Hope…In The Desert {Launch + Sale!}

For those who know barrenness, waiting, thirst, and longing…

…those who know dry seasons of the soul…

…for the one who’s cup isn’t overflowing like it once did:

God makes a way in the wilderness. He provides rivers in the desert, and breaks up our fallow ground. He is the author of hope in, and through the desert.

I have known such desert seasons more than a few times in my life, and can confidently say there is nothing more satisfying than a parched soul whose thirst is quenched — Jesus alone is our balm and sustainer in those seasons. 

I am grateful and thrilled to share with you the Hope in the Desert 2017 (3-in-1) Calendar.

My prayer for us is this:

That come what may in 2017, whether our current circumstances change or don’t; whether we feel relief or not; whether we experience lush growth or press on in drought, we might hold fast to our HOPE in Christ, the source of living water, himself. 

As with the last year’s Garden of Truth 2016 Calendar, the Hope in the Desert 2017 Calendar is meant to instruct, inspire, and encourage us as we speak to our longings with the truth of God’s Word.

It is designed to be repurposed as (12) 8×10 art prints and (12) scripture memory cards. My desire is for us to find the Word of God beautiful, practical, transformative, and purposeful in our everyday lives. That is my heart behind every piece painted in GraceLaced Shoppe, but especially in our annual calendar. We hope you love this year’s version as much as we do. 


WE ARE CELEBRATING WITH A SALE!

 

Now thru September 20, receive the entire 12 image Hope In the Desert Lock Screen download set, FREE with calendar purchase. (You will receive an email with FREE coupon code once you’ve purchased a calendar.)

(FYI: With the 20% storewide discount, our already discounted 4-pack bundles are only $120…making the calendars only $30 a piece!)

Take advantage of the 20% entire store on canvases, including brand new Hope In the Desert Canvas offerings…

I hope these verses are a balm to your soul as they are to mine as we break up the fallow ground of disbelief and hardness of heart, and welcome the downpour of sustaining grace that comes only by way of redemption. He is our hope in every season…even in the desert.

Grateful for you all. Press on, friends.

Because of grace,

 

Hope For Reshaping The Family Legacy

When we decided to take all six of the boys on a plane to San Francisco in order to celebrate my grandparents’ joint 95th birthdays, my heart was to introduce them to the heritage they’ve been given…and to establish the legacy we will choose to leave as a family. It was likely the boys’ last chance to meet and spend time with their last remaining great grandparents.

Hope For Reshaping The Family Legacy
Hope For Reshaping The Family Legacy

When we decided to take all six of the boys on a plane to San Francisco in order to celebrate my grandparents’ joint 95th birthdays, my heart was to introduce them to the heritage they’ve been given…and to establish the legacy we will choose to leave as a family. It was likely the boys’ last chance to meet and spend time with their last remaining great grandparents.

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It had been five years since I’d seen my grandparents, and they had aged so much. I cried happy tears to have these memorable moments with them, but honestly, there were some regretful ones too...tears over the time lost due to distance, language barriers, and family fissures.

There are so many stories my kids and I will never know about them, because sometimes it’s not just the language of the tongue that is standing in the way of communicating, but the language of the heart…

Recording an interview with my grandparents
Recording an interview with my grandparents

…and so I pulled out my iPhone and captured 34 minutes of interview time with them. It was everything I hoped for, catching their voice and thoughts digitally…and yet, so far short of what it could have been. I think we assume that the heart softens and the bitter memories fade when one is old and approaching the end. But, that simply isn’t always so…

…and it reminds me of what Randy Alcorn has said:

If your treasure is in heaven, then with every day that passes, you are moving closer to your treasure. If your treasure is here on earth, every day is sadness as you move further away from what is most valuable to you.

I asked about their childhood…about how they met…and what they would tell their younger selves…

Photo Nov 02, 5 27 46 PM
Photo Nov 02, 5 27 46 PM

And some of their responses were surprising to me. I wasn’t prepared for the lack of joy that accompanied their responses. I pictured a beautiful collection of wise words and fun untold stories. But what I have recorded are memories of regret, pride, and what could have been. They were not answers I’d like to give at the sunset of my life, but they served to remind me that the Lord is at work to heal and bring fruit to future generations as HIS name is honored and shame and culture no longer serves as gods in our family…

I left the voice recorder running while I took a deep breath and spoke words of truth to my 95 year old grandparents…words that reflect a life transformed by the hope of the Gospel; a life not bound by culture, guilt, and self-worth.

At 38, I have a fraction of their life experience and life lessons, but know the redeeming love of Christ exponentially deeper and greater. That is hope indeed.

My grandparents’ words are not the end of the story. Jesus’ words through the testimony of our lives redeemed IS. And our 34 minutes included those words of home and gratitude…and my grandparents’ subtle acknowledgement of that hope. I pray that acknowledgment would bear fruit in these remaining years of their lives.

Christ came for the ugliest of all family histories. In fact, he so stood for redeeming the dysfunctional family that he chose to use the most colorful genealogies to accomplish his good will in redemption.

Every generation in every family knows heartache and brokenness. My family is not all that different from yours. You have your stories…and your untold stories.

But, God….

I love those two words.

…but, God…he redeems families, and is turning what was ALL ABOUT THE PAST to becoming  ALL ABOUT WHAT IS TO COME.

And, therein, lies the hope for every family. Every war-torn family marked by strife, hurt, shame, loss, and unbecoming secrets. Because of the cross, change can happen in YOUR generation. He is our only hope.

Hope for Reshaping The Family Legacy
Hope for Reshaping The Family Legacy

Grieving.

Grieving. I have far less experience than some with the process. For a woman of many words, my lips fall silent here in the midst of sympathy, sadness, and grief. Our dear friends have lost someone very special this week. The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. I can’t pretend to understand it all, but I can seek and trust Him all the same.

 

When God is our Holy Father, sovereignty, holiness, omniscience, and immutability do not terrify us; they leave us full of awe and gratitude. Sovereignty is only tyrrannical if it is unbounded by goodness; holiness is only terrifying if it is untempered by grace; omniscience is only taunting if it is unaccompanied by mercy; and immutability is only torturous if there is no guarantee of goodwill. That which God has joined together, let no man put asunder. Thanks be to God, we know with a surety that His grace and goodness and hope and His love underlie all of these attributes. How do we know? Follow the face of Christ to the cross, and you will see it.”

–Ravi Zacharias, Cries of the Heart