Sometimes I think we throw the term grace around like cupcakes at a birthday party. Hmmmmm, cupcakes. We talk a good talk, but when it comes to walking the walk, are we living out grace in our lives? Do we extend it to others? And offer it to ourselves when we encounter the big and little failures of our days?
When is the last time you really challenged yourself?
Like in a good way. You did something totally outside your comfort zone! Maybe you joined a gym, completed a Whole 30, got your P90X crazy fix on, started a home business, ran a 5k, took a crochet class, went skydiving, joined a Bible study, etc. Have you challenged yourself lately?
It’s fun to challenge ourselves, even if we stumble and fall
I remember that time I took a crochet class, showed up 30 minutes late by accident (I totally thought I was early) and the teacher told me that I wasn’t really cut out for crocheting, despite my best efforts. I was out $35, my ego was hurt, I was a bit frustrated and embarrassed. But the reality is, I showed up, I challenged myself. And even when I totally sucked at it, at least I can say I tried.
And that time I jumped out of a perfectly good airplane with a group of friends on a total whim. After I drove three hours from home in the middle of a sleep-deprived busy season at work, in a car possessed by an electrical shortage that made the automatic door locks open/close the entire car ride there! THREE HOURS of open/close/open/close. By the time I got to the drop zone I was out of my ever-loving mind. I was also a little bruised because I had to climb out of my window and clear my car of all valuables, just to stop and empty my bladder in the middle of crazy downtown Chicago traffic on the way to my adventure. But I did it. I jumped and it was crazy awesome, despite the worst (and funniest) car trip ever.
Holy McNuggets Batman, what the what was I thinking?
I also did a write 31 days challenge on a whim after taking a year off from any writing. That is nuts, by the way. The insanity of writing with no game plan forced me to rely on Him for strength and endurance. Plus, I learned a valuable lesson: there is no way in H E DOUBLE HOCKEY STICKS that I will post daily on this blog. I don’t have the time or energy during this season of my life.
But I showed up here on my little space on the internet with my best for the day. And that in and of itself was a success because despite how challenging a month of daily posting is, I stuck with it and gave it my all. Even on days where I didn’t have time to write or no capacity to pull something out of my noggin’ to share. Don’t you love how we can overcome challenges in life?
We can find redeeming value in any crazy challenges that may come our way. Self-imposed or otherwise. It’s all about perspective. And taking that leap of faith to try something new. And offering ourselves grace when/if we fail.
Like Nike says, JUST DO IT. Challenge yourself today.
You are worth the possibility of failure, just to prove you can be brave. You are worth the hard work, even if the outcome isn’t what you expected. You are worth it, because even when you fail, you can choose to embrace the beauty of grace.
Your Grace Challenge
- Write down five fun things you’d like to challenge yourself with. You know the things, the ones you keep saying you’ll get to when you have some free time, extra money, etc.
- Cross off the totally unrealistic ones due to budget, time, etc. in this season of life.
- Write down more fun, challenging things if you need to. And repeat steps 2 and 3 until you have a small list to work from.
- Once you have a couple realistic items to work with, pick your favorite and research the steps necessary to take the next step forward.
- Tell a friend or your spouse about your desire to challenge yourself. Ask them to be your cheerleader, because we all need a personal cheerleader.
- Take a leap and do this TODAY if you can!
And remember to offer yourself grace if things don’t work out as you planned. And then try, try again! Don’t give up, just keep filling up your grace bucket!