I have gratefulness and grace on my mind this morning.
It is Thanksgiving week, the time we set aside to honor our lives and all that we have to be grateful for. Grace is also very present in my thoughts this week due to the testimonies given by our church confirmands this past Sunday. (and what an awesome job they did!) Nearly every testimony given by our soon-to-be newest members of the church mentioned grace and how they have come to know the definition of grace in their young lives. They've got me thinking about my experience with grace.
Grace is one of those things that is always present, accessible for us. It's one of those tools in our life toolbox that should really show the wear, like our favorite hammer that by now is worn to the shape of our own hand and maybe has a piece of duct tape or two keeping it all together.
At any moment we can choose to extend or receive grace. Often, like many good things in life, those moments come when we least expect it or feel we least deserve it. If you read my newsletter last week, I wrote a little about the cycles we experience or get caught in emotionally. I believe cycles are the natural rhythm of movement in all of life, and what we feed or put into our cycle is what we will get out of it the most. Of course most of us think of others first and what we put into helping and serving and forgiving or extending grace to them. But, what about what we feed ourselves? I am reminded through my own life experiences of feeling exhausted or overextended or overwhelmed to extend and receive more grace.
Extend more grace to myself.
Stop expecting so much from me.
Again, like when I allow myself more time (even just a smidge), suddenly I find reserves of energy I never even knew I had. The same goes for grace and love, extend them to yourself just as you would your babies (human or the fur kind ;) ). When I choose to do this for myself, I am able to do it for others freely, subconsciously even, habitually.
Grace is truly one of the greatest gifts of life. And like all the good stuff...the more you give, the more you are able to receive, especially from yourself.