Real Life: Giving Yourself Grace

Well did everyone survive the deep freeze?

Here in Ohio it got down to -8 degrees F! What about you?

My brother did that experiment where he brought a small pot of boiling water outside, threw it into the air, and it actually turned into steam! It was so cool!

I’m sitting in the kitchen at my parents’ house right now, and I’m looking out the window onto the river that has frozen over. What a beautiful sight to see. It’s a winter wonderland.

Why is it easier to extend #grace to others, but not ourselves? It is officially the #season for gentleness towards the self. And I invite you to join me in doing the same. #catholic #edrecovery #recovery #selflove #selfcare #god #christianity #christmas

But boy, this snow has put a big, troubling halt on life as we know it here in Cincy. Over Christmas, because of the big snow and big freeze, people were pretty well snowed in. The roads weren’t great, not to mention that people just flat out didn’t want to leave and brave the cold.

We could barely even take the dog out to go to the bathroom for more than 2 minutes without getting a deep bone chill!

And I’ll tell you what – it really forced me to slow down, and just be. We played games, watched movies, cooked yummy food and had long, interesting family chats.

I had a very interesting conversation with one of my family members about how sometimes, there are seasons where we have to just give ourselves a little extra grace.

And well, I am definitely in one of those seasons. Let’s just say, I am feeling a little out of balance. Beginning with moving, and then getting Covid, and now being snowed in, I haven’t been able to exercise at all, and coupled with the stress of this particular season…suffice it to say that I’m needing to be kind to myself in my thoughts, and give my body a little extra grace.

It’s actually been a beautiful “test” to my recovery from anorexia. Because there was a time that, had I been where I am today: where my clothes are little snugger, and my fitness level being far less than I’m used to…that frankly, I would have freaked out.

But it’s been really empowering to see just how far and secure I am in my recovery that I am just rolling with it. I’m not freaking out, I’m not altering my recovery path, or making choices that lean a little too close to the sun if you catch my drift. I’m just carrying on, giving myself grace, and saying that right now, this is just a season where working out is not a possibility, and we’re just getting through the stress of it all.

In my past, allowing myself grace was never something I could do. It was always: self punishment, or berating my mind with negative self talk, or taking extreme measures to regain that strict control over my food and lifestyle choices until I got back to my baseline.

And this goes for more than just “body stuff” too…

Offering ourselves grace can run so many different veins. Maybe the Christmas presents weren’t wrapped in the meticulous way we would have wanted. Maybe we’re going through a tough personal patch, and we got a lower grade than normal on a test. Or perhaps we need to just “say no” to a party invitation, to protect our mental health.

Giving ourselves grace is a beautiful exercise in gentleness towards the self. And coming from someone who was a professional “self-destructor” during my anorexia, that concept of “gentleness” is a practice I’ve really had to work hard to cultivate.

But it is so necessary for our wellbeing.

God doesn’t expect perfection from us. And He offers us an abundance of endless grace. And it is our job to reflect that.

I find that it is much easier to extend that grace to other people. But we, too, deserve it from ourselves.

And in this season, I that’s exactly what I’m doing. I’m doing the best I can, I’ve got a lot of demands on my time and energy, and so I’m just doing the next right thing.

I invite you to join me and do the same 🙂

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13 responses to “Real Life: Giving Yourself Grace”

  1. Yes! “God doesn’t expect perfection from us. And He offers us an abundance of endless grace. And it is our job to reflect that.” We can only find perfection in Him and rest in that. The cold and snow hit us in Western, KY. Being from the Pittsburgh area, it didn’t seem that bad snow wise (windchill was-25° though!”), but they aren’t used to that weather here, so everything was a mess. I didn’t get to bake all the cookies I wanted to with my girls because we had to conserve energy from avoiding rolling blackouts. I felt deflated, and even texted my sister saying I felt God was telling me to slow down and rest.

  2. I am glad that you are in a good place in your mind, Caralyn! Things will change, the snow will melt. Workouts, jogging will begin again. Be well. ☺️

  3. I’m naturally a type-A squirrel 🐿️ who goes pedal-to-the metal for 12 hours a day. Being a teacher on winter break for two weeks is wonderful, but it’s also hard to manage the change of pace. Plus, my wife and I were supposed to fly to upstate NY over Christmas, but the winter ❄️ mega storm changed our plans. So…I’ve been playing guitar—for the first time in awhile—and reading some great devotional material. It was also great to be at our home church’s Christmas Eve candlelight service, and then worship on Christmas Day, just twelve hours later! Yes, extending more grace to myself, and others, sounds like a good idea. I’m in! 😍 God’s best to you and yours, Caralyn!

  4. Oh yes, extending God’s grace to ourselves is so rewarding, but we usually do that when there’s a reason to do so that isn’t exactly great. This has been a very different December for us. We have been avoiding crowds as we try to stay healthy so that we can go see our grandson when he is born. No Christmas church services for us, though we have watched online. I haven’t decorated our house a fraction of what I usually do. But I have been so relaxed and at peace. I’ve enjoyed down time and quiet time that usually is unheard of during this fast-paced season. I’ve actually enjoyed it! Blessings, Caralyn. Being with your family is absolutely wonderful!

  5. Giving grace to ourselves, means not living by people’s standards and trying for perfection, but stopping to enjoy life with grace. Blessings of love and hugs!

  6. Dear Caralyn,
    Before the season is past, try to fit in an evening to visit either ChristmasTown at the Creation Museum or ChristmasTime at the Ark Encounter.
    We have not been to the Creation Museum, but some friends took us to the Ark Encounter, and it was FANTABULOUSLY AMAZING! Even better than the Country Club Plaza in K.C.! Tomorrow’s Wordless Wednesday blog will show our visit to the Ark.
    And IT”S FREE to visit the grounds! Just the price of parking, $15 at the Ark. (The museum is closed at night.)
    ❤️&🙏, c.a.

  7. Glad you are all doing great after the storm.
    I pray that you will receive love and joy this Christmas season and the New Year. Thank you for your kind support throughout this year and I am looking forward to see you next year.

  8. Perhaps giving yourself grace is also a matter of opening yourself to the grace of others. Especially during any holidays, people gather to give each other grace, to give love. Why do you love your family? Is it because they are all perfect physical specimens or is it because of who they are? And why do you suppose they love you? The stress of any holiday can be shed easily if ew just allow ourselves to love and be loved and to believe why we are loved.

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