Welcome to By His Grace!

Hey friend,

I am so glad you are here. I am a woman who is passionate about encouraging women to live authentically for Jesus! On this blog, you will find encouragement and pearls of wisdom to help you navigate the twists and turns of life.

I named this blog By His Grace because I am a woman in desperate need of the grace, that can only come from Jesus.  The tagline I chose for my blog is: seek Jesus, study the word, and grow in grace. When we seek Jesus, we find Him, and as we study His word, and grow in grace, we become more like Him. Spending time with Jesus studying His word has been the one thing that has brought about the most change in my life.

Jesus Christ has profoundly impacted my life and brought me through many difficult seasons of life, and along with those deep wounds, Jesus has shown me deep grace. My desire is for you to find something here to encourage you on your journey and that you will know without a shadow of a doubt that no matter what you are going through Jesus sees you right where you are and His love is great for you, friend!

Much Love, Misty

Being Intentional in Our Callings

We are in the second week of the second month of the year. How are you doing so far with your dreams, goals, and aspirations for 2018? I am amazed at how God is showing up in my life and new and refreshing ways through the lens of my focus word Presence so far this year!

Today I would like to talk to y’all about being intentional. What does being intentional in our callings mean, and what does that even look like?

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,  knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. -Colossians 3:23-24 ESV

It will probably look different for each of us because we are all at different stages in our life. We have different challenges and responsibilities with our home, our families, and our careers. We also have varying degrees of giftings and talents. But I think there are some similarities and principals that we can all use to help us be intentional in our callings, and that is what I want to talk to you about today.

 

Intentionality is your secret weapon in a war against mediocrity. – – Brian P. Morgan The 12 week Year

Since I am a word nerd lets begin with a few simple definitions.

Intentional – done on purpose, deliberate.
Synonyms include: Conscious, intended, planned, studied, knowing, willful, purposeful, preplanned

If we are to be intentional in our callings, then we are doing things on purpose. They are deliberate. We are not being tossed about from one thing to the other. Instead, we are purpose-filled and make conscious decisions on how to plan our day, weeks, month and year.

If we take care of the minutes, the years will take care of themselves. – Benjamin Franklin

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. – Ephesians 2:10 ESV

Being Intentional in Your Calling

God has specific work for each of us to do, and those things are good things.  He has specific things planned for each of us, that only we can do.

Have you read the book Start with Why by Simon Sinek? 

The premise of the book is that anyone can explain what they do, and some people can explain what differentiates them from others, but very few people can articulate why they do what they do. Why is what we believe, at our core and when we can articulate that in a meaningful way we inspire those around us.  This is why knowing our why will also drive our what and how. However, if we know our core beliefs and our why we can motivate ourselves and others in radical ways.

If you have a free 15 minutes watch his TED Talk on start with why, or if you have longer read the book or listen to it on audible. This concept is taking off like wildfire in corporate America, and I think we can learn a lot about ourselves and our calling if we truly understand our why.

Ted Talk Start with Why

As Christians, we all have a similar why. We have a calling on our life to make Jesus known and to shine our lights to an increasingly dark world. God has called us to love him and love others, and that is our why. Our purpose is to love God with all our mind, soul and strength, and love others.

It is Valentine’s week and love is in the air, but when God tells us to love others it is not a romantic type of love, it is a love that is patient and kind. This kind of love serves others and doesn’t insist on its own way.

Last year I reviewed Karen Ehman’s book and Bible Study Listen, Love, Repeat! This book is jammed packed full of ways that we can live aware of those around us and serve them in love.

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1 Corthinians 13 is our Christian roadmap that show us the way we should go, and what love looks like.

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.  And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.  Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.  For we know in part and we prophesy in part,  but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.  For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.  –     1 Corinthinians 13

So as we plan and prepare for all of the wonderful things, we would like to do this year let’s be intentional with our time, talents, and resources, and choose to love and serve others well!

What are some ways that you and your family are living intentionally this year? How are you loving and serving the Lord and others? I would love to know how God is using you to shine His light! Leave me a comment below and let me know what good things you are doing!

Much Love,

Misty

Seasons and Giftings

Hey Friends, I hope you are embracing and enjoying the Advent and Christmas season this year as much as I am. I am so thankful that I got my home decorating done early this year. I have to let you in on a little secret. I began November with great expectations of all that I wanted to accomplish by the end of the year, and I was able to achieve many things on my to-do list, but many other things I had to let go.

The first of November I started making plans for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and began preparing my home for the upcoming season. Then out of the blue, I ended up with an upper respiratory infection that knocked me off of my feet. I kept thinking that I would get better, but days turned into weeks, and weeks have turned into over a month and a half.

Being sick has caused me to let go of many things that I wanted to accomplish and has required me to spend more time resting than usual. I apologize in advance because one of the things I wanted to do was share more with you here on the blog after I wrote my holiday e-book. For anyone who knows me well knows that having to rest could have been quite frustrating to me. Instead, I have chosen to focus on being filled with JOY this holiday season. I have let go of my expectations and let go of the things that I can not control. This has allowed the peace of Christ to rule in my heart.

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And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. – Colossians 3:15

As I have taken time to rest, I have pondered a couple of things I want to talk to you about today, and those are SEASONS and GIFTINGS.

I want to be brutally honest with you here today. I have friends who have commented about my Christmas Home decorations and most of the comments have been very kind and encouraging, but for a few people, I am afraid it has caused them to fall into the comparison trap. Comparing what they are able to do in their home to what I have done in my home and this has prompted me to share a few thoughts with you that you might find helpful as you progress through the remainder of this year.

The goal of my holiday home is to create a warm hospitable home for family, friends, and guests and to inspire you to do the same as you invite others into your home this season. This will look different for you then it does for me and that is okay. God has given me a passion to decorate my home for Christmas, and the time, talent and resources to do it in a way that fits my personal style. It is my creative outlet and it is part of my gifting. My home looks nothing like it did a mere 5, 10 or 20 years ago.

[ctt template=”2″ link=”9fk8n” via=”yes” ]God has given each of us gifts, talents, resources, and time.[/ctt]

 

I have friends who sing and are a part of a fantastic Christmas program at church we have every year as an outreach to our community, and that is their thing. My thing is to fancy up my home and invite others in to experience the love of Christ through my gift of hospitality. I have another friend who bakes amazing cakes and blesses others with her baking. She hasn’t always made these incredible creations, but this is something she has picked up since she is an empty nester. My point here is that we have all gifts from the Lord. He has blessed each of us with special giftings, and it is up to us to cultivate those gifts.

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Which dovetails perfectly with my next point which is seasons. We all experience many seasons throughout our life. What is important to us in our twenties, probably looks, different in our thirties, forties, fifties and so on. The same goes for our resources and time. Some years we have more free time available to us then we do other years.

We do things very differently now that my boys are all older, then we did when they were younger. When the boys were little, we would wait until the coldest night in December, fill our cups with hot cocoa and head out the door to find the perfect real tree and that was the only tree we would put up in our home. Until one year when I bought a small artificial tree for the boys to have upstairs that we could put up much earlier and they could decorate themselves.

We loved the fact that we could put the tree up in November and leave it all throughout the New Year without having to clean up pine needles, remember to water it or be concerned about it being a fire hazard. Which began the transition from real trees to artificial ones. A transition from one season to the next.

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I have a friend who is an empty nester but has also been caring for an elderly parent who just went home to be with the Lord. This friend normally decorates her home beautifully in the Christmas season but has chosen to only put out a nativity scene.

Which really isn’t that what the Christmas Season is really about anyway?

The nativity, the birth of Jesus Christ. The Great I am who humbled himself by coming to earth and taking on human form to live to die that we may be saved.

For the remainder of this year, I plan to throw out all of my preconceived ideas and expectations of the season out the window and rest in the precious gift we have been given through Jesus Christ. My hope is that you will show yourself some much-needed grace and do the same.

[ctt template=”2″ link=”b7hxr” via=”yes” ]We are all in different stages and seasons in life, and we each have unique gifts.[/ctt]

 

How will you choose to use your gifts, resources and time in this season of life? How will you choose to live for the remainder of this year? Begin pondering what you can do for the kingdom of God in this season of your life with the gifts that you have been given for 2018, but linger in the present of the here and now.

Choose to be present in these last few days and moments of 2017. Cherish the love of our Savior Jesus Christ. Be present, be intentional and love those around you well.

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The Mom Gene

God’s Faithfulness in Transitions

We all experience transitions, and it is important to remember God’s faithfulness to us in those times and seasons of our lives. With the new school year approaching, like many families, my family is in a major transitional period. We are leaving behind the relaxing days of summer and looking ahead to new routines and schedules.

My husband will be doing some traveling with his job, and I am transitioning from being a full-time homeschool mom to launching a writing, blogging and speaking ministry. My boys are all growing up and heading off in new directions. My eldest son begins his Senior year of college, our middle son will be starting new therapy and educational programs, and our youngest will be transitioning to a full-time homeschool program.

Change can be exciting, but change can also be scary. We all experience transition periods when we start a new job, send our kids to off to school, get married, have a baby, or move to a new city. We all fear the unknown, but we should not be afraid. Our God is with us wherever we go.In Joshua 1:9, it says

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

We have no reason to fear. Our God is with us, and He has good plans for our lives. From these verses, we learn that we are to be strong and courageous and to not be afraid. We can face the days ahead in faith, instead of fear—not looking to our circumstances, but looking to our God who is faithful.

[ctt template=”2″ link=”FdsmU” via=”yes” ]A prayer journal serves as a reminder of God\’s faithfulness in answering my prayers![/ctt]

During times of transition, one way I keep my focus on God is through prayer. I like to keep a prayer journal. It serves as a reminder of God’s faithfulness in answering my prayers. God has been faithful to us in the past, and will continue to be faithful in the future!  In  Philippians 4:6 we learn that should not be anxious, but in everything, we should pray:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”  

Let us approach the transitions of life through prayer. Knowing that the Lord loves us and wants us to be strong and courageous; knowing He has good plans for us!

 

 

It’s a Great Day for Chick-fil-a

There were days in our early years of homeschooling that were good, and other days when the boys were small that were just down right hard. As difficult as they were, some of those hard times have given me some of my sweetest memories. On those really hard days when I had an inquisitive elementary aged boy, a wild-eyed special needs toddler, a crying baby, and nothing seemed to be going right. My house was a mess, the kids were not behaving—any myriad of problems would plague our family.

I would call my husband, and in his infinite wisdom, he would say, “Don’t go against the grain today.” What he meant by that was to stop trying so hard, relax, and take it easy. don’t be so hard on yourself. He wanted me to enjoy the boys, and not feel so stressed out. He knew that our homeschooling journey was a marathon, not a sprint—and that I didn’t need to try to teach the kids everything that they ever needed to know in life by the time they reached first grade. My husband was more interested in me and the boys being filled with joy. He didn’t want to come home from work to a frazzled, stressed out wife, and miserable unhappy children.

It was on those days that I would buckle all the kids in the car and we would drive-through Chick-fil-a, then drive around and listen to our favorite stories Adventures in Odyssey, or we would go to the park and as the boys ran around and played I would read my Bible. It was there in those moments that the children were content, and mama would regain her sanity. Those days that started off pretty rough could have ended up a disaster, instead ended up creating some sweet little homeschool memories. So thankful for my husband and his wisdom. Some days we are just not meant to go against the grain. instead, it just might be a great day for Chick-fil-a.