31 Days of Grace :: {day 5} for when you’re not very good at it

And so, it seems there is pressure, because I am not very good at this. It is easy to extend grace in the quiet morning with coffee and a soft blanket and nobody needing anything from me. It is hard to extend grace after a rushed morning of snapping and fixing and grumping around, after doing and saying those things you hate but they come out anyway, after stomping and moping and huffing through dinner.

It is hard to extend grace then, and I am really bad at it. Really bad. And so there is a sneaking, sweeping temptation to believe that grace is for the good ones, the quiet ones, the ones who hold it together. Grace is for the ones who have figured out things I haven’t, the ones who know how to hold the lid on tight, the ones who don’t even have a lid. Or maybe there is no grace at all. Because I can’t extend it, I am unable to receive it. And because I can’t receive it, I am unable to extend it. And ’round and ’round the circle I go, chasing peace and finding only chaos.

But if grace is only for those who deserve it, could we even call it grace? It would then be a reward, a prize, a ribbon of achievement. Grace if for the girl who isn’t very good at it, for the girl who grumbles and stumbles and stomps around. Grace is for her, today, right now. Do you know that girl? Do you know this kind of grace?

If you are looking for Tuesdays Unwrapped, we will pick back up on November 2. I simply couldn’t juggle weekly links and a daily post. But there may be a day during these 31 that I invite you to link, so stay tuned!


  1. says

    I know this kind of grace every day. And it’s the peace that passeth understanding that allows me to accept it, in spite of feeling that my constant need makes me undeserving.

  2. says

    My toddler has a habit of waking up just as my alarm goes off at 5:45 a.m. I set it that early in hopes of getting a couple of hours to myself before he wakes. Some time to read my Bible and pray, enjoy a cup of coffee with God. The first few times, I sat on the couch and sulked about my time getting interrupted. God reminded me of the example my Grandmother always set. She woke up early every day. I was the kid then pitter pattering out with a cheery good morning. Her example of rising early in the morning to spend time with God showed me how she valued it. Instead of seeing him waking as in interruption, God told me to see it as an opportunity to set an example for my son. Extending grace is about seeing opportunity where it would be easiest to see interruption.

    • says

      That is a really excellent perspective. My toddler (almost 3) plays quietly by herself after she wakes up (and still hasn’t realized that she can open her door in the morning). Yet I set my alarm yesterday to start a new pattern for my days, and lo and behold my littlest baby woke up just a few minutes before the alarm went off — with a cold and a new tooth coming in. My beautiful schedule went right out the after that. Thank you for sharing!

    • Amy says

      I have one of those children – a boy – who probably wakes up and lies waiting in bed for the clock to turn 7 (because he follows the “rules” not to get out of bed before that time), and then he literally RUNS (!) to his dresser and yanks his clothes out (all while he has his radio turned on and lights flicked on!), and then scampers downstairs as cheerful as ever. My child turns 6 this week and I also went through times of frustration over him “interrupting” MY quiet time and being frustrated over not wanting to get up earlier than I already do to get “it”…to own it…my time. How controlling of me! How possessive! And yet, in my quiet time and cheerful awakening, my child is learning something…oh the grace and mercy that I TOTALLY don’t deserve…!!!

  3. says

    In this case ~ it’s so refreshing and easy to receive grace when we don’t deserve it, yet hard to extend grace to others who so obviously don’t deserve it.
    “Oh for grace, to trust You more”.

    Thank you for this needed reminder.

  4. says

    Maintaing my peace even when things around me are going crazy is my way of maintaining grace. It’s hard sometimes, and I do fail, but when I remember to tell myself to breathe, that none of the externals should affect the internal me, I manage to get by…

  5. says

    Not only am I bad at it, I SUCK. My house is far from the graceful, peaceful sanctuary I desperately desire it to be. And it’s hard to accept the Grace from God… because I know I’m not trying very hard (really) to change it at all. Because I don’t feel I deserve it… talk about a round and round and round we go. :)

  6. says

    So true, so true! And a good reminder for me to offer those who are rude or grumpy to me grace, grace, and more grace!!! {I am not good at that!} Blessings!

  7. says

    Absolutely. Grace is for the most broken. For the one who can’t possibly pull herself up by her bootstraps one more time. For the snappy, gossippy, yelly, prone to depression, envious girl. Yup that’s me. And I’ve got grace.

    Love this raw post, Emily.

  8. says

    Snapping and grumping around? Huffing through dinner? Whatever are you talking about? I don’t know anyone like that. :-)

    Ok, so I do know that girl. And of course she’s me. And of course I loved this post, this reminder as to why it’s called grace.
    Thank you, Emily.

  9. says

    I do know this girl, and I know this kind of grace. But I so often try to make God let me earn it. To simply sit and receive – it is a daily choice that must be made.

    It’s only been five days, but I’m so enjoying this series, Emily. Thank you.

  10. says

    You kind of did a Tuesday’s unwrapped in this… you reminded us to unwrap and be grateful for Grace when we least deserve it … Thanks Emily! :)

  11. says

    and i breathe in your words and hold them to my heart… because i am she. the grumbling, stomping girl. and the grateful one… grateful that you can put it all into words i understand.

  12. says

    I have been that girl all weekend while my other half has been sick in bed- my other half who is the worse kind of patient, which makes me the worse kind of patient!

  13. says

    Huffing and puffing… ahhhh that one hit home. :)

    I think this series is working it’s magic on me. I’m actually praying more for strength . And good things are coming of it. How awesome is this!


  14. says

    I sure do know that girl! I am her quite often, unfortunately, especially during early mornings… or days when I haven’t had enough sleep… or when my allergies or bothering me… or when my son is being TOO LOUD…

    Well, you get the picture! It is hard, indeed, to believe that there is grace for a sometimes grumpy, cranky mom. But I LOVE the fact that you are making it your business to remind us that there is.

    Thank you!

  15. adrienne says

    thank you emily. i’m doing a james mcdonald study right now on when life gets hard. its about trials and are they the result of discipline or sin (consequences of). I feel like I need to work self-control (my mouth) and being kind (even when i don’t feel like it). And some days I find it very hard. Thank you for making me feel like i’m not alone in the need for His grace.

  16. Beverly says

    Thank you for today’s post. That is exactly how I feel about GRACE. I need it every second of everyday, yet I don’t feel deserving in the least. That was beautifuly put.

  17. says

    Emily, This post is timely for me as I haven’t bee listening as I know I should. I cut my children off. I’ve been selfish and ungrateful and feel very undeserving of “grace” today. Thank you for your words. I needed to hear them today.

  18. says

    I love this. I need this. Was just emailing with a friend today who is a mommy, going through a sad divorce, & trying to work full time & finish up school. She was talking bad about herself & I thought of you and your grace talks. I reminded her to give herself grace- not excuses, but just to be kind to herself. I’m linking her up to you tomorrow. Thank you for your thoughts…

  19. says

    I am that girl and there is much stomping and huffing on any given day. At the end of this long day, filled with moments of grace but more moments without, I needed to read this. Thank you.

  20. Beth says

    Thank you so much for this post. I cried reading it because I am definitely that girl. I’m not very good at it, so, so often. And yet I believe in it with my whole heart. It feels so contradictory and, like most things, feels good to know I’m not the only one.

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