize that every negative thought that slithers in off the enemy’s twisted tongue has to be said IN the very PRESENCE of God.

There is nothing that the devil lies to us about that God doesn’t know.  In our humanness, we need to call on God’s strength in that moment to combat the lies.  Rest securely in the knowledge that we don’t have to muster up the strength or courage to beat down the devil on our own.  We only have to call on Him to help us!

Read this promise here in 2 Samuel 22:2-4 ~ He said: “The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, He is my stronghold, my refuge and my savior—from violent people you save me. “I called to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and have been saved from my enemies.”

Oh those words from scripture are like floating along a delightfully cool river, feeling the soul quenching power of Living Water!  As a daughter of the King, I have the right and accessibility to call upon the name of the Lord and He promises to save me from my enemies…especially when that enemy is myself!

You are WORTHY my friend!

You have been set apart by a loving God who has an amazing journey for you!  You have the ability to make a difference, one person at a time, in HIS timing!  You are created to be a guiding light of God’s love and mercy to a world that is desperately lost!  You are beautiful! You are special!  You are loved and cherished!

Blessings,

René

I John 4 verse 1

{this photo was taken on that weekend away with my husband}

** For further study, check out these verses about how worthy our Lord is to be praised! **

~ I Chronicles 16:24-26

~ Psalm 96:3-5

~ Psalm 48:1

~ 2 Thessalonians 1:11

~ Revelation 4:11