We have had some REALLY good days lately. The girls are in such a sweet spot. We’re mobile, they’re getting along, we’re on a schedule (and they can deal with reasonable changes to the schedule,) I’m keeping up with work, I’m being active most days of the week, and our house isn’t a total disaster.
To get here, I’ve had to let some things go.
No part of our dinner last night was homemade (unless you want to count my impressive culinary techniques of “boiling water for pasta,” “microwaving vegetables,” and “opening a jar of pasta sauce” as home cooking). Clean laundry might sit in a hamper for a week. This morning’s Target haul is still sitting in bags, unpacked, while I write this blog post. I ate Zoe’s sandwich leftovers for lunch. I haven’t sat down for a formal Bible study time since Sunday. Zoe excitedly shouted “Clifford!!!” at Barnes and Noble story time yesterday, and I think the other moms thought that she recognized him from the books—but it’s definitely from the show. I blow my coffee budget by one coffee a week every week.
But this is life right now. And I’m writing this while I finish my cup of coffee, before I grade papers, before I put away the Target haul and wash the bottles and clean up from the morning—writing while my heart remembers the scene right before naptime:
I was dancing with my girls—both of them—to “Your Grace Is Enough.”
We probably listened to the song ten times. Each time the song ended, Zoe would just keep dancing like the groove machine she is, saying “more grace! More grace!”, fully expecting that I would play the song again.
Zoe gets it.
I spent so much of my life being afraid of failure. I didn’t make the jump rope team in third grade, and literally never tried out for a sports team again. In junior high, I was on a recreational swim team but I wouldn’t go to meets because the thought of trying my hardest and losing stressed me out too much. I went through struggles in high school and college and hid them way too long. And in 2006, I met the Lord in a place of desperate need and said I guess grace will have to do, because I have no options left.
I was the most reluctant grace recipient ever. Like I GUESS I’ll take it, but man, I WISH I could have earned it. If only You had given me more time before hitting rock bottom, I might have created my own grace and not needed You for it!
I’m so thankful that God grows us over time and not all at once, because 2006 Sarah would have been majorly freaked out by 2014 Sarah with her sometimes stay at home mom, sometimes consultant, sometimes professor, sometimes hands-on and sometimes Clifford-on, “letting some things go to focus on what matters most” instead of “trying to be good at all the things” self.
In the past, I didn’t always apply myself fully because I didn’t want to try my hardest and not be pleased with the results. I thought “grace” was an excuse for not trying.
Now I know that grace is the reason I CAN try.
Grace gives me the freedom to try my hardest and give my all, knowing that any results are up to God anyway and that failure or success don’t define me.
Grace gives me the freedom to stop trying in areas that don’t matter to me, and to focus on where God has called me, trusting that He will make all things work together for my good and that the responsibility of making life work is off of me. Grace is letting go of my need for perfection and letting something better and more lasting define me and guide me.
Grace is dancing through life, living as the me that I was created to be, saying “more grace!”, fully expecting that more grace will come.
Because it will.