Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Grace or Discipline?

"I forgot my lunch. Will you bring it for me?"

I couldn't help but sigh. I guess the fact that my daughter called while I was unloading the dishwasher, her job, that she'd also "forgotten" to do before she left for school. And the fact that I had asked her, before she left, "Do you want me to pack your lunch?" But she had wanted to do it herself. Now she was calling for me to pack and bring her lunch which would force me to change my plans.

"Can't you buy your lunch?" I asked. She didn't like what they were having. I signed again and said, begrudgingly, that I would bring her lunch. "Nevermind, I'll just buy." Now I'd hurt her feelings. *sigh!* I told her it was no problem, and that I'd see her by lunchtime.

Grace? Discipline? Which applied here? Should I have made her buy her lunch, teaching her a lesson in responsibility? Should I have cheerfully agreed, showering her with grace? There are no easy answers! She isn't characterized by forgetting her lunch, in fact this was her first time, and she has a brand new Vera Bradley lunch box she wanted to bring, so I guess I made the right decision. Although I did inform her that next time she forgets, she will be buying her lunch.

I'm thankful for a heavenly father who knows just when to give discipline, and always acts in grace. I'd elaborate more, but now, I need to pack a lunch and run an errand.

Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father’s Son, will be with us in truth and love. 2 John 1:3

Chatty Kelly

Monday, October 17, 2011


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. Galations1:10

This weekend I spoke at a women's retreat for my home church. Being vulnerable at a speaking engagement is easy when you know you never have to see the ladies again. But being vulnerable before your home church is a little bit harder. These are the ladies who you'll see again and again, who you want to love and respect you. Yet, I knew God was calling me to be share my story, warts and all.

I shared with them my struggles with perfectionism, and being "good enough" but failing. I told them of the grace God showers on me and my failures; grace that I often cannot give to myself.

The retreat could not have gone better, in my opinion. Because I knew I was being obedient to God in sharing my story, I felt confident! (or more accurately God-fident!) After the retreat, I handed out surveys to get feedback from the ladies. Later today, I plan on going through them.

I want to know what the ladies felt, if they feel it went as well as I did. I want the helpful critiques of ways I can improve. However, I also want to maintain my "God-fidence." I know that I walked in faith and did what God wanted. The fact that I felt no anxiety (the first time ever in my speaking) when I should have been filled with anxiety (because it was my home church) showed me that God was there.

Feedback is important to improve my speaking. And already I saw a very helpful critique as I collected the forms. I want to honor those who were brave enough to "speak the truth in love.*" But regardless of the critiques I receive, I want to rest in the God-fidence that I was obedient, and God is pleased. It's a balance, and for me sometimes a hard one. Seeking approval from God alone, when I so desperately want the world to tell me I am "good enough."

So before I look at the feedback forms, I want to make sure that I will not be crushed by criticism, or filled by approval, but simply look to improve my craft of speaking.

God already redeemed me. I don't need feedback forms to do it.

Reflection Question: Are you looking for worldly approval or God's? How do you balance accepting the "truth spoken in love*" but still maintaining your worth as a child of God?

Chatty Kelly

*Ephesians 4:15