His grace is not for sale.

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Hey there. We haven’t spoken in a while. Summer has been just flowing by without a care, and before we know it, Thanksgiving and Christmas will be upon us! As well, please check out the newly updated blog! I swear every time that I log in, I want to spruce it up and I finally settled on a background and font marriage that I liked. The pages above detail a bit more about my journey and things that I am up to besides my posts and writing.

As for an update, I return to school in exactly 21 days and start school on the 9th. I could not be more excited about what this fall has in store. I found my own basement suite to live in for starters, which is slightly terrifying. I have only ever lived at home (besides my four semesters on-campus) and I am a bit young when it comes to talking about “moving out”. Mom keeps reminding me that it isn’t necessarily permanent, and that I am always welcome home.

Besides moving into my own space, the track season will begin again. This year is looking to be a fresh slate – with a new coach, a new determination and a [re]newed passion for the sport. I am excited to get back out on the track and maybe try something new for once. I am reminded that no matter which path I am taken on in my track and field career, it will be good and that I will learn valuable lessons from wherever I go.

Classes are shaping up to be quite great, actually. I am taking three classes to satisfy my major, minor, and core and then a practicum! I don’t know what that looks like, or where it will be, but hopefully it will give me some insight into what I can do with my communications degree. I am also taking a 1-credit outdoor pursuits class. That should be interesting!

With all this said, and moving into a new season once again, I wanted to take the time to talk about grace today. Grace is something I never really understood or grasped until a little while ago, and I will honestly admit that I don’t quite fully understand today. I want to wrap my head around it and explain my story and thoughts.

Grace, as defined by the online dictionary that I conveniently just whipped up in Google Chrome, is “simple elegance or refinement of movement”. Soooooo I can see where people get confused. Grace is just being dainty and peaceful and basically a ballerina, right? Or… Grace is the name of the five year old girl down the street with blonde hair and the bedroom painted princess colours! I think we all have a preconception of what grace is and how it applies in our lives (and that is okay). The important part is to know what God gives with grace. There are many words in my vocabulary that I use, but don’t know the meaning of. Or use it to sound fancy and sophistically mature…like “context” or “reckon” or “fond” or in this case, “grace”. Sometimes I throw in mercy and salvation for good measure.

So as followers and believers of God, what is grace? Grace comes in many forms, but the way that I can most describe it is like this: You have an annoying coworker that will not stop complaining. You listen to them talk all day, and for some reason they just don’t get the message. You really want to tell them to shut up, or to stop talking, but you continue to listen, and continue to provide input. Maybe I’m describing mercy, no?

It’s like the combination of “love thy enemies”, “do unto others what you want done to yourself” and “forgive and forget”. In this crazy world of ours, we have things like the “grace period”…a time to not pay back your student loans (*wink*). A time of freedom or a time when people are not berating you. You are free, despite the fact that you owe a butt ton of money, or that you did something wrong. Someone forgives you anyways, you don’t have to pay late fees, you are given a second chance.

Man oh man, does God have grace for us. In fact, it’s never-ending. Imagine that! How on earth could something that I can’t actually see, or someone that I don’t even quite possibly know existed (remember, it’s about faith here!) have compassion and forgiveness towards me. I see where people get confused. It’s just such a big concept to wrap our heads around. The defining act of grace (and mercy) was when Jesus died on the cross for us. That compassion and love, no matter WHO we are or WHAT we have done, is unconditional and forever. Pretty neat, right?

Ultimately grace is wrapped up in the favour that God has for us. God created us (every single one, you bet your buns), and knows us, and I’ve said this before, there is not a single thing that we can do to change that, whether we believe in that sort of thing or not. Grace is unmerited (and sometimes unwanted in some situations) and completely free. What did I ever do to deserve that? I’ve broken so many things in my life, and I am so ultimately ridiculously imperfect, and most of the time people aren’t willing to give me free stuff. Well, except samples at the Farmers’ Market. But I like to think they do that because I’m cute. God’s grace is not for sale (and it’s yours to keep and also give away to others).

So, I think I have explained what I know to be true about grace. I am constantly learning and understanding that there is this continuous flow of love from something I have never met, and only know by faith and experience. My prayer is for you to know and experience God’s abundant grace too. Perhaps He has already given you grace in your life, you just didn’t notice.

In celebration of the month of August, I have attached an old film I made a few years back when my family travelled to Loon Lake, north of Kamloops for our annual fishing trip. We were so busy this August that we weren’t able to make the trip, and I miss those long summer days and nights sitting on the boat fishing reading. Things are changing, and it is good.

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cwmd8dvOxqM[/embed]

katie.