"pop!"

HT: ASBO Jesus

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.

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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!)

2 comments:

Cathy H said...

I love "pop!"

A friend of mine lists one of her favorite quotes as "growth begins where blaming ends."

It hit me the other day in a place that I am stuck that the person I was still blaming...was me.

Happy said...

Oh my gosh, isn't it crazy how we do that sometimes? And you know, sometimes things really *are* our fault - but I love the prayer I read once in Madeleine L'Engle's The Love Letters - this nun was praying, and she came to the Lord to confess her sin, and the words that stuck with me were "through my own fault, my own most grievous fault" - and what I love about that is that yes, it is grievous that things are our fault, that we haven't gotten to where we "need" to be (perfected/sanctified) yet, but that we can just bring it to God in prayer and let it go... operative word of course being "can" - not "do." *sigh*

Cathy, I'd love to know about that place where you're stuck so I can pray more specifically for you, but in the meantime, I simply pray that whether you "deserved" your self-blame or not that God will free you from all from which you need to be freed. If you feel like sharing more, Cheryl's got my email address. :)