Last Friday I traveled three hours to speak to a wonderful group of ladies in Sullivan, Indiana. As I began to set up my book table, I realized that I’d made a terrible mistake. I had forgotten my books. A book table without books isn’t much of a book table, is it?
When I speak, one of our Hearts at Home volunteers counts, packs, and prepares two suitcases and one Rubbermaid tub full of books and resources. I haven’t spoken since May so when I picked up the resources I grabbed the two suitcases and didn’t even see or remember the Rubbermaid tub—which, of course, had all the books in it!
One of the topics I was speaking on was grace. I talk about how God gives us grace, but then He asks us to learn to give grace to others. I like to call grace-giving in our relationships “grace space” where we allow others the space to be human…to make mistakes…and not be raked over the coals everytime they make a mistake. It’s a simple act of forgiveness on our part.
But Friday night when I discovered the mistake I’d made I had to practice what I preach and go a step further. I had to give myself grace. Cut myself some slack. Laugh about it and let it go. Oh at first I tried to figure out how to rectify the situation: my daughter was willing to meet me halfway and bring them to me but that meant three more hours on the road late at night to make that happen and that just wasn’t wise.
So I let myself be human and gave myself some “grace space.” I added another “fresh” story to my message that day and took orders for any books the ladies wanted to buy.
I’ve been thinking about how as moms and human beings, we need to offer ourselves grace space more often than we do. We will make mistakes. We will mess up. We will forget to do something. We will fall short of our perfectionistic goals. And how will we handle it when we do? If we don’t have the option of grace on our radar screen, we’ll beat ourselves up, shame ourselves, or start the negative self-talk that tears us down from the inside out.
Grace is a gift that God gives us. We don’t deserve it, but He gives it to us anyway. Grace is a gift we can give to others–not because they deserve it but because we understand that we can easily make the same mistakes others make. And grace is a gift we can give ourselves—knowing that we will make mistakes and we need some way to pick ourselves up, brush ourselves off, and move forward.
In what way do you need to give yourself grace today?
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Children watch when parents are in such situations! You taught your daughter a wonderful lesson that night – as well as those ladies at the event! Well done, sister friend!
Jill, I just wanted you to know that your definition of “grace space” (where we allow others space to be human…to make mistakes) was just what I needed to read today…it helped me understand grace in a whole new way…thank you for sharing it.
I have found that I am so able to give others grace. I am able to say, sure they make mistakes, no problem, of course they are forgiven, of course it’s not a problem, it was a mistake.
But when it is myself, I find I am holding myself to a higher standard. I have to do better. I walked into a couple of relationships in college, looking back, i can see that I was willing to go too far, and though I tried to say I was naive walking in, I really wasn’t. I encouraged those guys, and things went too far… one of them really hurt me physically and emotionally.
And though I have made the choice to forgive them, I find it extremely difficult not to blame myself. I beat myself up for looking for love in the wrong places… even though I was a Christian at the time.
you know, the whole: I should have known better, I am a Christian, I should be satisfied with God, what’s wrong with me? etc.
I am still really struggling with forgiving myself and extending myself that grace that you talk about. It’s easy for me to do that with others, who have done similar things, but when it turns to me, its a whole different story.
This was a really good story. Thank you for sharing it.
I am praying that I will get to the point of being able to give myself that grace, instead of beating myself up, and tearing myself down. (and allowing the enemy to do the same)