Thursday, July 28, 2011

Grace on a Thursday: in Gina's words

Happy Thursday, everyone. Today my friend Gina is sharing her words on grace with us. And they are convicting ones for me. A challenge is hidden within them, and I appreciate her leadership and wisdom in bringing this challenge to us all, in this busy, buzzing world.  Please share some love and gratitude for Gina today, and if you get a chance, visit her blog Not So Random Stuff, where she shares so much more of her wisdom there on marriage, motherhood, and her journey as a woman. I admire her pursuit of what I see as simple discipleship. Her blog, by the way, also makes me want to move to the Pacific Northwest. Like tomorrow. Enjoy her post, and enjoy the day.

Hi everyone! I’m Gina from Not So Random Stuff. I am honored that Leslie asked me to share with you today. I am a busy wife to a pastor and a homeschooling mom, and am ever longing to find more of God in the midst of what sometimes seems like utter insanity. Some days that’s really hard, but other days are drenched in his grace. In my life lately I’ve found myself struggling to find a balance between being too busy and finding rest, so today I want to share how I’ve found God’s grace anew in this area.
the grace to say no

Sometimes I find myself in the midst of busy, with nary a pause to breathe. Activity piled on activity, striving to fill my days and my kid’s days with stimulating things. Things to do, and choices made sometimes turn joyful activities into dreadful activities. And sometimes those choices leave this mom going through the motions simply out of a sense of obligation.

I find myself there sometimes, wanting to fill my days with things that have value. Wanting to keep my kids from being bored, from having too much free time on their hands, wanting to do things that matter. Simply wanting to be doing.

But doing for the sake of doing does no one any good. And the business of piling activity onto activity leaves me exhausted and worn thin, stretching me and my family to the breaking point.

And then God’s grace comes in as whisper, it is grace found in saying no. Saying no to the unnecessary, saying no to the activities that don’t really matter.

I take my role as a homemaker seriously, and I long to make my home a haven and place of peace for me and for my family. In this most important job, I have found that saying no really matters. I have found my place as a mom who is content to do less, much less. I am not the mom who takes her kids from one place to another, endlessly going from one activity to the next. I used to feel guilty about that, when I say no to social things or other fun activities for the kids or for me. But I have found that peace reigns freely in my home when I am doing less. That is God’s grace for me. I suppose there will be seasons when this is different, but all I know is that for right now home is where we are all supposed to be more often than not. And that is okay. I’ve found God’s grace available in abundance when I say no, even to the things that seem good and worthwhile.

God’s grace is evident in the words I read in Proverbs not too long ago:

She considers a [new] field before she buys or accepts it [expanding prudently and not courting neglect of her present duties by assuming other duties]; with her savings [of time and strength] she plants fruitful vines in her vineyard.
(Proverbs 31:16, Amplified Bible)

When I say no to the things that don’t matter, I have time and energy to tend to the things that do. It’s a simple thing, saying no. But it is something that’s been tough to learn, as God has stretched me in this area I have found a new sort of rhythm to my days, one marked by grace and sometimes even free time. My less busy life might look very different from the lives of those around me, but that is okay because I know that right now that is God's best for me. And that is his wonderful, gracious gift to me.


  1. Amen! I think the Spirit is telling many of us the same thing in this season of our lives. I just wrote about "margins" this week--having enough space around an activity/event/commitment/etc., to actually be able to see it and appreciate it. We,too, are homeschoolers (19+ years and 7 children). Thank you for sharing your wisdom! :)

  2. I'm already trying to live this out! It's tough, but worth it. And think of what you're teaching your kids! There are several adults who may not struggle with maintaining margins in their lives. :D

  3. perfect, and so true! thanks Gina!

  4. "with her savings [of time and strength] she plants fruitful vines in her vineyard." thank you gina (and leslie).

    this post gives permission to say "no." so good.

    God has put me in a place for the last 6.5 years where i had to say no. it was a hard adjustment, but necessary. as a result i have had the time and strength to plant a fruitful vineyard (in my kids...oh, and what a delicious vineyard it is!)