Tuesday, November 6, 2012

More Thoughts on Grace

As I was driving home late last night, after a long day at work and an evening with the ladies of our small group, I realized how rare it is for me to get away and spend time with a group of women. Which is strange, seeing as how that was basically my life at Teen Mania for 3 years. But things change, life doesn't ever stay the same, does it?

This led to thoughts about my relationship with God after having a child. Now that's an area that is vastly different today than it was 2 or 3 years ago. Back then, I'd easily have an hour to myself in the mornings, or if I slept in, I'd have that hour in the evenings to spend time soaking in the Word. But when Josiah came, an hour to myself went out the backdoor.

At TM, we were required to have an hour of "quiet time" every day. This is a great thing, but I think if you're not careful, it can easily lead to a legalistic mindset. If I don't get this hour, then I'm a failure and I'm slacking and have a bad relationship with God.

Sadly, this is a mindset I unknowingly developed after Josiah was born. There have been so many times that I'd actually set my alarm extra early to try and get that hour in of quiet time, and Josiah would wake up 20 minutes into my reading. Then I'd get all frustrated and think well, I barely scratched the surface and didn't get real time with God in today.

It has taken time to re-wire my brain of the mindset that I have to have an hour (because in reality, I just don't have that time!). God is not sitting there with a timer, and if I miss the mark, He's not going to speak to me.

God is so pleased when we turn our hearts to him for ANY amount of time. If it's 5 minutes before we head out the door of thanking him and praising him, he is pleased. If it's 15 minutes spent reading the Word or praying on lunch break, he is pleased. We don't get extra points with Him for spending an hour vs. 20 minutes. He can speak, He WILL speak, when we simply set aside distractions and turn our hearts to him.

We live a much more free and fulfilling life when we understand God's grace, and learn to step out of legalistic mindsets.


- Kailene said...

Yes! This is so true. I struggled with a legalistic mindset toward my quiet times while at TM, but I think it was a really good thing for me to wrestle with... because now I can see that, you're right, God doesn't sit there with a timer and give me a look of disappointment when I oversleep (like this morning) or only have half of much time as I would like to spend in the Word. I love that His love is unconditional; it's not based on what we DO. He loves regardless.

Jessica said...

Amen! I am still working on getting this through my head too.

I've been reading a book called "What's So Amazing About Grace?" by Phillip Yancy. Your post kinda made me think of it a little bit. I've been loving what it's teaching me and how it's making me want to live with more grace toward myself and toward others. I can tell I really like it because it keeps coming up in my conversations and thoughts haha. Anyway, I know you're looking for a new book so I thought I'd mention it to you. Let me know what you think if you decide to read it! :)

Stephanie Griffioen said...

Jessica - I've heard of that book, maybe I will go find a copy now that you recommend it :-)