Year Five: Living in Grace

First of all…

HAPPY 5TH ANNIVERSARY ACCORDING TO CHRIS!

Welcome to your grace year!

Before I celebrate the present and look to the future, lets reflect…

It all started with a whole lot of inspiration from Pinterest and a random idea to start a blog…  What the heck was I thinking?  I wasn’t popular so there was the risk that NO ONE would read my blog but my dad (shout out to one of my biggest fans).  I moved from idea to inception in less than 7 days so I was bound to make mistakes simply because I didn’t fully know what I was doing.  And, being candid, I was SCARED!  Launching According to Chris stirred a few feelings within — #1 the fear of being vulnerable.  My blogs would voluntarily invite people into my personal space, my guarded areas, and my private feelings.  That is a SET UP for possible hurt and misunderstanding.  # 2 I feared failure.  Better than anyone else knows me, I knew Chrissy Diane — the girl who isn’t a quitter but isn’t always consistent; the girl who gets very passionate but can be equally discouraged when obstacles come; the girl who simply wants everyone to be happy and is upset when everyone isn’t.  (Side note:  that girl has grown…a lot!)  But more than calculating how many people may or may not have known my name, overshadowing what I knew with what I didn’t know, and being fearful of the unknown, I was EXCITED!  I pushed forward!  I leaped!  I did it!  Five years later… Well, you know the rest.  You’re reading this, aren’t you?

Grace /ɡrās/ noun:

(in Christian belief) the free and unmerited favor of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings.
  • a divinely given talent or blessing.
  • the condition or fact of being favored by someone.

[According to http://www.Google.com]

If you have not figured it out by now, “I am a C. I am a C-H.  I am a C-H-R-I-S-T-I-A-N.”  (I loved that Vacation Bible School song.  It separated the literate from the…nebmine.)  In the Christian church, we believe FIVE is the number of GRACE.  According to Chris, with its five year old self, has entered into its GRACE YEAR!  My hungry self usually thinks about eating food when I hear the word grace (I’m currently hungry, by the way), but there is a completely different meaning that is being applied to my life.  Grace is the favor of God to be, do, or have something that on your own accord you could not.  The old church mothers used to say, “Grace is God giving me what I don’t deserve; the unmerited favor of God!”  Unmerited: not deserved, unable to be earned.  I’ll be truthful with you, though According to Chris is my BABY in whom I am well pleased (#churchy reference), I haven’t always been a good steward of the gift that was given to me.  I would post sporadically only IF I felt like it and IF I felt like making the time for it.  There was one year where I didn’t post at all.  I had a group of followers who would ask when the next post was coming and would tell me how encouraging my words were, and I would dismiss the thought because According to Chris was NOT a priority…just a hobby.  Why in the world would God favor anything I do with this blog since I didn’t take care of it?

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Jeremiah 29:11 [New International Version]

Maybe God’s decision to still pour his grace and favor on me has NOTHING to do with how popular I am, how much I know, my fear of being vulnerable or failing, or even how many times I didn’t meet the mark.  Maybe God is has chosen to favor me because He has a plan for me. Look at the scripture…most of my apprehensions are addressed right there!  I was afraid of being vulnerable; He said His plans wouldn’t harm me.  I was afraid of failure for a plethora of reasons; He said is plans are to prosper me as well as give me hope and a future.  All of my human efforts are have been and are currently overridden by His will for my life, and nothing I did or didn’t do in the past could earn or stop this grace, this unmerited favor reserved for year five.  Because my heart and intention is to be a light and please Him, even when I don’t get it quite right, He has grace for me anyway.  Turn to your neighbor and say, “He’s gonna give it to you anyway!” (That was so churchy but I’m so serious!)  Because I have aligned my will and desires for not only According to Chris but my real life with His will, His grace is going to cover what my efforts can’t cover.

“For the LORD God is our sun and our shield. He gives us grace and glory. The LORD will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right.”

Psalm 84:11 [New Living Translation]

THE MORAL OF THE STORY

So I wouldn’t be Chris if I didn’t include you.  Five years ago TODAY, According to Chris began with a simple thought.  I am now wise enough to see and know that it wasn’t just a thought but a God given seed.  What idea or desire have you been tossing around?  What is passionately burning within you, keeping you up all night, and distracting you at your desk even though you think no one notices?  THAT thought is a seed, and it is your job, with the help of God, to plant it, water it, and watch it grow.  But here is what is interesting about a seed, if it remains a just an unplanted seed, it is only a benefit for you — Congratulations, you own a seed.  But if you plant and tend to the seed, the harvest is something that can be shared.  And thus is the story of According to Chris.

Today as I celebrate my five year milestone and embrace my year of grace, I challenge you to, as my mama used to say, “Bust a move!”  It’s time to move from thinking to strategizing to doing.  Someone is waiting to be helped by what you have to offer.

So cheers to my Grace Year!  For According to Chris, Christen Diane Rouson, everyone attached to me, and each of you who will read, I pray that God blows our minds, knocks our socks off, and exceeds every expectationCheers to living in grace!

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,”

Ephesians 3:20 [New International Version]

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