Playdates with God: New


This morning there is gray. The sky drizzles down bit by silver bit and I sit and listen to the washing machine churn. The goldenrod bends low in the meadow behind our house and the chickadees perch on those swaying stalks to preen. The rain washes us all clean.
It’s not hard to get caught up in the try-hard life. One too many “yeses” and before you know it, there you are, dreaming about the next thing in the middle of a Friday night. You might wake with a start at too-early a.m. and chase sleep away with burning thoughts. You might fret and worry and turn things around and around in your mind when you know darn well this is the bed you made and you have to sleep in it. 
But there is grace. 
Saturday, I sat at the feet of Beth Moore (well, not really—technically I was a bit above her in the arena) and listened to her talk about grace. She helped me see that my definition of grace is too narrow, too shallow, too small. 
The Greek word for grace used in the New Testament, she said, is charis. And she gave us a big long definition. Charis, she said, means grace—particularly that which causes joy, pleasure, gratification; favor, acceptance, for a kindness granted or desired…a benefit, thanks, the absolutely free expression of the loving kindness of God to men, unearned and unmerited favor…it changes the individual into a new creature without destroying her individuality. 
It’s that last part that I’ve been sitting with: it changes the individual into a new creature without destroying her individuality. 
I’d never thought of grace in quite that way, I guess, but—yes, it’s true, isn’t it? When we accept the flood of God’s grace into our lives fully, it re-orders everything—makes me new. Beth urged us to live in this new self—not to hold on to that old self for comfort. 
Isn’t this a message I need to hear on a regular basis? That God loves me no matter, that his grace will cover me with love if I desire it, and that I am made new in Christ. 
This morning, I look at these hands, this face, this body…and I wonder at the wonder of it all. Made new. 
I am.
I was blessed to spend some time with Lisa Buffaloe of Living Joyfully Free recently. We had fun talking about grace and faith and the book I’m working on. If you are interested, you can listen in here.

This week, at The High Calling, we are continuing our discussion of Life after Art by Matt Appling. This week, Sandra Heska King shares. Will you join us?

How do you embrace the God-joy? Every Monday I’ll be sharing one of my Playdates with God. I would love to hear about yours. It can be anything: outside, quiet time. Maybe it’s solitary. Maybe it’s loud and crowded. Just find Him. Be with Him. Grab my button at the bottom of the page and join us:
The Playdates button:

Comments

  1. says

    I’ve actually been thinking about this very thing as I write my book Laura. Like the way Beth says it. It’s something I’m leaning into, this truly understanding what loving myself looks like and accepting true grace. It’s hard for me as an adult child of an alcoholic. I’m going to delve into what that might look like in October on my blog and in a new book club. I would love for you to join the discussions there.

  2. says

    I was at the AACC conference in Nashville this past week/end soaking up messages that had a similar resonance, Laura. So I’m nodding my head and so grateful for people who remind us of the love of the Father over and over again.

  3. DeanneMoore says

    Grace allows us to live unmasked…because we know who we are and God does to. He likes the me he made–actually loves the me he created. How blessed He is when we feel the same way as He does about ourselves. The “graced” give grace. It is true with God and it is the way of his kingdom.

  4. bluecottonmemory says

    I love this line: “it changes the individual into a new creature without destroying her individuality.” I’ve always felt conflicted about why God designed our individuality – but then said we had to become like Jesus. I understand that we can only fulfill His plan for our lives through Jesus – but sometimes the wording leaves me confused:)

  5. Megan Willome says

    I’ve been feeling some newness in me lately (not in my circumstances, sadly). It helps a little. Grace is not dead, only misapplied, perhaps. Perhaps not.

  6. Mia says

    Dear Laura
    Oh yes, dear friend, grace is one of those mysteries we cannot truly reason out with our logic, it is something that we begin to understand when our Pappa reveals it to our hearts! He does it so gently and subtly that we just begin to realize how we see differently, act differently, think differently and all so naturally!
    Blessings XX
    Mia

  7. says

    I’ve been sitting at Beth’s feet for a long time. I’m so grateful for her giftedness. I recently led a group of women through Beth’s study on the book of James….and as you know, James can create a little tension with grace with his “faith without works is dead.” Beth admits that James messes with us in a good way. I can’t recommend that study enough. “Mercy Triumphs” is the title. The longer I walk with Jesus, the sweeter the grace and the more profound the mercy. God is so good to me.

    Love your interview with Lisa and hearing more of your story. You are a gift.

  8. says

    Oh man that last line… Beth Moore know how to get you right where you need it. I needed this, today, I needed it. Thanks you Laura for the little place to play with God, I do love it dearly.

  9. soulstops says

    Laura,
    It was lovely to listen to you talk with Lisa B. and to learn more about your back story…I listened to about 28 minutes then I had to run…so happy that your 12 long years of praying for your hubby were not in vain…love to you 🙂

  10. says

    Wasn’t it good? The piece on Grace which closed the first session is on the Living Proof blog now, as is the closing commission. It’s no secret that I’m a recovering legalist, but the messages I’ve been under this last week, including the simulcast, make me think I’ve fallen off the wagon in that department. I can’t get enough grace, and I need always to remember that. (Loved the old man illustration, too.) Thanks for sharing your response too. So glad you got to be there in person.

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