Thursday, June 22, 2017

Grace at Home No. 255



Today is June 22, and I'm so glad to welcome you to this week's Grace at Home party.

I don't know what's going on in your life today, but June 22 is a special day for me. Today is my 32nd wedding anniversary!


Obviously, we were only 12 years old when we got married {wink}.

As you can imagine, I'll be spending some time today reflecting on the way God has blessed us over the years. So I'm glad that today is the day for the Grace at Home party, where we celebrate the ways we make our homes places of grace.

Here are some links from last week's party I thought you might enjoy.

If you're looking for garden inspiration, you should visit with Rita from Panoply! She shares photos of her spring/early summer garden that will have you wanting to create your own beautiful outdoor spaces.

Alicia from A Brighter Destiny recommends books for read-aloud time around the campfire. There are some great recommendations here.


Pattie from Olla-Podrida shared a recipe for Caramel Pound Cake with Salted Toffee Glaze. Doesn't this photo make your mouth water?


Sheila Qualls learned an important lesson about overcoming shame when she received a letter from a concerned friend advising her to lose weight. 


A big thank you to everyone who joined last week's party!  I'm so grateful for each person who links up each week. If you've been featured, feel free to grab the "I was featured" button.  I'd be so proud if you displayed it!


Now for this week's party!  Grace at Home is a place for you to share anything related to making your home a place of grace. I invite you to link posts about
  • DIY projects
  • decorating
  • recipes
  • hospitality
  • homemaking tips
  • parenting
  • marriage
  • faith
  • self-care
  • soul care
Whatever you do to make your home a place of grace, I'd like to hear about it.  Here's what I ask of you.  Please include the permalink to your post, not your blog's home page.  Please let people know that you've linked up.  No more than three posts per person, please.  Note that if you link a post here, you are giving me permission to share your post, including a photo.  And visit at least one of the other party participants--that's what really makes it a party!




Thursday, June 15, 2017

Grace at Home No. 254


Hello, friends! Welcome to the Grace at Home party, where we celebrate all the ways we make our homes places of grace and beauty.

Here are some posts from last week's party I thought you might enjoy:

Pamela from Home on the Corner showed us her front porch all dressed up for summertime's patriotic holidays.

Lindsey from Repurpose and Upcycle shared her technique for creating this beautiful chippy paint finish:

Danielle from A Sprinkle of Joy gave us  her recipe for making turtle parfaits. Doesn't this look delicious?
Tehila from Women Abiding shared five spiritual lessons she learned from a recent house renovation. Great inspiration here!


As for me, I wrote about a distorted picture of God I've struggled with. I'd love to know if this is something that has troubled you as well. 


A big thank you to everyone who joined last week's party!  I'm so grateful for each person who links up each week. If you've been featured, feel free to grab the "I was featured" button.  I'd be so proud if you displayed it!


Now for this week's party!  Grace at Home is a place for you to share anything related to making your home a place of grace. I invite you to link posts about
  • DIY projects
  • decorating
  • recipes
  • hospitality
  • homemaking tips
  • parenting
  • marriage
  • faith
  • self-care
  • soul care
Whatever you do to make your home a place of grace, I'd like to hear about it.  Here's what I ask of you.  Please include the permalink to your post, not your blog's home page.  Please let people know that you've linked up.  No more than three posts per person, please.  Note that if you link a post here, you are giving me permission to share your post, including a photo.  And visit at least one of the other party participants--that's what really makes it a party!




Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Correcting a distorted picture of God


I once worked with a productivity genius. Maybe you know the type. She could cut through any kind of barrier and get things done. Boy, did I admire her.

She had this sign hanging above her desk:


"Lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part."

She always remained calm and unruffled. She would help her co-workers, but she did in a way that fit into her schedule. In other words, she never allowed anyone else's needs to interrupt the flow of her work.

I kind of wanted to be like her.

But I was also kind of scared of her.

Do you know what I mean?

I didn't realize how much that admiration/fear I felt for my colleague had seeped into my soul. As I was facing a looming deadline and feeling overwhelmed by all the demands on my time, I asked a friend to pray for me.

Wisely, that friend did some probing before praying, helping me get to the root of what I needed from God.

Out of the blue, my co-worker's motto popped into my head, and I realized that I was imagining that God had the same attitude.

Lodged deep in my heart lay the idea of an impatient God—a God who would help me, sure, but who was slightly irritated that I needed to ask for help. Somehow I felt that God, in all His glory and perfection, felt impatience with me for my lack of planning.

This God tolerated me, but I grated on His nerves.

I could ask for help, but His assistance would be delivered grudgingly.

Can you imagine God sitting in His office, drumming His fingers on His desktop, raising His eyebrows in exasperation? My friend's gentle questions revealed that this was my picture. This was the God of my imagination.

My mental image was not an accurate picture of the God we meet in scripture. It's not a true picture of the God who listens and answers the prayers of his children, who delights in us.

Only a distorted image would picture God as perfect in power but not perfect in love. 

Does God love me because of my goodness? No, He loves me because of His goodness. The apostle John said it like this:

"This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us." (I John 4:10, NIV)

God's love doesn't depend on my love. Nor does it hinge on how lovable I am.

My strength doesn't strengthen God's love; my weakness doesn't weaken God's love.

So strong is God's love that His spirit inspired these words:

"I am sure that neither death nor life, no angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, 
nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us 
from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:38-39, ESV)

"Nor anything else in all creation": not even my incompetence. Not even my lack of planning. Not even my failure.

Do you see how much I needed my friend's prayers? My distorted image of God didn't affect God one bit, but it did affect me.

My picture of God didn't just need a little editing, a bit of cropping and an adjustment of the white balance. No, I needed see a completely different picture.

I needed to take God out from behind that desk with the sign over it.

I needed to see that He doesn't greet me with a frown of annoyance at being interrupted.

I needed to see that His fingers are not drumming on the desktop.

That's all a false picture.

The real picture is one of God's face alight with kindness, His arms stretching out in welcome, His hands reaching out to help and comfort.

"God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all." (I John 1:5, KJV)

Thank God for friends who pray.

Thank God for new pictures.

Thank God for His unfailing love.

Do you ever struggle with a distorted image of God? Can we encourage one another together?



Thursday, June 8, 2017

Grace at Home No. 253


Welcome to this week's Grace at Home party, where we celebrate all the ways we make our homes places of grace and beauty.

I've been out of town this week. If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you might have seen this photo of me and my husband at a gala in Washington, DC:


We had a wonderful time, but I've been awfully quiet online this week. Still, I have some favorites from last week's party I'd like to share with you.

Laura from Junque Cottage shared some simple ways to add the ultra-popular primitive style to your home. (I love her blog's tag line: "Farmhouse Decor on a Chicken Feed Budget.")


Speaking of budget decor, Marty from A Stroll Thru Life is a master. She showed us a bunch of ways to get a high-end look for less money. Great tips here!


Lindsey from Repurpose and Upcycle really got my budget decor juices flowing with her post about painting fabric. She transformed her porch by painting the furniture cushions, and she shares a tutorial on exactly how she did it.


I discovered a new-to-me blog this week. Sheila Qualls from Where Real Life Meets Real Faith shared some wonderful thoughts about why she chooses to work.  You'll be blessed by this!

A big thank you to everyone who joined last week's party!  I'm so grateful for each person who links up each week. If you've been featured, feel free to grab the "I was featured" button.  I'd be so proud if you displayed it!


Now for this week's party!  Grace at Home is a place for you to share anything related to making your home a place of grace. I invite you to link posts about
  • DIY projects
  • decorating
  • recipes
  • hospitality
  • homemaking tips
  • parenting
  • marriage
  • faith
  • self-care
  • soul care
Whatever you do to make your home a place of grace, I'd like to hear about it.  Here's what I ask of you.  Please include the permalink to your post, not your blog's home page.  Please let people know that you've linked up.  No more than three posts per person, please.  Note that if you link a post here, you are giving me permission to share your post, including a photo.  And visit at least one of the other party participants--that's what really makes it a party!





Thursday, June 1, 2017

Grace at Home No. 252


Happy June, friends!!

It's a beautiful day in my neighborhood, and I'm grateful that you're here for the Grace at Home party. Here are some highlights from last week's party:

Laura from Decor to Adore built this awesome desk and shelf unit for her son's room. I think I need to copy her idea—but in our house the shelves will hold LEGO creations!


Kristi from Making It in the Mountains built this charming serving tray in just half an hour, and she gives complete instructions for making your own.


Looking for Father's Day gift ideas? Joy from Artful Homemaking put together a list of great ideas.


I've been wanting to find some recipes for quinoa, so I was tickled to find this recipe for Greek-style Quinoa Salad from Jas at All That's Jas. Doesn't it look delicious?


As for me, I wrote about what makes Mr. Rogers so special—and why we need to learn from him. I'd love to know your thoughts about this post. If you like it, I'd be most grateful if you would share it.


A big thank you to everyone who joined last week's party!  I'm so grateful for each person who links up each week. If you've been featured, feel free to grab the "I was featured" button.  I'd be so proud if you displayed it!


Now for this week's party!  Grace at Home is a place for you to share anything related to making your home a place of grace. I invite you to link posts about
  • DIY projects
  • decorating
  • recipes
  • hospitality
  • homemaking tips
  • parenting
  • marriage
  • faith
  • self-care
  • soul care
Whatever you do to make your home a place of grace, I'd like to hear about it.  Here's what I ask of you.  Please include the permalink to your post, not your blog's home page.  Please let people know that you've linked up.  No more than three posts per person, please.  Note that if you link a post here, you are giving me permission to share your post, including a photo.  And visit at least one of the other party participants--that's what really makes it a party!