I’ve always wanted to record an album of my orignal songs. I have quite a collection spanning twenty-plus years or so, yet I’ve never produced my songs in a way that is easy to share with others. I’m also a proficient writer. I love to express the written word in fresh, beautiful ways. However, I’ve only had a blog page for a year, and I rarely post. I’ve always wanted to be an author, and I’ve always wanted to share my music. Here I am at 40, and I have accomplished neither of those goals really.
A major reason for this is that I am a mom of four amazing children (I have to say that because all moms think that about their children), a wife to a husband who is beyond description (in an awesome way), and I have poured myself into youth, worship, and missional church planting ministry for years. It’s easy to put off doing things that require vulnerability and risk when you have so many wonderfully significant people and activities in which to invest! It’s scary to share art, passion, and life. It’s terrifying to let the world see some of the rawest parts of who you are.
This year, I’ve decided to plunge face first into sharing with the world what God has given me, even if it means I belly-flop. I’ve decided it doesn’t matter how many people like it or hate it. I’m sharing because it might, just might help someone else who is struggling along on a rugged faith journey. What are a few more cuts and bruises if it means healing for someone else’s wounds?
Years ago when I thought about producing an album, I planned to call it “Shades of Grace.” It’s a funny sort of title, especially considering the popular book/movie series that’s out there. For the record, I came up with my title long before someone wrote that shady literature. My faith background used to be one rooted in a tradition that can be very rigid and harsh. There were always rules to follow, sins to avoid that were more terrible than others, and things to do in order to stay in good standing with Jesus.
I’m older and wiser now, and I know much better than that. Yay! Thankfully, Jesus never meant for us to think that following Him involved anything less than fullness of freedom found in His love (John 8:36). We don’t have to worry about whether or not our heavenly Father is proud of us or loves us or if we’ve messed up too much this time. God is full of grace and love. In Him, there is no darkness at all (1 John 1:5). He does not change like shifting shadows (James 1:17). He is constant, and He is faithful, and His mercies are new every single morning (Lamentations 3:22-23)! There’s amazing joy to be found in belonging to Him.
God is not a black or white, right or wrong thinker. God is God, and He is good. He is perfect in love, perfect in truth, perfect in peace, perfect in justice…His goodness is so great, it cannot be defined or contained by a rigid systematic theology that seeks to put Him in a box of our own making. God is revealed to us in His Word, but He is also a mystery.
For too long, Christianity has come across as an angry religion against everything under the sun including one another. That’s not the kind of faith to which we have been called, and I want to share that with everyone I possibly can, so ALL can experience the same wonderful freedom I have found in Jesus. I am who He says I am, and you are who He says you are…of great worth, loved, a daughter or a son, someone He wants to know intimately, someone with whom He loves to spend time.
While God does not change like shifting shadows, His light when it shines on His people creates a variety of shades that create the beautiful mosaic we know as the human race. If we could only see it from His perspective!
This concept of the unity of God’s people expressed through the diversity of His creative genious (and there is no genious greater than God) is what Shades of Grace is meant to celebrate. Hopefully in the songs and pages produced here, you will find just the perfect shade of grace you need to become the follower of Jesus you were always meant to be!
Thank you for reading and following along with me.