Okay it’s been a hot minute since I’ve written a post as the holiday hustle has put a wrench in my time management. So, I get to choose: frustration or joy.
The first one comes easy, it’s so easy to choose frustration in life especially when that jerk saw me backing out of my spot, but insists on passing so close that I have to stop and pull back into my spot…grrrr.
So, my kids and I have been working on helping each other choose joy instead… and that’s just not going to happen without some major GRACE.
As we chatted about in the last, oh so long ago blog, Grace is a kindness, granting favor, giving, instead of taking. I can take what I think I deserve, what I’m entitled to, what most normal people would agree is rightfully mine, or I can give.
I can give understanding when I am thinking you did WHAT?!
I can give peace when I feel anxiety or antagonizing creeping in.
I can give kindness instead of that look that wants to come condemningly across my face.
I can give patience, when I really don’t know how I can spare the time, or am faced with a person that is totally not self-aware and/or sigh, has center of the universe syndrome.
Ugh, not easy! It truly is an act of extending grace and favor to those who likely don’t deserve it and often in situations that hit our hot buttons! Am I right!? But as I’ve practiced the action of grace more, I’ve realized that it starts to bend the mind and free the soul from the agony of having to be right, get what’s due, or come unglued. When we can rise above all that is trying and troubling to us and extend grace instead, we start living in this pretty amazing place, a high ground, and it is actually much more fun than grumbling in self-righteousness. It’s like having a secret, that only you and God know, and inside joke at times, a place of inspiration at other times. As I have gotten more intentional about living a grace giving life, my conversations with Jesus have literally been:
“Are you seeing this Jesus?”
“What on earth?!”
…just know they need your grace today, just be willing
Ok…okay…then I will give grace, but you need to show me how
Making the choice to give grace has brought amazing clarity and “walking on water” power to do so, especially when I started with no desire whatsoever. But in order to do that, I have to walk away from the place of self-righteous indignation. Funny thing, when I walk away from indignation it unleashes the peace that passes all understanding, and allows the joy of the LORD to come in like a flood to be my strength. And when we find that place of strength, our ability to give grace becomes so much easier. If you’re like me, you’re going to need to park it here for a bit and let that whole loop sink in: Choosing grace undoes our indignation and allows peace and joy to reign instead. Operating from this high ground becomes so empowering that it starts to become our default rather than a difficult stretch. So, this holiday season as the pressures and schedules press in, and contact with friends, family and strangers rises to an all-time high, let’s take advantage of the increased chance to practice giving grace and receiving peace and joy!
“And God is able to make all grace abound to you, that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed” 2 Cor 9:8