Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Highlights In Heaviness & Girly, Giggling Grace

A month and a half almost since I've written here. Nothing totally tragic. No severe suffering. All are healthy and happy for the most part.  Life is still hard, though ~ isn't it? I don't know if I've ever felt its heaviness, its burdens, and its challenges like I do right now.  Oh, I know I've said that before, but today it's true again. Despairing news, an impossible pace, accusations, expectations and other "do-not-be-surprised-fiery-ordeals." And like I said, we're all fairly happy and healthy here, so I'm sure... no, I KNOW heavier future burdens await.

His grace is sufficient. His grace sustains. 

(sustains ~ that's been my word for the summer/fall.)

And His sustaining grace is what I choose to focus on today.  The grace of a group of girls that came together to commit to study that grace in the form of biblical doctrine (of all things!) this semester. We called it "Women's Boot Camp."  I still like the term "girls," though. Maybe because of the giggling. There was no giggling in the "Men's Boot Camp" going on upstairs at church on Wednesday nights.

We went out to eat here last night to celebrate. Dressing up was suggested. (Girls!) 

Yummy hamburgers (with GF buns! a Paleo cheat!)

We covered seven doctrines this semester using the book Doctrine by Bershears and Driscoll 

1. Trinity
2. Revelation (the Word)
3. Creation
4. Image
5. Fall
6. Covenant
7. Incarnation

Think about that order. Just think about it. 

Grace. Beautiful grace.

And "Incarnation" right before everyone heads home for Christmas?  Wow.
Candy cane silliness

More giggling...

 There were questions about inspiration ~ "Even the Psalms? But those are prayers by humans," young and old earth theories, gender roles, open and closed hand issues, spiritual gifts, whether God favors some over others, and even... love vs. lust, marriage, plastic surgery (girls...), and more.

And there were stories...of salvation, of family issues, of struggles with sin, of past pains, of missions, of sharing faith with friends and family and strangers, of new love, of future aspirations...and even of a deep, serious aversion to human feet (and now having to wash those as a JOB), and of dropping your student ID in the toilet...and retrieving it...while sitting on it....after having USED it...fearing the possibility of an automated flush.

LOTS of giggling, I tell ya.
 Two were brand new believers ~ vibrant, inquisitive, hungry, joyful.

"Write out and give my testimony?  What's a testimony?" 

Others were in various stages of growth in Christ and craving more.

They paid fines for being late, not doing homework, and missing group time.  They took weekly quizzes. Yes, QUIZZES ~ on the specifics, the details, and the implications of each doctrine. Some even got VERY EXCITED about strategically studying for and taking the weekly quizzes.

 One of them was baptized, and I GOT TO HELP.

So, so fun.
Have I told you that this beautiful one is also our newest daughter? I always wanted four.
Another has asked for a near future coffee date to discuss her own baptism, and I can hardly wait.

Most are planning to continue next semester ~ looking at more doctrines of the faith, with the understanding that they will have teaching and facilitating roles for the new ones who may join us in the spring.

"...entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also." (II Timothy 2:2)

Faithful women and girls certainly fall into that general category.

Such a privilege. Such a joy.  Such a highlight in the heaviness.

Such giggly grace.


Betsy said...

No matter how crummy my day, your blog always makes me feel better. Thank you for sharing your world and for being an inspiration.

Merry Christmas!

Melanie said...

Merry Christmas to YOU, Betsy. Thanks for your encouragement.

Anonymous said...

"Put on a garment of praise for a spirit of heaviness. Lift up your hands to God. Pray in the Spirit and with understanding. O Magnify the Lord." We love you, Mel. K&J