If you’ve spent any time around me in the last year, you know I’ve been learning a lot about grace. While I’m confident I’ll never fully comprehend this invaluable gift from my LORD, the bits of understanding I gather from one life experience to the next brings me more and more freedom.
And I want you to experience an ever-growing freedom as well. Grace is essential for joy, hope, and a meaningful life. It’s deep, but it’s also present in the simple things. I don’t know about you, but sometimes, the simple things are the most tricky for me to claim grace over.
I get that my relationship with God is one hundred percent a gift from Him because of His grace. It has nothing to do with what I do or don’t accomplish, yet it seems that I often get stuck in a rut of trying to compensate for my inability to contribute to grace in that area by setting ridiculously high expectations for my day-to-day accomplishments. Then when I fail (which ultimately happens every single time) I spiral into a state of mentally beating myself up. The next thing I know, I’m spending all of my energy focusing on what I’ve failed to do that I’ve forgotten to bask in and share the grace-filled life that God intends for me to live.
I write this because I know I’m not alone in this struggle. I’ve talked to many women who are right there with me in this battle to claim grace in ALL areas of our life. That’s why I’m issuing a challenge. If you relate with what I’m talking about, will you take a stand and begin a change in your life?
At the end of each month, I’m planning to list and share some of the things I’ve accomplished in the span of those days that made it up. They don’t need to be huge accomplishments, although I anticipate that some of them will be.
Going into January, I made an ambitious list of goals I wanted to accomplish in the new year. I believe it’s great to make goals, but I also know that there are times that life happens and I can’t accomplish them in the way I had hoped. Or, as is the case for me this month, I set too many goals to happily live in my current season of life.
I was beginning to feel discouraged about what didn’t get done until God gave me a reminder that His grace is enough for all aspects of my life. He has been good to me and has still enabled me to accomplish some great things this month. That’s something He deserves credit for. It is much more pleasing for Him to hear me utter thanks for His strength and presence rather than listening to me wallow in my self-centered frustration over what I left undone.
That’s why I’m making a list called my “Because of Grace List.” Because of grace, I did accomplish great things, mundane things, good things, happy things.
Do you want to join me? If you have been saved by grace, then let it define you – all of you! Write down some of the things God enabled you to do over the last 31 days. Even if you came short of the goal you set, write down what you finished.
Sickness strikes most all of us this time of year, and it may seem that you weren’t able to get anything done because of that, but I challenge you to think about what you were able to do when you found yourself spending extra time on the couch. Did you have a chance to pray more, spend more time cuddling your child, read a book, catch up on rest, or dream about the future?
If you are taking part in this challenge, don’t just do it quietly. Let’s be in this thing together. I mentioned earlier this month that I joined a community of writers who took on the My 500 Words challenge issued by Jeff Goins. I did something more than I usually do when I decide to participate in challenges. I joined the Facebook group, and that made all of the difference. I love the way that social media enables people with a common goal to encourage each other and stay accountable, so I am working out some way that we can come together to encourage each other in this.
If you’re ready to dive into this Because of Grace List challenge with me, then let’s start a community. Community is what keeps us going when we want to give up on our own, and I while I can make a list by myself, it could more greatly impact my life as well as your life if we have each other. So what do you say? We start right away, but you can jump in at any time. Stay tuned for details, but in the meantime, I’d love to hear from you if you’re joining me.