Exercising grace. Sometimes it's ridiculously difficult, especially when you find you need to exercise it toward yourself, do you know what I mean? There are times when I find it so much easier to extend grace to someone else for their faults and failures than I do to myself, but it's such a double-standard. God's grace to me is just as effective and just as much a gift as it is to anyone else, so why do I hold myself to a higher standard than that to which I hold others? Is it some sort of backwards pride? An "I'm better than you, so I have to act like it" thing? Dear Lord, I hope not... but the fact is, I am a perfectionist, and I want to do, think, and say everything right all the time, and never fail... (which sounds ridiculous when you put it like that, but there it is...)
And I'm really lousy at it. In fact, you could term it... (feigned gasp) failure....
Lord, have mercy. And please make me more like You. Amen.
I've found myself with a lot of head chatter this week. I think a lot (you've probably noticed that by now) and there's usually something (or many things) flow-charting in my head - but there are times when pretty much all you can term it is "chatter" - an endless stream of negative self-talk that does no good, and nine times out of ten turns out to be a pack of lies from the pit of hell... And it's so easy to get discouraged by that sometimes.
But God, in his mercy, has been really cool about helping me to notice more quickly of late when it is that I'm starting to get caught up in that sort of mind-set and the emotional tangle that comes with it... and I've got a new tactic that helps me to laugh it off a bit. I have a very young friend who cannot say her "st" sound yet, so when she says "stop!" it comes out "pop!" (It totally cracks me up.) A few weeks ago, she actually said it to me about something, and I looked back at her in astonishment and said, without thinking, "No, you pop!" And we both started laughing, and now it's a joke... but sometimes, when I find myself getting all internally angsty, I will take a deep breath and tell myself to "Just pop!" And it makes me smile, every time. Which is a very good start to being far less angsty... (yay!)