The Struggle with Grace

It’s great to receive favour when it feels like it I deserve it. It’s difficult to receive it when I’ve fallen below expectations. It’s nearly impossible to give it when I feel it’s undeserved. Yes, I’m a mother. Yes, I’m a wife. Yes, I love my family. Yes, I’m committed to my friends. Yes, I’m a team player. Yes I know kids will be kids. Yes, I know we’re all human and make mistakes. No, I don’t find it easy to deal with mistakes. I struggle with grace.

However, I am finding that offence impedes my quest to flourish. Therefore, I am on a journey to be at peace with grace. To breathe it in and breathe it out. To let it seep deep into my skin until I become fragrant with grace. To surrender myself to grace and release others to grace. Grace is the parachute that catches me when I fall.

                                                      [Background photo: Flickr. Text: aquesttoflourish.com]

Here are the practical steps I’m taking on this journey:

  1. Being Intentional – Every morning I wake up, I make a conscious decision to choose grace. I say to myself, “I will be slow to take offence today and I will abound in grace “.
  2. Choosing to Overlook – I am becoming aware of when I am getting offended and I am learning to make the choice to overlook the offence. Most times, whoever it is that is involved in the situation is not setting out to irritate me. I am choosing to get irritated.
  3. Changing my thoughts  – I get offended because I may have set expectations that someone has not met. Many times, these expectations are not actually fair if I try to be honest with myself. Mentally releasing people from these expectations usually helps me be more graceful.
  4. Being Accountable – I tell my kids that I intend to be more patient today. When I get upset, you bet that they hold to account. Sometimes, I wonder if they go out of their way to be naughty just to try my ‘patience’. But I know better.
  5. Requesting Feedback – I check in with my family to know how I am progressing. Sometimes, I ask my husband and you can be sure that he will be honest with me. I choose to approach such discussions with an open mind as it is easy to be defensive when I feel I had a moral ground for some actions.
  6. Re-evaluating Progress – During my quiet moments, I try to re-evaluate how my day went and where I failed in my resolve. When I find the reason for the lapses, I know I have to make adjustments. For example, I find it harder to be patient when I am tired or when the kids are tired. Bring on a combination of both and see me fall flat on my face. So if I’m going shopping with the kids, some extra planning can go a long way to creating a nice atmosphere that encourages me to overlook silly and childish behaviour. Such planning include taking the 18mth old’s milk and spare nappies, bringing snacks and drinks for the older kids and taking breaks so that they can have some small play between destinations.
  7. Making the battlelines clear – You know how they say we should pick our battles. Well, while I am working on learning how to overlook a lot of things, which falls into choosing my battles, I also like to be clear on where the boundaries lie. That way, people know what is a definite ‘NO-NO’ with me.
  8. Ask for help – I can’t do it all by myself. Even supermoms need help ALWAYS. I ask for help as it saves me building up a mental expectation that doesn’t get fulfilled because no one knew I needed help. I ask for help because it creates an opportunity for someone to show me some grace when I need it. I also ask God for help because most times I feel like I have no idea what I’m doing.

How about you? Do you find it easy to be patient or do you struggle with grace?

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