Relationships


I created this graphic after going through session five of the bible study Sip, Savor, and Drink Deeply by Deb Burma.  You can purchase the study a few different places if you are interested.

Encouragement

Now that I am finished with it I would recommend it to anyone, even if you do not drink coffee.  It includes recipes, craft ideas, tidbits about coffee drinks, and a great many other things about God’s Word. Lucky for me I was able to walk through it with a group of other ladies but it could easily be done on your own!

Now back to that graphic and why I created it for myself.  I wanted to have easy access for a reminder from areas of the Bible.  Some of the relationships in my life are stagnet, not comfortable, flourishing, open, comfortable, or have just gone by the wayside. But today I’d like to talk about one of the most important relationships I have in my life.

The one with my spouse, my husband of 14 years.

When this session was presented before me it was a good thing.  At the time I wasn’t so sure because things were stressful in that very important relationship I mentioned before.  No need to air my dirty laundry or share more than my hubs is comfortable with.  Just know that reading through creating something in me to focus on changing my responses.  I’m still a work in progress and so is he.  To date, I have not been able to sit down and visit with him about this session.  The farmer is too busy and it’s okay, we will when time allows. I have it on the top of our “to do” list! 🙂 But I see the help it has given our relationship already, without him evening knowing what it’s about! 🙂

When I walked out of the Monday night bible study the night we did this session I saw things differently. One thing I realized is that it’s a duty as a Christian to have those difficult conversations with others.  Am I scared?  Yep.  Will I pray on it?  Yep.  Have I strayed from my faith before?  Yep.  Do I still struggle with things today?  Yep. Have I repented?  Yep. Am I forgiven?  Yep.

Psst….. you can too.  Jesus loves you.

Now, feel free to save the graphic or print it off for personal use.  I plan too.

Grace is a gift,

Julie

 

 

Advertisements

To Be Served or Serve Others


To Be Served Or Serve

I feel like lately I have not done much serving to others.  It has been more of myself being served.  Those precious souls outside my own family,  taking the time to cover me in support, love, hugs, cards, notes, words, food, and time.  I am much better at accepting service from others than I used to be.  I have learned, in the past couple years, while in God’s Word, that this is an essential part in living.  It is just as important as us serving others.

Allowing others to serve us, whether in a time of need or time of joy brings about the concept of give and take I think.  My hope is that I am able to serve others and not miss an opportunity to do so in the name of our Savior.  I serve because the Lord did so, I do it hopefully to His glory.

Yes, there are times I miss an opportunity, don’t say a word, or do not give that comforting hug.  I can be selfish and not be thinking of others.   I pray though that I am more of a reflection of God’s service than not.  That even when no one is looking I provide aid to others.

Is there a time you can recall being served? There is one particular time that I realized much later that it was an act of service through the grace of God.  It was provided to me  by a group of women I attended church with years ago.  I had moved out to a new house upon separation with my then husband.  The ladies had a house-warming party and showered me with gifts at the new home.  It was a loving time when things didn’t seem so loving in my life.  I will forever cherish the memory and the service these ladies provided me in my time of need.  Although material items were given, it was the act, the love and compassion that forever resonates in my memories.

When I have had my children there have been baby showers and well wishes upon my marriages.  There has been food provided to my family during deaths and support by attendance to my loved one’s funerals.  Prayers ascended to heaven for our God to aid me and my family in different times of life. For these and  many other acts of service I am grateful

Service is something that we can all do, I think it’s just something we have to keep at the forefront of our daily living. (me included)  For example I sometimes feel it unfair that I have to clean up the toast crumbs left behind, or remind older children of things repeatedly, organize dinner,  do the laundry, or make sure homework is completed.  I need to remember these are acts of service for the most precious beings God has placed in my life.  That perhaps, my duty to serve in the name of God, is for just these people right now.  My family.  

So today I’d like to invite you to serve with me.  Take the opportunity to serve another.  It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture or purchasing something large.  A note of encouragement, a home cooked meal, coffee or tea, or just  quick phone call or text.  Join me in serving another in the name of God our Father.  Come back and tell me how it went and how it changed your life!

Grace is a gift,

Julie

Grace is a Gift


cropped-flowers.jpg

Grace is a Gift.  That is the way I sign all my posts.  I decided to make this second to last post about just that.

Grace.

It is a gift from God.

John 1:14

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

I went to Dictionary.com to see what it had to say about grace. I decided I’d just share the link verses put it completely here in the post.  I wanted to focus on what the bible has to say about grace.

To put is plainly……

Ephesians 2:8

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.

We can not earn it.  We can not buy it.  We can not pray for it.  It is a gift from our Father in Heaven.   HE offers this gift to all,  in hopes that every one of us will accept it.  Accept Jesus Christ as our Savior.

I’ve written about my faith and the journey it has taken a few times here on blog.  I wanted to share today that before I even understood what God’s grace was, HE was providing it to me.

I wasn’t alone when I was hurt, I wasn’t alone when I gave birth at 17, and I wasn’t alone when I did any joyous thing in my life prior to understanding this gift.  God provided me with love and protection, with strength and courage, and he offered me HIS grace.

I hope that you will take some time and find your way through the blog to learn more about me and God.  The relationship we have and where it has been and where it might be going.  I have much to learn but I am finding that life here on earth is easier to endure with my ever-growing faith in HIM. That weekly fellowship and worship, plus being in the Word (almost) daily has helped.

In the past when I would get upset for whatever reason, I recall crying out that I felt so alone.  Now, in my midst of tears and heartache, no matter who or what made me cry, I whisper the following to calm myself.

“I am not alone.  God is with me right now. I will never be alone.  I am a sinner but HE loves me.  He cares for me.”

This is the truth.  I am not alone and you are not alone.  God’s gift to you and me is HIS grace.

Grace is a gift,

Julie

Other posts about God you might enjoy

1

2

3

Change. Blending Together. Growing


You might have noticed a while back I changed the background of my blog header. I told myself when I started Pushing Forward with Grace that I was going to keep the blog simple and not change anything for 365 days. HA!  That lasted for a stint but then I added a couple of things to the sidebar and photos to the posts.

One day I had taken a photo of a beautiful bouquet of yellow flowers. I decided it would be a nice addition to my blog header. Prior to the change it was a solid yellow (my favorite color).  Although the background still includes yellow, there is also some white, and even a touch of green.   The hues of each color blend with the others, as if to work in unison.

I would like to think that this change reflects something about me.  With each day that goes by, each post that I share, the inner vines that are within me change and grow.  They blend together to create something new yet something attached to the foundation of me.

There are posts that I have forgotten about and ones I never will.  But each of them is a reflection of who I am, where I have been, and where I am going.  I hope you enjoy this blog and my writings, it has brought me joy and little stress.  Thank you for following Pushing Forward with Grace.

Grace is a gift,

Julie

Change. Blending Together. Growing

 

 

This Is the Day, Let Us Rejoice


HE IS RISEN

With each passing year day and hour,  it seems to me my knowledge of God and His Word have grown.  I have never read the bible from cover to cover to date, but since September 2014 I spend a section of my morning with Him in some manner.  Perhaps it is just in my mind but I feel my days go smoother by taking this time with Him.

As I spent Good Friday sitting in a familiar pew and listened as each of God’s words were spoken to me, each song sang, and each candle put out I realized there were parts I knew and others I did not. I still have so much to learn.  Learning is essential to have a thriving life and with each passing year, day and hour I am doing just that.  So surrounding myself with those that follow Jesus, study His word, live a life according to His word, and share their knowledge of Him with me is important. I am grateful for each of those people.

Today,  HE IS RISEN.  It’s Easter Sunday.  The day when we celebrate the rising of our Lord Jesus Christ. We await his return for the Resurrection!  The day we fellowship with those that find happiness after the dark service of Good Friday.  The joy in our hearts because God sent His son to die for our sins.  This day will include songs of joy, Holy Communion, fellowship of breakfast, and yes even an Easter egg hunt.  Our afternoon we will be among family and a meal where we gather together. From each thing I will learn something, I just know it!

This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice, and be glad in it!

Grace is a gift,

Julie

Encouragement In Paper Form


As you might recall my post about depression and in the days that followed I received encouragement through comments, private messages, hugs, and also handwritten notes via the mail service.  These gems are all valuable to me and I am grateful for the love I have in my life.  God has placed so many Sisters in Christ in my life I sometimes feel bad for having so much.  On the darkest and brightest of days I can call on them and they will lift me up either way.

Grace has been extended to me.  Thank you.

cards of encouragment

Grace is a gift,

Julie

Callings & Serving Neighbors


Do you ever question your calling in this life?  I do.  My friend shared a post with me and it brought me some reassurance of where I am right now in this thing called life and my calling.  It gave me some clarity and a reminder the choices my spouse and I are making are currently good and right.  I decided to take Edie, the writer’s lead.  I have chosen to write out what I can do for my nearest neighbors.  This will be a reflection and reminder for me and perhaps you will want to make your own.

My closest neighbor.  Milton.

I can pray for him daily.  I can lift him up.  I can acknowledge verbally the good he brings to our family and I can feed him with good meals.  He needs nourishment not only for his mental state but physical one as well. I can stay calm in times of issue and guide with a clear mind.  I can hug him each day.

Psalm 19;14

My youngest daughter.

I can pray for her daily. I can listen to her tell of her time at school, encourage her imagination, laugh with her, teach her that there are rules in life along with rewards.  I can be an example of a giver and how the Lord has changed my life so she won’t feel lost as I did as a child.  Offer her the knowledge of the the gift our God provided and walk with her on that journey. I can hug her each day.

Deuteronomy 6 7

My middle daughter.

I can pray for her and her spouse daily.  I can answer her calls when she need cooking advice or just listen as she may vent at a lunch date. I can hug her every time I see her.  I can display God’s love to show her He is the truth and the light.  I can click like her five hundred photos on Facebook and Instagram of her fur babies Tank & Kyra!

HEbrews 1316

My eldest daughter.

I can pray for her and her fiance daily and their families.  I can help her to discern between emotional overload and the way to solution.  I can complient her cooking and answer her questions for wedding preperations.  I can show her an example of how to teach her child about God and how much it is needed in every person’s life.  I can hug her every time I see her.

John 1427

Although our immediate family has grown, these four people are the beginning of our family.  These are the neighbors that I have cared for many years. Some I have had to let go in part, others I will in future years, and others I will hold tight until God chooses to take one of us.  My calling in life has always been to be a wife and mother, no matter if I worked full time or was a stay at home mother.  The opportunities that I am able to serve them, guide them, help them, nurture them, and pray for them. Thank you Lord for instilling in me the ability to be a wife and mother.

Sometimes I need a reminder that this calling is just where I am to be.  Sometimes I need to allow them to serve me as their neighbor as well.  But that is for another post.  I hope you find inspiration today here at Pushing Forward with Grace. Take a moment to choose some neighbors to serve or guide and as always do it in LOVE. Make a list!

Grace is a gift,

Julie

 

 

Virtual Visits or Reality Visits


There are these ladies I am friends with on line, well I guess you could call them “virtual sisters”.  We have our own little private group on Facebook and we go there when we need to get help on a blog issue, vent about life, ask for prayers, or laugh our heads off.  In this group there are six of us, which means six different personalities.  Did I mention we are all female too?  🙂  But we always respect each others opinions and know that we can speak frank and roll with the punches.

Anyway, in a week when I have felt much love, much support, and much guidance I found that my “virtual sisters” that have never met me in person were truly just plain old “friends”.  Drop the virtual shall we, there’s love and care intertwined between us.  Here’s how I know this.

I received this from them at my Dad’s Memorial Service,  a peach tree.  The other wonderful part is one of the ladies drove over an hour to bring it to the funeral home.  God bless her soul!

Peach Tree Virtual Sisters

 

I also received a visit from one of the friends. I was to be in Austin, Texas this past week with her for a conference for Agriculture and blogging.   She was making her way to a town north of where we live and made a stop this morning to see me and drop off a few goodies.   There is an Ag swap at the convention, her and one of my other pals decided to gather up some stuff for little ol’ me!

AGCHAT GOODIES

But the best part of this morning was getting to meet my friend Nicole in person.  You can find her blog by clicking here.  If you are not familiar with the farm life or are and want to see a different perspective, make sure to stop by her blog. She is really incredible about sharing the world of agriculture!

Sunsets and Ks Farm Mom

Here’s what I want to say……

If you have the opportunity

Take the opportunity and do something this week to give grace and love to another, offer it to the person that would least expect it from you.  Seriously take me up on this challenge, then come back here, comment, and let me know how it went.  I plan to pass this on, I plan to show someone that would least expect it how much I care.

Grace is a gift,

Julie

My other Virtual Sister’s sites…. check them out if you choose too! I highly recommend it!

A Gentle Word

Hasekamps of Tulip

Country LINKed

Farm livin is My Life