Sophie accidentally dumped over a whole glass of cranberry juice on the kitchen table this morning. It swooshed along the table, covering every inch and then dripped from the table onto the rug. All the while she sat watching it happen, fascinated by what apparently was a science experiment to her.
Isaac Newton would have been so proud! I, on the other hand, might have freaked out!! What did you do?
It was one of those mornings where hubby had left early, I was feeling a little frazzled and needed more coffee, and then this. I could feel my insides wanting to give a knee-jerk reaction but I knew that would only do more harm than good (can you tell I’ve done that before?).
I’ve soooo done that before! It’s possible I did that this morning! How did you avoid it?
I took a deep breath, said a prayer to handle this well, and then sprinted to the table with towels to soak up the spill. With the crisis averted, I told Sophie we all make mistakes but let’s try to be a little more careful next time…
Michelle, it sounds like you did such a great job handling a stressful (and messy) situation. That spilled cranberry juice just taught Sophie about God’s grace.
Well, thanks. They don’t always go this well. It’s interesting because God has been teaching me so much about extending His grace to other people, including my husband and daughter, but I am still really struggling with giving grace to myself.
I find this to be a struggle too! I wish I could just be like Sophie and let someone else clean up my mess then, BAM! It’s over and we move on with life. But I seem to always get myself worked up about my mess, stew in it, and then after I’ve felt guilty for a while, I might try to take the grace He’s offered me.
Totally. When I make a mistake, why can’t I let myself off of the hook and accept the grace God and others give me? It’s like I expect myself to effortlessly and perfectly juggle all of the balls of motherhood in the air and when one drops, I am really hard on myself. I know that’s not how God wants me to respond, but the struggle is real for this recovering perfectionist.
I think grace is such a hard thing to accept, because it’s undeserved. We can give gifts so easily but I, for one, feel a little uncomfortable receiving a gift. And if I don’t have something to give that person back, then I am MORTIFIED.
You really put your finger on something there, Ashley! Maybe that’s why I would prefer to stay in the mess rather than accept His forgiveness. I have no way to reciprocate His free gift.
Right. What if we truly embraced the fact that God wants to give us grace and give it freely? He doesn’t want us to be tied to our perfectionism (which I struggle with too), because it defeats the purpose of why He died for us.
Yes. Why do I live like I need to be perfect to be loved or forgiven? That is totally not God’s message and of course not how I feel about Sophie.
I say next time we are being too hard on ourselves, we remember that grace is a gift with no strings attached and the giver (in this case God) wants us to accept it freely, joyfully, and gratefully. Now if only I can remember this next time I fail to measure up! Isn’t that the hard part?
It sure is. But I like where you’re going with this. If I want to heap grace on Sophie in those mess-up moments, how much more does God want to do that for me?
Now to upwrap that gift every day…
Soaking in the Truth
Scripture to encourage you:
- “How great is the love the Father has lavished on me that I should be called a child of God.” (1 John 3:1).
- “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (2 Cor 12:19)
- “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” (Matthew 7:11)
- “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Ephesians 2:4-9)
Music to inspire you:
- Grace by Laura Story
Readings to come alongside of you:
- Perfectionism is a Grace Killer by Alison Tiemeyer
- Perfect Grace for Closet Perfectionism from Soul Shepherding Blog
- Grace-Based Parenting by Tim Kimmel
- “I haven’t often prayed to a God who says, ‘We’ve got this; we’ll do it together. Your failure doesn’t rattle me. Your limitations don’t bother me.’ But I do now, little by little. Because now when I step out of that boat, I’m starting to see a man with love in his eyes, a man who will rescue and rescue and rescue , and then bring me to safety, despite my faithlessness, despite my failure.” Present Over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic for a More Soulful Way of Living by Shauna Niequist
- “To live by grace means to acknowledge my whole life story, the light side and the dark. In admitting my shadow side I learn who I am and what God’s grace means.” -Brennan Manning
- Teaching Kids About Grace by Meaningful Mama Blog