by Lilly Lewin,
In January, my FreeRangeFriday posts have been about GIFTS… the gifts we need to give and open for ourselves as we go forward into this New Year. We’ve opened the gifts of Compassion, Rest, and Grief…
And now I invite you to open the gifts of GRACE.
Grace for ourselves…
Opening the gift of GRACE rather than the Box of Failure!
If you know me well, you know that I’m really hard on myself. While I have lots of grace for other people, I have a lot less grace for myself.
I am a recovering workaholic and perfectionist.
Maybe you are too.
We’ve all been through a very rough year….
Many of us expected to get a lot done, be more productive, make a lot of bread like some of our friends on Instagram, or clean out all the closets.
I will confess that I have gotten less done, been less productive, been more messy and not felt much creativity. I suffer from anxiety and covid shut me down many days in 2020.
When I don’t feel productive, when my house gets really cluttered, when I feel the weight of SHOULD… like “I should be ok and not anxious,” “I should be more organized,” ” I should__________.” Just fill in the blank! I go automatically and open the FAILURE BOX.
What I’ve realized in the last few weeks is that I tend to open that box a lot!
And I put lots of things that happen in that box.
Stuff other people might think of as no big deal, I automatically put into the failure box.
My husband said, “you know there are other boxes don’t you?”
I don’t think I did know this…
I’ve used the Failure Box for so long that I had never even processed or thought about other boxes!
When I brought this up with my therapist, she asked me what the other boxes might be? She asked me to think of the colors of the other boxes. As a visual learner and an artist, this concept actually inspired me! I drew a few boxes on a piece of paper and thought about what boxes I use… and colored them in.
Along with the Failure Box… I also have a big box of shame, a box of comparison, a fear box, one named “not enough”, and of course, the performance and perfectionism boxes.
What are the negative boxes you’ve been opening lately?
Just drawing out the boxes helped. And showed me that I really need some NEW BOXES from Jesus! So I went to the Dollar store and bought some actual gift boxes. Tangible Boxes to look at and use for the NEW BOXES… the NEW GIFTS God wanted to start using in my life.
She actually has a chapter called “The Practice of Failing”! What?!! You mean it’s ok to fail? It’s ok to be human? It’s ok not to be perfect? To actually realize that failure is a part of being human and I AM JUST HUMAN! Kathy quotes her friend, Joanna, “Self compassion is embracing our humanity, owning that we are a muddled mix of dust and divinity.” WOW! THAT IS TRUTH and FREEDOM!
This allowed me to start naming the NEW BOXES….
I asked Jesus to show me what these new boxes might be! Success, Enough, Creativity, Trust, Safety, Loved Unconditionally, and my new favorite, the IT’S OK TO BE HUMAN BOX!
And this led me to realize that I need to open the gift of GRACE for myself. To allow myself to receive this gift…to really stop, to pause, to open the box of GRACE and unconditional love of Jesus! And not just open this gift once, but daily and sometimes I need to open this gift, this box hourly.
What NEW BOXES do you need in your life? Take some time and ask Jesus to show you! Maybe you need some actual boxes to envision this.
What does the GIFT of GRACE look like in your life…? Do you need to open it?
What if you created a gift of grace box to remind you of God’s great love for you and his amazing grace!
Receive the beautiful gift of GRACE and LOVE from Jesus today so you can continue to move into 2021 as a year of healing and wholeness one day at a time.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:8- 9 NIV
Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It’s God’s gift from start to finish! Ephesians 2: 7-9 THE MESSAGE
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