The Power of Giving and Receiving Grace

JA freedom-06

I had to miss Coop's poetry recitation at school last week for a writing retreat. I love that my friends send me videos and support me rather than judge me for missing things as a working mom. But it got me thinking… I remember seasons in my life I didn't feel that. I'd get stuck in my head, "are they going to think I'm the mom that cares more about her ministry than her own son?" "am I THAT mom?" It felt like such an added burden on top of enough other hard things that were real. This one I had created for myself. No one had said anything directly to me to create these feelings in my heart. But this week, it got me thinking. Surely I'm not the only one?

If you are someone who constantly feels judged... That is just miserable! And you need to make some changes.

1. Be sure it's not your imagination... Sometimes it is a good step just to ask close friends, "are we ok?" There is so much freedom in that question. Too much of our stress and worry is self-created, self-perpetuating. And our friendships take a toll. Take initiative and risk for the sake of honesty.

2. Make sure you have confessed and reconciled any hurt or sin with God and those you have hurt. "Live at peace with all men as much as it concerns you." Romans 12:18

3. If all that is in place, but you still feel people are always being critical in non-healthy way... GET NEW FRIENDS!!!

Freedom is contagious, but so is bondage. We can encourage these healthy, God-honoring friendships by asking good questions and choosing love over criticism and judgement. Let's be freedom-givers, not judgement-placers. Have you ever experienced this? How has this changed your friendships?

And check out Cooper's awesome recitation. Love this kid!