The lie behind believing ‘I can do it all’

One of my greatest weaknesses is that I believe ‘I can do it all’. I want to be able to work a full-time job, work over 20 hours at my part-time job, volunteer, host dinners at our place, coordinate events, start student organizations, translate blogs/videos, pursue graduate school full-time and be a wife.

As a wife, I want to be a friend to my husband, encourage him in his walk with the Lord and be able to give him wise advise when he needs it. I want to be able to be a strong support in his life and be there every time he needs me.

At home, I want to do all the cooking, cleaning, organizing, grocery shopping, and laundry.

In my walk with the Lord, I want to be able to grow spiritually, share what God is doing in my life with others in the hope that they may find some encouragement. If it was up to me, I would love to host a weekly Bible-study with gals in my home, have a consistent discipleship and be able to encourage others to love our Savior with all their hearts and live a life that is bold in following Him wherever He leads.

As a new blogger, I want to be able to write every day and share the daily story of how God covers me with grace as I walk in this life being messy.

But…. this picture hardly ever looks this way. This is a more accurate view of what my ‘I can do it all” ends up looking like.

At work, I continue to work my full-time job but have asked a cut in the hours at my part-time job. Lately, every time I sign-up for volunteer I’ve had to cancel due to not feeling well or being too exhausted to leave my house. Followed by guilt of not being able to just going out and serving. My husband and I continue to host bi-weekly dinners at our home. But the majority of the time, it is my husband who gets both our home and the dinner ready. I’ve been able to ‘participate’ in the coordination of events without really having an active roll, just bouncing back and forth ideas. Translating has proven to be more time-consuming then I remember and although I have been able to do bits and pieces, I am struggling to find the time for it.

As a wife, I fail often in supporting my husband the way he needs me to. I mostly end up curled up in his arms crying about how tired I am or apologizing for not being able to do more. To which he always gently responds “no worries at all shilly”. I am so grateful to have a husband that loves me more than he loves himself and follows Christ example in doing this. Just as Ephesians 5:25-27 says: “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless”. 

As I pursue graduate school, well let’s say I hope I could keep it a bit more together for the sake of my husband. I am so excited about the opportunity to pursue school; I really believe that God is calling me to this and that I will be able to serve him better through it. But oh boy, am I afraid of failing in the process. So again, here I am in my husbands arms telling him all the reasons why I shouldn’t go through it. And then the next day, I am back to being excited about going back to school.

At home, I am a mess. I am terrible at cooking consistently. So far, in this last year there have been at least two lapses (that I have noticed) of a solid month in which I have not cooked the simplest meal. Here again, my beloved is picking me up and comforting me by taking the time of his 70+ hours study schedule to make a meal or two or three for us. All along without pointing it out or making me feel guilty. Just quietly loving me and serving me by making a meal. That is including him taking the time to clean, do laundry and wash the cat.

With my walk with the Lord, I am so grateful that I can come running to his presence and learning from him through short times in my devotionals, worship and the encouragement of other believers. I am grateful that I have been able to learn that He welcomes me just as I am, not because of me but because of Jesus Christ.

“Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need”. – Hebrews 4:6

The reality is that the majority of the times I find my identity tight to what I can or cannot do. I let my feelings, emotions, actions and lack of thereof define who I am. Guilt and fear overwhelm my heart and I become paralyzed to attempt to do any of the things I am failing at. This translates to my roles as a wife, as a social worker but more than anything it affects my view of God and my view of Salvation.

Praise be to God and Jesus Christ that we are saved by what Jesus Christ did on the cross and we are sustained through our lives by the work of the Holy Spirit — not by what you and me can accomplish!!! 

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast”. – Ephesians 2:8-9 

At the end, my belief that ‘I can do it all’ is a reflection of my sinful heart. My pride and idea of self-sufficiency comes to display [in all of its colors and shapes] in these areas of my life. Writing this is hard. Saying I am proud is hard [and hurts my pride]. But the grace I experience at the end of the road of repentance is beautiful. James 4:6 tells us But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: ‘God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.” Again, BUT HE GIVES MORE GRACE. Isn’t that beautiful? When we come to the end of ourselves, recognize and repent from our sins, come to him in repentance — He who sits on the throne and judges over every living creature doesn’t put a tag on us or condemns us; HE GIVES US MORE GRACE because of what Jesus Christ already did on the cross.

“As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time,gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace,expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do”. – Ephesians 2:1-9

If you like me, need your soul to remember the wonders of the Gospel this morning, I would encourage you to read: Isaiah 53:4-6, Romans 3:23-24, Romans 4:4-5, 1 Corinthians 15:3-4, Galatians 3:13-14, Philippians 2:6-8, Colossians 1:19-20, Colossians 2:13-14, Titus 3:4-7, Hebrews 2:14-17 and 1 Peter 2:22-25.

In whatever stage of your life that you are in. Whether you are a student, a wife, a mommy, a full-time worker – or a combination of these. Let the following truth: “I can’t do it all! This is why Jesus Christ left his eternal glory to come to earth, live the perfect sinless life I can’t live, died on the cross to pay for my sins, resurrected from the death on the third day and ascended to heaven to intercede on my behalf” – sink deep in your heart and become the song of grace that leads you to love our Savior with all your heart, soul and strength, so that He and only He may be glorified and exalted through all we do.

Seeking to live a life resting on His grace and forgiveness,

Fernie

Speak Truth

“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to You, LORD, my rock and my Redeemer”. Psalms 19:14

The truth is that I am still trying to find my voice through writing. As I continue writing this blog, I want to make sure that the words I speak are always true, relevant, encouraging and challenging to our status quo. I don’t just want to write for the sake of writing, and I do not want to post just for the sake of posting. I don’t want this blog to be just about me and my life; and I never want to appear to have it all together (because I really don’t). Granted, I am writing the blog – which means that what I write comes from personal experience, but I want every single post to ALWAYS be about pointing to Jesus Christ, edifying the church, and reaching to the unbelievers. – If this ever stops… please ask me to stop writing. I am not kidding. “For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2). – With that in mind, my posts may not be as frequent, but I think it’s of crucial importance that I spend time praying and mediating on what I am saying. At the end of the day, when I stand in the presence of my Savior, I will be asked to give an account of every word I say, I better make sure that what I speak is true and God-glorifying. Plus, people are reading – this is such a responsibility and I never want to take it lightly! As I move forward, I hope to combine my experience as a Social Worker and my faith as a Christian to speak encouragement and hope into our lives. It really is such a privilege (and challenge) to live day in and day out following Christ’s commands to serve the poor, the orphans, and the widows; and having the responsibility of sharing my hope with the hopeless and speaking the truth of God to a world that constantly twists it. Through my career I have come to understand my need to be covered by God’s grace to get through my days. Constantly reminding my heart of the calling God has called me, and encouraging my soul to persevere in the midst of my trials and in the midst of the trials of the individuals I work with. But his grace is sufficient and overabundant! I am excited, nervous and challenged to continue this journey! Please pray with me for God’s grace and wisdom as I continue to write so that He alone may be glorified at all times. “For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen” (Romans 11:36).

 

“For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures. ” – 1 Corinthians 15:3-4

PS: I would love to hear questions you have about me, my work or questions you would like me to answer.

Through Grace Alone,

Fernie

Our Tool Box

In this world full of communications, it is so easy to mistake a lie for the truth. We are so constantly exposed to “ideals” of who should we be, how should we look like, what should we do; that the trap of finding our identities in anything other than Jesus Christ is right at our doorsteps.

Also, I have experienced that while I am in the middle of the struggle of my identity, it is so hard to differentiate the truth from the lies. For this reason, it is of extreme importance that we expose ourselves and our minds to the word of God. Spending time at the feet of the One who cannot lie, learning about what is truth and in the moments of struggle, letting these truths and promises affect our situation.

A practical example is: if you go to a restaurant and you see someone choking, but you have never been trained on CPR, you do not have the tools or skills to save that person’s life. In the moment of crisis, you don’t run out the door to get trained and then come back to deal with the crisis. In the middle of the situation, you are hoping to already know what do to; you hope you possess the skills and the training necessary to respond. So it is with life, we do not know when the moments of trial will come, or when temptations will present themselves to us as sweet and pleasant. But what we know is that “all Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Did you notice that? The Scripture trains us so that we may be complete and equipped. No one in their right mind goes to war without months of training. Why then, do we think we can go out to the world without being trained and equipped in the word of God? As I have been studying the old testament, I marveled about the way the prophets treasured the words our Lord spoke to them. Peter tells us that “concerning the salvation (in Jesus Christ), the prophets, who prophesied about the grace that would come to you, searched and carefully investigated” (1 Peter 1:10).

Now let me encourage you to spend time in the word of God, training yourself, your mind and your heart in the things of God so that when trials, temptations and just life in general knock on your door you can reach to your tool box and stand firm in the hope of our Salvation.

Take the time to read, write, listen and memorize the word of God. Make it a habit to speak the truth of God aloud – this can be to yourselves or others.

I would love to hear from you! What are some of your habits with regards to studying the word of God?

Standing in Christ Alone,

Fernie

“Come, follow me”

All of this week my heart has been really struggling with trusting God’s plans and being joyful with the callings he has placed in my life. Questions of how, when, where, and why continue to flood my head and my heart. [Side note: I am so grateful for a husband that is NOT afraid to speak truth to my heart; and always re-directs my eyes and heart to set my hope, trust and joy in Christ no matter the circumstances. Although it hurts to be corrected – embrace, encourage and thank for Godly instruction in your life!!] Today, as I got ready for church I asked God to speak to my unbelief and struggling heart and as a faithful God, he spoke. Today’s message really encouraged me to be faithful in living a life that is glorifying and all-devoted to following Christ. I hope that by sharing my notes, you may also be challenged and encouraged to live a faithful life:

The message covered Mark 1:16-20 “As he passed alongside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew, Simon’s brother, casting a net into the sea ​— ​for they were fishermen. 17 “Follow me,” Jesus told them, “and I will make you fish for people.” 18 Immediately they left their nets and followed him. 19 Going on a little farther, he saw James the son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat putting their nets in order. 20 Immediately he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him.”

Three aspects of a Servant’s call:

1) Jesus calls common everyday people to serve him!

God calls those who are actively doing what he has set before them to do. Sometimes it may feel like what you are currently doing is insignificant or very small; but if we can be faithful in the little he will call us to greater things.

“Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.”. – Matthew 25:23

God calls us to follow him and leave everything and everyone to live for his kingdom!! This may seem radical and crazy but Jesus said:

“Now great crowds were traveling with him. So he turned and said to them: 26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters ​— ​yes, and even his own life ​— ​he cannot be my disciple. 27 Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple”. – Luke 14:25-27

Have you ever thought about that? We must love Jesus so much, and be willing to follow him with all our hearts that everything else seems silly and unimportant compared to the calling he has placed in us!

God calls everyday people for his glory! He literally calls anyone he wants, and uses them to be glorified. If you don’t believe me, just take a look at the Bible. Each book is full of inadequate, fearful, uneducated individuals; all of them sinners that depended completely on God to be able to speak to God’s people and carry our his mission for their lives. The thing these individuals had in common is that they were all willing to follow God! Personally, this bring so much joy and encouragement to my heart and soul (and I hope it does for you too). But the thought that the Lord God Almighty, Holy, Sovereign and Omnipotent would choose to use me, a sinful, fearful, doubting, weak and young girl; not because he needs me but because he wants to use me – is completely astonishing and humbling to me! [I will share more on this on the next blog post].

Just as 1 Corinthians 1:26-31 says: “Brothers and sisters, consider your calling: Not many were wise from a human perspective, not many powerful, not many of noble birth. Instead, God has chosen what is foolish in the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen what is weak in the world to shame the strong. God has chosen what is insignificant and despised in the world ​— ​what is viewed as nothing ​— ​to bring to nothing what is viewed as something, so that no one may boast in his presence. It is from him that you are in Christ Jesus, who became wisdom from God for us ​— ​our righteousness, sanctification, and redemption, in order that, as it is written:

Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord”.

2) Jesus initiates the calling!

“Come, follow me” is an imperative command, not a suggestion. – wow, had you ever thought about it like this? Before I heard this statement I think I believed I had an option of how I wanted my Christian life to look like. I thought I could decide if my life was going to be a 100% invested on the kingdom or only partially. The reality is that I am commanded to follow Christ wherever he leads and however it looks like. Now, I have the godly fear of not obeying and being faithful to God’s calling in my life; and I rejoice that he is the one that gives me the strength and the grace to obey him!! At this point, we are left with the decision of to obey or to not obey.

The thing that is hardest for me is that Jesus doesn’t say where we are going, how are we going to get there or what will be there once we are there… he just tells us to “follow him”. But I know that I can trust him and that anything he has planned is far far better than what I could even begin to imagine. Here is where I pray for him to increase my faith, love for him and willingness to follow him! I, like Paul, “am sure of this, that he who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” – Philippians 1:6.

3) Jesus call has a transformational impact!

Just like the gospel has a life changing effect in our lives, so does following his commands of following him. Personally, the biggest change I have seen by following these commands is that my eyes are set on eternity, and that impacts my daily life on earth. This helps me to understand that my life is not about me but is all about my Savior; and this informs each of our family decisions. Jesus also was clear about this: “Don’t store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves don’t break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also”. – Matthew 6:19-21

I want to leave you with this Brett McCracken quote: “I’d like to suggest that the Christian faith is inherently uncomfortable. To be a disciple of Jesus is to deny oneself (Matt. 16:24), to take up a cross (Luke 14:27), to be subject to persecution (John 15:20; 2 Tim. 3:12), to give up the creature comforts of home (Luke 9:58), to forsake the priority of family (Luke 9:59–62; 14:26), to be willing to give up all material possessions (Matt. 19:21; Luke 14:33), to be crucified with Christ (Gal. 2:20). And this is just the beginning”.

I pray that God continues to move my heart so that my anthem is: “For me, to live is Christ and to die is gain” – Philippians 1:21

Through grace alone,

Fernie

Listen to the full sermon at: http://www.gracechurchministry.org/sermons

Additional Resources on this topic: Crazy Love by Francis Chan and You & Me Forever by Francis Chan

Bee-sy

To be honest, this season in my life doesn’t quite look the way I had pictured it! As my husband and I prepared to move across the country for him to attend dental school, we knew that it would take lots of work and sacrifice. Even though I knew all of this, I still didn’t expect to be as busy as I am. I really believed that with my college degree I could find a good job [which by God’s grace I did] and then I would be home by 5 pm and get to read, relax and take care of our home. Against my expectations, a 40-hour job was not enough to cover the high cost of living of the northeast. So by God’s grace (AGAIN), I was able to find a part-time job at a coffee shop that works amazing with my job’s schedule. This now adds to a 55-60 hours work schedule for me, and probably over 80 hours of school and studying for my husband on a weekly basis.

In the midst of the busy schedules, I really feel tempted to give up. My heart feels tempted to question God’s plans, timing and purpose for this season. Sometimes, my sinful heart wants to tell God: “I have enough on my plate, I don’t really want to serve others right now”. Or sometimes without really saying it, my heart says: “Today, my sleep is more important than you God. Maybe tomorrow, I will have enough time or energy to sit and listen to you”. Sometimes it’s not even intentional. Sometimes the hours and the days just go by in a blur, and before I know it another week just went by and my soul is quenching thirsty for time in my Lord’s presence.

In the midst of days (and seasons) like these, I need reminders of where the source of my strength comes from. I need to be reminded that when I am feeling weary, burdened, stressed, worried, tired and anxious I can come to him and lay my burdens at his feet.

The Bible says (and in this we can trust):

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest”. – Matthew 11:28

“Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken”. – Psalms 55:22

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you”. 1 Peter 5:7

The truth is that my life is not in any way a one-person experience. Almost any season in life looks as busy as any. Whether you are going to school, planning a wedding, are a newlywed or maybe you are a new mom or have a couple of children; the truth is that life gets hectic. Whatever season you are in, let me encourage you: As life gets busier, make it your priority to spend time at the feet of the fountain of life. Only there can our souls be satisfied, our tanks replenished and our hope strengthened for the days to come.

May the peace and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be multiplied among you,

Fernie

1 Peter Manuscript

Peter 1
1 Peter Manuscript 

This week I decided to start doing a little something different in my devotional times.

I am currently studying the letter of 1 Peter, and as I was reading I was convicted by him saying that “concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care, trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of the Messiah and the glories that would follow ” (1 Peter 1:10). The reason why I was so convicted is that I realized that I do not search intentionally or with greatest care the word of God. Although I can say that the time I spend in the word of God is more consistent and frequent than ever before in my life, I tend to read quickly and sometimes distractedly. Many times I will be able to tell you the general idea of what I read, but most of the times I can’t really communicate the amazing wonders found in the Scripture. So I began to wonder…how would it have looked like for individuals in the Old and New Testament as they sought intentionally and with great care to understand the mysteries of the promised Savior? Then I remembered the hand written scrolls passed on by generations. Scrolls copied over and over again, to ensure the new generations could know what the Lord had spoken. I remembered that the letters in the New Testament were read in the church’s gatherings and that they were most likely read over and over. I imagine that even today, in the parts of the world where the word of God is forbidden, Christians memorize Scripture and repeat it to themselves and others; letting each word sink and impact their daily lives. I forget (and I forget very often) how precious the word of God is. I am ungrateful for the access I have to read the Bible. And most of the time I do not desire the word of God, but I want to. I want the word of God to impact my life. I want to rest secure in the promise of my Salvation. And more than anything I want to love the Lord my God with all my heart, with all my soul and with all my strength (Deut. 6:5). To love him, I must know him; and to know him, I must spend time in Scripture.

Here is where the change in my devotional time happened. I decided that in addition to reading the Bible, I wanted to write it. I hope that one day I can have my own hand-written copy of the Bible. Although it seems like an unreachable task, I want every word of Scripture to be close to my heart, I want every word inspired by God to become real and tangible in my daily life.

Now, I believe this is a desire and a task God has set in my heart, and do not mean to bring any condemnation or frustration on anyone’s life. I just want to encourage you to reflect in your own life, and ask God how can you love his word better? How can the word of God impact you daily and change your life? And then just go and do it. However it looks like, the ultimate purpose is to know and to love our Lord Jesus Christ.

May the peace and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be multiplied upon you,
– Fernie

Welcome

The idea of starting a blog and writing and sharing about what God is doing in my life is intimidating and touches everyone one of my vulnerabilities. But as Kelly Needham wrote this week, “mentoring isn’t about perfect women teaching younger women to be perfect also. It’s teaching God-dependency through weakness”. This is exactly what I pray Covered by Grace will be about. A common sinner girl sharing about the grace God pours daily on her life and the journey to grow in dependency and love to Jesus Christ our Savior. I pray that as we walk this journey together, all who read, may be encouraged to trust, love and serve the one who has saved our souls. “The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost.” – 1Tim 1:15

Welcome to Covered by Grace!
IMG_0470
May the peace and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be multiplied upon you,
– Fernie