A place of acceptance, the place where I abide.

Yesterday I was grocery shopping at Kroger, and, as I was heading to the check out station I ran into our friend Doug. He asked me if I was finishing up and I told him that I know I'm done shopping when I can't feel my hands anymore... you'd think they were storing dead bodies in that Kroger because of how cold they keep it in there. Am I the only one in the store who wants to take an parka in every time so I can shop in comfort? I'd argue that there really is no such thing as "the frozen food" section anymore. Doug admitted to me that he was there to buy a box of brownies for his daughter to take to school the next day... something about bribing her teacher. I told him it sounded like they were raising their children right. After I thawed out in this "Lord bless it" Texas humidity, I drove to the Kroger gas station because Brett asked me to fill up his car while I was out. So I did that. And it started raining. The kind of rain that rains sideways so no matter what you do, you get soaked. So I got soaked. So I just went ahead and gave myself wife points in my head. Cause that's the only place I really get wife points anyway. KEEP IT UP STACE! GET THAT GAS FOR YO MAN.

Tonight, I've hit the crafting pinnacle of summertime. Material, thread, stuffing, and clothes that need to be altered are lounging on the couch, waiting their turn to get worked on (much to Brett's chagrin since he would probably rather lounge there himself). The hot glue gun is plugged in and my textbook, Pinterest, is ever ready. This crafting craze is like a really bad but really good head cold except I'm not wasting cleanexes or trees... do I qualify to be a hipster yet? I struggle falling asleep at night because of all the creative inspiration my sinuses and thoughts are suddenly aware of.

So today I crafted some magnetic letters for our fridge. They spell out the word "ABIDE". I ran into some of my co-workers at Hobby Lobby when I was buying the letters and they thought I was trying to spell out "STINE". But I told them that as awesome as my new name is, the word "abide" is actually much more important to Brett and I.

To abide is to dwell. To live in. To make one's home in a certain place. A place of safety and acceptance.

Some of you who read this, are familiar with the God of the Bible. And some of you don't know what you think about it, and some of you know EXACTLY what you think about Him. So I'd love to explain that Brett and I abide not just physically in our home, but also in the God we believe created us, knows us better than we know ourselves, and saved us from an eternity apart from Him.  The Bible tells us that if we abide in God, our joy will be complete (John 15). He asks us to make our home in Him and simultaneously He will make His home in us.

It's a lot like grapes. Jesus is the vine and we are the branches. If we find our nourishment and purpose and home in Him, then we bear much fruit. But a branch that's not connected to the vine really can't bare any fruit. And is useless.

When Brett and I first got married, we chose a few verses, values, and habits we wanted to have as a foundation for our marriage. We would both agree that our marriage cannot be what it was created to be (full of unconditional love and growth) if we are not abiding in the Father who loves both of us. God shows us how to give grace to and receive grace from one another. I'd be a miserable and filled-with-attacks-and-blame wife to Brett if I did not take time to make my home in Jesus, the giver of patience, gentleness, understanding, self-control, and love.

And our joy is SO full when we abide.

If I'm in Kroger and it's freezing cold, I'll choose to abide, that my joy may be complete. If I'm in Nepal and AC isn't even an option, I'll abide, that my joy may be complete. If I'm tempted to desire selfishness or manipulation, I abide in the One who is selfless and fair. If I'm at a gas station getting drenched filling up my husband's car or in Amsterdam riding my bike in through the pouring rain, I'll choose to abide, that my joy may be full. If I'm on my couch, tired at the end of the day, I'll choose to make my home in the One who has chosen so lovingly to welcome (and accept) me into His.

Where are you making your home this week? Are you dwelling in a place of acceptance and safety and life?

A is for abide b is for abidei is for abided is for abidee is for abide