I tend to get really frustrated with myself sometimes. Why is keeping up with a house, a business, barrel horses, and 2 little kids so hard? Why do I always have a mountain of clean laundry to fold? I mean, it’s NOT like it’s hard to wash, dry, and immediately fold and put away clothes. It’s NOT rocket science. And yet, I regularly find myself having to re-figure out systems, tweak things, and look for new ideas to get things done with my children in tow. It’s frustrating, to say the least, some days. Learning to show yourself grace is no joke, lol.
But one day recently I realized, I’m expecting myself to feel like an expert in a season I’ve never been through before, on a day I’ve never lived before, solving problems I’ve never encountered before. When the reality is, each new season brings its own challenges AND graces. Each season, each phase, heck, sometimes even each DAY, is a first rodeo. So, I began to shift my thinking: what if I learned to show myself grace the same way I would if it really WAS my first rodeo? How would that look? Would my attitude be more joyful? What expectations would I have for myself? What progress would I celebrate?
7 Ways To Give Grace (To Yourself) as if it really was your first rodeo
1. Have a plan, but hold on loosely
“Hold on loosely… but don’t let go. If you cling too tightly, you’re gonna lose it. You’re gonna lose control.”38 Special
Please tell me you just sang that in your head (or even better, out loud, lol)
- If there’s one thing I’ve learned about doing life with tiny humans, or heck, people of any age, it is this: we are not robots and cannot be expected to act like robots… at least for very long…
Yes, I believe that we should have goals and plans, but when plans go awry because someone has big feelings or needs a snack, I cannot have a complete come-apart myself or EVERYONE suffers.
Everyone has a plan, until they get punched in the mouth. -Mike Tyson
- I’ve heard wise horse trainers say that “Only one of you (you or the horse) can freak out at a time, and it’s never your turn,” and I’m pretty sure the same applies to leadership of any kind-especially parenting (#helpmeJesus)
2. Give grace by celebrating any and all progress
- I talked about this more over here, but if there is one thing my hyper-competitive self is learning is this: Celebrating small progress does not mean you aren’t pressing towards bigger goals, it means you are learning to enjoy yourself along the way and not make everyone hate you as you pursue your goals. Lemme tell ya, this is a huge way I’ve learned to daily show myself grace.
3. You can give grace AND still strive to do BETTER, not perfect
- I have come to terms with the fact that because a Faith lives here and (now THREE) tiny humans, all parts of our house will not be clean all at once all the time.
- But what I AM learning is that instituting small sustainable changes can really up the ante and make lots of things BETTER even if they are not perfect. And that’s ok.
4. Learn from those who are ahead of you
- If there is one thing that will make a difference in your progress, it is this: Learn from those who are ahead of you. Whether in business, life, rodeo, or raising kids, learn from other people and learn from the people who are “winning”.
- Growing up rodeoing, it never failed that the new family at the local gymkhana would find the other family who just bought their first horse and start asking them for advice. Now, while they probably learned something, they would have been MUCH better off if they had found the people who were winning consistently and learned all they could- for free or for paid- from them.
- While I am a huge proponent of not taking advantage of people and paying them for their knowledge, it truly is amazing what you can learn when you are just humble enough to ask questions!
5. The ultimate way to give grace to yourself or others is this: Know that your identity is never ever wrapped up in your performance
- Never. Never ever ever is your identity tied to your performance. Christ proved your worth when He died for you on the cross. You are always and forever highly valuable, treasured, and fought for. No amount of failures or have-to-start-overs makes you any less precious. And truly, one of the most powerful things you can do to change your LIFE (and I don’t use that term lightly) is to get IN the Bible consistently and meditate on the “In Him” scriptures. Here is a great, free guide to help you get started.
6. You have a grace to live your life and serve your people.
You know that gal down the road just killin it in her MLM business? She is (probably) anointed to do that thing and to serve the people in her path. You know that gal staring you back in the mirror, SHE is anointed to live HER life and ONLY her life and to serve HER people. I truly believe that we will only thrive when we really lean into our calling and our anointing and own it, but be showing ourselves more grace in the little things. Remember that you are anointed to live your life and serve your people.
7. When you are weak, His grace is sufficient for you.
- The beautiful thing about allowing your spiritual life to spill over into every aspect of your life is this; you begin to rely on God in areas you never thought to before.
- God truly does care about every facet and every detail of your life. When we find ourselves struggling, we REALLY can call on Him for help.
Listen, friends, I know that the pressures on you are real, and the days are sometimes super hard. But what if, what IF we shifted our thinking and showed ourselves the same grace as our first rodeo. This truly is the first shot you’ve had at this season and this day. Yesterday’s lessons can help you with today, but yesterday’s manna is not sufficient for today. You and I need Jesus each and every day. We need His new mercies that He so generously offers! And if the God of the Universe can show me new mercy and grace daily, surely I can show myself grace too.