passagethroughgrace

a journey to discover grace in everyday life

We’ve Moved!!! July 20, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Mary Geisen @ 12:57 AM

New location – my blog moved this week! Please come check out the new site at http://www.passagethroughgrace.com.

Hope to see you all there!

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Watch Out For That Three Letter Word May 31, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Mary Geisen @ 10:36 PM
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My boy is a man! I didn’t wake up today and realize this – it has been unfolding in front of me for years but today the wind has been knocked out of me with the reality of that three letter word – MAN!!! From diaperhood to adulthood in the blink of an eye – where have the last 23 years gone???

How do I even begin to describe 23 years in a few paragraphs or count the many blessings that my son has bestowed on myself and many others? How do I describe to all the man of God he has become? A little over a week ago my son graduated from college. My little boy had on his black cap and gown bedazzled with a purple and gold tassel and a cord of silver around his neck. He walked in beaming with a huge smile on his face as “Pomp and Circumstance” swelled and echoed throughout the auditorium. As he took his seat on the stage with the other graduates, my mind replayed the story of my boy’s life which began on April 12, 1990.

A series of snapshots flashed quickly as if they were a deck of cards being fanned before a card game. A picture of my son squeezed into a onesie, another with Tasmanian devil slippers on feet that were just learning how to take steps, many pictures with his big brother squeezing him tight out of love or maybe frustration, pictures of him swimming in the summer or trying to build a snowman in the winter, pictures with his childhood friends all wearing silly grins of sheer delight, snapshots of birthday parties, family, grandparents and finally the one that is flash frozen in front of me now – my boy – no man- in his cap and gown ready to begin a new chapter.

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A deep longing for one more minute of the boy nestled in my arms as we watched the nest of baby robins outside tucked into the corner of our porch filled every pore of my being. A deep sadness for what was but a new hope for what is to come slowly seeps into my soul. The longing for what was will slowly be replaced by God’s promises. “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you. So we say with confidence, the Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid.” Hebrews 13:5-6

The longing for what was turns into a yearning and excitement for the new chapter about to evolve. My heart of sadness sheds its layers one by one at the prospect of how my son is following God’s plan for him to become a youth minister and now… flash forward to this weekend, the beginning of the chapter-the one that has been written and continues to be written by God. The move to a new state will be complete and my son will begin his first job as a Youth and Family Minister. I see a glimpse into the next chapter – a small teaser has been written but as of this moment the words, sentences and chapter are all God’s to slowly reveal on the page.

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I look forward to this next chapter and I am so proud and excited to watch, learn and be a part of this journey. I will pray as a mother prays for her children and I will hold this verse near to my heart knowing that God’s purpose is your purpose and it’s going to be an amazing ride.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

 

Knit Together Untraditionally May 11, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Mary Geisen @ 1:11 AM
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Mothers+Day+Subway+Art+8x10Mother’s Day is approaching and I’m being nudged to write today to honor all women. Our society categorizes Mother’s Day as a day to honor women who have children. I challenge everyone to expand this group to include all women. I would like to encourage some amazing women who have not been blessed with children but who epitomize what a mother should be. Who wouldn’t want to recognize all women this Mother’s Day when you read the qualities written above? I am blessed to have been touched by many amazing women who possess these qualities, some who are moms in the traditional sense and some who are moms in an untraditional sense. All share a sense of motherhood and the absolute devotion that comes with that title. God has created us to be unique and with this individuality comes all that God calls us to be.

13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well. Psalm 139:13-14 (NIV)

Today and everyday, encourage those amazing women that have made an imprint on your life. Honor them for who they are and all they contribute to enhance your life. Love them and recognize those qualities that make them uniquely who they are. So today I pray for all women that God will bless them and cover them with his unconditional and untraditional love. Join me in praying and honoring all women on this Mother’s Day!

 

Got stress??? Get Jesus! May 5, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Mary Geisen @ 7:00 PM
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Since my weekend at Women of Joy in Louisville with my sister-in-law, God has been gently reminding me through my daily life and interaction with others, that absolute surrender always ends up with God’s loving hand and grace written all over it. God asks us to let go and let Him be in charge. I don’t categorize myself as a controlling person but intimate reflection time has enlightened me of specific circumstances where ” it is my way or the highway”. As I drove home from an amazing weekend in Louisville, God spoke volumes into my heart about surrendering my top three daily stressors to Him. This process continually unfolds as I struggle to give it all to God. I find that my strength in God comes from His word, those around me, daily devotionals and God-inspired books that I surround myself with as a reminder of how I want to live my life. Centering myself on God and His truths truly sets me free and provides all I need when I let go and let God!

Understanding stress and the triggers of stress that flare up in me are important to being able to manage my reactions, relationships and ability to overcome stress in a healthy manner. Being able to wrap my brain around what stress is allows me to work on that area of life appropriately with God’s guidance. Tracie Miles has written the perfect definition of stress in her book “Sressed-Less Living”. She defines stress as “a vicious cycle. The more we worry, the more anxious we feel, the more anxious we feel, the more frustrated we become, the more frustrated we become, the more we want to find someone or something to blame. As frustration builds we get more and more frazzled. The more frazzled we become, the more overwhelmed we begin to feel; the more overwhelmed we feel, the more stressed we become.” The path of stress should lead to God every time because “God’s normal is always serenity, and his normal can be our normal,too” says Tracie Miles. Her message is that we can overcome stress in our lives by turning to God. Understanding that we should turn our stress into peace will happen by understanding how we define peace and where we look for peace in our lives. Tracie Miles’ simple definition of peace “the ability to rise above our circumstances, overcome our innate tendency to stress out over problems, and learn to remain calm and confident despite what is going on around us” is a peace based on Christ and not people or our circumstances. It is a peace that asks us to relinquish our control to God who will then teach us in a way that we are never the same again. I am actively seeking God’s peace because God has promised each of us that we will find this peace when we seek Him and trust Him with our lives. Perfect peace = a perfect stress reliever which is found in our perfect God.

Lord-

I yearn for your peace in all areas of my life. Embrace me with your peace daily as I learn to let go of stress and cling to you always.

Allow me to understand your words and plans for me and provide the strength needed to say “yes” in trust knowing that you are the Great Provider.

As I release my stress-filled days to you Lord, replace them with your peace and let it infuse all of me!

In love and thankfulness, I lift this prayer to you Lord. AMEN!

 

Booming clangs, lightning strikes or whispers April 14, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Mary Geisen @ 4:09 PM
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You know that surreal moment when you are talking and you can hear your voice coming out but the words are not your words but God’s… Have you ever had any of those moments? Have you prayed for God to give you the words to get through a difficult conversation? Or asked for God’s words to infuse with yours to make them one? Or asked for grace-filled words as you speak? I have made this request many times as I am faced with a conversation that I feel could “head south” at any moment. In those moments when you are faced with a tough situation or person and you are rendered speechless- turn to God. The results will be amazing and you will no longer fear the conversation.

Life chugs along quickly and people are woven into the fabric of your life. Many times the fabric is made of beautiful designs and patterns and the workmanship is seamless. Other times, there are distinct pieces of fabric that are worn and the threads are loose and pulling apart. If you are anything like me when it comes to sewing, your fabric will continue to show wear and tear and will not be repaired due to lack of skills as a a seamstress. God is the Master Tailor of Life and by allowing Him into your heart, you allow Him to repair any damage to your fabric.

When faced with having a difficult conversation with a spouse, your children, a co-worker, a son’s girlfriend or a parent, take a quick second and lift your heart to God- “It’s all yours God!” Center yourself, take a deep breath and let God, the Master Tailor, do the job that He does best. The moment feels surreal because you know you are talking but God has provided you the grace-filled words to speak. Your momma’s heart releases anxiety or your daughter’s heart breathes more freely as your parents listen and accept the truth-filled words of God and it spills out as it is caught in the hearts of those you are having the conversation with.

Blessed are the times that your friends, co-workers, children or parents speak God’s words to you as a reminder that His presence is always near. The blessings of a friend who prayed for me to have a great day or remind me to look up, breathe, and breathe again come at just the right time. A co-worker who shares a positive, silly story at that moment when you are feeling very frustrated, a parent whose main desire is to love you and pray specifically for your challenges and an adult child who has the insight to be able to advise you in a situation are the voices of God. We need to listen for them and recognize them as God’s truth.

The prophet Elijah heard the voice of God but it was not a “thunder and lightning” moment. Below is a description of how it sounded for Elijah:

The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” (1 Kings 19:11-13 NIV)

Listen for the whispers in your life. Pray specifically for God to send you the words you need so you are speaking truth and grace to all those around you. Thank God daily for His blessings and for providing you with all you need.

 

Draw Near – You’re Closer Than You Think March 31, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Mary Geisen @ 3:55 AM
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God calls us to draw near and let His presence infuse our bodies and soul.  Taking time to allow Him to be the center of our devotional time allows for opportunities to get to know Him more intimately. He craves our time and loves when we make Him the center of our attention.

As Holy week is coming to a close and we look forward to the joyful shouts of “He is risen!”, we need to backtrack and spend time understanding why He chose to die for us and save us from ourselves. Why did Jesus make the ultimate sacrifice for each of us – sinners that we are and continue to be?  Why didn’t He just put an end to the madness and make all things new?

The lesson I am learning about Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice is His amazing love for us. It is His strong desire to bring us even closer to Him. By dying on the cross, Jesus chose to make an investment in us. Jesus died for us to teach us how to draw near to Him and to seek His presence as the first and foremost focus of our lives. Immersing ourselves in the Word and listening to all He is teaching us allows us to more successfully follow His path for our lives.  Days that become train wrecks are days when I have not centered myself and trusted that God is in charge. God provides the path for our life and commands us to come and approach Him with everything.

“Drawing near is not moving from one place to another.

It is a directing of the heart into the presence of God

who is as distant as the holy of holies in heaven and yet as near as the door of faith.”

Love to the Uttermost: Holy Week with John Piper

God sent Jesus for us – no strings attached except to love and trust in Him. He did this for our joy and His glory. Let me say that again – for our joy and His glory. Jesus wanted to please us and invest in us through the final act of dying on the cross. Our response should be to open our hearts each day to the presence of God. That simple act honors God and blesses us because our eyes are on the one, true God who loves us more than words can describe.

As we shout in praise to our risen Savior on Easter, remember that the one simple act of spending time with Him will provide us with all we need. He is never far and you are closer than you think.

“You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Psalm 16:11

May God bless us each day!  May we honor Him by drawing close to Him and craving His presence as the center of our lives. AMEN!

 

Home March 30, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Mary Geisen @ 1:46 AM
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My church recently presented a series titled “Follow the Leader”. Simple words, ideas and visuals were portrayed each week to bring a deeper understanding as to what it means to follow OUR LEADER – GOD! One week the focus was on listening. Do we listen, truly listen or are we just hearing? Listening = Doing and when you hear from the leader it is different and it is difficult. Words from the leader require action! Do not fall into the trap of feeling stress which translates into fear and ultimately results in not trusting God. I have been asked over and over to be strong and courageous and if I continue to listen, this requires me to do something about the fears that I need to overcome.

This was never more evident than when my job became an overwhelming challenge this Fall and was transformed into a new beginning. God called me clearly and without hesitation to become a new creation. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 (ESV). I now needed to follow the leader even in my fear and let Him lead me home.

When you hear the voice of God, whether it is a faint whisper, a loud boom or a gentle urging to move forward, He asks you to grab His hand and follow and you do it! God filled me with an inner strength I didn’t know existed and held tightly to my hand and did not let go through all the uncertainty and transition. He led me home to a new job, new colleagues, new challenges and a new start.

How do you know you’re home? Listen to God speaking, follow Him with faith and let go of your fears to allow the works of God to settle into your soul. Allow God to grab your hand and lead you home!

I arrived home the minute I walked into the building and began my new job. I was welcomed by all, I was extended grace by my new co- workers and I felt the weight I had been carrying was lifted. Every step I took was God-driven and every new challenge was and is covered by God’s grace. You see – you know you’re home because God provides all you need for the challenges and anxiety that accompanies it. He makes these promises and He is never going to let you down. Our amazing God takes an obstacle that seems insurmountable and says “Hold onto me and we will ride through this storm together.”

Take some time to read and reflect on the words of Phillip Phillips song “Home”. Listen for the voice of God who will reassure you and who will always lead you home. Hold on…

Home

Hold on, to me as we go

As we roll down this unfamiliar road

And although this wave is stringing us along

Just know you’re not alone

Cause I’m gonna make this place your home

Settle down, it’ll all be clear

Don’t pay no mind to the demons

They fill you with fear

The trouble it might drag you down

If you get lost, you can always be found

Just know you’re not alone

Cause I’m gonna make this place your home

 

 
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