Grace is a must for real life.
I shared real life in my previous post regarding a personal moment on the bathroom scale. I had two choices to make that night. I could either tear myself apart with destructive self-talk, or I could “draw a line in the sand,” so to speak, and make the changes necessary to be a healthier me.
I chose the second option. The one that bettered me and honored God.
I was excited to make adjustments to my lifestyle. I had big plans and grandiose intentions. I set out to be the healthiest person around.
— Eating “cleaner” foods, with a balance of proteins and carbohydrates.
— Exercising six days a week.
— Drinking more water.
— Getting at least seven hours of sleep each night.
— Spending time each morning renewing my mind in God’s Word.
Looks like a great plan, right??
But the first time a plate of perfectly golden french fries was set in front of me, my best intentions flew quickly out the window. Along with my willpower.
“Oh. my. goodness. I’ll just taste one. One won’t hurt me.”
(You know how this is going to go, don’t you??)
One led to two, and two to four, and pretty soon, I lost count.
Then there was the day I missed my workout. Defeat engulfed every part of me by day’s end.
“See, you can’t do this.”
I might as well have shriveled up in a corner and stayed there. Forever.
And the morning I neglected my “renewing my mind time.” That was about the last straw.
“Julie, give up. Just let the scale win.”
And for a moment, maybe two, I waved the white flag. This grandiose plan of mine was just too difficult. If I couldn’t stick to it perfectly, I shouldn’t do it at all.
What happened to that girl who chose not to talk with self-destructive words that night on the scale? What happened to becoming healthy and whole? Wasn’t the purpose of this plan to better me and honor God?
I took a step back, took a deep breath, and gave myself some grace.
I looked at it all differently:
The moments I said no to the cake, the queso dip, and the onion rings.
When I pushed through the workouts in victory.
The mornings I started my day in God’s Word.
As I reflected on each little moment, each little positive step, I could see there was positive progress!
Yes! A healthier me was happening! Every small step forward was taking me one step closer to my goal… being healthy! My plan was a guideline. Even if I didn’t follow it flawlessly, following any of it was better than not following it at all.
My plan was perfect, and I gave myself grace to follow it imperfectly.
Could you use little grace today? Are you too hard on yourself, or beating yourself up about something? Could it be you’re seeing only your failures, and forgetting your successes?
What about that kind deed you did yesterday? How about that encouraging word you gave? And that positive step you made toward your goal?
What can you celebrate about you and your life today? It doesn’t have to be perfect to be progress.
Friend, give yourself some grace.
From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another. John 1:16.
You are a work in progress, and God isn’t done with you yet.
Let’s not give up on ourselves. God most certainly won’t.
Linking this post with Holley Gerth for Coffee For Your Heart. Check out her new book You’re Loved No Matter What: Freeing Your Heart From The Need To Be Perfect.
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I can certainly relate to this post. I went for my yearly checkup convinced I had lost 5-10 lbs from the previous year. I’ve been walking and running and watching what I eat more carefully, though not perfectly. Imagine my chagrin when I had lost only 1 1/2 lbs! But some is better than none, right?
Yes! Some is better than none, and that’s something to celebrate! I’m celebrating you today, Elizabeth! So glad you shared. Even though the result wasn’t what you hoped, God isn’t done with you yet. 🙂
In my situation, I’ve had to learn to extend grace…I simply can’t do what I once did, or what I want to do, and now small successes are really worth celebrating.
Cup’s still MORE than half full!
Amen to that, Andrew!! Great perspective. We have much to be thankful for!
Thanks for sharing, I needed this!!
No to cake and queso? You deserve a medal! 🙂
I know what you mean-I seem to give everyone but myself grace.
Yes, Sarah! Everyone but ourselves. I’m with you. May today be a different day. Let’s show ourselves some grace today. Blessings, friend!