We All Need Some Grace

Ever since I got back to every day life and reality has had time to set back in from vacation mode, I realize I’m already starting to get down on myself. “School is right around the corner and there is so much that needs to be done. Meal planning, school clothes shopping, organize the kids’ clothes, organize the pantry, get the garage in order, and I’m sure tons of other things that need to happen!” Yes, these were all of the thoughts running through me head about 5:30 this morning. That would make anyone go crazy, right?

Well I’m glad I can realize when old habits creep in and I have the power to not let those old things take over my life. I’m not in control of everything around me, but I am in control of myself and how I choose to go into the new school year. I’m in control of how I spend my time each day and whether I should spend time worrying or spend my time in a more productive manner.

I feel that some people think the more stressed out you are (and the more public you are about it!) means you are more productive. I believe the contrary to be true. When you are busy getting things done, you don’t have time to complain about how busy you are!

None of us are perfect here! We all need a little patience and a whole lotta grace!

Serenity

Serenity…I’m not sure if you’re familiar with the Serenity Prayer or not, but it goes like this:

God, Grant me the SERENITY to accept the things I cannot change,

COURAGE to change the things I can,

And WISDOM to know the difference.

(Emphasis mine)

I fully believe in looking at definitions of words, even when I think I understand their meaning. This gives me a fresh perspective on words I’m sure I already know the meaning. Merriam Webster’s definition of the key words in this prayer:

Serenity (Serene) – calm and peaceful

Courage – the ability to do something that you know is difficult or dangerous

Wisdom – knowledge of what is proper or reasonable; good sense or judgment.

My own interpretation of this prayer:

God, give me peace when I can’t control things in my life,

Give me strength for the tough decisions I know I have to make,

And please give me the common sense to know which things I have control over and the things that I don’t. Amen.

I’m not sure if you’re a prayer person or not, but this helps me daily to reevaluate my life. I get upset about something and immediately try to zero in on whether any part of the situation is in my control or not. If it’s not, then I immediately talk to my HP about handing the situation over to Him. I will say, “I can’t do this without You,” and then I feel a little better. The problem usually isn’t resolved instantaneously, but at least I know I have done my part to get it out of my head that I’m in control.

Forgiveness

Pushing my ego aside, admitting that I’m wrong, and truly forgiving someone are some of the hardest things I’ve had to do in my adult life. Sure, there are harder things out there. But I’m talking about REALLY forgiving someone. Not just talking about it and then internally still holding on to anger and resentment.

It’s funny how life works. I’m not even talking about the relationship with my husband. I mean, there are of course things I have had to forgive and move past in our relationship, but I’m referring to a friendship I’ve had to try to mend. 

I have ignored or downright tried to shut up the voice in my heart telling me it’s time to heal and forgive this person. We had both been in the wrong and verbally apologized for our behaviors, but I still couldn’t shake this mentality of “I know I said I was sorry, but I’m still mad about what happened. I’ll just say I’m sorry, but I’m still not over this!” 

I can tell you right now, this mentality did me no good! Here I am, almost an entire year later, and this friendship is still slowly being put back together. Not because of my ego or my self-righteous attitude of “I’m still right and they’re wrong”. No. This can only be fixed with grace and mercy from my HP. It can only start to heal once I put down the weapons of blame, shame, and pain and start to embrace love. 

Love wins every time. I don’t know why we struggle with this concept. I know I’d rather feel loved than hurt, mad, fear, etc.

The truth of the matter is I have missed out on an entire year of a relationship that could have been great all because my ego was calling the shots. 

I want to show forgiveness, grace and mercy to others because how else am I going to teach my kids about these things if I myself don’t practice them? 

Don’t get me wrong. Forgiveness isn’t easy. But it’s worth it every single time.