Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Grace on a Thursday: Blind spots

Lately, I'm literally in my house a lot more than I ever have been. Before I had kids, I worked a full-time job. And since having kids, nearly ten years ago, I've been busy with them. As of last month, I have a new set up called They Are In School Until 2 Every. Day.

So in my added time, I've been working harder at keeping my house clean. For many years, I had a bit of hired help, but I've been on my own for the last couple. A few days ago, I was cleaning in my son's bathroom, and noticed something I'd never seen before. There was a faint ring of grime inside his tub, like where the water level would be when full. In fact, it is more tangible than visible, gritty from hard water deposits, dirt, and soap residue.

I've never noticed it. And in that moment, I had a choice to make. Do I feel badly for not being cleaner, shaming myself for negligence? (What a tempting choice for this over-achiever!) Or do I choose grace for myself, knowing that God may very possibly be opening my eyes to this mess simply because I now have the resources to do something about it?

I was instantly aware of Jesus next to me in that moment. Smiling. Saying, "Guess what? This has been here. This dirt. Before, you had too much on your plate to tend to it, so I allowed you a blind spot. And now, since you have the space in your life to handle it, I've gently opened your eyes. Please take care of this new job, okay? Because now you have what it takes."

What grace, I tell you. What kindness to me. Seriously, do you see it? Isn't this the case for many, many other things that we encounter in life? It took this little thing in the bathroom for me to put the pieces together in the bigger picture, to realize this is going on all the time. God allows us blind spots, he covers our eyes to our dirt until He has lovingly, generously equipped us to handle the problem with success!

How do you think we would feel if God let us see everything we were failing at all at once? Can you imagine how overwhelmed we'd be by our sin and our limitations? I can hardly bear the weight of one thing at a time. My shame-meter wants to skyrocket over the bathtub grime. How much more would I feel crushed if He exposed every dark corner of my heart to me? I mean, we're ALL aware that there are closets of brokenness in us that we don't even know about, right? Unhealed injuries and wrong beliefs all awaiting their turns to be brought into His cleansing His careful, appropriate and loving timing.

Two huge encouragements came out of this realization for me. One, that any challenge currently in my life is something God not only knows I can deal with, but has personally equipped me with the resources to succeed. It is agreeing with a lie of Satan to say, "I can't handle this!" or "I can't take it any more!" Those are beliefs our enemy would LOVE for us to agree with, because they are statements of defeat. Perhaps God is not necessarily making the circumstances easier for us because He expects us to lean on Him while we endure.

Second, I have been reminded that having blind spots is part of where God wants me to be. He is patient with my growth, not in any hurry to perfect me all in one week. That is grace, being lavished on my undeserving self every day. Can you imagine how my son or daughter would feel if I wrote out a long list documenting every area of their character and behavior that needed improvement? God would never parent us that way. He has me exactly where He wants me today, and He is fully in charge of where I am to be tomorrow. Who am I to rush ahead of His plans for my growth? Who am I to question how and when I should "be over" this thing or that thing? 

The one phrase coming into my head all the time lately fits here as well: these things take time. And grace is happy to give it to us. Take some for yourself today too. It's free.



  1. Thank you, thank you for these words today. They are ruminating in my heart and mind, and are very much needed.

  2. i love the Spirit in you that spills out on this page.

    God has revealed some blind spots in me these past few weeks. spots i thought i'd given a good thorough scrubbing to... but. i've not given myself grace. i've been living defeated. in the "i can't do this again." i must allow it, me to be brought into His cleansing light, into his blood which purifies me from all my sin.

    thank you, leslie, for listening to the Spirit, then pouring Him on us.

  3. this is for me today, friend.
    thanks so much.

  4. i so needed to read this. thank you.

  5. Thank you so much. How ironic that the very blog post i made today was all about my own mom guilt and being a failure:

    And i needed to read your post on Casey's blog. Thank you. And i so totally agreed/laughed at the photo of you and your son - yes I agree - my son gets the better mom. Round 2 I guess. Thank you! I look forward to your mentoring immensely!

  6. Hi Leslie! I arrived here today via Casey's blog, i read your post on her blog and had a lump in my throat. Then I read this one and felt tears rising. In a really GOOD way though! You are so amazing! I really really needed to read these beautiful words today.

    Thank you so very much.
    I am a new follower and can't wait to read more!

  7. also- read your post on Casey's blog and literally logged off and immediately hunted down a MOPS group. you are so right about that, i think.

  8. Hey Leslie!
    I come to you today from Casey's blog. I absolutely loved what you said about finding a MOPS group or some friends in your same stage of life. I completely agree! Some of my closest friends came to me through MOPS. What a blessing you are! I am a new follower! Thank you for sharing your heart. :)

  9. leslie, you are everywhere today!
    NOW i've just read you on casey's blog and BAM. you are on fire with HIS hope today.

    i don't have any friends here. we have lived here two years and are struggling to find a decent church, much less get to know anyone. people.are.closed. here. me being the opposite of that has really been a tough thing for me as i seek relationships here.
    it has been excellent for our marriage, and maybe this is a friend famine season for me. trusting jesus and asking for wisdom on new places to look for pals;)

    AND praising jesus for my darling, edifying blog community. truly y'all have been a balm to my lonely soul these last months.


  10. i wish i didn't see the ring of grime around the tub... haha! but seriously, i know what you mean. He is gentle and patient to reveal the next thing that we need to address in our yucky hearts. taking a big portion of grace today, since it's free :)

    PS i am in love with the mentoring thing going on with you and casey! and so glad that we get to read you here AND there! you really are a wealth of wisdom and i am profoundly grateful for the things i've learned from you. i'd say, though we haven't formally named it, you are definitely a mentor to me. i'm so thankful for you!

  11. Hey! I'm here today from Casey's blog. Your post was very inspirational. I very much wish I had a group of mommies to hang out with it and talk with it. Maybe I will one day!

    I'm becoming a follower of your blog, because I'm pretty sure from just reading your guest post i'm going to love reading your posts!

  12. I love your post on Casey's blog. We are entering that next phase of parenting. Looking back at the time when we had babies, I wish I had reached out to other moms more than I did. I love my MOPS group now and I can't believe what a huge place of friendship it has become for me. Thanks for another wise and heartfelt post, Leslie.

  13. Hi Leslie,
    I just read your post on Casey's blog. Thanks for sharing. I often feel like a failure- sometimes its because I make myself believe that and sometimes its because others make me believe so. I am desperate for friendships with other moms, but I struggle with finding least in the way I want. Thanks for your words!

  14. it is so humbling and awesome at the same time to KNOW that He 'covers our eyes to our dirt until He has lovingly, generously equipped us to handle the problem with success.' oh, my! that speaks volumes to my heart today. thank you so much!

  15. Hi Leslie... I jumped over from Casey's blog :)

    I just wanted to say that from the whole TWO posts I've read, I have been blessed... to say the least. Thank you for your willingness to share your heart. I just may become a regular around here :)

    Thank you Jesus for the grace to not show me every dirty corner of my home or my heart... :)

  16. I needed to read this. A friend recommended this blog to me. I recently gave up working full time to parent full time. The ladder of which is the harder of the two, by leaps and bounds. And these past few months I feel like I have struggled with seeing things around me that need to be taken care of, on top of raising to kiddo's and I felt like I was punishing myself and believing the lie that "I can't do this."

    Thank you for your words. It is encouraging to know that other sisters are going through the same thing and finding victory.


  17. Leslie! I am so glad I came to your blog! I read Casey's blog so I traveled over here. Before I read today's post I went to your marriage section because really, that's where I need the most wisdom right now. I just read the Introduction post and man...I am thankful for the things you said! I'd never thought of it that way before - to pray for God to make the rough places smooth. What a blessing your words are to me and I don't even know you. And about today's post...I was parented that way, with a long list of things to change, constantly. God is so patient, so loving, so tender in the way he handles our weakness. The Enemy has shown me everything at once, over and over again, but I had never thought of that that way either! So yeah, this is good, thank you! I've been a long time reader of blogs but actually just created mine THIS morning. If not now then when right? :)

    (I don't know how to link my blog with my name, dang it. It's

  18. Dropping by from Casey's blog. Thank you so much for your words of encouragement and for reminding us that we don't have to be perfect to be a great mom.

  19. I know I'm totally late to comment on your guest post on Casey Wiegand's page, but man, you seriously spoke to me with that one! I fully believe that functioning within a community is how God intends us to grow, and I appreciate you putting that into words so eloquently! Anyway, amazing! I'm your newest follower!