This year I'm focusing on receiving grace. I'm not sure how to explain what this will look like or mean to me. But I am confident that giving grace to myself will be a good thing.
I am quick to beat myself up.
I expect to be perfect and am disappointed when I'm not.
I am my biggest critic.
I am not a fan of myself.
These are characteristics I believe need to change. God created me. And he doesn't make mistakes.
I believe this word has been brought to my attention, because it's something I lack. I tend to be a high-performing, goal-driven, perfectionist. If something doesn't go as I planned, my first instinct is to start analyzing what I did wrong and why.
Take cooking for example. As I prepare my meal, I'm improvising and modifying the recipe. I tend to do this when I make a new recipe. As I add a pinch of this and a dash of that, I begin to think, what have I done? What if this doesn't taste good? Panic. I'm serving this to guests. What will they think of me?
As I place the food on the table, I preface with, "This might not be okay because of ____." I think preparing them for a flop might make the imperfection less glaring or bring less damage to my reputation. Forks picks up the food. The arm draws it to the mouth. Expressions are studied carefully. "Wow, this is very good." I breath a sigh of relief.
My mind has been made up. I will give myself the room I need to learn from things going differently than I planned. I will extend mercy to myself. I will bring charm and seemingly effortless beauty to my own heart and troubled mind.
I will accept the state of being protected by God. I am learning I have pleasing characteristics and qualities. And maybe, as I learn to accept my own failures and setbacks, I can show you more grace and love. For isn't that the nature of our kind and loving Father? The compassion and mercy God has given me. Now that is something I can courteously accept.
For it is by grace I have been saved, through faith (belief/trust) and this is not from myself, it is the gift of God-- not by works, so thtat I cannot boast. For I am God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for me to do. - Ephesians 2:8-10 (NIV, personalization added)
This means faith comes first. God doesn't need or expect me to work for him. I only respond to what he has already done. He doesn't have a "You owe me because..." list.
For God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us - Romans 5:8, NIV
Are you focusing on a specific word this year?
*Isn't the Grace graphic pretty? Melanie made it for me as a gift!