G i v i n g . G r a c e . W h e n . I t . J u s t . F e e l s . H a r d.
I wanted to share something that I have been working on lately and its giving grace. I am good at it and then I struggle, hard. I give grace to something major that happened and then I end up turning into Cruella Dev il, yelling at my toddler for continuing to pull the whole toilet paper roll out of the bathroom for the 5th time that day or bang on her fake kitchen pots and pans to wake up her sisters. I have been working on giving grace to myself and some of my posts are encouraging you all to do the same, at the end of the day- asier said than done- we are human and this is hard!
When I think of “grace” I automatically go to Christmas Vacation when they ask Aunt Bethany to say grace– “Grace, the blessinggggg.”
If you know, you’re laughing and maybe going to look the movie up on demand today. Of course I linked it for you–What a good one. Okay- moving on! Sometimes grace can feel like an impossible order from God. He tells us that the bulk of our words should be “full of grace”. This doesn’t mean grace whenever we want to. It doesn’t mean halfway grace. This means 100% all the way grace. That’s HARD!!!
You want to know when grace is hard for me? It’s hard when your toddler can basically do algebra but continues to reject potty training. It’s hard when my babies cry all day because they are teething and cannot be soothed. Its hard when a family member lets you down or isn’t trustworthy for the millionth time. It’s hard when a trusted friend continues to deeply wound you. Haven’t we all been there? I don’t know about you, but my first reaction to someone who is hurtful or getting on my last nerve usually doesn’t result in my words being laced with a whole lotta grace.
What I have learned about “grace” is that it believes the BEST in a person. It fights through the mess with its fists up. It does not let an incident or behavior waver what you know deeply about that person. Grace comes hand and hand with A LOT of forgiveness, which is also hard. Isn’t this a perfect picture of who we should strive to be?
“Be kind to one another, as God forgave you.” Eph 4:32
Why is this something I am writing about? Because I realize how much grace I need from everyone else lately. It is way easier to give grace when you recall how much you need it. I have many weaknesses and I need to receive grace from just about everyone right now. If I need grace from others, shouldn’t I give it in return? I need grace from my husband and expect him to give it to me. But, do I always show him grace? I am working on it. I need my toddler to give me grace when she is waiting an hour for lunch because I am trying to take care of the twins. If I expect her patience and grace, shouldn’t I show her the same? I need grace from my friends, as they have been on the back burner after having 3 kids. If I expect grace from them, shouldn’t I show them grace when they disappoint me? I need grace from everyone in my life when I don’t handle my struggles the way I should or when I am not giving myself grace in this chapter.
It is not easy but it’s an intentional practice and something I am intensely working on. I was really hard on myself the other day as I was on my phone and computer a lot. I was NOT present at all and it affected my toddler’s behavior and really smacked me in the face. Shame on me, I know better. I am a certified behavior analyst. I gave myself grace that day but my goal of being present over perfect is what I needed to come back to that day.
I will walk this path with you, a path away from the frantic pushing and shoving to be perfect and be SO dang hard on ourselves and others. Make today a good step in the direction to soak yourself in grace, rest, resilience, prayer and intention. I am working on it, and so can you!
Let’s love and spread grace around like confetti.
Katrina Ileka says
I needed to hear this! Grace is something I was called a child when I was anything but graceful (I was quite a clutsy little girl). I guess maybe that was a bit confusing for me as a child. I know now as an adult just how real this struggle is. I am right there with you in the trenches of the potty training/ expecting and needing others to give me grace in this season of motherhood/parenting and often times going it alone with a hubby that works nights. I find myself on a roller coaster with Grace. I am trying so hard to give it in so many areas and yet I struggle hard, (so hard), too! I’m harder on myself that I’d like to be but how do we change that? I’m depending on Jesus to help me with that!
Thank you for your candid, raw, writing and sharing. It does my heart good to hear that I’m not in this struggle alone.
Rhanda Weber says
This is great. I read this every time you write something and it makes me laugh a little, cry a little, but most of all it makes me think. Think of when my kids were young. I think of your mom and how she did it with 4. And she would help me! But I made it and my kids made it. Reading this makes me feel (almost not quite but almost) normal .
Judy Patti says
We did it together Rhanda <3 Miss those days so much 🙂
Devan Vandergrift says
Oh you are on it.. I love this… I can just hear you talking through these words! Grace upon grace 💕
Maryann T Pettie says
Awesome read!! So proud of you!