Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Empower: Give Yourself Grace

(some flowers to cheer you)

Last week I began a series that I am calling Empower: You Can Do It, and I talked about how I can feel overwhelmed with all the clutter and messiness of my house. There have been times when I would think to myself,

What's the use? How could doing one small thing make any difference? I will never get to the end of it.

So I would ignore it and go do something else like art, reading, writing, going outside, taking photographs – anything to get my mind off the seemingly insurmountable job.

I decided that I was tired of it and something had to be done. Maybe part of it is my #oneword365 for this year – intentional – that helped me realize if anything was going to be done about the clutter I would have to be intentional about it. 

That's when I decided to make up the wood furniture cleaning/polishing solution. You can read about that in last week's post, and how that one simple job that took only a few minutes really lifted my spirits.

Sometimes, even bigger jobs don't take as long as we think they will once we get started. We are expecting company this weekend, but the room where they will be staying has been neglected for awhile since it isn't slept in very often. I decided my one thing today would be to clean that room.

Of course the cat decided he had to come, too. I'm convinced he thinks he's a dog. He will bring us toys, drop them in front of us and start making a lot of noise. What he wants is for us to throw the toy so he can run after it and bring it back. So while I was picking up trash, trying to toss dirty socks into the clothes hamper across the room, he would run back and forth thinking I was playing with him.

After picking up the floor and clearing off surfaces, I grabbed my trusty furniture polish from last week and took a few minutes to clean the furniture. Then I ran the vacuum and I was done! It probably didn't take more than half an hour, but a lot was accomplished.

Sometimes half the battle is getting started.

What about the days that come and you just don't feel like doing even one small thing? Does that mean you should feel guilty and be miserable all day because you feel like you didn't accomplish anything? No, absolutely not. Some days may be so demanding with your daily routine that when you have a minute what you need to do is rest and just be still.

There is grace for days like that.

Those of us who are mothers have a lot on our plates, especially if there is a newborn involved or toddlers running around. We need to be kind to ourselves.

We don't find our identities in how much we accomplish each day.

I was tired on Monday, and instead of doing lots of work, I sat and read a book most of the day. Truth be told I spent so much time reading it that I stayed up way too late that night finishing it, but I don't feel guilty about it. It's what I needed and was also inspiring.

I read an article over the weekend by Esther Emery entitled A Plea forGrace, and Some Discussion of What Grace Really Is. I want to share a portion of my comment in response to her article here, because I think it's something we all need to be reminded of daily.

There is grace enough for all of us no matter how bad we feel. Grace helps us push back those lies about our identities. Grace shows us we are loved and have been made new even though we may still have triggers and still doubt and still fail. Grace tells us we can get back up again and God is right there with us to lift us up and walk with us.

Please go easy on yourself. Try to find at least one small thing you can do each day to bring encouragement even if it's just taking time to read something. If you don't have time to read something, step outside for a few minutes for a breath of fresh air. If there is not even time for that, just close your eyes for a few seconds, take a few deep breaths and let your body relax for that short time.

Remember there is grace for all.

If you get a chance, go read Esther's article. You will be encouraged.

I'd love to hear from you. Was this article encouraging to you? Are you feeling overwhelmed and need to take a break? I hope you'll take time for yourself today. Read a book, work in an art journal, write, or just take a nap. Know that you are important and there is grace for all.

I'm a little late but am linking up with Lisha Epperson and #GiveMeGrace.
This post is also linked to Kelly Balarie's Cheerleading #RaRaLinkup.

I'd love for you to read more in my Empower: You Can Do It series.

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