Unforced Rhythms of Grace

Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me–watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.
Matthew 11:28-30, The Message

My husband and I had our first date night this past weekend since Finn was born. It was glorious, quiet, refreshing. No one else to feed but myself. Only my bladder to consider. It was good, and by that, I mean I actually felt like me. Not like a second-rate version.

I took the initiative this weekend and deleted apps off my phone so I wasn’t constantly looking to see what everyone else was up to. Instead, every time I took my phone out of my purse or picked it up off the couch, I opened the Bible app and began reading in Matthew. It felt like drinking crisp water after walking for days, and I can’t stop. You know how it is, don’t you? Every other time I begin reading a book in the Bible, only to fall off that consistency bandwagon after a few days, and I can never seem to feel connected to it. I read half-hearted, underlining single verses that sound holy, pray for people I love, and then move on. This time was different.

Sometimes I pick up my pen to journal and feel highly unqualified immediately. I get squished by my insecurities, blanketing my dreams with statements like, “What’s special about me? What’s so different about my perspective?” The resounding Hold her back! is a taunt. But oh, if the devil is only trying to keep me from moving forward, writing a blog post, being transparent, then it must be good, right? It must be Kingdom work. And I must pursue it.

Recover your life. Take a real rest. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. Live freely and lightly.

If you don’t go all the way with me, through thick and thin, you don’t deserve me. If your first concern is to look after yourself, you’ll never find yourself. But if you forget about yourself and look to me, you’ll find both yourself and me.
Matthew 10:38-39

Here it is:  I want so badly to look to my right, to my left, and to find out how I can be better. I want to compare, to seek the approval of man, to be revered. I want to be more than just a mom, and I struggle with that daily:  feeling guilty for wanting to be more than just a caretaker, ouchie-kisser, food source. But Jesus said it best:  Forget about yourself and look to me. Look to me. Look to me.

I can’t force holiness. I can’t force love. I can’t force grace. It is an unforced rhythm, something to be learned, a melody that comes from Christ and Christ alone. Women to my left and to my right are not me. This isn’t a race to the finish line, a whoever is best at being a mom will finish first with Christ type of thing. It isn’t even a race. Christ ran it, won it, and gave me the medal. I am holy because He is holy, loved because He loves, given grace because He died to let me have it.

This isn’t a single-facet life. Christ wants to recover my life, give me rest, teach me the unforced rhythms of grace, so I may live, free. So I may be great, because He is great. I want His melody to be mine. The whispers of Hold her back! Hold her back! are only flashing, loud reminders that Jesus has good, mighty work to do in me. He is mighty in me. And sister, He is mighty in you, too. Do you hear them? The whispers? They aren’t taunts. They’re clear indications that the Kingdom is better because of you.

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