How to Lead a Grace-Filled Life
Grace. A five letter word that packs a punch.
It’s learning to live in the midst of imperfections. Scratch that. It’s learning to celebrate the imperfections. It’s knowing that you, yourself, are worthy of love regardless of what circumstances say.
We’ve all been there before: planning on waking up early to catch up on reading or the work out we’ve missed (all week), but hitting snooze five times instead. Arriving to work late with an outfit that doesn’t quite match because the morning just got the best of us. Being a little too quick with unkind words when our significant other asks “what’s the matter.” I think we can all agree that we need grace. We are humans. We make mistakes. We come up short.. again and again. Grace is this magical factor that allows us to be fully loved despite the mess. Grace is not an excuse to not show up or be your best self, rather, it allows you to walk on the scene without holding your weaknesses against you. Grace is allowing yourself to receive love even when love is the last thing you think you deserve.
Maybe that strikes something deep in you and it feels like grace is too easy.
That feeling of needing to earn it rises up angrily in the pit of your stomach. “Grace can’t be mine! I don’t deserve it. I’ve done every thing except earn it.” The truth is… what we aren’t saying but feeling is the need to punish ourselves for our slip ups. No one consciously thinks, “I am going to negatively talk to myself for the next hour and then I will feel justified! Then I will feel as if I’ve made up for it.” That would be absurd. Yet, here we are... doing that exact thing.
Sisters, I get it. Oh, how I wish I didn’t do that same thing, but I do. Too often. And all it has ever done is lead me to burn out. Can you relate?
Perfectionism has never been a one-way road to success. It has many stops: anxiety, frustration, and a downhill road that only leads to quitting. But I promise there is a way out. I like to think of grace as the pick-up truck that arrives when you’ve hit too many potholes on Perfectionist Way and are in dire need of an escape. Grace gives you a seat in the car, a shoulder to cry on, and says, “I’m so proud of you. Let’s get some new tires free of charge and try a different route.”
Grace has many faces:
A friend who calls out of the blue just to see how you’re doing.
A co-worker who covers your shift last minute.
A boss that understands late mornings & traffic.
A significant other who knows we all deserve to have a bad day (or week, girl, it happens).
Grace can also look just like us.
Some practical ways to allow grace to move in your life:
1| Work on your self-talk.
In the midst of chaos: take a deep breath, brush off your shoulders, and stop negative self-talk in it’s track. Whether this looks like apologizing to yourself or letting yourself know that it isn’t as big of deal as you think.
2| Have grace for others in your life.
Be that significant other, friend, or co-worker that allows others to have grace as well. Often, those who are very critical of themselves are also very critical of others.
3| Sometimes laughter is the best medicine.
Laugh. Yes, laugh! When you’re white knuckling your steering wheel and clenching your teeth because the car in front of you is going five under and you’re already late… laugh. When you’re morning is chaotic and your child decides to throw all their breakfast off the table… laugh. Research shows that laughing actually releases endorphins which help relieve pain.
4| Hey girl, it's okay to not be okay all the time.
Allow yourself to not have it all together. We all need an ugly cry every so often. Let loose. You’re covered. It will also show those around you that its okay to not be okay all the time.
Sisters, it’s time to be authentic.
It’s time to allow our imperfections to be the most loved parts about ourselves. Allow grace to have a key to your home. Who knows.. maybe grace will be waiting downstairs with a glass of wine and a listening ear to how your day was.
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How do you give yourself grace? What are some reminders you like to live by? Share with us below!
About the Author:
Although she originally calls the Midwest home, you can find Joelle in Northern California where she currently studies ministry at Bethel Church. Most days you can catch her either writing, picking flowers, or searching for what’s new at Target. She's a firm believer that there’s not much a cup of coffee and a nap can’t fix. Joelle has a passion to see women living fully alive in who they were created to be and hopes to continue empowering women to live out their dreams fearlessly.
Visit Joelle Ballweg over on her Instagram!