A standard of Grace

I’m baaaaaaack. 🙂 I never really blog over the summers, in case you didn’t realize. I just don’t do much worth blogging about really. Summer consists of: Sleeping (lots of it), snuggling with the pups, cooking/baking, more sleep, walks to the lake, reading, playing online… yeah. And with the crazy life/year ahead of me, there will be plenty to write about. (if I ever have the time to actually sit and do this again!)

It’s the craziest thing thinking that junior year starts tomorrow. Oh my stars. Junior year. I am halfway done with college, y’all. This is slightly scary.

I moved in a week early for my campus ministry intern retreat/training, so I had time to get unpacked and organized (haha like that happened!) before school actually started. It was nice (albeit a bit odd) having campus be so empty (minus the freshmen and RAs), but I was quite excited for the campus to fill up with friendly, familiar faces over the past couple days. It feels much more like home with everyone here!

As I said above, I have a pretty busy plate this year, even moreso than usual. 18 hours (but ALL major classes so yay for small victories!), my internship with Campus Ministry (which I am sooo excited about!), service coordinator for my service club… yeah, I’m already exhausted. And it hasn’t even started yet! But I’m excited for what the year has to come.

I’m excited to be back in my home away from home, and get to know the girls, both freshmen and upperclassmen alike.  I see many a bananagrams night in my future!

I can’t wait to journey through life with my fellow Campus Ministry interns, whom after a week of training already feel like life long friends.

I’m crazily blessed to be an officer in PKS, a group of girls that captured my heart my freshmen year. I can’t wait to see where their servant hearts lead us this year.

Overall, I’m happy to be back in the place I love the most, with the people I love the most, and most importantly, a place the spirit of God evidently dwells in the hearts of the people and the halls in the dorms and classrooms.

I’m ready for what God’s going to show me, what He is going to be doing in my life. I’m learning to be willing for him to love me and trust him with all the life struggles I’ve been dealing with.

There’s been one thing my heart’s been on lately: grace.

I don’t always fully understand grace. I know it’s something I don’t deserve, yet like most things, it’s something God gives me because He loves me so much He wants me to have it.

He wants me to say to myself, “You are OK. Just breathe.” That is what grace is like to me. It’s a deep sigh of relief, a laugh on a bad day, an unexpected hug- it’s just a moment in time that God says, “I’ve got you in my arms.”

I love Anne Lamott’s thoughts on grace:

I don’t fully understand the mystery of grace-only that it meets us where we are, but doesn’t leave us where it found us.

Grace is a big mystery to me, too. And it scoops me up right where I am, and carries me to God, where I need to be. It’s a lifesaver, that when I’m drowning (which I have been the past few days-another post for later), it comes to my rescue and brings me safely back into my Savior’s arms. I like that visual, of grace being my safety net, my sigh of relief, my happy moment on a cloudy day.

I also love that grace is constantly changing me. Because of the grace I am given on a daily basis, it shapes who I am- and who God is making me into.

It reminds me of one of my favorite scriptures,1 Corinthians 15:10:

But God’s grace has made me what I am, and His grace to me was not wasted. 

There’s been a picture that’s been circulating both Pinterest and tumblr (if it’s popping up on both of those things, it must be awesome):

“I will hold myself to a standard of grace, not perfection”

 A standard of grace. I will hold myself to that standard- the standard that says: “I am enough, I am doing my best, and THAT IS OK.” 
I do NOT have to hold myself to a standard of perfection because… well, there’s no such thing. There’s only one perfect person, and that is not me. So why do I force perfectionism into my life in so many different ways?
 I’ve always had a bit of a dysfunctional life, and school has always been my control. It’s the place where I always have fit in, the place I call home. It’s also the place that I stress out the most about because I’m always up in arms about getting a dang A on everything. I spent way  too much time studying and struggling on work, and not enough time pouring into other things such as friendships and  new experiences, along with my faith. 
I’m starting to realize that I’m not going to be a perfect student. Or a perfect anything. I’m just killing myself trying, and am hurting myself when I don’t do perfect- when I do badly on a test, when I procrastinate on a paper, when I just don’t get those straight A’s or that perfect GPA I so badly think I need. 
College has slowly started to teach me that there’s no perfect standard of anything-there’s only so much I can do, that’s when grace takes over and covers the rest. 
So this year, I think I’m going to do just that- hold myself to a standard of grace. A standard that gives me room to breathe in my skin, to understand that I’m going to do the best that I can with what God gives me. 
I’m not going to live with unrealistic expectations, and hold myself to the fact that I’m a failure if I don’t do this, I’m not good enough if I don’t get a certain grade. I’ve let my grades have too much control over who I am, and it’s time to stop and say “I am enough”. I am not my GPA. I am not my grades. I am a daughter of the King, whose grace is enough to cover me and carry me to shore. 
                               “The day and its troubles shall come, but I know Your strength is enough” 
To all my friends that start school tomorrow (or this week): May you seek your standards from God, not from the woes of perfectionism. May grace be enough to carry you home. 
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