Ashley Dancer |

The heart of a Dancer | Moms

Grace and mercy seem to be a recurring theme in my life these days. I have been thinking and praying about them a lot – the need for them, the reminder of them. Learning to accept them both is a daily struggle around here.

It seems every lesson in my life recently is followed by these two truths.

I can't deny my need for these amazing gifts, but I can't seem to wrap my mind around them either.

Maybe it's because everywhere I go, I take their twins with me; their evil twins. You know the ones: guilt and shame.

You notice I said, "take them with me." Carrying around guilt and shame is a choice, just as choosing to walk in grace and mercy is – and yet I feel stuck between the two.

It should be a no-brainer, right? Walking in grace and mercy or under a cloud of guilt, weighed down by shame...hmm.

I hope you sense my sarcasm here, but honestly, when I sit back and examine objectively the two sides I am baffled at times as to why I have a hard time choosing the beautifully wrapped gift that Christ has laid before me fresh and new each morning.

My feet hit the floor and I throw on my dirty old rags instead of the beautiful robe He wants to adorn me with.

I mean think about it, if my husband came home everyday with a present for me "just because," I would be thrilled.

I wouldn't hit him with a list of questions, seeking out his ulterior motives and reminding him of all the not-so-wonderful things I have done in our marriage and try to talk him out of showering me with love.

God is no different. He wants to cover us with love and blessings. He wants nothing more than fellowship with us.

He wakes us up every morning to a beautiful sunrise and the chance to start fresh. He offers us grace and mercy everyday, no strings attached.

I have spent the last few weeks doing my mental gymnastics and trying to get a handle on this, and I have come to realize that (at least for me) there is a third part to this equation: humility and vulnerability.

In order for me to throw off the guilt and shame, and walk in grace and mercy, I must be humble (make mistakes, ask forgiveness, rely on Christ) and vulnerable (drop my guard, accept criticism or judgment, make myself susceptible to heartbreak or disappointment).

Sounds like fun, yeah? I didn't think so either.

My fellow Douglas County Mom and friend, Brittany Arnold, said, "It is not who you are that holds you back, it's who you THINK you're not."

The fact of the matter is the person I think I'm not is who Ireally want to be: Free, Joyful, Holy, Humble, Gracious, Patient and yes, even Vulnerable for the Glory of Christ.

I can't be these things on my own; I need Christ daily.

I need to pick up His precious truths and adorn myself with them before anything else. I need to meditate on and trust in His word.

Because the truth is, He sees exactly who I am. He sees His daughter, beautiful and blameless, bought for a price, an heir to the throne.

We all have something to offer (even when we think we don't) and it is more attractive than anything this world can sell you, so SHINE!

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23

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The News-Review Updated Jun 13, 2014 01:13PM Published Jun 17, 2014 08:09AM Copyright 2014 The News-Review. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.