Come Out Of Hiding, Step Into Real Freedom This Year #UNITE Linky


White has been blanketing the ground for days. Like grace, falling softly, undeserved on the surrounding lands and hills.

Quiet radiates. Loved ones feet crunch upon the earth. Soil and snow mix, dirt and white mesh with every step.

The cold bites deep, like sin stinging morrow buried somewhere inside us.

I grab my down, feather coat and wrap it tighter. Fingers lock with my husband. Our little one runs and dances with joy and excitement as if the cold can’t ever hurt her.

Freedom radiates with every smile, as she dances zig-zag down the white avenue in front of her, not looking back.

And why is it that, children see beauty, barely noticing the sting amid, loving the wide open, they dance on grace as if a gift, not a burden…

I open scripture…

20161224_102948Two interlocked lovers also find the wide open. However, these two wrap themselves in fig leaves, hiding after sinning…a consequence of robbing God, and taking what wasn’t theirs (Genesis 3)…

And isn’t the lack of contentment a temptation of us all still today, though our home is far from Eden?

I see the fig leaves. Those around me, wrapping themselves in legalism, man-made religious systems, like Pharisees who still think, what they do might save them.

They strive, and labor, cover their guilt and shame…as if hiding from God himself. But doesn’t He give the promise…

“Come to me all you are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matt 11:28) “My yoke is easy, my burden light.” (Matthew 11:30)

And I find it strange how so many bypass the Creator, in hopes that Creation has some compensation for all they’ve done.

And haven’t we learned, covering ourselves in leaves of legalism, won’t ever diminish the eyes of God from seeing us?

His blood, the price. His Love, the only gift that covers all our sins. (Isaiah 1:18)

And yet, when God came to meet with Adam and Eve in the garden; when he saw both had partaken the forbidden fruit and their sin couldn’t be remedied…

He met them in their hiding. He found them where they wandered. It was there He had pity on them, covering them in fur, symbolic of the perfect price 20161224_095453He paid for us, on the cross.

And yet, I wonder…

How many of us use rules, ritualism, or legalism like leaves, to cover what we have done? How many of us run from relationship with God in the very moments we need Him most? 

And where did we learn there is anything we can do to pay our penance, redeem ourselves apart from Him?

Doesn’t scripture tell us, there is nowhere we can go or hide from His presence? (Psalms 139:7-12)

And at the end of the day, we can’t use fig leaves like the Pharisees, to hide our sin of pride and self-righteousness;

  • God is our sole deliverer.
  • We can come boldly to Him in authenticity and transparency.
  • He shed his blood not so we can hide or retreat, but so we might run and dance, and laugh like little children, outside in the white wide open.

This year…

  • God is calling people out from their fig leaves, to abandon themselves to His grace and forgiveness.
  • He doesn’t want rules and religious systems, guilt and shame separating us. He longs for us to meet Him, face to face.
  • He is asking us to leave our futile fig leaves and to wrap ourselves in His holiness.
  • He is calling us to embrace our weakness and to lean on His grace, washed not in our own works, but to be clothes in His righteousness.

All our works are like filthy rags.

Acts 3:8, the lame man was healed and His response wasn’t shame, but, “Dancing, and leaping and praising God”.

We had a foster daughter once who stole from us. At the time, I wrote a list of what she owned us and placed in on the refrigerator.

Little by little she worked hard to pay us back for what she took. However, like us, the amount she owed was too much for her to ever pay.

The day she left, I had her light 20161224_101836-1the list on fire. She stared in confusion.

I told her, grace is like that. We cannot pay for the debt we owe. Our sin is too costly, but He died so that once and for all, the fullness of our sins could finally be disintegrated, never to be seen again.

Jesus came so that every stronghold could be broken, we wouldn’t have to live like slaved, but can be free men and women, once and for all.

  • King David in Scripture danced in response to God’s goodness.
  • The leper went walking and leaping and praising God after His encounter with the God of all grace.
  • God’s people didn’t hide or stay silent, after experiencing Him in the upper room. Their roar was so contagious 3,000 people were saved that day. Unity, praises, and people giving away possessions was the response to an authentic encounter with God.

God isn’t harsh and unforgiving. He isn’t some “evil taskmaster” like in the story of the talents?

Let’s run to Him in repentance and praise instead of standing frozen by our own guilt and shame?

Love is a free gift. His mercy is abundant. Our forgiveness was paid for by Him on the cross. His grace is sufficient.

What was once dark and polluted is covered with snow. I am reminded of His perfect payment for my sins. The beauty of His love to pursue me when I didn’t deserve Him…

And I want to dance like King David, run and praise like the leper, laugh and play like my daughter, understanding His full forgiveness is a work of grace, a gift of His all consuming, perfect love.

Let’s commit to not being like the Pharisees who covered up their sin, white 20161224_095144paint on the outside, walking around like tombs of death internally.

God is calling us to stop hiding, like Adam and Eve covering themselves with fig leafs.

The price for your sins and mine have been paid. We are people who can live bold, walk forward with new life and faith….And in full understanding of His resurrected Spirit inside us.

We are not people of shame, but heirs of the Throne, children of a Risen Savior.

People who He died so that we don’t have to. Those in relationship with The One who walks with us in the Eden of our hearts.

One on one. Sin having no power over us.

Let’s put down the fig leaf, accept His forgiveness, and dance because of the miracle of His grace and goodness.

(Linking with Angela, here)


Welcome back! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday. I so missed being here, but at the same time, soaked in a season full of white, and savoring those people who stand daily right beside me.

It is time to link up. UNITE is an all-inclusive, no-rules blog hop. However, will you link back, out of courtesy? Oh, and will you take a second to comment on the link before yours?

Thanks for joining Have fun!  And Happy New Year!


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Jen Avellaneda

Jen is an adoptive, foster, & bio mom to trans-racial family. You can find her writing, overlooking her property, advocating for the orphan domestically and internationally, & making memories with her husband of 24 yrs.
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    1. Oh and wow, I can just imagine how long MY list was. Haha. I am sure there would have been an huge, blazing inferno, if I were to see God burning up my sins with the fullness of His grace and mercy! Thanks for being here, Brooke! And yes, what an A M A Z I N G God we serve!

  1. Happy New Year Jen!
    I am your neighbor at Coffee with Holley Gerth. It is a joy to visit your site today. I love the pictures. It is interesting that you are writing about the same scripture in my Bible reading Yesterday. I love it! Also, love the #linkup. We also have a linkup at on Thursdays we just started! It is great to share others work! Such a blessing.

    1. Angela – I am so glad you stopped by! Have been reading over at {I Am Her} & the woman there are such an encouragement! Living North of Seattle, I am sad that I am just now getting familiar with you all! Expect more visits from me in the future! Oh and I met Angela Howard at a writing conference years ago! Love her! Such a small world! Oh and so glad God used this post of a confirmation of what He was speaking, this morning! Love the miraculous ways He works! ~ Jen

  2. Hi Jen, I’m delighted to visit your blog today–for the first time! Your photos are beautiful—and so is your writing. Love your return to the fig leaves throughout…Lord, show us all that’s behind our fig leaves. Thank you, Jen.

    1. Teresa – Welcome! So good to meet new friends! My heart is that together, our hearts and minds would turn to Him! Looking forward to getting to know you more in the days and weeks to come!