Last week I found myself knee deep in a toddler meltdown, which seems to be a common occurrence these days. I was flustered because it was happening in public, sweating because I was chasing my 2.5 year old around with a baby in my arms, and anxious because of what the other moms could possibly be thinking about me and my wild kids. Half way through this mom-and-kid playgroup I was ready to run for the hills. I was gathering my stuff when I heard God’s still, small voice say, “push through”. So I stayed…begrudgingly. My toddler still fought me and my baby still squirmed, but we stayed. Had an awesome God-centered talk with my friends, but I was worn out at the end. Why so worn out?
Well the obvious reasons being that I was literally physically exhausted from momlife. But even deeper than that, I was subconsciously trying to be accepted and loved through my performance. And since that was going completely left field, I felt like a failure and inadequate. I had to face the hard-to-chew fact that I’m an imperfect human who must stop trying to appear perfect.
When the uncontrollable chaos erupts, we have no choice but to submit to humility and receive God’s grace.
It hurts my pride when my kids refuse to obey. But if I am honest, it’s not always because they aren’t doing what they should. Sometimes I get frustrated because I feel like I should have it all together and I don’t. Gasp.
I know no one else could possibly struggle with that too.
I’ve known that I had an issue with people-pleasing and I have finally overcome that this year. But I didn’t dig deep enough to see that people-pleasing was just a side-effect of basing my success in life off of my performance. It has left me constantly trying do this or that right and not always measuring up because I’m mundane. Which in return leads me to feel less-than or down on myself. Feeling that way doesn’t push me to be better, it just leaves me..stuck.
Judgement doesn’t move us to true repentance, only grace can do that.
I am my own worse critic..even worse, I am trying to be the Judge of my life. I keep pleading ‘guilty’ and sentencing myself to ‘life with no parole’.
It’s time to release this burden once and for all.
Truthfully, this particular day with this specific toddler meltdown was the best thing that could’ve happened to me. At the end of the study, my new friend, Andrea, asked me to grab lunch. The sleep-deprived part of me thought, “with these kids, are you crazy?!” Once again, I felt spiritually nudged to go. We started to walk out and I told her that I felt bad for not being able to help her pick up the house that my kids helped destroy. She replied, “Lacey it’s fine. you need a little more grace today.”
I need a little more grace.
Bingo! Yahtzee! Winner, winner chicken dinner! Thank you Andrea for listening to the Holy Spirit and shaking me awake with those words. I needed it.
The constant struggle of basing my success off of my performance is me living life without grace. And if I relationship with people that way then I relationship with the Father that way too.
“For it is by grace [God’s remarkable compassion and favor drawing you to Christ] that you have been saved [actually delivered from judgment and given eternal life] through faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [not through your own effort], but it is the [undeserved, gracious] gift of God;”- EPHESIANS 2:8 AMP (emphasis added)
The Greek word used for ‘grace’ here is ‘charis’ literally meaning gift/blessing brought to man fromJesus Christ, favor, charm, gratitude, and liberality (to name a few).
Accepting God’s grace liberates you from sin!
It’s not what I can do, but what He can do. Knowing that and owning that is one of the most freeing and motivating realizations there is.
Receiving God’s grace deposited in to our hearts influences our actions. Not the other way around.
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”- Ephesians 2:10 NKJV
We could all use a little more grace today!
Seeking God first by reading His word and meditating on His goodness will organically transform my life.
“I will also meditate on all Your work, And talk of Your deeds.”-Psalms 77:12 NKJV
So as a person thinks, they speak, and so as they speak, they are.
Accepting God’s grace in your heart will move you from a place of “I need to” to “I want to“.
F R E E D O M
I’m going to stop trying to be a Christian and just be a person actively pursuing my Jesus through the valleys and mountaintops, the stumbles and the victories.
I am going to be Lacey living in God’s grace.
(My sister creeping on me and my daughter at the playgroup)
• Greek meaning of ‘grace’:
“Grace.” Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance: New American Standard Bible, updated ed., Lockman Foundation, 1995. Bible Hub: Search, Read, Study the Bible in Many Languages., http://biblehub.com/greek/5485.htm .