Even as a kid, my Mom would tell me to slow down a little. “Quit saying yes to everything and everybody.” she’d say, “You’re burning the candle at both ends and you’ll have a price to pay when there’s nothing left.”
I am good at a few things, but I am literally a Rock Star when it comes to over committing myself. My husband tells me I can pack 10 pounds of dirt into a 5 pound sack in nothin’ flat! It’s true that I hate missing out on anything. So it’s easy to see why being stretched to the limit of sanity is a common theme in my life.
Everything will be going along just great and then BAM! I hit a wall! And I’m nothing but a stressed out, exhausted, short-tempered, emotionally drained hot chocolate mess!
Please tell me you’ve felt the same!
The upcoming week was busy, but I was looking forward to everything on my calendar. Birthday celebrations, lunches and dinners with friends, my two Bible study groups, coaching sessions with clients, a little Christmas shopping and a prison ministry outreach weekend.
These worthwhile adventures left me very little time to feed and love on my husband or to get the guest room ready for my friend who was coming to visit.
By mid-week I was up to my eyeballs in alligators. My husband said, “You’re sighing out loud. What’s up?” After 18 years, I can’t fool the man anymore. He said, “Just cancel a few things so you have a little room to breathe.”
What? Me cancel? Reliable, responsible me? Never! Besides, I can’t do that. I could never do that.
Again, maybe you’ve been there too. In fact if you’re still reading this, you are so busted!
Anyhoooo, by Friday afternoon I knew I was in trouble. My friend was arriving the next day and there was no way I could cram all that I had committed to into the hours I had left.
That’s when I hit the wall.
I paced like a wild animal in agony. I was mad at myself (yet again!) for thinking I was some sort of super human. You know the kind…do it all, do it perfectly, and never let ’em see you sweat kind of human.
Disappointed and embarrassed beyond belief, I wrote the dreaded email. You know, the one that says, “I promised I would and I really want to, but I can’t”. UGH.
Within minutes, I got a loving, grace-filled response and literally welled up with tears.
Grace. Unmerited grace. That’s exactly what it was. I promised to do something. Didn’t. And was forgiven. Even loved and understood. It was humbling.
I started to breath again. What a gift.
In that moment, it was abundantly clear…I was working overtime trying to please people, not my Lord. The bottom line? I was afraid to cancel a commitment out of pride.
“Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.” Galatians 1:10
My friend extended her love and grace when I needed it.
That experience made me think of the times I haven’t extended grace to someone who, in my not-so-humble opinion, may not have deserved it.
Who deserves your grace today?
Who do you need to forgive? Immediately. Fully. Humbly.