April 1, 2014

Interrupted by Grace {Day 1}

I have about one and a half hours to get a post written on April 1st in my corner of the world.  Welcome to the third annual Interrupted by Grace April series!

The first time around, Katherine was about six weeks old.  Brian and Elizabeth were three and seven.  A friend, (Hi, Chrissie!), had asked how things were going and I texted back that I was surprised by the many ways I had been interrupted by grace in the transition.  Those first six weeks of a baby's life are intense - intensely wonderful and intensely horrible - aren't they?  Phew!

Thankfully, God is as present when life is intense as He is any other time.  And, like I said, there He was, interrupting me with grace as I wondered when Brian would stop throwing toys in response to having a new family member and if I'd ever get to hang out with Elizabeth, just us, ever again.  Oh yeah, and I'm pretty sure I was jonesin' for a full night sleep, too!

Well, Brian did.  Elizabeth and I have.  And sleepfull nights became a reality in my life again.

So, here we are, in 2014, embarking on another April interrupted by grace.  The point?  To be on the look out throughout the month of April for ways God interrupts me by grace and to invite you to do the same where you are.  I'll tell my stories, and, dear readers, I hope you drop a testimony of your own in the comments now and then.

Here's a little blurb from my initial post of 2012 for further explanation:
My friend, Sarah, inquired about what exactly I mean by interrupted by grace.  Good question!  The general idea is this: the Holy Spirit dwells within us and can speak into our hearts throughout our days, but often we are far too busy or distracted to remember this reality, let alone listen for His voice.  Shortly after Katherine was born, I noticed that sometimes I'd have surprising moments of peace or joy where I felt prompted to just stop for a moment to reflect on the delightful fullness of life, the depth of Christ's forgiveness of my sin, or some other blessed thought.  I called this being interrupted by grace - Spirit-breaths of fresh air in the staleness of life lived on autopilot.
I believe these grace interruptions can take many forms, so I don't want to stifle the Spirit's creativity for reaching you.  But here are some ways the Lord might interrupt you with grace, either in the midst of complete chaos/fear/pain, a fantastically perfect day, or somewhere in between:
  • something a friend, family member, or co-worker says or does that leads you to reflect on God's love
  • an edifying song that comes to mind "out of no where" that leads to repentance or simply encourages you
  • feeling like you just need to stop for a moment and give thanks
  • a call or letter at just the right time
  • scripture coming to mind when you need it

Sometimes God's graceful interruptions are profound.  Sometimes, we simply need a little sunshine, and He provides.  Great or small, it is good and right to praise the Giver of such reminders grace in our too hectic, too selfish, too distracted lives.

So again, welcome!  I'm excited to see where God takes us all this April.
You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. ... If Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness.  ~Romans 8:9a, 10


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