I recently moved into a new house. A beautiful new house filled with glorious space.
God moved us to the perfect place. More space than I ever asked for or dreamed of. As a matter of fact, as we moved in I thought we would have empty rooms and empty spaces for a long time. Imagine my shock when immediately every space had a purpose; no room, closet or cupboard remained empty or undefined. What I thought was too much, was in fact, the perfect amount.
I learned two lessons:
- My stuff expands to fill my available space.
- I sorely misjudge how much stuff will fit into any given space.
These truths played out on my reduced calendar all fall. My commitments expand to fill my time. My reduced commitments sadly still crowded my schedule.
As my house is becoming my home, it’s teaching me a lesson:
Moving doesn’t solve problems; it just takes the same old stuff to a new place. Although my new place houses all my old stuff; its spaciousness leaves a place for God’s grace.
For years I’ve been trying to cram grace in a too small space. The result is no life at all. No grace at all.
I’ve noticed with the addition of space, lots of the old stuff doesn’t irritate me quite as much anymore. This space around me beckons grace. When I’m not crowded, pressed and pushed on, I can breathe. I can think before I act instead of reacting. Instead of praying for grace, I’ve learned to pray for the courage to make space for it.
When I asked God to give me more grace and He said, “My grace is sufficient for you. My power is made perfect in your weakness,” maybe He was simply waiting for me to make a space for grace to be. What if I already possessed the grace I longed for but my own doing crowded out His being? Maybe my weakness wasn’t my inability to handle my many responsibilities well but my inability to accept my limitations– perhaps my weakness lies in my physical capacity for doing, or rather not doing.
I find His grace rests in this truth: I am capable of doing much; but, I am capable of only doing a little well. Therefore, I will restrain myself from doing much so I can do a little for His glory.
And if His grace rests there, perhaps His strength is made perfect in me as I humbly accept my own weakness and do the little He’s called me to well.
I took the life He gave and built the life I wanted by adding things I thought I needed. I unintentionally crowded out grace losing life itself. Only by tearing down the life I’ve built can I live the life He gives, my life that is space enough for His sufficient grace to dwell.
His grace is sufficient for me if I only make space for it.
More space really can solve problems.
Life with space leaves me noticeably different:
- I am calmer here.
- I am more organized here.
- I am less frantic here.
- I am more fun to be around here.
- I yell less.
- I laugh more.
- I am available.
My kids respond to this new grace. My husband comments on it. I rejoice in it.
For years I’ve had it backwards: I’ve been living over-busy, overcommitted, overwhelmed begging God for more of His grace to handle it all. He’s quietly been whispering His answer:
The key to receiving His limitless grace is to limit the activity in my life. To experience His grace, I must create a space in which to place it.
A long time ago my calendar contained all the commitments I wanted to do. Then for a long time it only contained the things I felt I needed to do. Last year, it contained things only I could do. With God’s help, my schedule now contains only things He’s calling me to do.
It’s been as hard, stressful, chaotic, uncomfortable and inconvenient as buying this house was. But both of these new spaces, the space in my house and the space in my schedule, are filled with His grace.
With the addition of more space, I’m able to live actively instead of reactively. I just thought this house was all about space. Now I know it is really all about making a space for grace.
Sisters, His grace is sufficient. We only need to make a space sufficient to utilize it.
I’ve had to ask myself two hard questions:
- Why am I doing this?
- What do I hope to gain from it?
If the answer is anything other than: God told me to or so I can know Him and make Him known, I cross it off my list!
“Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me… But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’” 2 Corinthians 12:8-9a
How will you make a space for grace?
#SDGConnections This Week
It would be a great honor if you would stop by on Wednesdays and Fridays to read these stories submitted by women across the world who are reaching out with their brokenness so to help another sister along, to help her find courage in the face of fear, encouragement in the face of unknown, and hope in the face of despair. It is in this communicating with each other that we continue to build the community God has graciously granted us at the Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood.
On Wednesday, Melanie shares a raw, authentic post about her journey to becoming a full-time foster mom.
On Friday, Linda Gill shares her immense caregiving experience with us and this month tells us about how journalling through caregiving is a rich, life-giving experience and a much needed outlet. This is part 2.
SDG Gathering Important Information
Lisa Smith and Jen Ferguson facilitate our #SDGGatherings each week. Lisa visits those of you who link up on “even” numbers and Jen visits the “odd.” We do have some important housekeeping items about this gathering, so if you have not read them, please come here to catch up. The condensed version: Link up ONE post that shares your heart authentically and be sure to check in with some of your sisters who have linked up with you. Leave a heartfelt word of encouragement for them after you visit their space. This is a community where we actively seek to get to know each other.