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The Beauty of Grace

Christian women learning how to function under the beauty of grace


Since I was young girl, I wanted to be a teacher among other things, but I never pursued any formal education.


My experience with teaching is quite varied though. I have taught Sunday School for 20 years, homeschooled my own children up until 4th and 5th grade, taught history classes, gym classes and art classes at a local homeschool co-op group.


A week before school was to start, this private, Christian school still had no one to teach kindergarten. The previous teacher had found another job a month before school was to begin and now the school board was praying desperately for an answer to this dilemma.


When I heard of their need, the Lord spoke clearly: I should apply for the position.


“What! Me!?”


“But I have no degree, I said!”


I reminded the Lord that you needed a master’s degree in education to teach at a school in New York State.


He said, “Go, and I will be with you.”


I applied for the position, was interviewed, and offered the job on the spot! They hired me as a permanent substitute teacher for the kindergarten class. Apparently this school didn't have to follow the strict state guidelines like the public schools.


I scurried and hurried to clean the classroom in preparation for the first day of school! It was a crazy busy time and the more I was at the school the more I felt inadequate for the position because I held no degree like all the other teachers.


Then one morning during that week of preparing the classroom, a lady on the school board came into my room to meet me.


She said, “Oh hello! I want to introduce myself and let you know I am here if you need assistance with anything.”


I thanked her.


Then she said something amazing to me as she pointed her finger at me, she said, “YOU are the answer to our prayers. Do not forget this. We have been praying SO hard, and YOU are our answer.”


Such grace and peace flooded my soul in that moment and confidence soared through me.


I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me, Philippians 4:13, NJKV.


That first week of school was a whirlwind of excitement and confusion! LOL! There was so much to learn and adjust too, but there was grace.


Grace covered everything.


However, lately, I have not been functioning under grace like I should. I have not felt the Lord's presence near me or with me like I had in the beginning.


I was falling into a vortex of a busy life without even realizing it.


Before the crazy whirlwind of September came, I was little ‘ole me working at my part-time job as an administrative assistant.


Lovin’ QuickBooks, and lovin’ my office work… but sensing the Lord was drawing me on to other things…


Low and behold, along came a teaching opportunity!


So, here I am, holding down two jobs now: An administrative assistant position at a local contractor’s office and a kindergarten teacher at a local Christian school.


I am still doin’ laundry, cookin’, cleanin’, and supportin’ my men at home.


Still playing the piano at church, grocery shoppin’, visitin’ with family and friends on the weekends, exercising when I can, and walking side-by-side with my pastor/husband every day of the week.


Only the Lord could have designed this action-packed life of mine! And I love it!


But one thing was missing from my very busy life lately…


And that was grace.


Grace is an unmistakable poise under pressure.

Yes, I was getting everything done day by day, meeting all my goals, fulfilling all my duties - but not under grace.


Grace has a way of making a woman beautiful by the sheer elegance and good manners that emanate from her being.


A woman can be dressed to the nines in the latest fashion looking stunning but missing this important trait of grace.


To me, when a woman is functioning under grace, she has reached her full potential. She has tapped into a holy anointed power enabling her to tackle anything that comes her way with strength and dignity.


Grace is lovely to behold.

Our husbands love us for this divine ability from above because we compliment their masculinity.


Our children rise and bless us for loving them under such grace.


Grace covers us as women and allows His light to shine through us in all manner of situations.


When we function under His grace, it enables us to do things, become things, and speak things under a divine spiritual power – which blesses other people and glorifies the Lord.


Beauty becomes women functioning under this tremendous anointing of grace.

My confession to you today, is, I have not been functioning under such beautiful grace.


I am sorry to say that I have fallen into the trap of a busy life with lots of people in every minute of my day and not much time to think to myself.


I did not realize my dilemma at first, but I knew something was amiss.


“What could it be?”


It was evident I could not feel the Lord’s presence with me.


I thought maybe I had made a misstep in my life somewhere… but where?


“Did I not hear from the Lord? Didn’t He tell me to take this job #2 as a kindergarten teacher? I know I heard Him clearly. So, what is wrong? What am I missing?”


The answer to my desperate questions did not get answered right away, which dumbfounded me.


Throughout the whole month of September while I was learning to juggle both jobs, there was this ache in my spirit, and I did not know why it was there.


I would ask the Lord about it, but there was no answer.


In hind’s sight I did not leave Him much room or time to answer any of my questions or prayers.


As I rushed to the Christian school in the early hours of the morning, I would call out to the Lord, “Where are you?”


Before He could answer me, I was pulling into the school parking lot, gathering up my lunch bag and rushing to my classroom to look over the curriculum for that day.


After school was over, I jumped in my car again and headed to job #2, with little energy to spare, I wiped my brow, pulled back my hair and dug into bookwork for the next few hours.


Still searching for the Lord in my heart and wondering where He might be, I put my earbuds in and listened to music while I did bookwork… thinking... maybe He is in the music….


On the way home, there was no spare energy left to lift my voice to the Lord… so I stared out the window like a zombie, hoping that no one pulled out in front of me, for goodness sake! “Didn’t everyone know I was on my way home to make dinner after a long day!!”


Then I realized this was becoming a continual problem. I was losing my temper, my cool, my peace and my grace.


I was fried.


And tired.


And tomorrow I would have to get up and do this all over again.


“Where is the Lord?” I need His presence! And His peace! Right now!


When I finally settled down to hear from the Lord, it was at the most perfect time.


A divine appointment.


There was one answer to all my questions and prayers, and it was clear as day.


So perfectly right and accurate was this answer that it went straight to my heart like an arrow to the center of a target.


Many of you know about the daily devotional book titled, Streams in the Desert, by L.B. Cowman, and I’m sure many of you read these devotions on a daily basis. I have for years.


My mom gave me this book in 2008, and except for a few days here and there, I read it daily.


Seldom do I pick up the hard cover book anymore because technology has allowed me to receive these sweet little devotions everyday in my email inbox.


But I still have the hardcover book and the bookmark my mom cross-stitched for me. She gave them to me at the same time, and they will always stay together.


On Friday morning, October 2nd, I determined to get up a little earlier than usual to see if I could squeeze in some Bible reading before getting ready for work.


Upon waking up, I turned over in bed, grabbed my cellphone to open my Bible App, when I noticed a new email had come in.


Finding it was from Streams in the Desert, I decided to open the devotional for that day and have a read.


Friday, October 2nd, "Alone in the Desert."


The opening verse read:


And he took them, and went aside privately into a desert place, Luke 9:10, KJV.


Then I read the opening line of the devotion, which was the first line of a poem:


In order to grow in grace, we must be much alone.


I stopped. Then read that line over again.


In order to grow in grace, we must be much alone.


I knew the Lord was answering my questions and my prayers right then and there and I didn't have to read any further to know He was speaking directly to my spirit.


I sat in bed stunned. The answer was so simple.


“Much alone”


We must be much alone in order to grow in grace!


This was for me!!


How did I know? Because my spirit was quickened with life.


I cried unto the Lord, and He heard me, and answered me out of His holy hill, Psalm 3:4, KJV.


I had only read two sentences in this sweet devotional and the Lord had quickened me with such power.


It was clear as day.


Grace was missing from my life because I was too busy.


Too busy to meet with the Lord, too busy to slow down and be kind to others, too busy to hear counsel from the Lord, and too busy to be a good testimony to my friends and family.


The Lord was calling me to be alone. To be much alone with Him. Where I could grow in grace.


(I included the link to the devotional at the bottom of this post.)


Come to me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls, Matthew 11:28-29, KJV.


I was reminded of the story of Elijah from 1 Kings 19, He was waiting for the presence of the Lord to visit him while on a mountain. The Lord told Elijah to go out and stand on the mountain for His presence was about to pass by.


A great and powerful wind came, but the Lord was not in the wind.


An earthquake shook the mountain, but the Lord was not in the earthquake.


After that, a fire came, but the Lord was not in the fire either.


After the fire came a gentle whisper... When Elijah heard it, he covered his face and stood at the mouth of the cave on the mountain… then the Lord spoke to Him.


We must remove ourselves from the turbulence of our everyday lives in order to hear from the Lord.


To receive answers to our questions, and guidance for our lives, we need to get much alone.


I was so blessed to receive this precious answer from the Lord, and I set in my heart to do that over the following weekend – to get much alone.


It is interesting how the Lord works because He divinely orchestrated for me to become sick by the end of that day.


By that Friday evening, I was home with a fever and a sore throat, laying on the couch – much alone.


Throughout that whole weekend, I was much alone.


The Lord’s spirit was at work in my heart, churning things over, bringing issues to the surface and setting my feet on the right path again.


That Sunday, my family went to church without me, and I stayed behind – much alone.


Kindergarten class had to be canceled on Monday, because there was no substitute teacher to take my place. I was still home sick and much alone.


Throughout that whole weekend, while I was healing physically, the Lord was restoring me spiritually.


When I returned to teaching on Tuesday, the kids were so happy to see me, and the parents were happy too 😊


There was this undeniable covering of grace about me, and I was radiating with happiness. For the Lord had filled my dry well with His anointing power once again!


He graciously allowed a time of illness to be the means of restoring order in my life.


A time of separation from the wind, earthquake and fire, brought my vision into focus once again.


Now I am reaching my full potential because I am functioning under grace.


I have tapped into that holy anointed power enabling me to tackle anything with strength and dignity!


This is the only way I want to operate from now on.


I know beyond a shadow of a doubt I NEED to meet with the Lord daily. I MUST make time for Him.


When I was a young bride, I read Proverbs 31 repeatedly. Trying to infuse every verse into my heart because I wanted to be a good wife.


I wanted to be this Virtuous Woman! And I still do!


There were a couple of verses I have always cherished from this chapter, and I have listed them below.


Strength and honor are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come. She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all. Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates, Proverbs 31:25-31, KJV.

My life continues to be a busy one, but I have learned a great lesson.


"A woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised."


The Lord desires to meet with me. He wants to provide my daily bread – which is everything I would need for the day at hand. Be it grace, wisdom, guidance, or peace. He wants to be the source of these fruits in my life.


Oh, that I would be more careful with my time!


Seeking the kingdom of God first!


Finding time to be much alone with Him!


Waiting long enough to hear that gentle whisper.


Only then will my dry well be filled with that beautiful anointing of grace.


Then I can bless all those I love with kindness and fulfill all my responsibilities with strength and dignity.


The beauty of life is back! Praise the Lord for pulling me away from the hustle and bustle of life and restoring my joy!


Now grace covers me, and once again I can shine His light through every situation that comes my way!


Here is the link to the devotional that helped me get back on track:


The Lord bless you!

 



Thank you!


Blessings ~


My Sun & Shade






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Angie is a pastor's wife, grammie, office administrator, pianist, artist, and blogger. She is currently editing her 1st book to be released sometime this year. Follow her spiritual journey to attain God's highest purpose for her life, as she follows God's Biblical guide for Christian women.