Grace: unmerited favor. To give good that is not deserved.
We need grace everyday. And then, there are days like today, that could benefit from a double helping.
The funny thing is, I’m so much better at giving grace to others than I am giving it to myself. My 17-month-old is home sick with Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (it’s a virus, not serious but totally miserable). Snuggled on our bed watching Daniel Tiger this morning, I catch myself wondering how I could have prevented his illness. Rethinking our activities of the past week, like somehow if I was a “good mom” I could have identified and prevented the invisible germs if I had paid better attention.
And then there’s the real stuff I could do.
Like put away the piles of laundry instead of just rummaging through them for an outfit.
P.S. If you do laundry at a laundry mat, bless you. Triple … no, five times the grace for your day!
Finish building the kitchen table we started last fall.
Prepping the home for next week when I’ll be away at a writer’s conference.
Actually work out instead of just wearing active wear as lounge wear.
Make some headway on preparing for the book launch (um, yes, a book, next spring. Eeek!)
In this new season of life I find myself second guessing things in ways I never would have before.
Do we play enough? Too much?
Should I stop cleaning to play? Stop playing to clean?
I wish I could be a stay at home mom.
Being a stay at home mom would overwhelm me.
I want to plan for the future. For next month, next year. To discern God’s leading and take part in the preparation. But right now, today is enough.
So this is one of those posts I’m writing to myself. And I hope it encourages you too.
Here’s grace for today.
Paul talks in 2 Corinthians 12 about a “thorn in his side.” An affliction that he asked God to remove before He understood its benefit.
I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations. Satan’s angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty! At first I didn’t think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me,
My grace is enough; it’s all you need.
My strength comes into its own in your weakness.
Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become. (2 Corinthians 12:7b–10 The Message)
Now I’m not supposing that it’s Satan’s doing that my laundry doesn’t get done. I too am in constant touch with my limitations and many of these shortcomings are all me, no opposition needed.
How beautiful that God’s strength shines in my weakness.
It’s a gift to acknowledge my need for grace.
That means … It’s a gift to acknowledge my weakness.
Today is a beautiful day in the neighborhood … sorry, couldn’t resist, Daniel Tiger is still playing in the background.
While I could spend my time looking at all my handicaps, I choose instead to turn my attention to Christ’s strength. His grace is enough. It’s all I need. And yes, hopefully His grace will allocate strength to get to the things I need to do and focus my efforts on greatest priorities. But for now, I’m starting with grace to admit weakness. Grace to acknowledge that I need His strength. That I can’t do it all and it’s a gift from God that I don’t have to. That I can witness His unmerited favor moving in on my weakness.
Today I’m feeling weak. What a fantastic opportunity to grow in strength.
I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become. (2 Corinthians 12:10b The Message)