Thursday, February 15, 2018

Grace at Home No. 286


Hello and welcome! I'm so glad you're here for the Grace at Home party, where we celebrate all the ways we make our homes places of grace.

Here are some of my favorite links from last week's party:

Jenny from Refresh Living created a stylish, functional family office space for just $100. You'll love seeing all the details!


Colleen from Life on Kaydeross Creek shared some wonderful ways to use old books in decorating. I got some new ideas from this.


I'm trying to get better at meal planning, so I was really glad to see this post from Kelli at 3 Boys and a Dog: low-cost meals for end-of-the-month meal planning!


I always appreciate getting easy dinner recipes, so I was glad to see this one from Marilyn at Marilyn's Treats: Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas. Yum!


Pam from A New Lens touched my heart with her post "When Communion Comes." I think you'll appreciate this post!


As for me, I find that sometimes the perfect-pink-hearts atmosphere surrounding Valentine's Day leaves me feeling like a failure. If that's true for you, too, I'd love for you to read this post.


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, February 13, 2018

When you feel like a failure


My life isn't pink. Maybe yours isn't either.

But when Valentine's Day is upon us, it can feel as if we're the only ones not celebrating with all things pink, can't it?


And all the talk of love and sweethearts can make us feel as if we're short on the one thing that the whole world seems to proclaim is all you need.

A world bathed in pink and swathed in roses can make a person feel like an awful failure, you know?

When I want to know more about love, I turn to the passage of scripture that was read at my wedding: I Corinthians 13. I'll bet you've read it:

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.

If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 

If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. 

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 

Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  

Love never fails.

And then I really feel like a failure. As much as I may want to exhibit that kind of love, I rarely do so. I wish I could say that I always protect, always trust, always hope, always persevere, but I don't.

But oh, my friend, I have good news. That passage is not about me. It's not about you, either. Our failure is not the point.

That beautiful passage in I Corinthians is a description of God's love for us. The Greek word for this kind of love is ἀγάπη. Written in English, it's agápē.

That's not to be confused with the English word "agape," which, usually referring to the mouth, means "wide open, especially with awe or wonder"—but that's probably how you'll look when you realize the kind of love that God has for you.

It's a funny thing: we often quote verses like John 3:16, but we sometimes have difficulty realizing that God's love applies to us. But it does. God loves YOU, God loves me, God loves us all with a love that never fails.

That's the kind of love God wants to share with us. So that very same word, agápē, is listed as the first fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22. The good news is that we don't have to manufacture this kind of love; the Holy Spirit will produce it in us. 

My friend Dallas Willard said it best, I think:

"We must understand that God does not "love" us without liking us - through gritted teeth - as "Christian" love is sometimes thought to do. Rather, out of the eternal freshness of his perpetually self-renewed being, the heavenly Father cherishes the earth and each human being upon it. The fondness, the endearment, the unstintingly affectionate regard of God toward all his creatures is the natural outflow of what he is to the core - which we vainly try to capture with our tired but indispensable old word 'love.'" (The Divine Conspiracy)

God is this kind of love (see I John 4:8), and God shares this love freely with us. We are not failures; we are beloved children of God. 

Now that word would make a good Valentine's Day treat, wouldn't it?
Much love to you!






Thursday, February 8, 2018

Grace at Home No. 285


Another week has zzzoooomed by! I can hardly believe that it's already Thursday, and time for our Grace at Home party. I'm so glad you're here.

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

Carol at An Oasis in the Desert decorated her home for Valentine's Day, including creating a darling Valentine's themed tree from a leftover Christmas tree.


Want to add just one fun Valentine's day touch to your home? Chas from Chas' Crazy Creations made a cute Valentine's decoration from a simple glass block. Check out her post for the easy directions.


Shannon from Homemade Lovely came up with six alternative things to do to make Valentine's Day special. While she still enjoys flowers and chocolates, these ideas are fresh and fun!


Now that we're well into the new year, I'm determined to make some progress on some of my goals, including doing a better job of meal planning. Do you struggle with this, too? Leslie at From Playdates to Parties offers some very practical tips for meal planning.


And I think one of my first meal plans is going to include this yummy-looking casserole from Andrea at Living on Cloud Nine. 


Last but not least, I was inspired by reading about faithful waiting from Debbie Kitterman at Dare 2 Hear. I think you'll be inspired by this, too!


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, February 1, 2018

Grace at Home No. 284


February greetings! Can you believe that the month of January has already gone? Time really does seem to slip away more quickly than it used to.

I'm glad you're here for the Grace at Home party. Here are some highlights from last week's party.

Valentine's Day is fast approaching. If you want to add some Valentine's prettiness to your home, you'll want to check out the wonderful ideas from Laura at Decor to Adore.


Michele at The Scrap Shoppe Blog created these adorable LEGO valentines for her kids to distribute, and she's giving away a free printable for you to make your own. My boys would have loved giving these to their friends!


Lina at Sew Historically shared 25 Valentine craft, recipe, and gift ideas.


If you're like me, you may still have the January "organizing bug"--but I really like the year-long approach to getting organized developed by Shea at The Fogue Abode. She includes a printable to help you get your home decluttered.


I love getting new bread recipes, so I was delighted to see this No-Knead Cranberry Walnut Bread from Pattie at Olla-Podrida.


My spirit soared when I read Michele Morin's post about making a commitment to blessing. I think you'll like it, too.


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!