Grace in the Now.

Self-grace escapes me. It alludes me 3 decades running.  And I find myself pondering the very painful difference between grace in philosophy and grace in practice. I wonder if I’ll ever figure out this loving yourself thing.


I know why the inner hatred is so easy to swallow, to nod along in agreement with. I know why it’s so easy to believe the lie, to embrace the negativity in our hearts.  It’s simply this: they aren’t lies at all. At it’s core, self-hatred is impregnated with kernels of truth.  That’s what makes them so slippery, so hard to hold onto, to combat against.


Beneath “I’m ugly” is the truth “I’m aging” or “My skin isn’t great”.

Beneath “I’m fat” is the truth “I’m out of shape” or “I’ve had children”.

Beneath “I’m lazy” is the truth “I’m not always productive with my time”.

Beneath “I’m a bad wife or mother” is the truth “Sometimes I mess up”.


Where do we find the balance? Where do we find the middle ground where we extend grace to ourselves while still addressing the importance of the root truths in our failures? How do we find joy and peace in the imperfectness of life while still taking steps for a better future?


Love Yourself In The Present


Life happens now – live and love in the present. If the past has taught me anything it’s that if I don’t embrace the blessings of my today, I won’t appreciate the blessings of my tomorrow.  I am never going to “arrive” this side of death.  I will continue to be imperfect until the day that I die.


I wasn’t happy with my body at 215 lbs.  But I also wasn’t happy with my body at 172 lbs.  Or 145 lbs.


I’m not happy with my parenting with 4 kids.  But I also wasn’t happy with my parenting with 2 kids. Or 1 kid.


If I don’t purposefully find the good in this day, it’ll be lost in tomorrow. Embrace the grace in today.


Know That You Are Loved


Sometimes I think I’m just beginning to understand the truth that God loves me and to understand the depth and compassion of that love.  I tentatively take the tired and canned phrases of grace and love off the shelf of my theology and shake out the contents to examine them more closely, hold them up to the light.


God loved me at 215 lbs.  He loved me with 1 kid and with 4.


I am treasured in my ignorance and my mistakes.  I am treasured.


I have read this fact.  But I’ve not owned it.



I must love myself now. I must know that I am loved now. But I must also own my mistakes, apologize when necessary, and strive for a more mature and wise tomorrow.


Are you extending yourself grace in the now?




  1. Yes. I realized a long time ago that it is easier for me to love other people when I love myself. (how do you love your neighbor as yourself if you hate yourself?) It disappoints me (?), makes me sad (?) to see or hear people who are self critical. I know that when I AM self critical, I am actually looking for validation…. Someone to say “you’re pretty”, “you’re amazing”, “it’s ok”, etc. We all have work to do, but God already thinks we are all of that stuff!

    You’re pretty, Jessica, you’re amazing Jessica. For real. :-)

  2. What has helped me is to know the truth that I am perfect in Christ Jesus. We may worry how others perceive us, but that will never be an issue with God! When God looks at us, He sees the blood of Jesus, His beloved Son, covering His beloved creation. I am so glad that I no longer have to strive for anything, but merely accept who I am in Christ Jesus.

    • Ahh, but the balance of accepting and striving for greater maturity is the tricky part. For me. :)

  3. I never was any good at giving myself grace. I’m gracious to others, but not myself. A friend of mine once said, “You’re Jesus to other people, but a Pharisee to yourself.”

    I think part of it comes from being bullied in school. I figured that if enough people thought I was ugly and stupid, then I must be! Conservative evangelicalism didn’t help, either, since most of the time they say if you don’t feel remorse for all of your imperfections, then you’re doing it wrong.

  4. We are always harden on ourselves and I think it is we expect perfection. It is easy for me to forgive others because I know that God forgives so why should I be any different.

    However I have a much harder time forgiving myself. Looking in the mirror and loving that person is the most difficult thing I have to do. I have good days and bad. Days when I think I am in shape and then there are days where I wonder how did 30 pounds jump on me.

    I realize I have to be accountable for all things in my life, good and bad. That I must remember I am a reflection of God.

    Thank you Jessica for this post

  5. I think this is hard for all women. When I met my husband, I weighed 137 lbs and didn’t like my body all (although he thought I looked fine) and after 9 months, I weighed 123 lbs and I still saw myself like I weighed 137. My husband told me I was getting skinny but I couldn’t see it. Finally, I stopped for a moment, and took a good hard look at myself. Sometimes all it takes is being still and quiet. I realized that my body was fine. My husband loved me and more importantly, I loved me. Since that day I have a whole new outlook. I finally had the grace to accept myself and say “There is no one else in the world like me”


  1. […] Jessica’s post today at Bohemian Bowmans reminded me of this post I wrote when I still used blogger. It was originally published 6/6/11. Sometimes I still need to hear it. […]