giving yourself grace.

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5:00 AM
Giving grace to others is always easier than giving it to myself. Of course you could not come because things got busy - I totally get it. It is okay you forgot it - next time. Late again? God's timing is perfect - amen. Perhaps it is the fact that their stories are better with an epic climax about nearly solving world hunger all during lunch time. Or it's the tone in which it is explained that their child was sick again and up all night. Or the look in their eyes as they pour out their own short coming. Or perhaps they just know how to give themselves grace as God so freely gives to everyone - something that I have been learning the past few months, as I have been giving up my own expectations and leaning more on God's grace in the day to day and embracing my weaknesses.

It is knowing that when you are weak, then you are strong.

Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 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 about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.  2 Corinthians 12:7-10

Giving yourself grace begins with failure - knowing that you are a sinner (Romans 5:8) and that you are not meant to know how to do laundry, while prepping snacks for a daily adventure, all while holding a baby and simultaneously cleaning the house and tempting to answer the text message about dinner and the email about the event tonight but also knowing that God always offers forgiveness and grace nevertheless (Psalm 103:12). It is knowing that with Jesus failure is not an option, just a work in progress.  

Failure is not about giving up or being weak; it is about making yourself available to soak up God's grace and mercy. It is a giving up of yourself to allow God to fill you. Fill you will humility and forgiveness and a deeper communion with him.

It is learning that God's grace is sufficient no matter the circumstance. No matter what you have done. Here Paul is talking about how much he learned from his ailment. God says that his grace is sufficient for you. How much more should you freely give it to yourself?

If you expect too much from yourself and lack grace, you may end up feeling like a failure. But you will learn it, if nothing else. Learn humility and balance and forgiveness - for yourself and others.

Praying that you learn how to accept grace and give to yourself if you have not and that if you have mastered it, that you would share what you have learned with those around you because half of learning is teaching. When you really understand something, you can teach it to someone else (at least that is what my math teacher always said). Praying for more dependence on God through out your day and for his strength to be enough. Praying that you would overcome through Christ, since he has already overcome the world (John 16:33),

Here's to failure and more grace.