Wednesday, October 24, 2012

offering grace

Ok.  I'm about to get real.

I'm so judgmental.

There. I said it. ((deep breath))

I'm so quick to judge others.  I easily can criticize myself.  For some reason, "real life" just isn't good enough.  That woman at the coffee shop with her screaming baby? -- she totally should leave the room instead of sitting there and letting it echo (been there, done that).  That man sitting next to his wife, but barely putting his phone down long enough to even give her a loving glance across the table? -- he is so selfish.  Don't even get me started on myself.  I should dress a little cuter, make healthier dinners (perhaps granola with a side of cheese and crackers the 3rd day in a row isn't that great?!), I should pursue my husband more, and be present with R when he's wanting to play.

Grace.

What a beautiful word, right?  I thought I understood this word for years.  But, surprise!, I really didn't.  Our family is in a crazy (but good!) season right now, and these messy & ugly little realizations are bubbling up.  God has a funny way of making that happen.  We go through different situations in life (good and bad), and some times deep, dark things about ourselves are unearthed.  I'm so thankful for this.  Thankful that I'm provided with a chance (or 2... 3... 6 chances) to be able to learn more about myself through God's character.

I think my focus on "perfectionism" is what influences my judgy outlook. Vulnerability is scary.  And, in order to be vulnerable, you need to accept the messiness of life. You need to accept the brokenness of yourself and everyone around you. We can't be perfect. We have fallen. Time and time again.

Grace.

God's whole plan. God's grace is beautiful. Life takes on a different light once we accept his grace and live/act out of his grace. I don't think I really ever took the time to stop and receive God's grace until recently. I thought abut it a lot, but i never accepted it. Maybe because deep down I thought I was "good enough"?  I ignored the mess and desperate need for him.

So, today (and every day to come) I'm going to try to accept vulnerability and God's grace. Accept the beautiful, beautiful mess that we are as humans and the crazy lives we live.  I want people to see Christ when they interact with me -- not a "perfect" or put together Meg.

I'm going to pray that the second my eyes open in the morning, God moves through me during the day and I shut off the thoughts in my mind telling me that I need to be better and try harder.  Those "p words" will be the end of me (perfectionism and pride...).  I know I will fall and fail time and time again -- but that's the reality of it all.  Accepting grace is a totally different thing than just understanding grace (which is still quite important).  

Grace. Grace. Grace.  Rest in grace.

Rest.

9 comments:

  1. i do the same thing. the SAME THING. i criticize myself and others, harshly. grace is a hard lesson to learn, but i'm grateful God keeps giving us chances to give it to ourselves and to others.

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    1. It's so good to know that I'm not alone in this. Some times it's easy to feel like you're the "only one". Doesn't God's boundless and grace-filled love just blow your mind? I'm trying to release my grasp on control and perfection and open up my hands to accept this grace and love.

      Thanks for being real and commenting, Annie!

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  2. ahhh....I needed to hear this today! Thank you. : ) I think that when we start really working on seeing Christ in others, we make it easier (a little) to begin to see Christ in ourselves and let Him radiate through us. And God provides the grace for us to do that. So beautiful!!

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    1. Wow - great thoughts. You opened my eyes to a new perspective on this. Thank you ... !

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  3. My problem with perfectionism definitely plays a major role in make me struggle with grace. All I can say is that Emily P. Freeman's book, "Grace for the Good Girl"...is rocking my world right now. I literally feel like she wrote that book for me.

    Grace to you, sister!

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    1. Thank you so much for the recommendation, Megan! That book is next on my list to read--I can't wait to start it. We will have to swap thoughts about it.

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  4. I am right here with you sister. I think that when we think we have grace all figured out, we actually need it the most :) And when I say "we," I mean me. This is so good - "vulnerability means we have to accept the messinnes of life." I'm pretty sure that as a human race, half our lives are spent running from the FACT that we are all screwed up and nothing (besides Jesus) can fix it. We spend time, money, heartache trying to pretend to be perfect. But it's when we give all that up and say, "I need Jesus, I'm a mess," that we are the most fulfilled. It's so backwards to our sinfulness, but it's what we truly need.

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    1. ... "when we think we have grace all figured out, we actually need it the most". YES. You are SO right.

      Thank you so much for sharing what you think. I definitely identify with what you're saying. There is such a tension and struggle between knowing we need Jesus and wanting to be 'put together'. You're right - it is so backwards. I think this has to be one of my biggest struggles.

      Oh Mackenzie ... I'm so thankful I met you!

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  5. oh meg - you speak such truth! and i LOVE it.

    my struggle is offering grace to others so freely (not always.. there are many times i don't offer any, at all.) but when it comes to giving myself grace.. i fail. i fail miserably. i am always so hard on myself. the grace of God is free-flowing, yet it can me so hard to accept. i also agree with mackenzie and we want to be able to do it ourselves and not 'need' grace.. but there's no way getting around it! our lives will be so unfulfilled until we lean on Jesus!

    continue speaking truth, my friend! the Lord is using you greatly!!!

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