Inhale gospel, exhale grace

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So i have had a hard time sitting down to write lately. The truth be known i had just gotten into my own funk. You know the one, everything in my life stinks. If you get caught up in that its like muck, or quicksand. The harder you try to get out of it the thicker it gets. I really had to give myself a good talking to, to snap out of it, but not before i was sitting in a parking lot crying.

My life is not any harder than yours or my trials bigger.  We all have difficulties.  I had just, as i said, got caught up in my own funk, gunk, muck whatever you want to call it.  I had just finished putting the groceries in the truck, jumped in and glanced at my wedding ring which looked strange, I had lost my diamond.  I had a flood of thoughts, “hmm I wonder when that happened?, someone’s going to find a diamond,  I guess i need to get a new ring, are you serious? why me, isn’t my life difficult enough? Why God, what have I done to deserve one thing after another”  Spiritually I probably looked like my 3 year old, throwing myself down on the ground and WAAAAAA.  As the flood of emotions went from matter of fact to self pity, the tears started to roll.  The self pity went to feelings of unloved.  It took just a couple of seconds to pull myself up with my boot straps as the old saying goes.  You know you can’t help the thoughts but as another old saying goes, “you can’t stop the birds from flying over your head, but you can keep them from building a nest in your hair”.  Those thoughts flooded in of “why doesn’t Jesus love me” and right back out.  You can’t let those kind of thoughts build a home in your mind and settle in, like the slime guy on the Mucinex commercial.  But if we are honest we all have had them.  The feelings of not good enough, not loved, weighted down by trials of just living in this world.  None of us will get out of this life with out some junk, muck, gunk or some thoughts of self pity.  We are in the world.  The object is to keep our head up in the middle of the trials, to trust Jesus, to rest in Him even if those pitiful thoughts flood in.

For a few days before that incident i had been kind of meditating on this phrase “Inhale gospel, exhale grace”.  I had read one of Ann Voskamp’s blogs and she had mentioned that statement and it stuck with me.  So I had been thinking about it and mulling it over.  Of course i had come up with inhaling the love of Jesus and you will exhale and extend grace to others.  When this happened with my ring and my short lived melt down,  I realized that sometimes we need to inhale the love of Jesus and extend grace to ourselves.  I am loved.  I do mean something to Jesus.  He does think highly of me.  He is concerned about everything that touches me.  It is sometimes easy for me to extend grace to the ladies at the homeless shelter and the orphans or to another person going through some horrific life altering trial, but I have to remember it is ok to extend grace to myself when I am worn down by the pesky day to day mucky type trials. In medicine the terms are used, acute and chronic.  Acute is sharp pain that maybe short lived, or a disease that came on quickly and violently.  Chronic is a condition that develops gradually or a pain that is smaller but constant.  Some people get acute trials, sudden, life altering and some people get chronic trials like a dripping water faucet, constant more nagging type of trials.  We all need grace, no matter what type of trial we are going through.  We need to give grace to others and to ourselves.  So lets all together now,  INHALE GOSPEL, EXHALE GRACE.