Not Getting What I Deserve

Christ in Gethsemane (Christus in Gethsemane),...

I’m glad I don’t always get what I deserve.

Oh, sure. I am a law abiding citizen and a productive member of society. I am a wife, a mother, a daughter and a friend. I am a special education teacher, many times assisting those that have no voice. I believe people would tell you, if asked, that I am a good person.

But, what does that mean? Being a good person?

Society calls me a good person….but, I know that I am a sinner. I was bound by my guilt. Even if no one else knew my heart…I did. I knew, and the picture wasn’t always pretty. My thoughts aren’t always pure. My anger sometimes boils over and I say words that I wish I could take back. I am chained to my sin, it is a part of me…..but, it no longer defines me.

My sin condemned me to death. I was not worthy to stand before a holy and just God. What I deserved was separation….but, instead He gave me redemption.

I was redeemed. Saved. Changed.

Yes, I still sin. I’m not perfect. I make mistakes. I do things I shouldn’t and don’t do things that I should.

Jesus stepped in. He took my place. It is HE that covers my sin, so that when the Father sees me…..He sees me through the filter of His perfect and blameless Son.

I didn’t deserve this, it was because of His love for me, that I am one of the redeemed.

Thank God, I don’t always get what I deserve.

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God  Romans 3:23  NIV

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  Romans 5:8 NIV

 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Romans 6:23  NIV

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.  Romans 10:9-10  NIV


Today I am thankful for:

* grace, amazing grace


* love, always love

* things I don’t completely understand that leave me in awe

* sunny Monday mornings

* hot tea to soothe a sore throat

* a box of tissues for a stuffy nose

* a warm bed, messy with sheets and blankets

* family time and shared memories

* smiles…the best accessories

Do I Measure Up?

English: Oops - Cliff fall at The Naze Once up...

We live in a world of “power” ties, and board meetings. Planners, and profit.

Long days, and for some, even longer nights. Not enough hours in the day.

Work outs, and walk outs. Winners and losers and everyone in between.

Children to raise, and lessons to learn and friends to visit and money to earn.

And every day can seem like the next and the wonder is dimmed in a world

that makes us question……

“Are we good enough?”

We look at ourselves in the mirror and wonder if we matter, if any of it matters?

The business man who knows he has to win the next client or he might lose his job.

The mother who is kneeling to clean up the third spill of the morning and wiping crumbs off counters,

and holds her child on her hip and wonders if she is even pretty anymore? Does anyone really see her?

The woman at the office, fingers flying over the keyboard. She has to get this report done, she has no choice.

She wonders what is the point of it all?

The teen who doesn’t know what his future holds. He sees the news on TV and wonders…

He might not even be able to find a job, or pay for a college education.

He feels helpless.

The retiree who questions where she fits in the world. As her body ages, she asks herself, “Can I still keep up?”


In this fallen world we often wonder, “Do I measure up?……

Forgetting about grace. God’s amazing, extraordinary, gift of grace.

For God did not send his Son (Jesus) into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.  John 3:17  NIV

He loved us before. When we didn’t care. When we were too busy. Or broken. When the nights were late, when we made mistakes.

When the morning sun brought nothing but another day of “the same old, same old”. When we were left out or left behind. When the boss

yelled, and when the divorce papers came. When the mirror showed an image that wasn’t real and tears fell.When the mountain was steep and

the climber was tired.

He loved us then…He loves us, still. He will continue to love us through whatever life brings our way.

Christ thought you were worth it. He loved you enough to redeem you. That is a difficult concept for many to get their mind around. It is much easier to think that salvation must be earned. That there is something that has to be done in order to be loved by God. That is the world talking, not God.

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  Romans 5:8  NIV


Thanking God, on this day,


* the miracle of grace

* the chance to start over

* new beginnings

* friendship

* the geese honking in the winter lake across the road

* the bouquet of flowers on the dining room table

* laughing with my husband, so hard that it’s difficult to stop

* teenagers who are smart and funny and loving

* the desire for something more

* for life’s journey with all of its twists and turns

* the blessing of not knowing what is around the bend (yes, this is a blessing!)

* weathering disappointment and growing character

* for getting back up again…and again

* an eye towards aesthetics

* not being able to count all my blessings…

I Am….

Psalm 121

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Today, at Faith Barista, the topic is—-

Complete the following sentence:  In God‘s heart, I am ________.


Loved–For God so loved the world (of which I am a part!) that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life…… John 3:16

Wanted– That while I was still a sinner (living only for myself) Christ died for me. Romans 5:8

Valuable —I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made (you created me!) ;  your works are wonderful, I know that full well.  Psalm 139:14

Forgiven– Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:32

Chosen– But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 1 Peter 2:9

Worthy– So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.  Matthew 10:31  

Beautiful–Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. 1 Peter 3:3-4

Saved--He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. Psalm 40:2

His child–Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God. John 1:12

The apple of His eye–For this is what the LORD Almighty says: “After he has honored me and has sent me against the nations that have plundered you–for whoever touches you touches the apple of his eye… Zechariah 2:8  

Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings… Psalm 17:8

Worth dying for–When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. John 19:30

Understood–But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7

REDEEMED–You were bought at a price….1 Corinthians 7:23

The Relationship Is Real


Image by Aurelijus Valeiša via Flickr

What does it look like to believe?


This is one of those questions that people say not to talk about. Don’t discuss religion. You’ll get people all riled up. Just discuss the “easy” stuff of life. Make people laugh. Whatever you do, don’t discuss faith! Please don’t mention the name of Jesus Christ. That could put people right over the edge. They might even hate you. And you know what? That might be true…..but, I will not deny the name of Jesus. I cannot. Once He touches a life, one is never the same…and people notice.

Belief. Faith. Hope

What is it? Why have it? What is the point? Why does it matter? I’ve been asked those questions many times throughout my life….because most people are searching. Whether they fully admit it or not. They want a purpose. They want to know that there is something more than what they wake up to each day.

Because, let’s face it. Life can be, and usually is, hard. Even people that seem to “have it all”, wonder if “all” is ever enough?

I am a believer and follower of Jesus Christ. I’m not ashamed of it. I don’t deny it. I don’t follow Him because I’m “uneducated”, “weak”, or “as a crutch”. I don’t love Him because I’m forced to, or acknowledge Him because I have to.

My faith is important. My relationship with Christ, real.

I believe because…

While I was still living my own life, my own way, on my own terms…..God loved me. Even when I didn’t love Him back. I was a sinner….born into sin. Selfish, wanting my own way. Daily, struggling with my own thoughts and actions…sometimes out loud…and sometimes only to myself.

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” Romans 5:8 NIV

He loved me. I didn’t need to bring Him presents, He didn’t require money, I didn’t have to be perfect and have my life together before He accepted me. He loved me. Broken, me. Sinful, me. Lacking, me. Imperfect, me.

Sin was a horrible thing that kept me from God. I couldn’t save myself from it. It was a part of me. A thing that still darkens my heart….because I am not perfect. I needed a Savior. One who is perfect. One who understands the state I am in. One who could take my place before a Holy God.

Fallen, broken and  dying….I wanted more.

I needed more….more than I had, because what I had wasn’t what I needed.

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  Romans 6:23 NIV

A gift.

For all eternity.

I surely wasn’t deserving of it. That is the thing…it was freely given. I just needed to say “Yes” to what He was offering.

That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord”, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.” Romans 10: 9-10 NIV

Being a Christian doesn’t mean I am perfect….far from it! It doesn’t mean that life is always wonderful. I still have days where I hurt. Or am confused. Or battle within my own self.

The difference is that I acknowledged those things…..and I am forgiven.

Forgiven. That is no small word.

And for me, it has made all the difference.


What does faith look like to you? What does it mean to believe?


The Cross

Bonnie, at Faith Barista, posed this question for today… Share something new you’re learning in your relationship with Jesus? Click on the Faith Barista graphic in my right side bar to find out what others are learning.

As I walk toward Easter, I am reminded of the price that was paid..for me. For you. For us all. May this story never grow old.

When others look at me, this is what they see.

I’m a 42, almost 43 year old, middle class, female.

I’m a follower of Jesus Christ. I believe the Bible is God‘s word to the world.

I’m college educated.

I am a former special education teacher, turned home school mom.

I shop at Walmart and Aldi‘s. I drive a mini van.

I crave organization and stability.

I love dogs. I’m learning to love cats.

I hate spiders and mice. Mice even more than spiders. That’s why it helps to have cats.

I grew up in the country. Then I lived in the city. Now I’m back in the country…and I love it. I shop at Tractor Supply.

I was married….then widowed…then married again. I informed my new husband he better not die on me….or at least live to 120.

I am a mom. Some days I am a good one…other days…um…not so much. I never stop trying.

I love Fall. October is my favorite month.

I’m a voracious reader. I enjoy talk radio. I love to decorate and create. I love sweaters and socks. They are sort of my “thing”.

I have a flair for the dramatic.

I’m nostalgic about “Americana”.

I have several pet peeves that really get on my nerves.

I’m a fairly decent cook. My favorite food is loaded nachos. My favorite drink is southern style sweet tea.

I am a writer. Blogger. Note taker. Chart keeper. Folder filer.

I love to tell stories……..

There is more to my story.

I struggle with selfishness.

Sometimes I say things that would be better left unsaid. Me and my big mouth.

I don’t forget things. I can hold a grudge. Bitterness creeps in.

I want do-overs, if I don’t like how things are turning out the first time around.

I like to have control of situations.

I tend towards perfectionism….which can be insidious.

Patience is not a virtue that I have mastered. Resentments are real.

Sometimes I yell.  Sometimes I get quiet.

At times, I like to be by myself. In my own space.

People can overwhelm.

I want to be left alone.

I am a sinner in desperate need of a Savior.

Romans 3:23  “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

Romans 6:23a  “…The wages of sin is death…”

Romans 6:23b  “…But the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

The thorns gouging into the skin…

The beard plucked…

Being spit on and mocked…

Nailed to a rough wooden cross…the pain too horrid to imagine.

Thirsty. Can’t breathe. Even the smallest movement excruciating.

He was innocent. He could have called an army of angels to save Him from this.

But He didn’t.

Because He knew. He knew that my sin required a sacrifice. Blood. His blood. For me. Redemption.

Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” Luke 23:34 NIV

Romans 5:8,  “God demonstrates His own love for us, in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us!”

Standing at the foot of the cross on that dark day….

***Join me tomorrow as I finish the story.***