Saturday, October 29, 2011

Day 25-29 of Seasoning: Receiving Gracefully

Here I am again, a week later and trying to catch up on my 31 days blog posting. I have to admit, this has been quite freeing for me. A year ago, I would have stressed about not having the posts pop up each day, on time, at about 8am. I would have begun to think irrational thoughts about being "kicked out" of the 31 days club...well, I admit, I did think that, but it was just a fleeting moment. You don't get kicked out of blogland for not writing a post....

In the interim from the last post, which still is so heavy on my heart, I have been pondering a few things. I know the exact moment that I realized I had a piece of my heart that needed ordinary day, ordinary mailbox, and a manila envelope with my name on it...stuffed with a surprise.

Now, I'm one of those people who loves getting mail. Not bills, but real mail. The kind with beautiful handwriting of a friend or family member across the front, perhaps a little thick from heartfelt writing or a little something to lift your spirits.

On this day, I was having a dreary moment. I saw the manila folder and didn't even wait to get into the house. I sat in the driver's seat with my little Jonah in the back shouting "Tea! Tea!". I ripped it open right there, and a Bath and Body Works gift card emerged.

It wasn't my birthday. It wasn't National Potato Day. It was an ordinary day, with a gift given just because the friend knew I needed it. This is the moment that I realized we must learn to receive gracefully.

To be honest, the first thing that crossed my mind was that I must go and buy her a gift card and put it in a thank you note. Granted, she will be getting a gift from me but that is for a shower that I was unable to attend. But, I had this deep-rooted instant response that I didn't deserve this, and I must give something back right away.

It was then I realized that I don't know how to receive gracefully. I immediately want to make things equal. I don't want to be viewed as someone who is ungrateful, and I want to be liked. It's the "good girl" syndrome, which I am learning to recognize. A few weeks later, a childhood friend and her little one-year-old cutie drove over an hour, sat in traffic forever, and finally arrived at my house just to be with me. She knew I was having a difficult time, and I needed a friend. She helped me paint a huge piece of furniture, even though painting is something she really doesn't enjoy. It was a low-key day, but to me it was a blessing, and I still had to learn how to receive gracefully.

I'm sure you can relate to the problem of receiving without feeling guilty. I've learned that if people do something for you, it's because they want to, not because they expect something in return.

You will sometimes be the one receiving grace, and sometimes you will be the one giving it. It's ok to be the one that receives it, over and over, for a season. This doesn't make you selfish, and it doesn't make you a horrible person.

To those of you who have been grace-givers in my life, I thank you. I know the day will come when I can show grace to you, but right now, I am learning how to receive without questioning...

If you identify with this, I'd love to know. It's about being real...

As always, we musn't forget the true Grace-Giver, who wants us to receive gracefully...He is what he is, knowing we could never return to Him what he deserves, yet He continues to be faithful...

He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all--how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Romans 8:32

1 comment:

Charbelle said...

I can relate to receiving a gift and feeling the need to run right out and buy something to reciprocate. It's the good girl syndrome, wanting to be liked. Oh so familiar. Hugs!!!