Saturday, January 12, 2013

Wild Grace

"Wild Grace:  What Happens When Grace Happens" is a great devotional book by Max Lucado for teens struggling to figure out what this thing called Grace is all about... what it looks like in a practical sense. 

From the back cover:

Today’s teens are being shaped by the pressures and disappointments of the world. But Max Lucado encourages them to take a close look at what can shape their hearts and their futures from the inside out—God’s grace.

As Max explains, "God’s grace has a drenching about it. A wildness about it. A whitewater, riptide, turn-you-upside-downness about it. Grace comes after you." Wild Grace gives teens an understanding of how grace can change their lives in powerful ways, even when those lives are messed up, off track, or in trouble. Each chapter describes another miracle that happens when we allow God’s grace to work on us and through us:

“Grace is God’s decision to change everything. Good-bye, earthly labels. Stupid. Unpopular. Ugly. Failure. No longer. You aren’t who they say you are. You are who He says you are. Spiritually alive. Connected to God. Amazing.”

Teens will be convinced that God knew what He was doing when He made them and His grace is always there, ready to work wonders that are bigger than anything this world has to offer.

Organized into three sections (1-God, Grace, and You, 2-Grace in Action, and 3-The Road Home) and ten chapters, Lucado incorporates real-life stories and testimonials into each chapter, and the part I love the most is the 'Your Story' section, which encourages teens to dig deep into their own hearts and discover for themselves the personal blessings of God's grace and how to extend that to others.

All in all, I'm looking forward to my own boys reading this book as they learn to live out the Wild Grace challenge.

*I received a free copy of this book from Thomas Nelson Publisher's Booksneeze program.  No compensation for a positive review of this book was received.



Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

The snow is gently falling as I gaze out the window, our neighborhood quiet on this first day of 2013.  Thinking about what the Lord may have in store for me, for our family in the year to come, how we'll handle some of the changes certain to come our way this summer, I realize I need to do some simplifying.   De-cluttering of the soul and mind', as Sally Clarkson would say (read her blog post on de-cluttering ).  It seems that as the boys get older there is more to consider in our loves soccer, the other loves basketball.  One loves piano wants to learn guitar.  One wants to learn German...the other wants to learn French.  One loves to get together (often) with large groups of friends...the other would just prefer to get together with one good friend.  Enter home education, church and ministry and here we are. 

Finding time to just rest in the Lord each listen to Him who gives me the strength to take the next breath, take the next step, do the next thing, and know that He is sufficient in the midst of the craziness that characterizes many of our days.  I often find myself longing for the days when our schedule was formed around naptimes and meals-it was so much simpler then.  The rest of this week finds us still on our Christmas break from our formal lessons as we look forward to spending time with extended family in celebrating together this weekend.  We'll be de-cluttering our home, setting things back to normal (whatever that means...our normal I guess) and playing together a LOT.

Looking ahead to how I desire 2013 to characterize our lives, our home, I desire it to be flooded with Grace and Kindness, Patience and Joy, Love and Peace.  Our oldest son (11 y/o) told me the other day that I was the best Mom (which I never tire of hearing, though always feel humbled as my many inadequacies race through my brain at such times).  So I asked him, what makes me the 'best Mom'?  His answer, 'you let us have extra sweets during the holidays'.  Never being one to just let things go, I sought to dig a little deeper, so I asked, 'Tell me what are those things that make me a good Mom?  What are those things that I do that make you know I love you?'  So he said, 'you're patient and kind and gentle with us.'  Really????  I don't often feel that those Fruits of the Spirit characterize my heart, though you can be sure that during my quiet time, I'll be praying more on each of these to permeate my heart and the hearts of my husband and boys as well... 

Happy New Year!