Giving Ourselves Some Grace

As some of you may remember, in January I set up a goal for myself of writing 2 blog posts a week, publishing on Monday and Wednesday.

I even let you know you could call me out if a blog post didn’t land in your inbox on those days.

I was doing pretty good with the whole thing; believing I would make it until the end of March. (That was my end goal.)

Last Monday I was almost done with my blog post (What About the Monsters Under My Bed) when I was smacked hard with a headache, chills and messed up stomach.

I don’t get sick often but when I do, I do it well.

In staff meeting last Monday I kept asking the others, “Are you cold? Do you think it’s cold in here because I am freezing!” First clue that things weren’t headed in the right direction.

By Monday evening I was flat-out in bed with the inability to even look at a screen let alone type any kind of coherent thought.

I was disappointed in myself for not getting a blog post out but I also knew it was too late to do anything about it. I knew I was physically incapable of doing it.

And surprisingly, my perfectionist, C-type personality let it go.

In the past, I would have beat myself up mentally for being a failure.

  • I knew you’d never be able to finish this goal.
  • You’re never good at finishing what you start.
  • You give up so easily, You should never even start in the first place because you always end up here — failing!

These are the voices in our heads that can mess us up and beat us down.

But this time, I didn’t listen. (Maybe I had too much of a fever to even think those kinds of thoughts.) But even as I felt better days later I chose to not let those thoughts dominate.

Instead I told myself this:

  • You still have time to move forward.
  • You can pick it up next week.
  • You’ve done so well this far just get up and start again.

Now, these are the kinds of words I speak to others but not myself! I speak words of life to kids and others who fail to reach their goals but not to me.

Why is it when it comes to our own failings we don’t speak as kindly to ourselves?

It’s this that I’m learning — GIVE YOURSELF SOME GRACE!

Now fast forward to yesterday, I ran up against the same kind of time crunch. Different in the sense I wasn’t sick, but ministry time that wasn’t on my schedule Monday morning became a part of my schedule by the evening. My day filled up and I didn’t finish.

Again, I could choose to beat myself up or I could give myself grace and finish it this morning.

Now I understand not everything in life can be put off until tomorrow. Deadlines need to be met. Time schedules are kept for good reasons.

I’m choosing to look at this as a scheduling item that needs tweaking.

It’s like an exercise schedule that we attempt in the morning but we fail because it’s not the best fit. We shouldn’t give up exercising all together. Instead we adjust and move forward.

Giving up is letting the voice of failure and fear win.

Anything worth achieving comes at cost. It’s not easy-peasy, rice and cheesy. There are obstacles to climb over, move around and re-adjust.

This time crunch on Monday is an obstacle to move. I tried climbing over it each Monday but that wasn’t working. Monday is my “get-back-on-track” day with the house schedule, ministry schedule and school schedule. Adding a writing, publishing schedule into that already jam-packed day was not a good fit.

Sometimes part of giving ourselves grace is admitting we need to change and we were wrong. Instead of giving up all together and quitting, we adjust mid-course and get up again.

Even as I typed “and we were wrong” I cringed and didn’t want to say it, type it or admit it. But it’s true. I was wrong.

Now, I wasn’t wrong in trying or setting up the goal. That part was right. The wrong lies in the day I scheduled to do it.  Maybe a more polite and softer word we like in today’s sensitive culture is “hasty” or “incorrect.”

We don’t like to be wrong. It’s one of those pride things… or maybe that’s just me.

But being wrong and fixing it is okay. It’s learning from our mishaps, making adjustments and moving on. It’s how we improve.

We don’t give up instead we give ourselves grace.

~Happy Tuesday, friends!




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