Thursday, February 03, 2011

Grace on a Thursday


By Thursday of the week I start to mentally list out the things I meant to do that week and didn’t get to. It seems I regularly have a sigh in me on Thursdays for that reason. It is so easy to focus on what I didn’t do, and totally forget about all I did do! Anyone else do this? Right now, I kind of know I did a lot of great things…I just can’t think of any of them.

But I can see the pile of paperwork that didn’t get sorted, the 2010 calendar still on the counter that I didn’t get transcribed onto the 2011 one, the shower that still desperately needs cleaning, and two projects for others that I have not completed.

I don’t clearly remember the teachable moments I took advantage of with my kids, but I recall many times I lost my patience. I no longer feel proud of a day well spent, but still feel guilty for any time wasted. I can even remember thoughts I shouldn't have had and wrong attitudes I indulged for too long.

What IS that? Why does the memory of our successes vanish like a fog, but our mistakes relentlessly prick us? I don’t have the answer to that one. But whenever I feel this way, I know I need one medicine, and that is a huge dose of Grace.

Right at this moment, I’m going to heap up my mistakes.

Dump all the losses and small failures and misspoken words into a big pile.

And what I’m NOT going to say is, “There’s always next week.”

I’m not going to say, “I’ll try harder next time.”

And I’m certainly not going to make excuses, or dismiss the pile, or pretend it all doesn’t really matter. It all matters, and the reason I know is that someone lost His life for that pile.

My pile of mistakes matters so much that someone had to die.

Someone took the punishment for my heap of mistakes, mismanaged emotions, laziness, selfishness and lots of other things. And I can’t let myself wallow in self-pity over the fact that it all matters, that I hurt people and myself. I don’t let a sense of condemnation overwhelm me. But I realize I need Grace.

The response God wants from me is so very simple. He just wants me to accept it. I need Grace. I don’t need to be better or try harder or perform for Him. Grace is a free gift, but I have to receive it.

My arms can only carry one thing: either they are full of my garbage, or they are full of Grace. And I can’t receive Grace until I let go of my garbage.

I’m letting go. Right now. I am walking away from the guilt of the week, the struggle, the stress, the shame.

Bye bye.

I can do that because I’m free. Jesus gives me the freedom to walk away. And that fact makes me bend my chin to my chest, close my eyes, and do another big sigh.

And say Thank you. Thank you.

Praying you too find the courage to let go of your garbage from the week, and welcome Grace on a Thursday.

7 comments:

  1. oh to welcome grace, what a sweet reminder. i needed this tonight as i am laying in bed at almost midnight thinking of all i should have done.

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  2. Yes, I understand, too. I love Matthew 11:30 in the Message:
    "Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly."

    . . . the unforced rhythms of grace . . .
    . . . learn to live freely and lightly . . .

    Ahhhhhhhh . . . .

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  3. "I WANT WHAT SHE'S HAVING ..."

    that's all I gotta say! love this post leslie. love your vulnerability.

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  4. Thank you for this. I definitely feel like this often (even today...I was thinking, oh man, I forgot to go grocery shopping and we need this and this and this...). But, thank God, He showers us with His grace and says, "Don't worry. I've got it."

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  5. I was having an "all I didn't get done and still need to do" kind of evening last night too. I think it is because my hubby finally got home and I could breathe a bit! Thanks for this beautiful reminder!
    Have a happy day!

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  6. absolutely! thank you, Lord, for grace and new mercies every morning.

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