04 December 2012

Asking for Grace and Motivation

I’m sitting in my completely silent house – which is surprisingly noisy.  There are these birds outside – loud birds.  Must be hundreds of them – all enjoying this late fall rain.  I just finished exercising but I have to admit that I did it only because Brad asked me to.  He said it would help my day start out on the right foot.  He asked me to because I asked him to ask me.  I like to exercise, but I also find myself distracted with the busyness of my day – kids, food, laundry – not to mention work, design, editing – all those little things that eat up a day. 

Regardless, I asked him to help me remember this too is important.  And, you know what?  He did.  He asked me and so I did – even though {honestly} I didn’t want to .  But who wants to go back and say, naaa, I just didn’t.  It’s amazing what accountability can do!

Speaking of accountability – I joined an social media accountability group to help me prioritize eating well, working out, and even drinking enough water!  Sounds crazy – but as a mere human I find that I do better with accountability.  On the other hand I got sick a bit ago and missed two weeks of the accountability – and with my all or nothing personality I wanted to quit.  I really wanted to just give up – but I have an amazing husband.  He encouraged and also challenged me – and well, I’m back up on this horse!

As I move in various social circles I am amazed to hear a couple of different things this Holiday season.  One is that many people have become more away of the joy in giving and NOT receiving.  Times when silly Santa gifts were once taken have now changed to times when money is gathered and sent to such deserving organizations to “buy” gifts for other people.  I have missed much of my prayer group meetings over the last few months.  But this morning I was delighted to find that they had gathered money to buy chickens and goats for families across the world.  What a joy! My father received the gift of giving rabbit’s and chickens to families across the world from my girls two Christmases ago.  The girls loved picking out Papa J’s gift and knowing it was helping a special family.

Secondly, I hear people struggling with GRACE.  Grace for themselves, grace for others.  Because of the lack of grace we find disappointment difficult to manage.  This seems to compound during the Christmas season.  Perhaps it is the busyness and all the “extras” we are fitting into our already over crowded schedules.  We can become bitter, tired, and angry.  We don’t work out of love – but out of a twisted version of what God wants for us.  When I struggle with grace I don’t give myself the ability to make mistakes and continue on.  I get frustrated and quite!  What do you do when you find yourself needing grace?  I’m not sure why I find it much harder to have grace for myself than for others.  Regardless, there are times I need to have grace for myself as well.  Brad is amazing at helping me see this.  He helps me see myself through the eyes of God.  Loved and safe and given permission to make a mistake and keep going.

So, although most people don’t discuss exercise and such until January; I am thinking of it today.  Today is a great day to start taking care of the inner you again.  Giving yourself permission to start over, to have Grace, and to know you are loved.  I’m thankful for my husband and my friends who provide accountability and kindness.  So, here’s to today – a day to work hard and to put other’s first!  To find grace for myself, so that I can find it for others. 


"Grace, grace, God's grace,
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within.
Grace, grace, God's grace,
Grace that is greater than all our sin."
~Julia Johnston and Daniel Towner