Masthead header

thankful for grace.

I heard a message from 2 Chronicles 33:1-20 this week.

  It was about Manasseh, who was twelve years old when he became king. 
He reigned for fifty-five years, and he was all kinds of evil.
Before the message even started, 
we were all reminded how easy it would be to totally judge Manasseh.
The pastor encouraged all of us to get in touch with our inner dirtbag.
The truth is…we’re all capable of “all kinds of evil.”
…erected altars to the Baals.
…made Asherah poles. 
…worshipped the goddess, Artemis.
just to name a few.

This is where it got personal.
I was trying to get in touch with my inner dirtbag, but honestly, Manassah was still winning.
{I was kind of feeling okay about myself compared to him}
In other words, I was judging him.

About that time, the pastor informed us that…
Baal was the god of success.
Asherah was the goddess of sex.
And, Artemis was the goddess of youth.

I was officially in touch with my inner dirtbag.
We’re all capable of “all kinds of evils.”
I’ve become imprisoned to every one of those at some point or another in my life.

2 Chronicles 33:10
The Lord spoke to Manasseh and his people, but they paid no attention.

2 Chronicles 33:11
So the Lord brought against them the army commanders of the king of Assyria, who took Manasseh prisoner, put a hook in his nose, bound him with bronze shackles and took him to Babylon.
2 Chronicles 33:12
In his distress he sought the favor of the Lord his God 
and humbled himself greatly before the God of his ancestors.
2 Chronicles 33:13
And when he prayed to him, the Lord was moved by his entreaty and listened to his plea; 
so he brought him back to Jerusalem and to his kingdom.
Then Manasseh knew that the Lord is God.

We were asked a series of questions

in order to try to apply the truths spilled out in these scriptures to our own lives.
The two questions that pierced me were:
What are the idols that you’ve built up in your life?
Why do you struggle with God’s grace?

I’m amazed at how quickly something can become an idol in my heart.
It’s easy for me to get value, worth, security from just about anything.
sounds like idol worship, huh?
I struggle with God’s grace because somewhere along the way I was taught that 
my behavior was directly related to my right standing with God.
Except, this isn’t true.
Grace is unmerited favor.
There is nothing I can do to deserve it.
It’s just given.
It doesn’t have anything to do with me or my behavior.
It has everything to do with God alone and his goodness.
I don’t know about you, but this lifts a heavy burden off of this natural performer’s heart.

In spite of my misgivings….all He ever gives me is grace.
And, I’m so, so, so thankful for it even if I’m still trying to understand it more fully.

all photos found: Martha Stewart, Country Living, Better Homes and Gardens

I hope this space is refreshing to you.
I hope you leave feeling inspired and encouraged.

Kaitlyn - What a blessing! Thanks so much for sharing!

jAne - *our inner dirtbag*
oh yes – so very true!
“for we have all fallen short
of the glory of God..”
“there is no one good,
no, not one..”
by grace through faith are we saved.
by love are we guided in right relationship.

wonderful post. thank you.

Sarah at myyellowhouse - Tara,
What beautiful and inspiring thoughts…I loved every word. I too, am thankful for His grace.
I hope your holiday is filled with many other things to be thankful for ~

Sarah at myyellowhouse - I forgot to add…I love your new blog header!

Jean - well said, thanks for sharing all that

Lissa - I am absolutely inspired and encouraged! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving week Tara!

Janie Fox - Absolutely!
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith, and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God- not by works so that no one can boast. Eph 2:8,9
Have a great week! - Hi Tara! Im Kara…your newest follower! Im in LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE with your blog! I love that you put your faith out there as I do the same! And the Pictures are BEAUTIFUL! It funny you talk of Grace as I mentioned it in blog as well this morn! I have an interior design buss and blog…im doing 14 days of christmas trees and would BEYOND ADORE you to come visit! I have a GIVEAWAY too



Anne Marie - I always enjoy coming here to visit…you are so right theologically and spiritually…

Anne Marie

Becca - Great summary of that sermon… what a convicting but hopeful message all wrapped in one!
So thankful for you!

Tiffini - And when he prayed to him, the Lord was moved …
to much to wrap my heart around…that we can move our God…
thanks Tara:)

Shell in your Pocket - What beautiful verses to go with your pictures…

sandy toe

LuLu - I absolutely feel encourage, lifted up. thank you for this and sharing this beautiful verse, you are always a source of wonderful inspiration and spiritual uplift!

Janine - I have never heard those verses shared that way. It made it “come alive” to me in many ways. This is toally what I needed to read this morning. So much of what you shared are things the Lord has been highlighting to me over the past few weeks. Thank you for this beautiful encouragement today.

Megan - I was reading the kids their devotional the other night from Jesus Calling {love that you guys have it too} and loved the part where it talked about being graded in life, but that God doesn’t work that way. I struggle with thinking over how I measure up on a daily basis, when He is not grading me. And yes, I feel at times that I have quite a few idols hanging out in my heart, where He wants to be. Thanks for sharing what you have learned and passing it my way.

And have a wonderful Thanksgiving friend!

Joanie - SO, so, so aware of my inner dirtbag – especially recently. Seems as though the longer you walk with the Lord through this life, the dirtier you seem in comparison to the perfectness of Christ. Such an encouraging post. Thank God for His undeserved grace – oh where I would be without it, I don’t even want to imagine. I am so thankful for Jesus!!!! I love you friend. If I don’t talk to you before Thursday, happy Thanksgiving to you and all the Lowrys. hugs.

Woodard Gang - Thanks for sharing…this was tough, but wonderful at the same time! I read through a bunch of your posts…catching up if you will and your post on Kenley brought tears to my eyes. I’ll share with you why soon…Happy Thanksgiving girl!

Lisa - I DO feel refreshed, inspired and encouraged when I visit here, especially after reading posts like this, Tara. It is a struggle to find balance in wants & needs and to be ever-mindful about what we pour our desires into. Thank you for sharing this story today.

Tracy is ... Loving Pretty Things - I love this so ! Thank you so much for sharing – perfect way to prepare our hearts for Thanksgiving!


LLH Designs - Grace and glory are what get me through each day. His glory…not mine. I spent the first two decades of my life trying to be perfect, and have spent the last two trying to let grace soak down deep into my needy heart.

Blessings to you today…and always!

Staci Edwards - Beautiful.

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *