A Grace Note: 40 Days of Conversations with the King 


Dear Reader, 

Sometimes I feel as if my prayers have no direction. I throw my hands up and I spill out my heart, my frustrations, and my fears. I know God hears me. I have seen Him move my mountains. I have felt Him crumble my fears. What He wants with us is honest dialogue, an ongoing conversation with Him in which we give Him our all. This means all of our fears, all of our insecurities, all of our worries. He doesn’t require fancy or memorized prayers of length. He simply wants you, the way you are, to come before Him and talk with Him awhile. Over the next 40 days, in my personal life, I’m choosing one topic in my life to pray daily over, and by that I mean have honest conversations with God over. I plan on writing down my topic and pinning it up on the wall so I can see it each day and enter into the Grace of conversation with my Father God over it. I believe that private conversations with the King of Kings are life changing. I also believe and know that there is power when God’s people come together to lift each other’s burdens up to the throne room of Heaven. I just wanted to encourage you to join me if you feel like there has been something in your life you need to talk to your Father God about. Grace has a name, and it’s name is Jesus. Jesus came that we would once again enter into communion with our Father, and I believe we are able to do this with honest and open prayer. Jesus has turned His Father’s face towards us. He is listening, and He cares about you. 

In Him, 

A Fellow Grace Wanderer 

A Grace Note: What Will You Do With Your Freedom? 


Dear Reader, 

When I think of America, I think of this little cheese shop we visit every year in Wisconsin called Union Star. It sits next to the highway among fields and fields of corn. It’s quiet there. No crowds, or angry customers. Just a few passers by who stop in the heat of the day. But sometimes when I think of America, I become aware of how others see it. I am burdened by its brokenness and I am broken by its burdens. Not every leader seems to hear every voice. Every law and every bill seems to leave someone out. We fight every day for freedom, but we become more aware with the passing of time that freedom is never free, and it is never without cost. And then I think of Heaven, that place I think we are all homesick for in our hearts even if we don’t realize it. I think of how scripture tells us that we hold citizenship there. And I know that the kingdom of Heaven holds the most free people. I know that it is ruled by the love of our Father. If we are looking for perfect freedom, we won’t find it on this earth. Perfect freedom only exists in the arms of our Savior. It’s a freedom that breaks every chain and heals every heart and unites all people. I pray that as citizens of that perfect place, that we would always carry in our hearts what it means to be free from even the freedoms of this world. I pray that even in this free country we live in, we would choose to continue to carry the cross. I pray that our freedoms here wouldn’t separate us from the rest of the world, but that they would cause us to be brave in loving the people of the world more deeply. I pray that our freedoms wouldn’t isolate us, but instead would propel us into active service, mission, and love. With great freedom comes great opportunity….and responsibility. What will you do with your freedom? 

In Him, 

A Fellow Grace Wanderer 

A Grace Note: Always Free, Always Brave 


Dear Reader, 

There are many in the world today who don’t have freedom, but are incredibly brave. And there are people in the world who are incredibly free, but lack bravery. The beauty of Jesus is that it doesn’t matter if you are brave or free or both. “Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom”. No matter what country you live in, in Jesus we get to experience both, because only He can make us both brave and free. He breaks every chain. He gives life where death once reigned. He wins every victory and gives us the strength to win every battle. His grace frees us from every evil thing that once held us in bondage. As Christians we will always be free in Him. May we also always be brave in Him. May we who call ourselves His people and who live in the nation of the free, always be willing to fight for the physical freedom of others in this world because we know the One who fought to the death for the Spiritual freedom of the whole world. In His freedom we find grace, and truth, and life, and the fire to continue the fight for the physical and spiritual freedom of the people on this earth. Jesus reigns. May that be our victory. He who sets the captives free has come that we may have life in His name and that we would proclaim it as loud as we can. So what say you, free people? Will you who are free continue to be brave in Him? Will you use your American freedom to honor the name of Jesus who broke your every chain? Being an American does not make you “more Christian”. But it does mean you have been given great responsibility, to be brave in Christ as well as Free in this physical life. May we always understand the magnitude of our physical freedom in this country and may we be propelled by the incredible depth of our spiritual freedom to preach and to teach and to feed the hungry and to free the oppressed and to advocate for those who have no voice, in Jesus name and to His Glory. You were born free for a reason. Give your physical freedom to Jesus and watch how our incredible God moves in this world. 

In Him, 

A Fellow Grace Wanderer 

A Grace Note: You are Free From the Bondage of Judgement


Dear Reader, 

I had a thought today that really changed something deep in my heart. I know we all must feel judged at some point. I think for women we feel it more frequently, and our culture has almost intertwined second guessing ourselves into our DNA. I feel it at the most random times: during Target runs, at the hair salon, before company comes, after company leaves, and even among certain circles of my relatives and friends. I was talking to God about this a few hours ago as I was on my way to the grocery store, and He simply said, “Stop feeling judged”. The only one who can judge us is Him, and He has chosen to see us through eyes of Grace, so even then the God of Heaven has freed us from the only judgment that has any bearing on our souls. Today, I walked into the store and I felt Him whisper it over and over again. “Stop feeling judged”. Chances are no one is actually judging us on the things that matter. And even if they are, we can know for certain that their judgement has no hold on us. We are free from the bondage of unkind words, unrealistic expectations, and the ugliness of sin. Jesus is greater, and because of that, so are we. 

In Him, 

A Fellow Grace Wanderer 

A Grace Note: Grace in Weakness 


Dear Reader, 

I planted this Hydrangea bush in our shade garden last spring. Last year it only yielded a single stalk with one beautiful blossoming flower on the end of it. Its beauty too great and too heavy for the stalk to hold, it bent low to the ground in seemingly close connection with the soil from which it sprung. But this year, the single stalk has become a hardy bush, with not one, but five beautiful flowers lifting their heads high because of the strength of the stalks below them. This bush may be the only beautiful thing in my yard this year as our busy season of life has kept us from tending to the gardens we had hoped would spring to life. It has grown entirely of its own power without help from me. It has thrived there in the shade. There are so many lessons to take away from the life cycle of this gorgeous plant. But I think the one I find most speaks to me is the one which utters truth in the fact that last year, it bloomed even though it didn’t have the strength to hold itself high, and this year, like a comeback kid, it has multiplied and radiates strength and beauty. Whatever season God has you in, it is possible for you to bloom and to grow. If we possess the strength to grow and blossom even when we are weak, how much more will God allow us to thrive when we are finally secure. Every life is a testimony to His Grace. Every story contains His fingerprints. Today I sit in awe of my Creator. I sit in wonder of all of the personal ways He has assured me that He is near. God is Good all the time. So today friends, I pray that you will grow even when you feel you can’t. I hope that you will see beauty in God’s telling of your story even when the chapter feels dark or meaningless. And I rejoice that our God is one of truth, and that His truth will always yield the beauty it deserves. 

In Him, 

A Fellow Grace Wanderer 

A Grace Note: A Timely Gift 


Dear Reader, 

My mama bought me this planner this week and every time I look at it I want to cry. Our nursery theme is powder blue with songbirds, and I felt like God was in this gift, prompting me to see Him in the baby steps we are making in our adoption process. Our home study is complete, and now we wait. Guess what month this planner starts in. It starts next month, July 2017 and goes through December of 2018. I’m hopeful for what may happen in the months to come, but even more so I’m trusting that God will use our time of waiting to His glory and for His Kingdom. This is such a timely gift, and I hope that it’s pages will document well the Grace that God shows us over the next year and a half (the span of its calendar pages). I hope that whatever it is you are waiting for, that you are searching for God in the steps along the way. Sometimes moments of Grace are so subtle that we miss them until the whole picture comes into view, but I’m here to tell you that when I take the time to notice them as they are happening my heart is filled with inexplicable Joy in my Father God who loves me and loves you come what may. Today, there will be moments of Grace. I encourage you to document those moments, to store them up in your heart, to see the glory of God in every tiny moment. He is there, and He is overwhelmingly Good to us. 

In Him, 

A Fellow Grace Wanderer 

P.S. this planner is made by Punctuate and can be found at Barnes and Noble. Not an advertisement, just a fact worth sharing. 

A Grace Note: The Unexpected Appearance of Grace 


Dear Reader, 

Grace isn’t finally getting what you’ve always wanted. It isn’t finally seeing your dreams come true. It isn’t getting to live the life you’ve always imagined. Most days, Grace looks like closed doors. Grace looks like we’re running the wrong way. Grace looks like nothing is happening when really God is orchestrating every little thing in beautiful harmony with our broken hearts and our mercy washed souls. Sometimes we’re like this little toad who got picked up on a tennis racket one day and was gently placed out of harm’s way beneath some shady trees in the safety of the woods. Grace means that God is good even when life is not. It means that we’re safe in Him, even when everything around us seems dangerous. It means that our hearts won’t shatter forever, because Jesus binds them together with stuff not found in this world. Grace means strength even in weakness, provision even in poverty, love even in a world of hate, and life even in the midst of perishing dreams. The old has passed the new has come. Jesus makes this life, the very one you’re living right where you are, so incredibly worth while. Your plans don’t need to work out perfectly in order to experience Grace. In fact…it’s better if they don’t! Because the Grace of Jesus is that He knows what’s coming, and we don’t, but He promises to go with us and be the Beauty in all of the waiting and the wondering and the hoping and the trusting. After all, isn’t Heaven our biggest dream? And yet none of us know the extravagant beauty that awaits us there or the Grace that will mark our way as we journey there. He is making all things new. As my husband and I just recently completed our home study for our adoption agency, I know that God is bringing beauty from ashes. I know that all those nights I cried because I was afraid of where my future was heading, God was just carrying me like we carried this little toad to a place of Grace, down a different road, but one where we would rest in His arms and trust Him always, whether I get to become a mama or not. Infertility took a lot from me, but God gave me more. More faith. More trust. More hope. More Grace.

In Him, 

A Fellow Grace Wanderer 

A Grace Note: The Grace of Empty Vessels 


Dear Reader, 

I love empty vessels. Mason jars, milk bottles, anything glass that can be filled. I love how sunlight can fill them up, I love how the twinkle lights in my kitchen cause the mason jars to shine and shimmer. And yet, I wonder if I ever view the vessel of my heart in this way. It too can shine in the light. It too can hold the shimmer of contentment and the shine of Grace. Maybe the key to letting go of all our worries is to allow our hearts to be washed clean, to allow our lives to be hand washed in grace by our Father God who loves us and who sees our hearts full of the potential to soak up mercy and love and grace and walk brim full out into the world where we pour it all out again. In order to see real beauty in the world, God urges us to be completely poured out before Him, He encourages us to take the fullness of His Grace and give it away because we trust and we know that God has the power to fill us completely back up again. We pour out before the King of Kings and we are filled to the brim by the King of Heaven. Our hearts can carry all the light He shines on us. We can be washed clean over and over and over again like these glass bottles. That’s how Grace works. It keeps on washing us and filling us and allowing the Light to sparkle. So whatever Grace God is filling you with, don’t be afraid to pour it out into the world.

In Him, 

A Fellow Grace Wanderer 

A Grace Note: Dreams and Grace 


Dear Reader, 

I just keep thinking about these sunsets, how they signify an end but also a beginning. I keep thinking of how God causes the sun to rise like a burning fire across the sky, and how He has called it to set in the same fiery fashion. And this is how we can transition from one stage in life to the next, with the same fire burning brightly when we rise and when we set. “I am the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end” Sometimes, it feels like we live in a world where passion for anything is merely fleeting, because just as quickly as the wind shifts, so do our desires. And yet, God is permanent and eternal. His people then, who are ignited with their dreams and passions by the fire of His Spirit, can hold fast to the knowledge that what He has started in us, He will finish. This is how we can pursue our dreams, when we know that the dreams we hold were given to us by our Creator and are sustained by our Father God. He is the navigator of our lives. He is the lover of our souls. He is the King of our hearts. So what is it that God has placed on your heart? The temptation of this world is to do what is easy and what will yield the quickest reward, but our God often calls us to what is hard so that we can experience the permanence of His provision for us and the vastness of His Grace.

In Him, 

A Fellow Grace Wanderer 

A Grace Note: Blessings and Grace 


Dear Reader, 

God gives us seasons of work and seasons of Rest, and both it seems, are good for our souls. I have this desire to be back at the cabin already so I can soak up some more of that Northern Wisconsin summer sun, and yet at the same time my heart is filled with the desire to get back to the work of everyday life so that we can be a tiny bit closer to bringing our baby home. His Rest is meant to carry us through the times that it would seem we don’t have time to soak in Rest of our own, and so I plan on carrying the blessings of the slow paced life of last week into the whirlwind that is sure to be this week ahead. “Praise Him from whom all blessings flow”. My husband and I speak often about holding more reverence for what is actually a blessing from God. Sometimes I label things such as vacation, or our home, or time off as blessings…but the truth is that God doesn’t just provide when the living is easy. The height of His goodness is evident when the living is hard. When we think everything is broken, or messed up, or destroyed…that is when God shows up with the blessing of His presence. And so I want to shift my language, I want to shift my thoughts about what is Good and what is hard, what is blessing and what is simply easy. Maybe when things get tough, that’s when we’re meant to speak about the blessings of God, because it is truly then that all the glory really does go to Him. An easy life doesn’t necessarily mean a blessed life, and a hard life does not mean the absence of blessing. I am striving to understand this better and to see more clearly the heart of our Father. For He is Good and all of His ways are Love. Blessings on your Sabbath Day, friends. May you feel the real Goodness of God today whether the road you walk or the life you live is hard or easy going. “For the Lord your God goes with you wherever you go.” 

In Him, 

A Fellow Grace Wanderer