Psalm 23

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Jesus is my Shepherd, my guide and the One who takes care of me.
What else would I ever need?

He leads me to places I will flourish and grow – to where I can find strength through Him.
He stops and makes me rest, and drink in the cool waters of His Spirit.

He makes me new.
He takes me down paths where I can learn what is right and how to live for Him and His name.

When I turn and walk into the darkness, and sin begins to swallow me, He doesn’t give up on me. He stays with me, when no one else does. He convicts me, corrects me and disciplines me, because of His great love. When I find myself lost and unsure, He reminds me I have nothing to fear, because He is greater. I can trust Him completely.

In the midst of conflict, when the world comes against me, they come against Him. And, He has the victory.

He has set me apart, He fills me so full of His peace, His faithfulness, His loving-kindness and His grace, it spills over and soaks those around me.

Surely, God will showcase His goodness and His mercy today, tomorrow and every day. That’s who He is. And because He is God, I will trust Him with my forever.

Paper Towel Grace

Our morning

“You have got to be kidding me.”

Those words escaped my lips before I could pull back the exasperated tone at the emptied cup clattering around, slogging milk across the kitchen.

Immediately my son’s head went down and soggy footprints marked the tile floor as he trudged away in shame.

With a deep breath, I went around the expanding white splash zone, and gave him a hug. It was okay. It was just milk. I know he didn’t mean to – it was an accident, I said. I love you, and we will get it cleaned up. After a few minutes of encouragement, he lifted his head. We rearranged the breakfast table so we could finish our pancakes, and I poured a fresh glass of milk for him.

I had just put out a new roll of paper towel on the kitchen holder, and generously laid it down to cover the mess.

Just like that, in the midst of our crazy morning, the kids and I were treated by God to a picture of grace.

During my church’s Sunday evening service, a video was played of people swirling around a city, the hustle and rush of life speeding across the screen, and then everything stopped as the voice over urged us to “be still” and know God. I get the sentiment, and it resonates, but that’s not how life is most of the time. It doesn’t stop, it just keeps spinning faster as our kids grow, and ministry expands and the stuff of life continues to come. Milk gets spilled, and messes are made.

So, how do we as a family live that verse out, when our kids can’t stay still or keep a cup upright?

Paper towel grace.

God shows up in the midst of milk splatter and covers our mistakes and sin and spills with a generous layer of grace, soaking up the shame and worry and defeat. God helps still our hearts and minds, and to know His presence in the midst of the chaos, busy schedules and reality of life. Because, He IS peace. He is who we need most.

2 Corinthians 2:9 reminds me of this: “Each time (God) said, ‘My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.'”

As I’m staring at my kitchen floor that needs mopped this morning, that’s what I need to hear, and need to know.

God is saying to me, and to you: My grace is ALL you need.

Thank you Lord, for your amazing grace, and the brand new package of paper towels in the closet.