Giving myself grace

I used to not extend myself an ounce of grace.

A messy house,
Behind on the laundry,
Homeschooling needing some adjustments,
Forgetting to respond to someone,
A conflict,
Exhaustion, or anxiety, or winter blues:

Well, what was the matter with me? I needed to get it together. I needed to pull myself up by my bootstraps and just try harder. Because, obviously it was all my fault.

If only I had a better schedule, or worked harder, or had a different personality, then I wouldn’t be in this situation. Sad, right? But how many of us do this!

We bend over backward to help and encourage others when they are struggling, but don’t extend ourselves a similar grace. It’s especially sad when a person like myself, who happens to be a Christian, lives this graceless kind of existence—acting as if having it all together is what pleases God (hello, not having it together is what grace is all about, right!? Grace is God giving me what I don’t deserve!)

But life is messy, even when we are trying our hardest, even when we are leaning on God’s grace.

Kids get sick.
People let us down.
Dishwashers break.
Dust bunnies gather in the corners.
Businesses fail.

But, it’s okay. We don’t have to carry the burden of all these things on our shoulders. We can offer ourselves a little grace.

We can smile and brush away the toys to make room for the unexpected visitor without offering an excuse for the clutter—instead of hiding or feeling embarrassed.

We can hold our shoulders up and smile even when we don’t feel loved or appreciated by another person—instead of questioning our worth.

We can accept failure in all areas of our life as refining and helpful if we are willing to learn the lesson—instead of slipping into despair.

We can give ourselves some grace.

With love,

p.s. The following verse came to mind as I was typing up this post. It’s the best kind of grace of all!

But God demonstrates his own love towards us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. –Romans 5:8

Have a great weekend!