Grace Upon Grace

To me, the funny thing about my blog is my randomness at posting. I often think about posting but it’s usually at the most in opportune times. Such as at work, at the movie theater, when someone is talking to me…(sorry, not to be rude but I have ADD, I squirrel occasionally. I can listen AND squirrel though so I come back to you & never miss a thing. Promise. Aannddd I’m doing it now. {insert eye roll}) I appreciate that you all read this anyways. That you gift me with your attention though I do not earn or deserve it.

Earlier today I was thinking about writing to all you dears but I was trying to read. I literally have four books on my nightstand, three of which aren’t mine. Plus a book in the chair I am using for a life group at church. My mind kept wandering as it often does. Which do I read first? Am I prepped for next weeks life group? Should I do laundry? Maybe it’s high time I showered? So I did what any adult who adults like a champ does…I texted a few friends, read a few chapters, went to a movie…Yup. Avoidance. I’m a pro. I wasn’t sure what to say in the post but I knew one thing.

Grace upon Grace.

From the Bible. John 1:16.

So there ya go. That’s all I had. Literally. Lol.

[Ps, I did shower & do some laundry, so I’m not a complete waste of an adult. I even put on clean socks. See? I’ve got this.]

Back to the Grace thing. In case you didn’t know, there was pure logic behind calling this blog Matilda Grace.

According to Behindthename.com, Matilda comes from the Germanic name Mahthildis meaning “strength in battle”, from the elements maht “might, strength” and hild “battle”.

The name Grace came from John 1:16. Grace upon Grace. Christianity.com published a piece by Justin Holcomb I believe defines it best…”A shorthand for what grace is – “mercy, not merit.” Grace is the opposite of karma, which is all about getting what you deserve. Grace is getting what you don’t deserve, and not getting what you do deserve.”

So basically I am a mighty warrior (when you stop laughing, feel free to keep reading) getting what I do not deserve-I deserve nothing, that’s why we earn things (except God’s grace) while trying to pay forward the concept of undeserved grace to those around me. Wow. That’s a run on sentence if I’ve ever seen one. But I’m leaving it.

I’m not sure why I needed to write about my unworldly wisdom surrounding the concept of Grace but ready or not, here we go into the mind of Matilda…

In my humble world, I am involved in the lives of hundreds of people each week. Lucky ducks. I see people at work. Church. The grocery. The gas station. Life groups. The usual places a good little Christian girl spends her time. As everyone else in the world, I’m not always perfect. Shocking, I know. Adorable? Yes. (Sarcasm.) Perfect? Nope. (NOT sarcasm.)

Along these encounters with people, I try to make sure I am kind, hopefully even smiling. Mostly I don’t want to be the person creating another’s bad day. Again, I must disclaim here that I am so far from perfect. Not even on the same planet. But I do try to give grace to others. I get stressed. I have bad days. Sometimes I’m just feeling selfish. There’s a reason I don’t have a Jesus fish on the back of my car. Or why when my Jesus tattoo is visible, I try extra hard to be on my best behavior. And that can be hard for a sassy girl like me! I don’t want to give God a bad rap for my behavior. (Not that I’m out running around like a pirate looting the world but I am more aware.)

So if someone at the grocery runs over my toes with their cart, my response is not a scowl, but I genuinely say “that’s ok.” If I get plowed into turning a corner at the office, I don’t bite their head off. If we are having a bad day, the last thing we need is someone throwing verbal punches at us. However, this doesn’t just apply for the bad days, this applies for all days. We need unmerited, undeserved grace. We need to know we are loved & accepted for the crazies we are while we are standing in our place of crazy. After all, if you are a Christian, isn’t this what God does for you every day? And if you aren’t, don’t you still want the unmerited, undeserved love & acceptance? I can’t think of a person I know that would turn it down.

Yet, instead, we are busy blowing our horns as cars cut us off, gossiping around the office, tearing down the people around us for not living up to unrealistic-and usually unbeknownst to them-expectations we have projected upon them. Who are we to do this to each other?

I had a friend recently begin coming to church with me. She said to me the other day that I never judged her for not going to church. I was her friend either way. I thought it was touching yet sad. How many people are we judging or hurting because they aren’t where we want them to be emotionally, physically, financially? What if instead of judging or condemning them, we love them right where they stand?

So if you are in my life & I have ever made you feel “less than,” please accept my deepest & most sincere of apologies. I don’t want to ever be “that girl.” And I know I have been. Probably yesterday.

If you want to change your life, practice Grace upon Grace. Nope, the people you practice it on do not deserve it. Neither do you. Life sure is a little sweeter when it’s given to us. It’s a whole lot sweeter when we give it away. Plus, maybe the people you show grace will begin to show others grace. Before you know it, not just your life will change, your world will.

So lovelies. Love the uglies. Show them grace. Again. And again. And again. We need to love, support & lift up the lives around us. So be intentional in your unconditionals. Unconditional love, grace, acceptance, mercy. It changes the lives of the people it touches. Including yours.

Till next time!

Matilda (strong warrior) Grace (unmerited, undeserved favor)

Ps…”Unconditionally” does not mean consequences do not apply, however it does mean we can still love people through the consequences. It does not mean accepting bad choices, but accepting the person.

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