>> Saturday, July 8, 2017

I woke up on the 4th of July and realized "I don't have patriotic outfits for the girls."

I literally started rummaging through all of our clothes, trying to find anything semi-patriotic for us to wear.  We didn't even have plans for the day.  But it was Lily's first 4th of July, and by George, she was going to have an outfit, and we were going to get a family picture.

Somehow, I managed to come up with outfits, and my sweet sister-in-law snapped a few pictures for us (at our last-minute family celebration here at the house).

Initially, I found myself feeling guilty.  I had a new outfit for Georgia's first 4th, and a new outfit for Phe's as well.  All Lily had were hand-me-downs thrown together.  I really felt like I had dropped the ball.

I thought about it for a while.  And then it hit me.  "Dude.  Chill out.  You've got a lot on your plate right now.  Outfits are the least of your worries.  Go easy on yourself."

And that's just it.  I don't give myself enough grace.  I am a perfectionist when it comes to a lot of things, and I'm hard on myself when I feel like I didn't reach the level of perfection I was striving for.  It's ok to want the sweet new outfits (even if they cost $2 at a thrift store "new") and the cute family picture... but when it becomes a "must" over a "want" then we have a problem.

I'm so thankful that my God is gracious.  The only wholly perfect thing to exist gives me grace when I least deserve it... don't you think I could give myself a little grace, too?

I tend to get pretty disappointed when I've tried so hard for something but the moment just doesn't turn out right.  I'm working on remembering that it's ok.  When I don't have it all together for that holiday picture or family event, it's ok.  Enjoy the moment.  Sure, try and get the family picture if I can (that's never a bad thing to try for)... but I shouldn't let it rob me of my joy if it doesn't work out.

My life has recently taken such a different route than I ever expected, so I'm learning a lot about grace and flexibility.  Giving grace, accepting grace, being flexible - all very important for me right now.  I feel the Lord sanctifying me through big and small things everyday, and I'm thankful for the situations He has used to do so.  Even the not-so-nice ones.

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us for adoption to Himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of His will, to the praise of His glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved."
[Ephesians 1:3-6]

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