Yep. We need goals, structure, routines, and high expectations. But, it’s all pointless and self-serving with out this key ingredient–for ourselves and others.

Kids. Don’t they teach us some of our best, most essential lessons?

My middle child, my only son, is currently teaching me about grace. He’s 9, in the 4th grade, and must be having some developmental growth spurt. (read:: prepubescent!!!) Lately, he’s been especially crabby, moody, whiny, and, grrrrr…talking back! 

All of this has led me to being super hard on him. Not all the time. But often enough. Correcting every move, punishing too harshly.

The other day, Mike mentioned to me what a hard time Glendon is having right now. How Glendon feels that people are being unfair to him and he doesn’t understand. Mike said maybe Glendon needs help regulating his emotions, learning how to relate to others in this new stage, and remembering to eat before he gets too hungry.

Oh. Whoops. Time for grace. 

First, I needed to extend grace to my husband. It’s hard to hear from our spouse when we’re a little (or a lot!) off the mark!! Or at least it is for me.

Next, I needed to extend grace to my son. I mean, dealing with hormones, growing pains, and smack dab in the middle of two sisters is not an easy task!

And, finally, I needed to extend grace to myself. Nope. I’m not a perfect mom. But, I sure do love my son and always try my best by him. So, I took a few deep breaths (in that moment, and then repeated for several days afterward. LOL) and tried again.

Opportunities for extending GRACE to ourselves and others abound.

Here’s just a short list of places where GRACE might be needed:

  • Having a clean home
  • Making healthy dinners
  • Having well-behaved children
  • Weight/exercise goals
  • Business/Career goals
  • Expectations of others

Where do you notice you are the harshest critic–either of yourself or of someone else?

John tells us in the very beginning of his gospel, 

From HIS fullness we have all received grace upon grace.
John 1:16

If the GOD who created us and loves us just as we are can heap grace upon grace on us, then certainly we can extend it to ourselves and others.

So, go on. continue to set goals high, reach for the stars, and help those around you to do the same. But, as you’re striving, remember the grace that is given to you from your Heavenly Father and be sure to allow it for yourself and others as well.

I’m going to try my best to do the same.

Read more about grace from Holley Gerth.