Grace not perfection {via Emily Ley}

A few weeks ago, this made the rounds on my Instagram feed.

Pinterest / emily ley

A story so simple, a couple of mom's talking about how very hard it is to be moms.  This my friends is something that I desperately need.  This daily reminder that grace is so much more meaningful than perfection.  This has become my mantra for 2014.  Is should remain as a mantra for my life, because motherhood is so full of moments where grace is a far better option than perfection.

But to really understand what it means to strive for grace, I had to really understand the meaning of grace.  I mean Mackenzie's middle name is Grace, but why?  I always thought that Grace described a peaceful state of being.  Grace, just the sound of it.  One can be graceful, one can give grace, once can even be called "your Grace", but what does any of it mean?  And how can one strive for Grace over Perfection when the idea of true grace escapes them?

Then I found this with a comment attached that read: I think it's hard for people who may not have a close relationship with Jesus to understand what 'grace' means, and I think this is a perfect explanation.

Pinterest / Source

I have no idea who wrote that, and if you know, please leave it in the comments.  But this quote stopped me cold.  This is exactly what I was looking for, a meaning, a true meaning, behind this one little word: Grace.  It's the only reason we are able to open our eyes each morning.  It's more than a second chance, it's a third, a fourth, a fifth.  It's a love that keeps on giving regardless of our past.

Is there anything more beautiful or more inviting?  The idea of holding yourself to a standard of grace can take on a host of meanings, but for Emily Ley, it was about motherhood.  And I can totally fall in line with that.  In motherhood, I need to strive for grace, every day of the week.  I no longer strive for perfection, but damn if I don't continue to hold myself a standard of perfection.  Maybe not in the ways that I used to, but there is still a standard, much lower than in the past.  For me motherhood continues to be about getting those third, fourth and fifth chances.  On days that my temper is the only emotion I show.  At night when we are so close yet so far away from bedtime.  On those days when backpacks are forgotten, and homework is late, and everyone decides they don't like what mommy spent all afternoon cooking for dinner.  I will need grace in those instances.  I will need to remind myself that this life of a mother isn't about perfection.  It's about perseverance, with grace.

Motherhood is in no way easy.  Striving for grace isn't going to change anything about motherhood. It's still going to be hard.  It's still going to tow the line between chaotic and joyful, some spilling over the sides day after day.  Yet with a little grace, bumps in the road wouldn't be so devastating.  They will no longer feel like such a failed attempt.  With a little grace, they lose the liberty of taking on a life of their own.  With a little grace, the mole hills can stay mole hills. Like the quote above says, grace is like a love that keeps on giving, unconditionally, regardless of what has happened in the past. As a mother, that is music to my ears.

Now as I go though my days I will repeat, Grace not perfection, silently to myself.  On some days I'm sure I will have to say them a thousand times.  On other days only a few.  But what an idea to uphold for yourself.  To strive for grace, in every aspect of life, not just motherhood.  To offer grace to those that need it in return.  

Because who needs perfection when you can have Grace?


  1. But what if you unintentionally did something that can not be overlooked, like shouting at the kids to pick up their toys or forgetting to pack extra wipes. What if something that you did will scar your kid for life? Even if your intentions were good, how do you accept and forgive yourself when you realize that what you did is screw-up big time and no amount of saying sorry will fix it.

    1. I have those days where I feel like I did something that just can't be overlooked. But what I'm hoping is for some grace. Grace to reflect on what I can learn from situations where my behavior may not be graceful. Learn to cope better. Give myself a little grace. In all situations that involve forgiveness there will be some scars and I have to believe some grace. I pray on this every day.

    2. I was going to reply to Jo with give yourself some grace. Although we do stuff quite too often that we wish we could take back we are teaching our children that we are human and that we make mistakes. We then can teach our children a bigger lesson-forgive ourselves. Forgiving ourselves is the most graceful and hardest thing to do but what a wonderful lesson for our children, especially girls.

  2. It ate my comment from my phone :( So... in short, ha! Loved this post. Thank God for Grace. #amamasgottadowhatamamasgottado