Friday, August 24, 2012

Amazing Grace

I have always been such a perfectionist. Must have good grades, must be great at whatever I set my mind to, must be a good child and earn the respect of my parents. I never smoked, never drank as a teenager, never have done drugs. I was a virgin until my wedding day. When I looked down that invisible "how to be a good teenager" checklist I could check them off one by one. I wasn't perfect, but when I messed up I did my best to fix it. I was secure in who I was and what I had to offer my family and those around me.

As an adult, I am still a perfectionist. The only difference is that now the world seems so much bigger. My checklist is longer: Happy, well entertained kids that watch little tv and have many adventures. Happy husband who has to do little work around the house and feels like a respected king of his home. A clean and beautifully decorated home that is both impressive and comfortable to guests. Being perfectly in shape, well groomed, and polished. Well fed and groomed animals. Good friendships that are thriving. The list goes on and my head is spinning. How impossible are all these goals?? Sometimes my house looks great but I look awful from cleaning all day and my kids just spend 6 hours watching television. Sometimes I look great and the kids are happily entertained but the house is a wreck. Its just not possible to be perfect. And then the lies come..

"But Jesus was perfect and we are supposed to be like Jesus, right?", "But SHE can look amazing, have an amazing house and an amazing family"
(comparison ALWAYS steals joy!), "You must just be too lazy/weak/unorganized to be able to handle it all." Woah, Satan is so good at feeding us lies that hit home. Lies that we repeat over and over in our heads until we believe them. Until we believe God expects us to be perfect (He doesn't), that "she" really does do it all (she doesn't), or that we really are lazy/weak/unorganized.

The truth is we are imperfect beings destined to be imperfect. Merriam-webster defines grace this way: unmerited divine assistance given humans for their regeneration or sanctification. In other words: undeserved help from God to set us apart, make us new, and free us from sin. Wow. When my husband comes home and the dishes aren't done and the floors aren't vacuumed he has the grace (also defined:mercy, pardon) to tell me he doesn't care, it's no big deal, and he's glad me and the girls had a great day today. How much bigger, greater, and more powerful is Gods love, mercy, and grace for me?

And if my goal is to be like Jesus, shouldn't I strive to give grace? Shouldn't that include having grace for myself?

Thank you, God, for your undeserved, amazing grace. Help me to trust in it, learn from it, and give it freely to both others and myself. Amen, Amen, Amen.

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