Not too long ago I went on a women’s retreat through my home church at Southside United Methodist in Jacksonville, FL. The retreat was nearby, but just far enough in distance to give you the mental capacity of a vacation in the quaint historical town of Fernandina Beach. The theme for the weekend was Grace, and I was fully equipped to ball my eyes out like a baby as I soaked in the word of Jesus surrounded by other strong women all looking for the same thing: strength in numbers. Maybe I’m ‘broad brushing’ here on what the other women were searching for during this time of spiritual growth, but I would imagine it was in the ball park of gaining strength. Maybe it was physically, from ailments they or loved ones have experienced; mentally from the day-to-day exhaustion of just plain ‘adulting’, or maybe just a spiritual uplifter to refuel their tanks for the year ahead. Regardless of the specific reasons, I think we can all agree we all need strength from somewhere to counterbalance our weaknesses that are hardwired in us from, well, life.
But how do we release these ‘dead weights’ of guilt, exhaustion, self-analyzing criticisms (the list can go on sometimes, can’t it)? The simple answer: Jesus. The how: through His Grace…at least that’s my working equation. 😉
For me, this retreat was a reminder of just that, my constant need of His grace. Lately I have had to check back in almost daily to remind me of God’s grace. The GRACE, not my efforts, is what saves me. I am not judged by how many ‘good acts’ I’ve done for the day; if the dishes are done, laundry is folded, dinner is prepared, planning done for my small business is further along, nurturing my relationships, or teaching Brooks oh I don’t know how to be a functioning person in society?? I could honestly keep going on the mental check list I keep a subconscious running tab on. The truth is, if I always focused on this list (and the even longer one than can creep in), I’d never feel like I met my own expectations, and…wait for it, His TRUTH is truer than my own FEELINGS any day of the week. 🙌🏼
I have a grand idea in my mind, a goal I’m constantly working towards. And while I love this innate drive to be better, do better…I’m constantly reminded that this is not my sole purpose here on Earth. We can do AMAZING things, God is just looking for willing hearts…and I want to give myself the grace He offers me so in those moments He calls on me, my heart is open and ready.
I’ll be taking a small break from blogging these next few weeks as I head out to WA to meet Geoff and we make our road trip back across the country! I’m giving myself a break from writing and posting while I soak in these last few days in Florida, enjoy the HECK outta our travels across this great country, and make our move as a family up to our new home in Tennessee. It’s crazy how life can come full circle sometimes. This trip we’re about to embark on takes me right back to the days we first started dating and drove from Atlanta to Phoenix watch Auburn in the 2010 National Championship. And how can I not mention the literal full circle of driving back across the country; where the West-bound trip was with my willing-and-able mom exactly 4 1/2 years ago!
I can’t wait to share with you our adventures over 2,000+ miles, and then as we get settled into our new home back in the South, in middle Tennessee!
In the meantime, here are a few pics to hold you over from probbbbably my favorite adventure with B in Florida…the photos really captured the joy, adventure and beauty in the day we shared. If you want to see more, click HERE! And if you want to follow along on our travels across the US of A, follow me on my Instagram stories! Just click the icon up in the right corner under Social. 😊☝🏼
Thanks so much for reading! I hope today’s post offered you the grace you’ve been needing and so deserve.
“She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.”
Lemons to Love,