It is good and gracious of God to teach us things the hard way first and then the easy way. I think sometimes that I've always assumed that God teaches the easy way first and when we don't listen, then He brings out the big guns. Or something.

But that's not really His character at all.

He always gives us good, firm gospel truth first. If we don't listen, He is painstakingly patient with us, the embodiment of long-suffering. If we do listen, He is still painstakingly patient with us, the embodiment of long-suffering. See what an unchanging God He is?

I say this because this week has been a week of relearning grace for me. I thought it was about the small things, the small sanctifications, but really it's about the big ones. The big Grace with a capital G. He's so faithful to cover all of me in one big grace and then one by one begin rooting out the areas where Me is still on the throne, handing out judgments like candy-tossers at a parade.

One thing I am so struck by is how much pride I still put in my abilities and my time. The deep lessons of my life (do all things without complaining, being a cheerful giver, extending grace, loving people) all come to a breaking-point this week and I find that unkind words and a grumbling spirit are my first responses every time. And they weren't even directed at other people! They were mostly directed toward myself!

This is when I know (because I know myself so well) that I am doing too much with my time and talents. I have stacked too much on my plate and my plate-stack is about to tumble.

Tonight I spent a few hours writing, pulling those plates out, one by one, and identifying their need and place in my life. I also spent some of that time writing out my thoughts about time and cheerfulness and giving and I'll be posting them all this week. I'll be addressing issues like this each day:

"Why is being unbusy never as good of an excuse as being busy?"

"But how do you decide what to give and where and how much?"

"How do you know whether you should stop giving or whether there's cheerfulness in your giving?"

"People say that singles have more time than married people, is that true (because it doesn't feel like it's true and it really frustrates me that people say it)?"

"There's so much to do, there isn't enough time to rest!?"

I hope that you'll enjoy and chime in on these thoughts, even challenge me if you feel they're in error. What you'll find here won't be bullet points though. I'm still learning so much about living fully gospel-centered in all areas of my life and time is such an important one, no checklist can reconcile the importance of the gospel at the heart of everything we do.

day fifteen of 30 day challenge put down by one Jason Alan Churchill Thorburne Morris.