Friday, June 10, 2011

pressing on (what is graceful?).

 {Audrey, found via Pinterest}

When I turned 25, I said I wanted to be more graceful.

Not the Audrey Hepburn, never-trip-down-the-stairs-again kind of graceful (though, hey, that would be nice!), but the when-you-see-me-you-see-Jesus kind of graceful.

I’m not quite sure how I’m doing.

Some days, I feel great. I bestow smiles, don’t say curse words under my breath, and remain generally pleasant throughout the day. I give my goods to the poor, I respond to friends’ needs and emails in a timely manner, and I open up my home and feed people tacos.

But other days, I stub my toe, and the dog pees in my carpet. There’s nothing to eat in the refrigerator, and our calendar is so full of commitments that I can’t see straight. I feel like my gifts are going unused and that people let me down. I get my feelings hurt. I want to quit church.

And I just want God to come down here and help me while I struggle with difficult people.

Then I realize: I am, by definition, a difficult person.

And guess what? God loves me anyway.

I am also, by definition, redeemed. My calling is higher. My calling is love.

And so real grace, then, is loving my dog even when she pees in the carpet.

Real grace is joyfully making something out of nothing.

Real grace is accepting and following through on the commitments we have made… and not wearing our commitment as badges of honor when others don’t follow through.

Real grace is forgiving others when they hurt me, even if they do not ask for that forgiveness.

Real grace is keeping my mouth shut and focusing on the Kingdom.

Real grace is loving the unlovely, even when the unlovely sit next to you in church.

Here’s the thing: It’s easier to be graceful on some days than others.

Some days, we’ll fail.

But I think that maybe a truly grace-filled life is living through the tears and frustrations. It’s extending love and forgiveness even when it’s painful. It’s being like Jesus. It’s muddling through. It’s pressing on.

I think we’re going somewhere.
We’re on to something good here.
Out of mind, out of state.
Trying to keep my head on straight.
I think we’re going somewhere.
We’re on to something good here.
Adversity, we get around it.
Searched for joy, in You I found it.
I think we're going somewhere.
We’re on to something good here, and we’re gonna make it after all.

- "Pressing On," by Relient K

3 comments:

Sabrina said...

Happy Friday Annie:) It is a type of wonder, this search for grace and to be grace. Like you mentioned it has up and down moments. I am finding though that my heart and mind are the battlefields where grace often gets trampled. Once I get those under control and more God focused the grace can blossom. Should be easy right? Not so sure....26 years in my case, is a long time to have held on to some heart and mind habits that I need to release.

Hannah Katy said...

When you see me you see Jesus kind of Graceful... could have you worded that even more perfectly?

I loved everything about this post, you really pinned my own struggles to a page. Thanks so much.

mackieandryan said...

Thank you for your post! Something I definitely need to focus on more.