Five Minute Friday – GRACE

Five Minute Friday

Grace. The older I get the more I desire both to be and to be known as a woman full of the Grace of Almighty God.  So for me to be a woman of grace I have to believe that His grace really is sufficient, and to be known as a woman of grace, I must show grace, give grace, and live grace.  I love the title of the book by Liz Curtis Higgs, “Embrace Grace.”  Welcome to the Forgiven Life!  I remember the first time I heard the acronym for GRACE, which the speaker said meant “God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense.”  I’ve never forgotten that definition. It cost Jesus everything – His very life – to allow me to embrace the gift of salvation and receive His grace. His grace was given so freely to me that I really want to share His grace with others.

For me…SHOWING GRACE means giving the benefit of the doubt when my flesh wants to criticize or hold someone accountable.
GIVING GRACE means forgiving immediately without any need for a why or a cause for explanation.
LIVING GRACE means  every moment of every day to live out a life of grace.  At home, at work, in the grocery store, at church, in the tough times.  To be leaning in close enough to hear Christ whisper grace to me so that I can show grace to everyone who comes across my path.

By showing, giving, and living grace, I will be blessed to become that woman of grace.  I so want to be that mentor of a grace-filled, grace-full woman to the young women who God brings into my life, beginning with my two daughters-in-law and two granddaughters, Madie Ruth and Emery Caroline.

The words of the old hymn “Grace Greater Than Our Sin” have always been such a treasure.  I love the hymns, and this one is a favorite.

Marvelous grace of our Loving Lord,
grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt.
Yonder on Calvary’s mount outpoured,
there where the blood of the Lamb was spilt.

Grace, Grace, God’s Grace
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within.
Grace, Grace, God’s Grace.
Grace this is greater than all our sin.

Thank you Lord for your Amazing Grace!

Gran Jan


Five Minute Friday – REST

Five Minute Friday

Today is a Five Minute Friday where I join hundreds of other writers RIGHT HERE using a single word in a 5 minute prompt. This week, Lisa Jo invites us to write about “REST.”

REST – all elusive rest. Rested bodies? Rested souls?  Every single one of us in this sleep-deprived world must have rested bodies to survive and thrive. A good night’s sleep is so precious.  How many times do we say, “did you rest well?” And how many commercials do we see about sleeping pills…  But these next few moments I want to focus on something that is even more elusive – SOUL REST.  Many people would give up sleep to have SOUL REST.  Peace of mind and heart.

I’ve been a pastor’s wife for 35 years and I’ve served in women’s ministry for 15 years.  One of the things I’ve seen that keeps us from SOUL REST is the captivity of activity.  God gave me an acrostic years ago that I’ve shared when given the chance to speak at women’s events…it is R-E-S-T.  So when I saw the prompt today it immediately came to my heart.

R – Relationship
We absolutely must have a relationship with Jesus Christ, the only One who can give you rest of soul.  For years I struggled with this one until finally giving up my goodness for His free gift of salvation.  My story is HERE.

E – Encouragement
One of the ways to find soul rest is to focus on another person in need and really be an encouragement to them.  It always works for me.  I get my mind off myself and onto someone else.

S – Simplicity
In this fast-based world many long for simplicity. I especially think of my favorite old show from the 1980s – Little House on the Prairie.  Now we don’t have to go back that far…but we can KISS our lives with this truth:  “Keep It Simple Sister.” Everything doesn’t have to be homemade…

T – Time
Time with the Lord in prayer and in His Word will provide the best SOUL REST. These two gifts – prayer and His Word are vital to us as we sojourn.

Get some REST this weekend friends.  A little nap on the sofa and then some good SOUL REST too.  Remember that God is in control, breathe deeply, and REST in the knowledge that God is awake. All the time.  And He has everything in His Hands.  Isaiah 40:28-31:

28 Do you not know?
    Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
    and his understanding no one can fathom.
29 He gives strength to the weary
    and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
    and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.


Resting in Him,


Five Minute Friday – HOME

Five Minute FridayThis is my FIRST EVER “FIVE MINUTE FRIDAY,” although I’ve loved this concept of fast fun friendly five-minute writing for a long time – almost as much as I’ve loved getting to know the creator of this Friday Fun, Lisa Jo Baker.  It’s really crazy…but just because I spent 2 weeks in South Africa (almost 3 years ago now) I think I KNOW her…because that is her HOMELAND and could have been mine too because I loved the people there so much.  Here goes…

I literally  just heard Building 429 singing “Where I Belong,” from my K LOVE iPhone app.  The lyrics that speak of HOME…

 “All I know is I’m not HOME yet, this is not where I belong,
take this world and give me Jesus…this is not where I belong.”

We know as believers in Christ that our real HOME, our eternal HOME is Heaven. I’ll admit there are days my sojourning on this globe make me long for that HOME because I can feel deep in my bones that this really isn’t my HOME.  As a child I had many homes, and none were ever even ours because my father was a career Marine and we lived in what’s called “goverment housing.”  We lived all over…and even though we didn’t own those houses, my mom always made them feel like HOME. So HOME for me as a child wasn’t a specific place, but a knowing that wherever my mom and dad and sisters were, that was HOME.  If ever I was away from them, I would be so homesick.  Home is my people.

HOME for me as a newly married pastor’s wife was a little duplex apartment. Our first HOME as a married couple. We’ve served three churches and every HOME I’ve “set up” has been so special – not because of the bricks and walls, but because of the memories made with my church people during the seasons of life we served them.  A lot of living went on in these HOMES…Home is my church family.

The HOME near our first church that my husband’s grandfather had lived in 50 years before…
The HOME we lived in when we brought our baby boys home from the hospital…
The HOME we lived in where I had my first garden…
The HOME we lived in where we raised up our boys…
The HOME we lived in when the boys got married and left HOME…

And now the HOME we live in as empty nesters.  My sweet  man always says, “this house ain’t empty, we’re still here!”  And yes we are, and this HOME now welcomes four little people, Gran Jan’s JOY – Zeke, Madie Ruth, Jackson, and Emery.  HOLLERLUJAH! Grandbabies make every HOME precious.OURHOME

As my five minutes wind down, I am reminded of an older version of “Where I Belong.”  🙂  If I close my eyes, I can hear my mom’s younger sister, my Aunt Sandy singing in her Southern twang…

This world is not my HOME, I’m just a passin’ through.
My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue.
The angels beckon me from heaven’s open door,
and I can’t feel at HOME in this world any more.

And I believe this with all my heart! Wonder who I’ll live next door to in Heaven?

Gran Jan