Learning Grace

It’s been a tiring couple of weeks.

I’ve finished some classes I’ve been taking, which is great, but they’ve been at the expense of my housework and regular meals.

Some days it feels like they’ve been at the expense of my kids.

It seems when mom or dad are extra busy, little people’s behaviors get out of whack. It’s probably part lack of routine and part boredom, but regardless we have all been having meltdowns. Frustrations. And exhaustion.

This is by no means in the top difficulties I’ve faced – it’s actually just a pretty normal life season – but it has had me thinking about rough patches. How we perceive them. And how we use them.

My fuse is shorter these past weeks, and whenever that happens, the natural thought process for me seems to be, “Why can’t I handle as much as ‘regular’ people?”
Maybe that’s a laughable statement to you, but do you ever find yourself looking around and thinking,

How does Barbara So-and-So work full time and still make home-cooked meals?”

How does that playgroup mom homeschool five girls and still have time to braid all of their hair every morning?”

How does my best friend, cousin, sister-in-law have such a strong marriage, such a clean house, and such perfect eyebrows even though they have obvious challenges that I don’t?”

“Why can’t I get it together?”

“Why can’t I handle what I’m ‘supposed’ to?”

Sometimes life just feels like too much, and you feel like you’re failing. Like you’re weaker than the rest. More easily crushed.
And the truth is, there is always someone out there who has it harder, and who is seeming to handle it all with more grace than you can muster.

But I have realized one thing.

Grace is learned during challenges. Not in the absence of them.

If I’m facing a hard day, rather than despairing, what if I view it as an opportunity to grow?

All that takes is a little tweak in perspective (okay, or a total overhaul, but regardless, it’s a mental exercise we can all manage to learn if we want to).

If you want to acquire a little more peace, and give Zen Hippy Cindy a run for her money, why not start looking at those rough days as a chance to do something different?

You want to hear what a really wise, old book has to say on this topic ?

“We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭5:3-4 NLT

What that tells me, is that everyone goes through stuff. And that the “stuff” is not a reason to despair. What I believe is that
1) Our perception of people according to what we see is often off. You don’t know who’s struggling and where they feel they don’t have it together.
And, 2) IF Jenny seems to have more peace and patience than you, it’s quite likely she learned that the hard way. She probably had a period where it all felt like “too much” and her choices were to either wallow in her misery, or to use each tough day as an opportunity to grow – to find contentment IN THE MIDST of challenging circumstances.

The good news for me is, regardless of the size of the trial I’m in, I can do the same if I choose.

Maybe that’s good news for you, too.

Michelle Mattison
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2 thoughts on “Learning Grace

  1. Julia says:

    Yesss to all of this. I have been relearning how much comparison is a tool the devil uses so much to steal my contentment. Not today! Thanks for these needed reminders.

    • Patti White says:

      LOVED this,Michelle!! It’s so true!! Grace really can be “learned” during the hard times,(if we remember to tweak our perspective,as you said)and hard times really can help us to mature and to grow and growing honestly just hurts,doesn’t it? It makes us uncomfortable and it stretches us….and sometimes I honestly just hate the whole process of it and I want to stomp my feet and refuse to be molded any further but looking back at my life…I can see progress. I see change for the better and then I realize that I hope I never stop growing….even if it’s painful in the moment.

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