Grace-Filled Community


Grace. What do you think of when you see or hear this word?

Grace. We say it before meals.

Grace. My daughter’s middle name. My friend’s name. She is very gracious, if you must know. 🙂

Grace. We sing about it in a lot of songs. Grace Flows Down, Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone), Your Grace is Enough, and many more.

I love that we are digging deeper into grace this month. In defining grace, Sarah pointed out that “grace isn’t a one-time gift you receive. Grace is a limitless flow of undeserved gifts…”

In the Bible, we see so many examples of grace. God showed grace to Noah, Abraham, Moses, Ruth, David, Samuel, Esther, and others. Jesus demonstrated grace to the apostles (John 13:1-7) even when He knew they would desert Him at the time He needed them most. And there are many more stories.

To read more about how we can be a grace-filled community, visit to read the remainder of THIS POST.

Who are you pouring your grace out on today?

Glorious Grace: Source of All Blessing

glorious-gracebecca1Here are bits and pieces of what I noted from our Glorious Grace Bible study this past week about who we are in Christ, because of His glorious grace:

Blessed us, chose us, predestined us for adoption, loves us, redemption through his blood, forgiveness of sins, lavished with God’s grace, wisdom and understanding, included in Christ, marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, guarantee, saved

I shared with my HelloMornings group these lines from the songs How He Loves:

And we are His portion and He is our prize,

Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes,

If His grace is an ocean, we’re all sinking.

Lingering on verse 7 of the passage:

v.4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love
v.7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace
v.11 In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will
v.13b When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit

Linking up with Glorious Grace Fridays {hellomornings}.

*I asked for sunrise or sunshine/sky photos on FB for one of the email newsletters that I was writing, and my friends did not disappoint. I could only use one, so I will share the others, one at a time, each week in these Glorious Grace posts. The above photo is from a Company Girl blogger friend, theNewBec. I think our daughters would be great friends if they ever met!

Week 1: Prisoner of Christ

Glorious Grace: Prisoner of Christ

glorious-graceSooo, you know when someone wants you to remember something, or wants your attention? They keep repeating what they say, and there is sometimes a lot of shouting. Sound familiar to any parents out there? :p

Well, I think God wants my attention. This summer I attended the 9-day ladies’ Bible study class that went in conjunction with the kids’ community VBS. The theme was Colossal Coaster World: Facing Fear Trusting God. We studied Paul and the book of Acts. This year in our homeschool group, we are memorizing Ephesians 6. You know, one of Paul’s letters! And of course, our HelloMornings Bible study is Glorious Grace on Paul and the book of Ephesians!

Okay, God…what do you want to teach me?

barbieI’m excited for what’s in store for this study and for the Fall session of HelloMornings. We finished our first week and I’m proud to not have pressed snooze. Woot! A huge accomplishment for me. And what I have been blessed by most of all, but still have to be reminded to do, is getting into the Word. Even if the kids hear my eyelids open (that’s got to be some kind of superpower of theirs, right?) and they are awake right after my seagulls alarm (for real, one of the reasons I did not snooze!) goes off, it is always a blessed time getting my day started with God (and sometimes caffeine!). This week was an intro week to who Paul was and why he wrote Ephesians. If you were a prisoner of anyone, the best to be is probably a Prisoner of Christ.

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith–that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. – Ephesians 3:14-19

Linking up with Glorious Grace Fridays {hellomornings}.

*I asked for sunrise or sunshine/sky photos on FB for one of the email newsletters that I was writing, and my friends did not disappoint. I could only use one, so I will share the others, one at a time, each week in these Glorious Grace posts. The above photo is from a new-ish online friend, Barbie of My Freshly Brewed Life, who actually happens to be local to me. I hope to meet her soon! And apparently, we have the same wedding anniversary!

HelloMornings: Photo Challenge

Two weeks ago, there was a HelloMornings Photo Challenge. I usually start these things and never finish them because I forget to take pics with my phone, but I finished this one (a few days late with the last photo)! I just wanted to share it here because a lot of people ask me about what HelloMornings is, and it is also a good reminder for myself why I do the HelloMornings Challenge. Below are my 7 Instagram pics with their captions (italicized), and a few more extra notes. 😉

1004942_10151846171751155_1215748771_nI keep getting distracted from posting this. No real 6:00AM clock pic because I haven’t seen 6AM lately…that is my goal time…thus the kids clock. I reinstalled my Sleep app (1 of the 2 apps that I ever paid for!) now that I have a new phone that works. Great features…including one where the alarm will not turn off until you do a math problem. Haha! #hellomornings #photochallenge #mytime I try to keep the apps on my phone at a minimum, but this is one that I love.
554046_10151847263031155_1333085452_nDay 3: My View #hellomornings #photochallenge This is more ideal than actual most days. My actual view out the window is our toolshed, so that is not as exciting as the open-field-mountains-in-the-background photos I saw. My kiddos are the kind who wake up if they hear your eyelids open, so I mostly use My Tools from day 2’s photo from my phone. If I am lucky my view is of my HelloMornings binder. Fave is prayer journal.#adaylate I just looked back at my prayer journal from 2 sessions ago, and love the updates of answered prayers.
993964_10151853342616155_402949501_nDay 4: My Fuel #hellomornings #photochallenge I always start with 2 cups of hot water…yes, filled to the brim, and a vitamin. And I always have a cup ( or two) of tea (usually jasmine green tea). And yes, I drink a lot of liquids…usually just water. Not pictured but breakfast is a MUST around here…usually something hot. After I posted this, I was asked if there was a reason for hot water. I think it’s just habit more than anything else. I even drink hot water in hot weather. Someone asked if there were benefits, and I went to look, and there are benefits to drinking hot water! It might also be an Asian thing since we all have hot water dispensers ready for tea.1170669_10151853354951155_1975356620_nDay 5: My Space #hellomornings #photochallenge Nothing too exciting here either…just a comfy office chair and my blanket (from one of my students 9 years ago I think) for chilly mornings. If I turn to the right, it is that toolshed I was telling you about. This is not my space every morning. Some mornings, I’m just in bed. Other mornings, I might somehow end up in Emily’s bed. If Melody wakes up early, we end up doing our HelloMornings time together on the floor.
970675_10151857517636155_335073497_nDay 6: My Verse #hellomornings #photochallenge This is the day the LORD has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24 Originally, when someone asked, I said this was a dahlia at a friend’s house, but I think I remember now, that it is a flower at a house in our neighborhood. They have all kinds of pretty flowers and I love walking by to see them all. 🙂
539680_10151857581391155_1313843714_nDay 7: My Why #hellomornings #photochallenge #waylatergram I want to wake up in the morning to pray over my family before the hustle and bustle of the day begins. GOD | PLAN | MOVE And another reason why I do HelloMornings? The people pictured below won’t have to deal with a cranky and grumpy wife/mommy. I’m a true introvert, and because we homeschool and the girls with me all the time, I need that quiet (even if it’s only 5 minutes!) before the day begins. And what’s better than starting my day knowing I’ve got God in my corner.
864_10151870440301155_430287632_n– Joyce

Not a Runner (Part 2)

HE skinny

But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31 NLT)

So, how are we all doing with the #stepitup challenge? Whether you are a runner or not a runner, I hope you been able to jump right into the challenge. For those of you who are not runners, like me, I want to encourage you. I am definitely inspired by my running friends, and we can all still cheer one another on, but we’ll just be a few (or more) paces behind. 😉

How to start walking

  1. Set a goal. Do I want to walk a certain number of miles each month? Do I want to walk a certain number of steps each day?
  2. Track it. Use an app, a pedometer, or calculate the miles on Google maps and write it down.
  3. Find a buddy or two or three. You could use your daily walk time as a quiet time for worship or listening to an audiobook, but it’s also nice to chat with friends or your kids while walking.

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To read more about how I do my personal daily walk, where to walk, and benefits of my daily walks, visit to read the remainder of THIS POST.

Where do you like to go walking (or running)? What have you found to be some benefits to walking (or running)?

Not A Runner

HE skinny

But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31 NLT)

Anyone else feel like you are surrounded by runners? I do. My brother-in-law runs marathons. My brother, who also runs, works for a company that makes energy gel for runners and other athletes. I have neighbors who run. Ladies in my moms’ group run. My Facebook and Twitter friends run. I know people who run to raise money for causes, and others who run for fun.

I wanted to be a runner!!

I mean, I did come in 2nd place out of all the girls in the one-mile fitness test in 5th grade. And I also run after kids all day long. I got this! I downloaded the C25K app onto my phone. I emailed people asking for running tips. And…that was all I did. I had excuses for not finding the time, or the weather wasn’t that great, and there were other real excuses, like I have a bad knee, and I didn’t have any running clothes, and getting some would require shopping, and I hate shopping.

So, what did I do?

To find out what I did, visit to read the remainder of THIS POST.

How and when did you discover that you’re more of a walker than a runner?

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