The Power in a Question
Have you ever entered a sacred moment with a question? You know, someone you're close to or maybe someone you're not so close to asks a question that knocks your socks off. A question that stops you in your tracks and changes your life?
True confession: most questions don't do that to me either. But this weekend was a little different. So let me go back and explain.
A Life Changing Q & A
My friend Laura and I are starting a little something together. A little podcast adventure, if you will. We've told all our friends we're going to be famous - but mostly we're starting it because we both love podcasts and well, we thought it would be fun to do together.
So, we gather once a month in my friend Katrina's lower level and record. If you're wondering where this podcast is - well, we've recorded and not edited yet. It's coming. But I digress.
We purchased a not-so-expensive handbook to guide us through the process and landed on a theme. Laura and I are from different generations - but we both have a passion to empower women of all ages live with purpose and passion. From there, our podcast was born. Our plan is to interview women of all ages and stages about their journey into purpose and living for God in the everyday moments of life.
One of our tasks was to come up with interview questions so we could schedule regular interviews with our podcast guests. We were on month two of recording and could find no committed souls willing to meet us over Memorial Day weekend (go figure).
I came up with the brilliant idea that we should interview each other. Wouldn't that be fun?
We talked about all the topics we'll be asking our guests about. What inspires you? What has your journey been like so far? What brings you joy? How do you find a balance of contentment and bring driven?
What is your life message?
Then we asked a simple question: "If you had one message for women, what would it be?"
I answered without thinking because I sometimes do that. Trust the Process. It's never too late to change your life. Life change happens with baby steps. All the things I tell my clients consistently. Those are all true by the way.
Before I give you my wise friend Laura's answer, I'm wondering what you would answer. What would you say to your one message for women who seek you out for advice? What is one thing you've learned along the way that you would pass on to your besties, your sisters, your friends at Bible study?
Ready for Laura's answer? "Give yourself grace"
Grace For Everyday
I don't know about you - but I need to hear that. Like everyday.
Everyday I wonder if my efforts have been enough. Everyday I catch myself performing when God tells me by grace I've been saved and have been loved. Everyday, I wonder if I've fallen behind on something. Building a business. Finding joy. Leading well.
You mamas, I see you because add to all those things laundry, carpool, organizing summer for your kiddos and dinner on the table.
God Is Enough
I don't know about you - but I need that grace thing. I need to rest. Rest in the idea that I am enough. Rest in the idea - even more so - that God is enough. He doesn't need my performance - He needs my heart.
The truth is - I've been working on this in my life. I realized a couple of years ago I was hard on myself. As I came face to face with food intolerances vs. my love of cheese and pizza and cheeseburgers - I felt like I was losing the battle. As I met with a health coach, I realized that I was so hard on myself when I just didn't live up to quitting grains and dairy and sugar all at once tomorrow.
And then I looked at the rest of my life - and realized my need to do things right the first time weren't just limited to food. There was work. And saying the right thing to a friend in need. And budgeting every dollar (lots of grace needed on this one). And leading well. And well, are you exhausted because I am?
I knew I needed to change. I knew I needed grace not just because God gave it to me when He redeemed me. I needed grace in my everyday life. In those moments when I was as human as God made me. I sometimes said the wrong things. I sometimes hid behind my fears. I sometimes chose to hide behind TV and food and a new outfit.
The Process of Embracing Grace
So I began a journey of grace. A balance between not always letting myself off the hook and extending grace and loving the person God created me to be.
As Laura explained her answer (which quite frankly - I'm not sure needed an explanation for any of us gals), I found myself nodding along. YES! YES! Preach it my young friend!
On my journey of grace, I've made a lot of changes. I've learned to catch myself when I feel tempted to get defensive and allow for mistakes and getting it right on the second or third try instead of time number one. I've embraced the awkward of being misunderstood every once in a while. Mostly, I've realized embracing grace doesn't just happen in one decision. It's a lifetime of reminders that we are in process and have not arrived.
Life Is Not A Race
Most recently, I've needed to hear this in my own work life. There are days when it feels like it's all coming together. But on other days...
Can you relate to feeling like you've fallen behind? That if you had just worked harder and smarter and faster you'd be light years ahead. Or that you should have it figured out by now? No matter what area of your life you wonder about - feeling like you should have already arrived is a lie.
God has you right where He wants you. You're not behind. You're right on time.
One thing I've realized about this grace thing. It really comes down to learning to love myself - stops and starts and all the other things. It comes down to being okay with the process of learning and growing. It comes down to focusing on who we are becoming instead of check list of things we should have done already.
In life coaching, we use powerful questions with our clients. These are questions we don't typically ask ourselves. These are questions that make you think about your life as it is and how you want it to be.
When it comes to embracing grace, what is one area you need to give yourself grace today? And once you have your answer, talk to God about it.
After all, He's already extended grace to you in this moment.