A Graceful Giveaway

 

I’ve been following Jesus for as long as I can remember. I went to a Christian school, Christian camps, and a Christian college. Then I worked at a Christian camp, Christian church, and for a Christian ministry.

I have the merit badge for Christianity. Bibles on my shelves: check. Bible verses on my walls: check. Small group: check. Bible study: check. Living a grace-filled life: . . .

There’s a reason why I’ve been crying through counseling sessions this summer and fall. I’m slowly beginning to realize how little I allow God’s grace to affect my life. His law shapes my decisions and His Word is on my tongue, but most days I live like someone who does not know the Grace of God.

I’ve always preferred reading the Old Testament to the New Testament. I felt like there were so many more stories that I had never heard before, and I LOVE a good story. I love reading the Gospels, too. Lots of stories in the Gospels. But the “ians” books (Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians…etc.), the letters? Not so much. Honest truth: I felt like I already knew that stuff and didn’t need Paul or Peter or whomever to remind me. 

Wow.

My church has been walking through the entire book of Romans this year. Since January we’ve examined Paul’s letter on Sundays and Wednesdays and every day in between. I wasn’t excited about it for a long time. I was shocked to hear so many in my small group mention how much they loved the book. I’d always found it to be a little… redundant. That’s AWFUL to say, right? Who admits something like that? But now I see the missing link. Grace was a word that had no real impact on my every day life. I didn’t get it.

It’s no secret that God has used Emily P. Freeman’s book, “Grace for the Good Girl” to reach my heart in huge ways. The lessons in grace kept flowing with Emily’s new book for young women, “Graceful.” My copies are both less than a few months old and are already folded, inked, and worn. God is the author of change and growth in my life and He has certainly used these beautiful words to finally reach my stubborn self.

I’m reading the “ians” books of the Bible again as if for the first time. I’m listening intently to the sermons on Romans. I went into my counselor’s office with shining eyes exclaiming how much I’m loving the New Testament. For so long I’d associated perfect performance with God’s favor. I believed that Jesus was the one who had saved me, and because of that I’d been redeemed. But I did not believe for one second that God was pleased with me… that He delighted in me. As hard as I worked, I would always be something of a disappointment to Him. I was the good girl who would never be good enough.

And to that, He has shouted to my soul: MY GRACE IS SUFFICIENT FOR YOU, FOR MY POWER IS MADE PERFECT IN WEAKNESS!

“Somewhere along the way, I got the message that salvation is by faith alone but anything after that is faith plus hard work and sweet disposition. I lived under a system I designed for myself and I labeled it The Gospel. As a good girl, every choice I made was dictated by a theology of self-sufficiency. Life was up to me, and I was prepared to get it right.” (Emily P. Freeman, Grace for the Good Girl)

When I read that paragraph I knew He was calling to me through Emily’s words. So much has changed in my heart over these last few months, and there is still so much to be done – but my work is to trust the One whose power is made perfect in my weakness.

In hopes that our lives would all be marked by God’s grace, today kicks off a couple of exciting things on the blog!

1. A Graceful Series! All this week we will be talking about grace in our lives: grace from God, grace in our relationships, grace for the world, and grace for ourselves.

2. A Graceful GIVEAWAY. I want to share Emily’s words with you. I’m hosting a give-away of Emily’s new book “Graceful.” It’s written especially for young women, but aren’t we all still 15 at heart? My copy has been marked up and I know that you or one of the young women in your life would greatly benefit from reading this book. So whether you are 14 or 64, jump in on this giveaway!

“Life isn’t about trying hard to be good, it’s about trusting God to be graceful in us.” (Emily P. Freeman, Graceful)

Two copies, two winners, three ways (one option will enter you daily) to be included in the drawing! Contest closes Saturday morning, October 13th at 12:01am. The winners will be announced on Tuesday the 16th of October. See the swanky box below for details!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Swimming in Grace,
Ginger

  • Pingback: Winner, Winner… chicken dinner.()

  • Sue

    to me grace is that beautiful gift I receive from God when I definitely don’t deserve it. It’s being loved when I’m most unlovable.

  • Pingback: Grace for Today()

  • Carrie

    I have a long way to go to fully grasping and abiding in God’s grace. I’m getting some incredible lessons on grace from my husband and the way that he strives to love me unconditionally despite my many flaws and mistakes. He is gracious with me in the big and small things and is helping me walk in faith towards freedom from my personal expectations of myself and others. I know that by growing in grace I am more free to delight in God and be gracious in my marriage, and with family and friends. I would love to read this book and then pass it on to my little sister!

  • psalm1496

    I am loving your grace posts this week. Very timely as I’m wrestling with my inability to receive grace in certain areas. I guess the issue is that I’m wrestling. I just need to rest…

  • Christal

    Would love to read this book, heard wonderful things about it!

  • Pingback: Grace in Relationships()

  • Elizabeth A

    It’s funny how God is using just about everything in my life to teach me authentic grace. Thank you for being vulnerable and admitting what you are/were struggling with.

    • @87ba28718b8a19ecef6363c40609602d:disqus – I love how He shouts in whispers. xo

  • Pingback: Grace for the World()

  • Victoria Ryals

    Ginger, your quote, “But I did not believe for one second that God was pleased with me… that He delighted in me. As hard as I worked, I would always be something of a disappointment to Him” is the story of my life! I tried to explain this to a friend over coffee a few days ago. I told her I could easily see His grace and love for others but for some reason have such a hard time seeing myself as He sees me. Everyday I wake up feeling like a failure and a disappointment. It sounds ridiculous when I say it out loud but it is the raw truth of how I feel. I know that He hears my hearts cry and sees my tears and will help me to change. Ginger, thank you so much for sharing! I miss you tons! ~ Victoria

    • @55081b305a4cad54f5cc05827af69a81:disqus Your comment is such an encouragement to me in my own walk. I definitely miss you and your sweet family too! Praying that God’s grace would break into our “good girl” mindsets and free us from performance. – G

  • Maddie Quick

    Grace has taken on a whole new meaning for me as I see it through the lens of marriage. Forgiveness again and again… Especially for the things that show the wickedness of my flesh. Stephen has allowed me to view grace in a deeper way. The more I see my depravity the more I am able to accept grace. I stop trying to be something of worth and I just enjoy the truth that He is sufficient and that alone makes me something of worth. Thanks for the great post!

    • @391a9859b5d6088186e224f86228eae2:disqus Grace in marriage, what a lesson. Why is it so hard to respond gracefully to those we are most closely connected? It looks like you guys are having so much fun learning together. :) Much love – MOM

  • Oh it is so hard to trust that God will be graceful in us! Such a great post! I would love to get my hands on this book!

  • Gin

    Grace is a gift…the sum of all gifts! We couldn’t see our blessings without acknowledging the greatest blessing of all. Overwhelming joy and gratefulness to our heavenly Father are what I long to instill in my children.

  • Erin

    Beautiful. Thankful for your outlook, AUTHENTICITY, perspective and heart. God used your words to speak into my heart this morning.

  • Jenn Oesch

    I love that you’re so transparent, Ginger. This is a great post!

  • Paige

    Beautiful post! It resonates in my heart today.

  • Oh Ginger, I could easily erase your name and replace it with mine here. Grace washes me daily but this wasn’t always the case. I lived under the law, I judged by the law and it weighed me down like a slave carrying enough bricks to build a pyramid. I’m working my way through Paul’s letters myself this Fall. Isn’t the Lord’s timing divine? Praying with you, that we might be more like Christ. Thank you for honestly sharing so much of yourself here.

    • @diana_denis:disqus Such perfect timing – always. Thank you for sharing yourself and your struggles.

  • Pingback: A Graceful Giveaway | Christian Dailys()