That’s a word that runs through my head most days. Give them grace, look at life with grace, and even give myself grace. Grace, it’s so easy to say, and yet so hard often times to execute. As a writer, I aim to temper my words with grace – so that this site is a place of hope, motivation, and encouragement.
As a mother, I’ve found I need to do the same.
Live a life with grace. Live a life where I seek to understand before I judge.
The deal is often I have an agenda – that list of things to do, places to go, my own opinions, and tasks to accomplish – that I am focused on completing. Then when real life happens, also known as the preschooler deciding that not one of his outfit selections that I gave him like we’re told to do so that we avoid the outfit battle is the right one and as a result I’m late, the last thing I feels is grace. I feel like not seeking to understand, and pushing my agenda, and getting frustrated. Then I get annoyed over little things that all of a sudden feel like big things and all of a sudden I’m mad that the kitchen has a messy counter when fifteen minutes prior I was looking at it loving the little things like the gift of kids who put their used cups on the counter.
I needed grace.
As women we have the gift to extend grace as well to others.
Not jumping to judging, but rather giving the benefit of the doubt. I’ve seen it online – this judging of others – via facebook, or blogposts, or twitter – and honestly all it does, in my opinion, is not build relationships but rather tears down. On both sides. It’s easier to judge and harder to extend grace. So just as with my children I’ve learned often to step back, to count to ten, and to be more concerned about the heart then my agenda.
I watch my kids – eager, full of ideas, imaginative – and still testing the limits, pushing, looking for boundaries. Parenting is such a balance of grace and limits, understanding and defining, nurturing and letting go. And wrapped over that for them and for you and for me is this blanket of grace.
Seek to understand.
When you’re in that playgroup, online, at church, school, homeschool co-op, youth group, soccer meetings, family dinners, facebook – seek to understand first. Are there places to draw a line? Absolutely yes. But in those gray areas of parenting, and mothering, and being a friend, and in relationships, we need to remember the gift found in grace.
We can be a generation of women with our own strands and agendas or we can forget unraveling and be stronger together.
I’ll ask myself – does dwelling on this or making a statement about this or investing energy in this make a difference in my life today and the hearts of others? If so, then I’ll consider pursuing it. If not, and if it’s about me just making a statement or me just being led by emotions, then I’ll move onward and let it go. Just like in parenting. There are battles to be fought, but not everything needs to be a battle. I tell my children that if they have a list of things they’d like to see changed if they come to me with the whole list then it’s hard to listen, but if they come with their top two things then they’ve picked the battle, prioritized, and then we can move forward.
Do the same.
Where do you need to give others grace? Where do you need to extend grace to your children? Where do you need to extend grace to yourself? Where have you lost seeing grace? Where are you blessed to give grace? See the beauty things in life – the good – the gifts first.
Grace. Don’t run from it. Give it.
A beautiful word, yet often so hard to implement and to remember. My challenge to you? Remember it today. Remember it when you browse the facebook stream, or when you’re at the store observing others, or when you get email, or a phone call, or when your children seem to be pushing every limit possible, or even when you over react. Look at the heart. First.
The gift of grace. The world needs more of it.
And you, and me, together can give it.