Word of the Year – Grace

When I thought about a word for 2014 at first I was leaning toward legacy–maybe I should evaluate the many and various things that always threaten to overwhelm me in light of whether or not that thing will matter in the long run.  But the more I thought about it, the more that thought made me tired.  I’m tired, friends, eight ways to Sunday.  I’m tired of trying to wring out more minutes from each day, of trying to be more efficient, of feeling like I have to explain my choice to sleep until 7:00 or justify my decision to hire a babysitter.  I’m tired of the fact that the first word that springs to mind when someone asks how I’m doing is “busy.”

Grace.  I need grace.

I need to give grace to myself.  I  am my own toughest critic, and I don’t often struggle with doing too little.  I’d like to give myself grace–to stop beating up on myself, to stop holding myself to a false standard of perfection, to cut myself some slack sometimes.

I need to give grace to my family.  We get in this whirl of life so easily around here.  I work hard at keeping lessons interesting and resisting the urge to view the children as a unit, but I think grace might be needed for times when things are crazy–to take a deep breath and regain perspective and give grace to a bunch of kids who are learning how to obey and respect each other just like I still am.

I need to soak my spirit in God’s grace.  I read something on Elizabeth Foss’s blog (I’m constantly encouraged by her writing) about how only God is omniscient so I don’t have to read everything on the internet right now.  And I was struck, in the way that only a blinding flash of the obvious can strike a person, by the thought that God is not asking me to be omnipotent, omniscient, or perfect in any way.  He is perfect in every way so that I don’t have to worry about the myriad ways I fall short.  I realize that for some that could sound like a cop-out, but again, I’m not prone to the doing-too-little side of the pendulum.  I’m thinking that for my annual Bible reading plan I might go through the scripture specifically noting where God gives grace.  I think my soul needs to delve into this well.

So I think 2014 will be the year of grace for me. A little extra note of beauty.  A little bit less efficiency perhaps, but a lot more focus.  More gentleness.  More understanding of and pointing toward the only reason anything works for me at all.  Grace.

 

What have you read on the subject of grace?  I like to read a lot in my word of the year topics, so please let me know if you have any suggestions!

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4 Responses to Word of the Year – Grace

  1. Wendy says:

    The Philip Yancey book on Grace is wonderful. Blessings as you pursue more grace for yourself and your family this year. Wonderful word. God’s wonderful blessing. (Could I use the word wonderful just one more time??? ha)

  2. Monica says:

    I’m encouraged by your words and am expectant to read throughout the year how God’s grace will be your sufficiency. I often gain a lot of knowledge about showing grace simply from reading the words of people/characters who know how to speak it well towards others. Lamplighter books have been an inspiration to me in this way. I have read most of them to my kids and I really do think that having that model before us helps tremendously.

  3. Julie says:

    Catherine,

    Here’s the link to my review of Grace for the Good Girl by Emily Freeman – I highly recommend it!!

    http://lifeinskunkhollow.blogspot.com/2013/04/a-book-review-of-grace-for-good-girl.html

    Julie
    Julie recently posted..REMEMBER: He, Too, Remembers

  4. Nicole says:

    When God has placed a word or verse on my heart, I have found it immensely fruitful to read sermons by Charles Spurgeon. Here is a link for a Scripture index of his sermons: http://www.spurgeon.org/index/rindex.htm. Generally, the sermons are available online, some with better formatting than others. Spurgeon Gems does a good job. I can’t say how much I have been blessed by a greater understanding of God and His Word through Spurgeon’s works!

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