grace

selfiestick!!
For years I’ve shared my heart in this little space, so many of you know the struggles I’ve had with infertility, fertility treatments, and the failed adoptions. You know my issues with perfection, wanting things to be right, and wanting to excel in all things. Which, if not carried to the extreme, are good things. But, I’m an extremist, for me perfection and excellence are more of a burden than motivation.

I’ve had a hard time with the idea of grace being given to me, accepting such a beautiful gift was difficult for me. The thought of someone covering you – your thoughts, actions, personality quirks, etc – with love and forgiveness was foreign to me because I wasn’t that loving towards myself. I was very hard and harsh – not understanding that sin or offenses can not be accepted but the person can be loved, accepted, and forgiven. I didn’t get how failure or not meeting expectations could be accepted even in doing your best. So, there was a lot of stress, frustration, and unrest. Self doubt, insecurity, and isolation were all isolated in the idea that I wasn’t good enough – not because I actually sucked at anything but because I allowed the impossible image to dictate how I felt about myself.

Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Christ our Lord.
2 Peter 1:2

We can’t have grace and peace without truly knowing the giver of such gifts. I believe that we can know sides of God, but not wholly know Him. Just like we can know bits and pieces about the people in our lives but not them in entirety. The more we know about God, the more time we spend with him, the more you see how loving and gentle he is, how forgiving and merciful, and how peaceful and gracious He is, the more we know all sides of Him. It’s difficult to experience such goodness without desiring more. And, from that point, there’s this cycle that begins and ends with you at the foot of our Savior. We begin with getting a taste of Him, then desiring more which leads to spending more time in the Word which transforms our lives by changing our thoughts and desires. We’re changed and grateful which leads us to the cross to experience more forgiveness and goodness and us wanting more of Him.

It’s not my sinful nature that keeps me from God, it’s pride & perfection.

This perfectionist attitude & the insecurity it breeds has negatively impacted so many parts of my life for far too long. I’m not going to allow it to control how I mothered my children or the type of mother & person I am going to be.

From my ThriveMoms post:
“For me, mothering well looks like putting forth all the same major effort to be prepared, organized, and never forgetting to pack my cape. It includes being who I am, covering myself with an incredible dose of grace each morning, and accepting mistakes as life. I still want to do my best; the difference is in not allowing my mistakes or the perceptions of others to control how I live or view myself. Perfection is just insecurity masking itself — worrying if I’ll be accepted or seen as good enough has less to do with perceptions and actual tasks than me not seeing myself through the eyes of the Lord.
When I accept myself as the woman the Lord created me to be — a mama covered with grace and wholly accepted, loved and forgiven, perfection is null and void.”

Shaking the idea of perfection hasn’t been easy, but it’s definitely freeing. Accepting the grace and peace the Lord offers me moment by moment is the only way I’m even experiencing this freedom. I have to pray when I feel the negativity and frustration causing tension in my back and depositing fear in my heart. Because, my God, it’s there.

I literally have to stop and talk to God about accepting the grace and peace He offers me freely, for the wisdom & understanding to do what I’m working on well (hello, mid-day screamfest.)
and to be gentle and loving. To be free. To be confident. To be calm and overflowing with joy.

It’s in that place where I meet Jesus’ expectations of who I am to be.
Where I see that my standards and expectations were so low.
Where I realize that even though my ideas where in the right place, until my heart was changed, my efforts would be fruitless even if they were beautiful.
It’s in the humility and vulnerability of needing the Lord & giving Him control where peace and joy abide even in the most difficult of situations.

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Comments

  1. “I’ve had a hard time with the idea of grace being given to me, accepting such a beautiful gift was difficult for me. The thought of someone covering you – your thoughts, actions, personality quirks, etc – with love and forgiveness was foreign to me because I wasn’t that loving towards myself. I was very hard and harsh – not understanding that sin or offenses can not be accepted but the person can be loved, accepted, and forgiven. I didn’t get how failure or not meeting expectations could be accepted even in doing your best. So, there was a lot of stress, frustration, and unrest. Self doubt, insecurity, and isolation were all isolated in the idea that I wasn’t good enough – not because I actually sucked at anything but because I allowed the impossible image to dictate how I felt about myself.”

    That brought tears to my eyes! I had to take a screenshot! Lol You just perfectly described my life struggle perfectly. I’m still coming to to accept that I’m loved wholly and absolutely accepted. But I’m thankful for a patient God and it’s good to know I’m not alone in this journey 🙂 thank you for sharing!

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