July Happiness Project: Grace

Grace is one of those terms that I think we use often, and yet the true meaning of which is varied. When I decided what each month’s project would be I chose Grace and reading something somewhere that Grace is an extension of Gratitude. That when one is truly grateful it is simple to give grace. I am sure I have the origin of this somewhere scribbled in one of my notebooks that is filled with random thoughts I have or phrases I have heard that have struck me. But this is one that really stuck with me, and I often think of daily. As previously mentioned, My Intent for the year of 2017 was Gratitude, to focus on finding something to be grateful for in each thing, whether positive or negative. In 2017, My Intent has been Grace, and although I have tried to practice this daily, my continued plan is to really evaluate what grace means to me, and how it influences my daily life.

Initially, my plan for this month was to focus on giving others grace; cut people slack, without judgement. However, to fully embrace grace I must not just give it to others, but to myself as well. It’s like that old saying “treat others as you would want to be treated” but what if we switched that up and “treated yourself as you treat others.” More often than not I find myself giving more grace to others than I do to myself. We are our harshest critics; I think this is especially true when parenting. I recently found myself in a battle of wills with my oldest daughter where I found myself continually questioning and judging myself for my part of the interaction, during what seemed like an endless battle. If there was ever a molehill that was turned into a mountain, it was this interaction, over taking one bite of Velveeta Shells and Cheese. After it was over, one of my dearest friends, who unfortunately had to witness the entire episode, told me, “I think you did the right thing; and I would have probably done the same thing.” In that moment, she showed me the grace I wasn’t showing myself. That statement from her, changed my entire thought process for this month.

This month Giving Grace isn’t only to others, but also to myself. So, I plan to explore that further. I plan to explore it from a daily perspective to a theological perspective. I just finished an awesome book, which I’ll post the review on soon. I plan to read a few new ones regarding Grace, and as they go hand-in-hand, also Gratitude. My hope is that through this month, Grace will not only change my perspective, but also my attitude. I generally consider myself an optimistic person, with a positive attitude; however, I find it can be difficult these days to maintain my optimism. My hope is that this month’s focus will help me do just that.

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