I once read somewhere that:
Grace is not expecting immediate perfection, but allowing progression.
Take a second to think about that. Think about how you treat your husband. Your children. Your friends. Yourself.
In this thing called life, I think “perfection” is something we all want to obtain, to some degree. Pick an area of life that you enjoy devoting your time to – you want to do it well, and do it perfectly. We want to raise our kids perfectly. We want to treat our husbands perfectly. We want to look perfect. We want to be perfect.
But my friend, that is not what God expects. He wouldn’t have sent His only Son, as our Redeemer, if He expected perfection. He knows that we all need GRACE. And need it daily.
So why do we not give ourselves and others more of that grace?
My friend had the opportunity to witness this “beautiful” action by my daughter. Mazy was wanting something and she wasn’t getting it in HER timing, so thwack, a slap across my face. She took her hand, buried it in her chest, and knew she did wrong. My friend was leaving anyways, so I told myself we will deal with the slap across the face in a second. After she left, I took Mazy to her timeout chair (right now it’s simply the recliner in her room), and told her why she was going to sit there. After a few minutes, I walked in, her legs were crossed, and she was just waiting for me. I explained again why she was sitting there, I asked her to say sorry to mommy, (new word for her) and she gave me a big hug.
I know, I know, we are going to have many more moments like this. But when I look back at that, Mazy was getting to her wits end. Why would I expect anything different? Okay, maybe not a slap across the face, but I get that way too. I feel like I’m going to lose it and granted I don’t slap people, but I might lash out in a different way. Like at my husband. I needed to give Mazy some grace and when I do, she will learn to give it back. Someday.
Then there’s the grace we fail to offer ourselves. I am just throwing it out there, but I am assuming most mamas do not have grace when it comes to their bodies. At least I don’t and maybe I’m a select few, I don’t know. I couldn’t WAIT to get pregnant and carry a child. Little did I know the toll it takes on the body. For over a year, after having Mazy, I not only had heart issues, but also chronic back pain, that I just couldn’t seem to kick. At the time I was getting up countless times a night, rocking, and each time, I struggled to sit up because my back hurt. I was going to the chiropractor, and they kept saying I just needed to get my core strength back.
Wait, you’re joking, right? Like I had time for that! I felt like I was just trying to stay alive! Well, he was right. I wasn’t giving my body grace, in realizing it was carrying a child for 9 months. It takes time to literally come back together. It takes effort. And yes, it sometimes takes a whole lotta hard work. But I have to admit, since I’ve given myself some grace and put in a little effort to get some core strength back, I have felt 10x, wait like 20x better. Give yourself a little grace. Allow yourself progression, not perfection!
It is so easy to look at ourselves, at our children, at our husbands, or even our friends, and expect everyone to just be perfect or for everyone to understand. We don’t allow for progression. We expect perfection. Always.
But that is NOT grace. That is not the grace that Christ came to give us. The very grace that Christ lovingly handed to us, by dying for us. THAT is what grace looks like.
Let’s give out grace like it’s never been given before. Can you imagine the joy, the kindness, the gentleness, and the love, that our world would feel if we just allowed progression and not perfection?