Sorry it's been a while...especially to the sweet ladies in my dad's office who like to read my blog posts! :) Yall make my day...keep him in line! :) I babysit around 30 hours a week, wait tables every Saturday, and also have a youth internship which takes up the only remaining day-Sunday-and some random evenings after jobs one and two. So, needless to say...I don't get on the computer much.
Something the Lord has been showing me all summer long after putting it on my heart during the last few months of the school year is GRACE. I have always thought "Grace" was a great name for a daughter because to me, the best definition of grace is God giving you something you don't deserve.
Think about it...a boss may have grace on you when you make a mistake. I know my bosses do in the 2 1/2 years I've been a waitress...I've made a lot of mistakes, but they've been very forgiving! People often associate "graceful" with "elegant," perhaps to describe a person. Grace is a beautiful thing. People beg for grace to be extended to them. The Methodist church says there's 3 types of it: prevenient, justifying, and sanctifying.
I have a hard time believing that people love me. I am super hard on myself and so unforgiving when I mess up. I am always trying to buy and earn peoples' love...even people who I should know will always love me, like God and my mom and people who have been in my life unfailingly.
But, God gets me every time.
One of my favorite things about Him is that He loves me when I don't love myself. On the nights where I have nothing to offer Him but my tears, He takes them and turns them into healing and growth. When I am so ashamed and don't want to talk to anyone, don't even want to speak the circumstance or what I've done aloud...the Lord lovingly comes in, smooths my ruffled feathers, and reminds me time and time again that I don't have to be anything on my own. My competency comes from Him (2 Corinthians 3:5).
THIS is what gets me. I don't have to be anything on my own. It sounds so trivial, so dumb...to have been a Christian for 9 1/2 years, to have gone to church and lived in a Christian home for 19 1/2 years, to even work in a church and still struggle with the constant striving that is TOTALLY UNNECESSARY!
But it's hard for me to peel away all the layers of being obsessed with perfection, my constant thought that I have to hold everything together, that I have to be the one to hold it all together, the huge lie that I don't need anyone's help-be it God or anyone else.
Every time, God grabs my heart and reminds me again that I am His. Jesus paid the price. I don't have to live a life filled with religious practices and legalism. I am called to follow Him and to live the best life I can in order to bring people to His Name.
I am not called to be perfect.
May I extend grace to myself and to others just as the Lord has extended so very much of His awesome grace to me.