Saturday, November 20, 2010

"Gracie"ful Reminders

I don't know why, but it's been a challenging, tiring, long, trying week at the Miller household. I've had a cough that has lingered from my first cold of the season back around October 16. School has been stressful for Amy, and Gracie has had lots to do after school. Throw in a school board meeting, choir practices, pet challenges, and you have a very full week! Admittedly I have not handled it too well. I've been impatient, ungrateful, lazy, and just unpleasant at times. Sometimes we just have those dry seasons, varying in length which I feel God sovereignly places us in so He can connect with us and change us. However, I've needed every bit of Grace as I've navigated the challenges of the week. 

Today as we started our whopping 1.8 mile commute to work/school, G and I were listening to our Tidings Album by our great friend Laurie Roberts and Tammy McMorrow. The song "Magnify" was playing and while swept up in the amazing music and vocals, I was still in a pity party of sorts due to a sleep deprived night due to a very uncooperative dachshund and a week full of struggles. As we approached the Division St. intersection, I heard G belting out the song just as if she was on stage with Laurie and Tammy. I looked back and there she was, with the Southeastern November sunrise shining on her tiara (it was hat day at school) with a smile a mile wide, singing praises. That is when it hit me. We can be so self centered and spoiled at times and take the simple things God has for us for granted. Things like a wonderful wife, great job, health, family, friends and an amazing daughter.  

It's tough to explain with words, but believe me when I say that I was definitely touched by God at at that moment and felt a wonderful peace, amidst all my pity, not because I deserved it, but because of God's unfathomable, all sufficient grace. I'm attempting to explain this to illustrate that just because one believes in God or accepts Christ in their lives doesn't guarantee blue skies, warm sun, and birds chirping every morning. Life will still be hard and there will still be dry seasons of frustration and doubt. Tears filled my eyes while I enjoyed my daughter singing and I all of a sudden found myself smiling uncontrollably. 

Amy and I attended a Weekend to Remember by Family Life at the Coeur d' Alene Resort a couple weeks ago. It was our 2nd time attending the conference and like the first time, it didn't disappoint. I would highly recommend this weekend getaway to couples of all ages and years of being married. It is also a wonderful opportunity for engaged couples. Anyway, my reason for mentioning this event is because one of the points made by speaker Tim Kimmel was that although the weekend getaway was a great way for couples to achieve "oneness" and improve relationship aspects, returning back to work, home, families, and "real life" would surely be a difficult adjustment. How true this statement turned out to be but equally true was his emphatic statement that grace based relationships were the best type. 

Magnify indeed. 

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