Do you ever feel under pressure? Do you ever feel overwhelmed? Do you ever feel like you are not enough? Well, this post is for you, or maybe just me venting!

In this day and age we have pressure from every angle; to be successful in a career, to be a phenomenal parent, to volunteer in our communities, to make time for our friends and families, to  make sure that we are fit and in shape, to be a good partner to those we love, and the list just continues to grow.  It gets a little old trying to keep up with it all, trying to keep all the balls in the air and not let one drop, and trying to be the best at everything.

Do you ever feel judged, no matter what you choose to do?

You are a stay at home Mom, so you must not have any ambition. You choose to have a career,  so you don’t care about spending all the time you can raising your kids.

You have a little bit of a pudgy belly, so you must not go to the gym or care about your health. You go to the gym regularly, so you must be vein.

You don’t wear make up or fix up much, so you must have low self esteem. You do wear make up and fix up, so you must attention-seeking.

Get my point?  (Insert eye roll here)

I am not perfect. I fail daily, some days even hourly. All my ducks aren’t in a single file line and in an orderly row, some days I don’t even know where all my ducks are! Life gets chaotic. It gets messy. It don’t go as planned. There are times it feels like it won’t ever change and things will always be the same way, then life turns on a dime and leave you wonder what to do next. Every person on Earth experiences these things, no one gets an exemption.

I have practiced and made it a priority (a goal, you could say) to practice extending grace to others. Forgive people of shortcomings, understand that I may not know the whole story and they are probably doing the best they can, not to judge, and to love people in spite of their mistakes. This has become a habit, per say. A habit of extending Grace. Now I am not perfect in this what so ever, but I do consider it one of my better attributes. Before you think I am bragging….I want to say,  I would not be able to extend grace without having it first extending to me. Knowing I have a wonderful Savior that loves me unconditionally and feeling/experiencing that love has absolutely changed my life. If such grace could be extended to me and He could love me in spite of a laundry list of mistakes, then I should be able to follow suite and extend grace to others.

Now, I am ALL ABOUT setting goals in every area of life and striving to meet those goals. I have goals that I work on daily. There is no reason for us not to continually grow as get go through this thing called life. But as I take this whole grace things a step further, I am learning, to give myself a little grace when things aren’t perfect. I am guilty of not giving myself grace and of holding myself to a higher standard than I do others. This is not an arrogance thing, but where I could easily forgive someone else for something, I would beat myself up for doing the exact same thing. I wouldn’t as  easily forgive myself when I could, almost immediately and out of a habit I’ve created, forgive someone else almost without effort. I’m my own worst critic. I’m learning to be happy in the middle of judgement, in the middle of chaos, and in the middle of a to do list that does not have one thing neatly crossed off of it, and in the middle of searching for my ducks!  I’m learning to focus my attention on what I got right today instead of that one pesky place where I missed the mark, and it sure makes for a happier day, that turns into a happier life.

There are times that the feelings of being overwhelmed and under pressure come from not giving yourself grace. So why put more pressure on yourself when everything else in this ole world does a pretty good job of that already? Grace has been extended to your by God, you should attempt at extending it toward others, and learn to do the same for yourself. You are worth your own grace.

 

-Rachel Ray