Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Happy New Year, Be Gracious To Yourself

Happy 2013!
Are you like me?  Do you face the new year with some trepidation?  Maybe it's just me, but I hesitate to make goals and resolutions because, well, I am afraid I will disappoint myself.  I know. I need therapy.  But seriously, I want this year to be GOOD and when I put artificial carrots out there, and I fail to achieve them, well, it can be disappointing.

That's when I recognize that I probably need to go to God about it. Let's dive right in.

2 Corinthians 12: 7-
"...Therefore, so that I would not exalt myself, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger[a] of Satan to torment me so I would not exalt myself. Concerning this, I pleaded with the Lord three times to take it away from me. But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power[b] is perfected in weakness.” Therefore, I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may reside in me. 10 So I take pleasure in weaknesses, insults, catastrophes, persecutions, and in pressures, because of Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong."

God wants me to be my best.  But, does he look down on you and I with a disapproving eye when we fail?  No. Of course not. God knows we will fail!  It's us that think we won't!  (LOL!)  He looks down on us, and quietly reminds us: "Child, I still love you. Don't quit."

I need that desperately.  As a Type A personality, I am hard on myself and I am hard on others as a result. If you are like me, you know who you are. Raise the bar, achieve, fail, feel bad...your confidence and self esteem is too closely entwined with productivity/achievement/success.   

But, gratefully, we have a God who isn't like that.  If he was, he would have given up on us a long time ago.

The same reminder applies to homeschooling. 

There was a three week stint where I had to work a long week, I got sick, then the kids got sick, then Christmas break came. Ask me how much 'actual' school we had during that week and I couldn't tell you. It wasn't much.  And I didn't like it.  I felt it. It gnawed at me.

But I kept reminding myself: Grace.  

Ephesians 2:8-9

For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift— not from works, so that no one can boast. 

Grace through faith. Not grace achieved. Not grace earned. It's a GIFT. 

What do you say when you get a gift?  "Thank you," not, "I don't deserve this" or "I can't take this." 

So, I am going to go ahead and set some new goals...I like to give myself direction. But, if in 2 months, I haven't done it all, be sure to remind me, as I remind you, be gracious to yourself.  God is.


  1. Hi Jenny, Thank you so much for these encouraging words.It was as if I'm looking in the mirror.Like you, I also am type A crazy....always trying to achieve more than the impossible and never happy with the result. But I'm learning this year, God willing to Live in His will.And be who He wants to be , day by day.God keep you gracious to yourself always! And Happy New Year in Christ!!

    1. So glad it speaks to you! Stay strong in GRACE! ;)

  2. Jenny, guess who this is, Yuan, remember we were in a class at CCSU in 2000. Love what you said "children should get dirty."