I tend to be good about giving grace to everyone but myself. This really came to life to me when just a few weeks ago, my 3-year-old, Adde was scared to try something new because she was afraid of failure. When she finally decided to try, she quickly learned that she wasn’t great at it the first time. She had to practice in order to get better. Every time she made a mistake in her efforts she would get more and more mad at herself. Then just a few minutes later, she saw her sister, Kate struggling and she immediately began to cheer her on and say, “It’s okay, Kate! Try again. You can do it!” I thought "I wonder where she learned to be so hard on herself and yet cheer those around her on” and it didn’t take me long to realize I was the teacher! The truth is, if I am going to say “Grace Rules our Home” then I have to allow Grace to rule in my life. Because if I don’t let grace rule my life then is it truly ruling our home? My kids learn to let grace rule by how I treat those around me but also how I treat myself. As I prayed about it, I felt the Lord tell me I need to give myself grace. Here are some of the areas that I am learning to give myself grace. I thought I would share with you because maybe just maybe you might need to give yourself some grace as well.
1. Give Yourself Grace to Start.
Many times we stall out in life because of fears. We don’t allow our self the grace to just start knowing mistakes will happen. For me, writing was an area that I had stalled out. I knew I was supposed to write and even wanted to write but felt as though I had nothing to say and what if I failed or made mistakes. All my what if’s and fears kept me sitting and dreaming. I finally came to a place where I wanted to stop dreaming about a life and start living one. Which led me to start writing on this blog. Of course, I don’t get it right every time and not every blog is a home run but I am obeying what I feel God has placed in my heart and that to me is living a life that is worth living even with all the mistakes and mishaps along the way.
2. Give Yourself Grace to Define Your Normal.
Several years ago, I was at coffee with a mentor, Christine Caine, and as we talked about life she gave me a piece of advice that I have held onto ever since. She told me, “Elaine, your normal wont look like anyone else’s.” You see I was in a season where I was trying to compare my life to those around me and constantly felt like I wasn’t meeting a standard. For example, I don’t cook. I use my crockpot a lot and make very simple meals when I do cook. Ethan and I have seasons where we travel a lot with speaking engagements and during those seasons, I was letting the enemy beat me up for not doing a better job about cooking for my family. This statement was freeing to me because it allowed me to figure out what works for us as a family and be okay with our normal. Social media can be a blessing or a curse depending on how you use it. Don’t allow yourself to fall into the trap of comparison, take some time to define your normal and give yourself grace to live in your normal. Give yourself grace to be you!
3. Give Yourself Grace to Learn.
Sometimes we struggle to give our self grace to learn. When I became a wife, I had to give myself grace to learn how to be a wife. Even now, I am still having to give myself grace to learn how to be a wife. Same with being a mom. And just when I thought I was getting this whole mom life down, my children hit a new milestone or we find out we were pregnant again and I’m back in the learning stage. We don’t know everything or how to do everything, we will make mistakes. It’s inevitable. We need to allow our selves the grace to learn in the new seasons of life. Now in no way am I saying that we use this as an excuse to be stubborn in our ways. You wont get it right every time, so give yourself grace to learn.
4. Give Yourself Grace to Try New Things.
Recently at the Gateway Conference, Pastor Brian Houston asked a question, “When is the last time you did something for the very first time?” Often times we get in a rut of just doing the same thing over and over, and we lose sight of things that give us life. An innovative mind breeds life in us. Let’s give our self the grace to try new things. We need to have some unpredictability in our lives. Some time to be creative. Give yourself grace to try something new. I know what your thinking, “When am I going to have time to try something new, well you wont unless you create space in your life, in your day. You might be surprised at how it energizes you and you might even find a new hobby in the process.
Life is full opportunities to compare and beat ourselves up. Let’s take a moment each day and maybe even several times a day to give ourselves some grace. Will you allow grace to rule in your life and in your home? What are some areas you need to give yourself some grace?