“I need to make puppy chow,” I told myself as I thought of what to bring to our Christmas gathering with our kids and grandkids this year. Last year I was sick that whole week prior to our gathering, so when one of my granddaughters asked me on short notice to make puppy chow, I knew I had to tell her I was sorry but I couldn’t this time. Even when I’m at my “normal,” I have to pace myself in order to reserve energy for the day of an exciting event.
And now a year later, it was still bothering me! It’s crazy how hard I can be on myself sometimes. I texted my granddaughter, “Guess what I just made?” She had no clue. She said she often doesn’t remember her food requests.
It baffles me why I get so wound up when I can’t do something someone asks of me. I’m always overanalyzing. Often when I think people must feel hurt or let down, it ends up that the situation never entered their minds again. Like water off a duck’s back.
At times I feel more grounded in Jesus and filled with His love, and all the stress and worry falls away. But then the I-never-do-enough monster knocks me flat and helpless.
I carry this drive that I must “do” more to show I care into my relationship with Jesus as well. I need to relax and let it sink in more that He is going to love me no matter what. I don’t have to earn His approval. He loves me just the way I am. And He knows I love Him. He just wants me to “be” the me He created me to be in whatever season of life He has placed me, not to stress out about doing more or being better.
Sometimes I have to persuade myself, “Give yourself a break! Why are you always putting yourself on a guilt trip? Just cool it. Relax and let yourself lean into Jesus, His love, His grace.”
Broken one, He loves you, too! Do you sometimes fret that you should “do” more? For Him and for others? We don’t have to earn His love or approval. He accepts us just as we are. He loves us unconditionally. He freely gives us His grace. He longs for us to leave our worries and cares to Him and to lean hard on Him within the circling arms of His love.
“God saved you by His grace when you believed.
And you can’t take credit for this;
it is a gift from God.
Salvation is not a reward
for the good things we have done,
so none of us can boast about it.”
“Give all your worries and cares to God,
for He cares about you.”
1 Peter 5:7
by Octavius Winslow (1800s)
Child of My love, lean hard,
And let Me feel the pressure of your care;
I know your burden, child. I shaped it;
Balanced it in Mine own hand; made no proportion
In its weight to your unaided strength,
For even as I laid it on, I said,
“I will be near, and while she leans on Me,
This burden will be Mine, not hers;
So will I keep My child within the circling arms
Of My own love.” Here lay it down, nor fear
To impose it on a shoulder that upholds
The government of worlds. Yet closer come:
You are not near enough. I would embrace your care;
So I might feel My child reclining on My breast.
You love Me, I know. So then do not doubt;
But loving Me, lean hard.
“Be Still, My Soul (In You I Rest)”
by Kari Jobe