Give yourself Some Grace

I questioned myself. Why had I rescheduled my test for Friday morning? Sure, I had been ready Monday, and the IT issues were completely out of my control, but I knew I would be exhausted.

I was right. I was physically, mentally, and emotionally wiped out by Thursday night. A million worries traveled through the highway of thoughts in my brain as I tried to sleep. I settled myself with prayer praying through Philippians 4:6 and finally found peaceful sleep.

I woke up, had my coffee, reviewed my flashcards, and took a deep breath. This was it. As I prayed during my drive, I tried to recenter my focus. God was, is, has always been in control.

Well, no IT issues this time. I took advantage of every last second allotted for my test. Some questions were tough. I prayed several times throughout. When it was done, I took the papers from the proctor. They are handed to you facedown. I carried them that way and promptly stuffed them under my planner in my car.

I couldn’t bring myself to look at them.

Fear.

I wanted something tangible to bring me comfort. It was damp and raining. I drove to Starbucks and carried my overpriced comfort in a cup to my car. I drove down the street to a plaza full of restaurants, cafes, and stores and parked way out away from other cars.

I looked at those papers. What was I afraid of? Why was I being so dramatic? Fear of failing? Letting myself down? Letting others down? Financial worries of having to pay to test again?

My gaze fixed on the raindrops on my windshield.

Grace.

Sometimes, the hardest form of grace to extend is to ourselves.

So, I prayed. I prayed that I would be willing to accept whatever those papers said…pass or fail. I prayed that I would trust God no matter what. I prayed that I would believe His hand was in this.

With a deep breath, I opened the folded papers.

Passed. Passed.

The flood of tears immediately poured. Relief. Joy. Expectancy. Confirmation. Exhaustion.

But, most of all, the realization that I am growing in my trust in Him. I really was prepared for whatever those papers said.

Grace in every day places and spaces. Sometimes, it is to ourselves that we must extend grace to.

Give yourself some grace today.

#write31days #grace

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Words of Gratitude

As I have been sharing lately, my life is a little intense right now. I am in the middle of a training of sorts towards where I feel called-long term care administration.

This particular season in my life leaves little time for writing, but I have been trying to squeeze in what I can.

Thursday after work, a box greeted me.

With the busyness of my life, I had forgotten this was coming. Inside were ten copies of the Chicken Soup for the Soul edition honoring mothers. Of the 101 stories, I have the humbling privilege to have my story be one of those.

As exciting as it is to have your story be published, this particular story touches me very personally. It is a tribute I wrote to my son’s birth mother. I feel such a deep sense of gratitude towards her for the beautiful gift I have been blessed with of raising my son.

If you have a chance to purchase the book (what a great Mother’s Day idea), I hope you will take a few moments to read my heartfelt words. The book releases March 20th.

The love of a mother takes many forms and sometimes, it is the greatest sacrifice of recognizing that you cannot provide your child with the life you feel he or she deserves. For this great sacrifice, I am forever grateful to call her son, my precious son.

The Gift of GraceĀ 

When my daughter was about 7, we took a snowy road trip to the huge library in the nearby city. I wanted to hear three authors present on writing, and my husband and daughter decided to use the time to explore the city Library.

I left that presentation encouraged to attend the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) conference that next year. My husband, always one for adventure, agreed, and our family boarded a plane in September for Dallas, Texas. While he and our daughter explored the city, I attended the conference. I’m not sure if I would advise having your very first writing conference be one of such enormity. I remember feeling so very overwhelmed. I learned how little I actually knew about the craft of writing.

Fast forward several years…I have been to several writing conferences. I have a piece published in a Chicken Soup for the Soul collection, a devotional published in a quarterly church publication, and several news articles in our local newspaper. Still no book of my very own, though.

It’s okay, though.

I am grateful that by the grace of God, I am where I am today and that by the grace of God, those early writings that I thought were so good never were published!!

Writing is not a sprint but a marathon. Yes, I need to set attainable writing goals. I need to write. I have realized that the goal of my writing is so much less about being published and so much more about my obedience in sharing what God has laid on heart. 

I am grateful for His grace in helping me nurture my gift over time. His timing is perfect.

Where have you experienced the gift of His grace in your life this week?