Rest.

Last night, at 11:58pm, I turned in my music analysis paper. And then the reality hit me:

I can REST now. I’m on Spring Break.

And how good it feels!

Today has been a mostly relaxing day, but the part that was relaxing and joyful was absolutely lovely. I listened to some music. I journaled. I read Psalm 34 and John 15. I juiced some some apple-beet-carrot juice (I’ve been juicing these days, and it is wonderful), and heated up some chicken soup for lunch. I prayed. I sang as I worked in the kitchen. I read blogs. And now here I am. It’s good to have a little breather from school (not complaining—I love my school—but breaks are nice too), and be able to slow down for a while. During this week, I hope to:

  • Catch up on sleep.
  • Do relaxing things.
  • Read my Bible.
  • Think and journal.
  • Fellowship with people.

– Maddie

But I can pray.

My dear friend,

I grieve when I think about all that you’re going through.

Your words weigh heavy with despair,

While you are trying to hang on to the truth;

Trying to convince yourself

That through all of this, God is still good.

Trying to be brave, to be strong, to endure.

And as you sit beside me and the tears fall heavily

As you tell me how it’s hard to face each day,

How you have to tell yourself at night how loved you are,

How peace is so hard to come by,

Can you see in my eyes the sorrow I feel for you?

Can you see these tears welling up, and though I can’t find the comforting words I want to say,

Can you see that I’m grieving for you? WITH you?

Can you see how much I wish I could make things right for you?

What would I not give, to see you relieved of this heavy burden?

It frustrates me that I can only do so much.

But then, I am not God.

I am powerless.

But He is All-Powerful. And I can pray.

So I will pray for you, dearest. I will PRAY. Hard.

For peace. For joy. Yes, JOY. Abounding Joy in Christ.

That God, if He wills, will ease your burdens quickly.

That He will give You hope.

And REST.

That your doubts will be cleared, that your faith will be renewed.

That God will give you strength to endure,

Abundant grace in the midst of these woes,

Peace like a river while sea billows roll.

These things can happen. I’ve seen God move a million times before.

I know you have, too.

But I know it’s still hard to believe sometimes, though. LORD, we believe; help our unbelief.

And I will be here if you need me. To talk. To pray with you. To cry on my shoulder.

And I will cry with you.

And sit with you all night until the sun rises, if need be.

Don’t bear this weight alone.

I will gladly bear it with you.

And I will bring these trials before our Father

And ask Him for relief.

I believe He can.

I believe He will.

I believe that things will get better,

That, in time, from these ruins will come beauty.

Take heart, my friend.

And until the storm passes, I will beg our Father

To still these raging seas.

I will pray,

Fervently. Tearfully. Hopefully.

 

#myriadsofblessings – 03/12

  • Homemade applesauce.
  • Butter.
  • That my life is not the storyline of The Sorrows of Young Werther, this very sad book I have to read for school! I am dreading reading the rest of it today, to be honest… I had to put the book down a few times, breathe, and remind myself that this is mere fiction. If my hope were not in Christ, this would be my life.
  • Community. I have been so blessed by the wonderful people God has placed in my life, they are priceless.
  • Progress, in any area of life.
  • Deep, honest conversations.
  • God’s sustaining mercy and grace. Oh, what would I do without Him. (Rhetorical question. I would be under His wrath.)
  • that God has a plan in everything, be it poor health, struggles, trials… He uses all these things for good.
  • that even when I wander so far, God has never failed to lead me, like the loving Father He is, back to Himself.
  • That God is pleased to use me, of all people, to bless others. What.
  • Hilarious things said in class, often providing comic relief on the more stressful days.
  • Songs that are dense with gospel truth. (i.e. “The Power of the Cross” by the Gettys, “Come Behold the Wondrous Mystery”, “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God”. So good.)
  • Fun times with friends.
  • Color.
  • Wool socks.
  • Skirts.
  • Chicken soup.

Under The Fig Tree – A Sonnet

In anguish my heart searches, seeking rest,

But there is none: two wills divide my mind.

My evil thoughts and actions I detest,

But somehow cannot bear to leave behind.

 

I feel this battle in my soul increase;

This sin I hate, yet love, grips me with force.

These habits, when will they at last decease?

They promise joy; I only know remorse.

 

Almighty God! From sins, deliver me!

These worthless things I somehow love, destroy!

From hollow, fruitless pleasures, set me free,

And make me captive to Your greater joy.

 

You’ve taught my restless heart to rest in You;

I now know joy unmeasured, joy most true.

 

(A sonnet I wrote for a school assignment, inspired by Augustine’s Confessions.)

 

Winter Break, A New Semester, Sonnets, etc.

Hey everyone! My winter break is finally over. It was pretty wonderful, part of the time. A lot of the time it was kinda lonely and uneventful, but other times I was able to get together with good friends and have fun. I went out for a lunch with a friend and we caught up on life and had great conversations. I went bowling twice. I got together with friends, and we played games, talked, laughed and just enjoyed spending time together. By myself, I spent time in the Word, journaled a lot, did a lot of calligraphy, had dance parties all by myself, and I also was able to read a little bit… I picked up some of the books on my shelf that collect dust and never are read, and at least started a few of them. (At one point I read over 1,000 pages over a period of about 4 days, hardly stopping except to eat and sleep… but that, my friends, is a story for another time. I’m glad to be finished with that week… it was pretty hectic, but totally worthwhile and rewarding.)

A new semester has started, and I am so happy to be back! We had our first lesson today, as well as our first chapel session of the semester. Those wednesday chapel sessions are one of the highlights of my week. It’s so refreshing to be able to get together in the middle of a busy, sometimes stressful day and just worship the LORD together as a student body and be encouraged from God’s Word.  Also, this is pretty cool… for our first assignment, we each have to write a sonnet (after either the method of Petrarch or Shakespeare). The assignment is due friday, but it very well may be turned in today (I was eager to start working on it right away). Maybe after I turn it in I’ll post it on the blog. We’ll see. I’m quite happy with how it turned out. If only more assignments were poetry assignments!

Later!

Maddie

 

When Footing is Slippery

These days have been a little rough. Okay, we’ll not sugar-coat it… just “rough”. I think I may have posted enough in previous posts that most of you may get the idea—the struggles against doubt, fear of man, and failure in obedience. I’ve often been feeling like a complete failure and worrying that my faith might one day completely go down the drain; that I’ll give up altogether… and that thought terrifies me. One of my most common prayers these days is “Hold me fast; don’t let me go, don’t let me walk away. Help me to stand firm.” And this far, God has so graciously kept me.
I just got home from Christmas with the family. It felt good to walk in the door of my own home and breathe a sigh of relief—I’m home. I love my family a lot, but it’s good to finally be home. I decided to check the mail to see if my letter that I had sent to my friend had even been taken by the mailman (we have a super deep mailbox, so sometimes I feel like letters might get forgotten down there for a while before they’re discovered). Not only had it been taken, but—oh joy!—I had received one from her.  Awww. At the very end of the card, she had written “Never forget His steadfast love”, and then “Ps 94:18-20”. So I looked it up. The first two verses really blessed me:

When I thought, “My foot slips,” your steadfast love, O LORD, held me up.

When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul.

Psalm 94:18-19, ESV

Just before I had read her letter, I had been praying and I had journaled about my struggles—”The rushing waters are up to my neck, and I am trying so hard not to lose my footing.”—and then boom, she writes me a card with a reference to a verse that had to do with feeling like losing one’s footing. I love how God does things like that. Wow. I was reminded of how every time I felt like this was the end, that I had no hope, God helped me, every time. And he will do it again. Every time I have been in over my head with doubts and fears and guilt, He has picked me up out of the rushing currents and set me on a rock. Every time I have felt that my faith would fail, He has held me fast.

So friends, if any of you are feeling similarly—if you feel like your feet are slipping—cry out to Him. Keep praying. Be persistent. Don’t give up. He will save His children. He will make their footing sure. He will hold them fast.

With you in the fight,

Maddie

Life – 12/18

As of this past thursday afternoon, I have been on Christmas break. It feels so good to have another semester under my belt, and to no longer have to think about I have to do this assignment, and this paper, and oh yeah, I have a quiz on monday… now I can breathe a little bit.

I’ve been working on handlettering a bit, making an order for a client and brainstorming about my soon-to-be Etsy shop. I’m really excited.

 

 

On Friday evening I decided I wanted to make homemade toffee. So I did. I make mine with honey and coconut oil (I’m guessing 1 part coconut oil to 5 parts honey… I didn’t measure), and then whatever I want to flavor it with (slivered almonds, chocolate, cinnamon, ginger… the possibilities are endless. This time I used ground cinnamon). This time, however, I made them differently than usual. Instead of pouring it while it was still liquid into a buttered pan to cool and harden, I waited till it was of a gooey consistency, buttered my fingers and pulled it like taffy (like they do it in Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Farmer Boy… pull it, double it in half, repeat the process multiple times) until the color turned from dark brown to a light golden color. Then I twisted them into little pieces the size of caramels, and sprinkled them with sea salt. Salted toffee! It turned out pretty good, I thought; I brought some to my family and they loved them as well. Cool. Guess I’ll be making those again sometime. It’s hard being allergic to sugar, sometimes I really wish I could have sugary things like most other people (although I’d probably be seriously unhealthy if I were able to), so I’m pretty happy that it is possible to make toffee using honey.

Yesterday I went with my fam to the mall to go shopping (I hadn’t really hung out with them this much in a long time, so this was nice). At the end of the day I ended up with a really cute coat (it’s really thick, which will be nice since temperatures around here are way below zero), two plaid flannels from Ab&Fitch, and this cozy maroon sweater from Old Navy. When we were at Old Navy, “Holiday” by Britt Nicole came on, which I find rather hilarious—it’s a really old song; I think ON has been playing it every Christmas for about 10 years now (it was released in 2007), and it’s not even a Christmas song. I also got to smalltalk with one of the workers there as she scanned a tag on my sweater to see what the actual price was, so that was cool. We talked about where we were from, all the snow we’re getting, etc. Do you ever run across certain people when you’re shopping (I’m talking about workers) and you just want to be friends with them? It was one of those scenarios.

Despite all of this, it hasn’t been all sunshine and roses, to use a super cliché phrase. Struggles. Depression. Sin, and remorse over sin. Doubts. Anxiety. Feeling stuck. Crying out to God, and often doubting whether or not He can even hear me. Miserable, right. I won’t go into detail, but there’s been some difficult refining going on in my heart these days. But God is faithful, patient, and abundant in mercy and grace. He uses these moments to show me sin, to help me fight it, and to help me remember how much I need Him. As I once told a friend in a conversation we had a couple weeks ago, I’m sure if these hard times weren’t happening in my life, I would easily forget about Him. Which is a terrifying thought. So I’m thankful that He is using these times to sanctify me and teach me (and sometimes force me) to cling to Him for dear life—because He is the very reason I have life, and my heart is “restless till it rests in [Him]”… only then will I ever have real Joy.

In my devotions I’ve been reading through Hebrews. It’s been cool seeing in what ways Jesus fulfills the Old Covenant and many Old Testament symbolisms—that He is the better Adam; that He is the Great High Priest who made the final sacrifice: Himself, etc.—which is fitting in that we are approaching Christmas. So good. I’ve been also reading Psalms (not in any particular order, but based on what I need to hear that day, I guess). Good ol’ David. Journaling goals right there. When I journal, I’ve been trying to do it kind of like how many Psalms go: starting with the problem but resolving it with truth—This is hard. But God promises ___. So I will trust Him—I’ve found it very helpful. Get it off your chest, but don’t stop there. Preach to yourself.

I’m excited for these next few weeks of break. I’m excited for Christmas, and I’m excited to get some non-academic things done. Such as:

  • Polish studies.
  • Getting through some of the many books I have on my shelf that I haven’t gotten very far into yet. I’m finally reading Run to Win the Prize by Tom Schreiner, and it’s been really good. I want to read something by Louisa May Alcott, and maybe read through Pride and Prejudice again (I probably say that every break…).
  • Writing more. More poetry, more progress on my novel (it may never get published, we’ll see), more blog posts, more journaling.
  • Lettering, and learning from the pros on how to do it better.
  • Opening the Etsy shop.

It’ll be good to get some of these done.

Love,

Maddie

Life is Not Perfect.

Patience, my soul.

Mistakes happen,

Disappointments come,

Struggles abound.

Life is not perfect.

But if it were,

You would forget Your Maker.

It is a good thing, then, that hard things happen.

To teach us to trust Him,

To let go of the things we hold so tightly,

In order that we may cling more tightly to Him.

To stop trying to control our own lives,

Because we can’t.

These things that happen are for our good.

He has a purpose in everything that happens.

Trust in the LORD, my soul.

 

 

 

Life – 10/22

These past couple of weeks have been pretty nice. The fall colors are absolutely gorgeous, and I’m trying to enjoy them before all the trees lose their leaves. Yesterday as I was walking home from class with two friends, we collected red, pink, orange and yellow maple leaves. I might hang them somewhere, not sure what to do with them yet.  Ahh, I love fall.

We haven’t had a ton of homework other than the usual reading.  The professors cancelled a major paper that we were supposed to do, which was SO wonderful. Now things are starting back up, as we have a quiz on Monday.

A couple days ago I was low on groceries, and like they say, necessity is the mother of invention—I ended up making a type of paleo-friendly pancakes… you know that recipe on pinterest for “clean” pancakes that are literally eggs + banana? (I don’t like them, they just taste like banana-y egg, which is weird…) If you use canned pumpkin instead of banana, it tastes better.  I did 3 eggs to about 3/4 cup of pumpkin, with some honey and cinnamon, and they weren’t bad, actually. They obviously weren’t the texture of real pancakes; they were thin like crepes, but flimsier and lighter.  They were pretty good, though, at least I thought so. I did wish I had something like tapioca flour to thicken the batter a little bit, though (although I don’t know if tapioca is paleo-approved.  I’m not eating paleo, per se, just trying to go easy on carbs).

Yesterday in class we studied Petrarch, a medieval poet and writer. We had read his essay, “The Ascent of Mount Ventoux”, which I found very amusing—in it he tells of his adventures climbing “Mount Windy” with his brother, and then uses it as an illustration of “the soul’s climb toward blessedness”.  Also, I find it humorous that he carried a pocket copy of Augustine’s Confessions with him wherever he went. He must have really admired that guy (well, everyone did back then, but apparently Petrarch especially). We also had read some of his poems from the Canzoniere, they were mostly really sad, depressing poems about pining after his very DISTANT, unattainable “love”, Laura (whom he apparently only saw once from afar, and fell madly into this obsession over her…). My prof had people read them aloud, and let them do so in whatever style they wanted, which was pretty fun. Haha.

Yesterday was my school’s annual fall party, and it was wonderful.  It was sad to think that it was my very last fall party, as I plan to graduate this spring. It was held, per usual, at this really pretty farm with a huge red barn, in which we barn danced. I went on a hayride, then I hung out with 4 of my friends, we climbed a tree, and then I went on another hayride, this time with them. I talked to some friends that I hadn’t gotten to talk to in a while, so that was awesome. I didn’t dance a whole lot this time, other than the Virginia Reel with one of my friends, and three line dances. It was a fun evening.

Happy weekend!

-Maddie

 

 

Scales

There’s something that afflicts my eyes

And makes it difficult to see.

Sin blurs my vision, thick like fog

And now I can’t perceive You clearly.

I need You, Father, but I fear

That You can’t see me through the haze

Although it’s not Your sight but mine

That’s hindered—I have turned my gaze

From joy eternal without measure,

To empty things and fruitless pleasure

Which leave me empty, seeking more.

 

And as remorsefully I sigh

And think this darkness will not end

You see these scales upon my eyes

And want me to see You again.

These scales, You know, are all my sins—

My fear, my selfishness, my pride,

Anger, greed, unrighteous thoughts,

And countless other things beside.

And I will never ever see

Unless You perform surgery,

Slowly, till the scales are gone.

 

Skillful Surgeon, do Your work;

Take up the scalpel that You own

And use it, to make clear again

My vision, seeing Christ alone.

This operation will be painful—

Though I scream and groan and cry,

Don’t slow Your work removing sin—

This pain is how You sanctify.

And afterwards when I recover,

Give that remedy, none other

Than gospel truth, restoring sight.

– 10/15/16

Originally published at MaddieThePoet.

But Wait… It Gets Better

Looking back a couple years ago, I was kind of in a difficult season of life. I am so thankful that things are different now than they were then. Back then I was anxious, I was enslaved to fear, filled with doubt, bombarded with lies about who I was… I just wasn’t very free. I was a Christian back then and knew the Gospel, it was just a very difficult season for me.  And I wondered if it would ever end.

Fast forward two years later, to today. I still struggle with doubts sometimes, but my faith has grown and I have learned, and am still learning, to doubt my doubts and CLING to the hope of the Gospel and to God’s Word, which is true and reliable. My fear is mostly gone. He is working in my heart, causing me to seek Him, causing me to desire Him more.  I’m by no means perfect, but God has been so gracious and such a good Father as to help me out of that season and bring me nearer to Himself. He has been giving me a deeper sense of my need for Him, and proving Himself faithful, meeting that need by satisfying me with Himself. I am NOT the same person I was two years ago.

The moral of the story is, if you are in a difficult spot, and if life is absolutely miserable, and you’ve been crying out to God for the millionth time and you STILL don’t seem to have gotten anywhere, don’t give up hope. Take it from yours truly. In the moment when I was in that dark valley, I thought I would never be able to climb up out of it. I thought I would always be troubled in my mind and worry about things that weren’t even true. I didn’t see any change taking place, any hope for things getting better, and it was discouraging. But over time, things most certainly did get better. Since that time–though so gradually it was hard to see the process take place–God has been restoring me, healing me, setting me free, and constantly reminding me of His love for me and His amazing grace shown through the sacrifice of His Son. Keep seeking Him, and He will be faithful to show up.

-Maddie

I sought the LORD, and he answered me

and delivered me from all my fears.

Those who look to him are radiant,

and their faces shall never be ashamed.

This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him

and saved him out of all his troubles.

(Psalm 34:4-6 ESV)

Life – 08/29

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Notes on our “Confessions” class

Things have been going really well these past few days.  School has been super interesting, and every day I’ve looked forward to the next class.  We are now into our second week of school; we just finished reading and discussing Augustine’s Confessions and just today we discussed Augustine’s understading of the Trinity and of the Will, whether creeds and confessions are an important thing to have in the church (we’re reading part of The Creedal Imperative by Carl Trueman for that), etc.  So many topics in one class period!  It was so interesting though.

To provide context for future posts, I might as well add that hey, so I’m actually not a junior.  I would have been, but last year the stress, the workload, the late nights and minor depression (from all of this) got to me, consequently last year things didn’t go as well as I’d liked, and I didn’t exactly pass.  I had taken my fall sophomore semester, but couldn’t take the spring one until I caught up on some things.  So I focused on my Greek, aced it, enjoyed a lighter workload for a season, and now I’m back as a Sophomore, 2.0.  While this is hard in some ways going from one class to another, it’s been great being a part of this new class.  From the start I immediately felt like I belonged, they were all so welcoming.  Last year I had gotten to know some of these people, and became good friends with them.  Now I get to be in class with them, and hang out with them all the time.  It’s pretty sweet.  Besides the people I already knew, I got to know the people I didn’t know very well.  At this point I know everyone’s names and have talked to nearly every one of them, and they all are super awesome people.  I left a great class, but I entered one that was just as equally great.

Now that I’ve provided some context, I can talk in the future about themes we’re studying without you all being confused – “didn’t you go through that material already?”

Besides academics, life has been good these past few days – exceptionally good.

  • The LORD has been so full of grace to me, as always, particularly now by giving me joy in him, which I’ve felt somewhat lacking before and had to fight for it.  I feel like these days my prayers have been less self-focused and more gospel-centered, which is good.  Besides that type of joy (which surpasses all others), I’ve been laughing so much these days, haha.  There are a few people in my class who are absolutely HILARIOUS, and they have been a source of much humor in our classes and in the times we hang out together.
  • Some days the weather has been slightly chilly – an indication of fall weather.  You guys, I cannot wait.  The colors.  The smell of dead leaves, and the sound of them crunching under my feet.  Actually having to wear sweaters and wool socks and use blankets.  Being able to drink tea without overheating myself.  Pumpkin, cinnamon, squash… guys.  I bought a butternut squash a few days ago.  YES.
  • I’ve been learning the pleasure of listening to entire albums at once.  I used to not have the patience for that.  But I’ve been realizing that albums sometimes have a big picture, and certain songs sometimes build off others in the album, or a hidden theme develops that I would have missed had I only listened to select songs at random.  Even if not, I’ve found listening to entire albums pleasurable in and of itself.  A few albums I’ve been listening to, start to finish, are
    • Ghost of a King by The Gray Havens
    • Where The Light Gets In by Jason Gray
    • Posters by Strahan

So that’s a bit on how things have been going recently!  I could say so much, but time is limited, and I’ve got to make supper and get to my reading (my reason for blogging was to wake myself up – I kept dozing off mid-sentence while I was reading, and would end up dreaming ends of sentences onto ones I had started while awake!  So strange, haha).

Maddie

 

Bullet Journaling!

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(Notebook from Rifle Paper Co.  If titling a bullet-journal “the bullet journal” is a newbie-ish thing to do, oops, whatever.)

So a while back I discovered bullet-journaling, and decided to start one of my own.  I’m learning about this whole thing as I go, but I think there isn’t a wrong way to do it.  I’ve decided to go more visual and avoid a bullet system of any sort (except in lists).  Here’s most of what I have so far:

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I’m doing washi tape tabs on the pages.  Tabs on the top of a page somewhat separate months, and tabs on the sides are for the fun pages – you know, lists, ideas, all that stuff.

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Above is the layout of the planner pages.  (My bullet-journal is mostly a planner with a few other features… I don’t know if that is how most people do it, but whatever.)

Those bars you see on the right of each “day” are for keeping track of water consumption, as shown below (this is the first page of my journal).  Due to the shocking lack of water I consume each day, I thought this to be a necessary feature.  =)  I looked up how many ounces a person my size needs (about 80 oz), and found that 80 ounces is 4 20-oz. waterbottles’ worth of water.  I own a 20 oz. waterbottle, so measurements should be easy.

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Below are the non-planner parts of the bullet-journal:

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I thought it would be handy to keep a little grocery list in there in case I should need it. =)

Do you bullet-journal?  What do you put in yours?  If you have any tips or ideas for a novice, they would be most welcome!

Grace For the Failings

For the longest time, I’ve been feeling rather trapped in a prolonged rut of guilt and shame  over sinful patterns I am trying to break, and consequently, going through a depression of sorts.  And it’s awful.

I want – I long, I strive, for a pure heart that seeks after the LORD.  I want to please Him; I desire closeness with my Father more than anything in the world.  But my actions, as is the case of any human being, fail to live up to these intentions.  I fail.  I sin; “…I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate (Romans 7:15)”.  And when I fail, I feel a deep sense of shame, and regret.

“You did it again, Madeline.  Way to go.”

“See this sin pattern of disobedience?  It’s happened for years – see how you’ve prayed and prayed for it to end, and it hasn’t yet.  Will it ever stop?”

“You’re hopeless.  You’re never going to change.”

“God must be sick of dealing with you, you’re so slow to figuring out this whole obedience thing.”

Such are the lies that I have to battle with, as I’m sprawled out on my bed, tears streaming down my face, just laying there, letting time pass, feeling worthless.

I hate my sin.  I hate it all – from the “small” to the “great” (all sin is sin, not one is worse than the other) – I hate them and repent of them with many tears.

“Don’t leave me, LORD.  Forgive me.  Don’t give up on me.  Help me to change.”

Psalm 51 is often read.  I repent, and pray and pray and pray that God would rid me of these sins.

Hours, or even days, may pass before I actually begin to feel forgiven, and I am able to know actual freedom.

And then the whole thing happens again.  And again.  And again.

When will I ever stop???

 

If this sounds familiar to you, you are not alone.  And I am thankful that I am not alone in this grisly fight against sin, even when it seems like a losing battle.

But you – and I – have not lost yet.  It’s not too late for change.

There is a Savior, Christ Jesus, to whom you can run. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9)”.  (I basically typed that from my memory; it’s been a lifeline for me these days.)  There is promised forgiveness.  Grab hold of it.

There is grace for all the times you fail – all of them – if you truly repent and and ask for forgiveness.  Don’t let the lie “you’ve sinned one time too many for his grace to be effective” distress you.  That is not true.  Though you sin again, and again, and again, repent.  Turn away from your sin and to Christ, and you will be forgiven.  I’ve heard it said that God is “the God of second chances”, while I have found Him to be the God of many chances.  I have failed him over and over and over, probably millions and millions of times, but he has never failed to bring me back into his loving Fatherly arms.

There is grace for your constant failings, my friends.  And that grace can only be found in Jesus.  So run to the fountain of that grace, which is his blood, and what is broken can be made whole, what is dead can come alive, what is wounded can heal, what is a sinful pattern can be undone.

With you in the fight,

Maddie

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