Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Accepting Failure

One of the effects of having a chronic illness or two can be a some what restricted life style. Most of the time when I look at my life under a small lens, I see that things are mostly fine and well. But if I look broader, I see that some aspects of my life are just not coming together as much as I'd like. And I'm starting to believe that's okay.

I recently started reading a book that was recommended to me called 'The Ragamuffin Gospel'* by Brennan Manning. I'm not too much more than 50 pages into it, it's a rather 'deep thought' kind of book, but I'm really getting a lot out of it. The central theme of the book seems to be about God's grace for us, and that we can't do anything to earn it, it's just given to us as a gift. Essentially, God knows we don't have it together, and that's okay.

This book was recommend to me ages ago by my pastor. I kept putting it off and putting it off and then last week I ran out of things to read and remembered this book. Some times when I pick up a book, it's the right time for me to read that book. Like I'm ready to experience it, that I may not have appreciated it as much if I'd read it earlier. That seems to have happened with this particular book. We've started the New Testament in my Bible study and I was starting to feel that I wasn't doing enough as a Christian. I started thinking "Well, now there's potty training, healthy shopping and cooking, exercise, Bible study, Church, story time, quality play time with Doug, quality time with Jeff and some time for me so I don't go postal, and oh yeah, let's work in some volunteer time too!" Yeah. I don't see it all happening either. This was helping me feel more anxious and overwhelmed. Then at one point in this book, a single mother tells the pastor that she feels called to a soup kitchen, but doesn't want to leave her kids with some one else. The pastor said something along the lines of ' you being a mother is enough for God'. And then my mind went "ooooh". It helped me let go of some of the anxieties in my life.

I have trouble sometimes accepting limitations due to illness. Things like not getting to church, or story time or making dinner for my family. I've come to slowly realize that failing can be okay, that I need to let it go. Tomorrow is another chance to make things right.

My ragamuffin.

*The full title is 'The Ragamuffin Gospel: Good News for the Bedraggled, Beat-Up, and Burnt Out'. See why I thought it was appealing?