I’m a big believer in grace.
I believe I’m saved by grace alone and you’re saved by grace alone, through Jesus Christ. It’s a openhanded free and beautiful gift from our Savior willing to sacrifice everything for us. He values our face and our voice so much that He wants to spend eternity with both. He’d rather lose His life than lose us forever.
Because this Savior’s love is so powerful, so generous, so available, I also believe in grace beyond eternity though. Grace is also for today. This is where I find it gets slightly more complicated. What does grace look like in our day, in our homes, in our relationships, in our lives?
When I think of daily grace, these are some of the images that come to mind:
Forgiveness when it’s not deserved.
Nice words spoken from a kind heart, even when kind isn’t much what I’m feeling like. Opportunities to build trust, even when it’s scary.
Taking more time than you’d like to help with something.
Dining room tables and backyards and coffee shops and spaces that give us ten extra minutes for conversation.
Rules for boundaries, but flexibility for needs.
Sharing an opinion and listening to an opinion, even when you don’t agree, even when it makes you mad.
We easily connect mercy with grace; forgiveness, definitely grace related, but there is so much more to Grace in Christ Jesus than death and resurrection and payment for sins. Because Jesus died and rose, as baptized believers we see His Spirit alive and well and seeping grace into all our spaces and places every single day.
Altogether Beautiful is designed with all of this foundational grace in mind.
As an author, it is important to me that every word I write drives us to see people as individuals, create open spaces for lots of discussion where people can think out loud, learn new things, and be wrong without feeling shame. It’s also important to me that relationship with that beautiful, gracious Savior and His beautiful, imperfect people are at the center and wrapped around the text cover-to-cover.
That means, you can use Altogether Beautiful however it works best for you.
You can read the book at your own pace or you can do it with a group. You can download and binge watch the videos on the Vimeo app, or couple it with the book. You can skip the videos entirely and skip over those 16 pages of the book. I love the content in the videos, and I’m excited for you to sit and soak in the pages of the book, but you know best what you need in this season of your life.
Maybe you like the idea of the study but are intimidated by eight weeks of it? Take your time! Let the study sit and come back to it. Or you just might read it in one sitting! Some days you might look at the artwork, read the readings, and journal your own thoughts in the margins.
Maybe you are totally pumped about all of it!!!!!! (That’s how I feel.) ;)
You can read the book, learn from the videos, and read all the theological and practical extras. You can invite a group of friends or one friend to discuss it with you. You can get together some child care, start the coffee pot, set up some tables, and put it in the church bulletin for your women’s ministry.
Getting into God’s Word, calling out beautiful, finding the origin of beautiful grace, working through what is beautiful when grace is lacking and life is hard, bringing that beautiful grace further into our relationships. . . . this is what you will find in every page of the book and every minute of the video, however you choose to do it.
And if you’re not sure, just open the first page and start there.
That’s always a very, very good place to start.
How will you do Altogether Beautiful?
*If you’d like more ideas on particular ways to use Altogether Beautiful, find them on page 6 in the front of your book.