Training, Instead of Trying: God Gives Us Grace

I have a friend who in the last couple years has successfully quit smoking. When talking to her about it she told me she had tried many times to quit before she was successful. The thing that helped her the most, was her doctor’s advice. She told me her doctor encouraged her not to get discouraged when she would attempt to quick and then would go back to smoking. To instead think of each of those attempts as “training” for the time when she would quit for good. She told me he said instead of thinking of it as “trying” and “failing” to think of it as if training for a marathon. A person does not just decide to run a marathon one day and then run it, there is a long training process where the person practices running over a long period of time to build up the person’s endurance.

I really liked this idea and I think it is close to my word of the year: Strive. I do not have to do everything perfect the first time around. Change, whether it is quitting something, starting something or change in my heart it is a process. I think kids are better at realizing this than adults. I have watched a little child, learning to walk, and she takes a few steps and then falls, laughing. Laughing! The baby doesn’t expect to walk on her first try, she practices and practices until she is racing across the floor, getting into everything and Mom can’t catch her! I think as and adult I can do so many things, that I think I should be able to learn new things easily, but this is not always the case. In certain areas I am like that little baby, learning to walk. I am unexperienced and need to give myself time to practice and learn. I need to give myself some grace!

Paul talked about this process of walking with God through his life. Even admitting he was still not perfect, but had to keep working at it. Philippians 3:12-14 “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” If Paul did not have everything figured out, I certainly don’t either. But Paul was striving for the goal. I hope to do the same this year.

One of the areas I am practicing is spending time with God everyday. I have done this before, practicing spending time with God. For awhile I did it every morning. But then I got off track. I was so busy, I felt like I could not fit it in and this quiet time was left behind in the dust. It is not easy to make a habit as this article states. But not impossible! With God all things are possible. I thank God that He gives me grace as I am attempting this, and other things to strive for this year.

Question of the day: What have you been practicing lately?

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6 Responses to Training, Instead of Trying: God Gives Us Grace

  1. great one… it is all the little steps that lead up… imperfect progress as we learned from UnGlued. Thanks for sharing — so sorry it took me forever to read…

  2. sherette schafer says:

    Thank you Dawn for sharing an awesome insight into your soul. Thank youfor sharing how you feel and what you are doing. I too am decluttering my space and my mind and allowing God to live and continue to grow in me. I am in constant growth and by his grace I am born again everyday that I awake. When I focus on him and his word and “people” and even “nature”. Have a great day! I ask you to lift me up in prayer too. Again Dawn Thank You… You are a Light. Sherette S.

  3. Abbi says:

    Great post! The story of your friend was pretty cool. I also like you choose of the word “Strive” for your theme and the verse from Phil. you shared to go with it.

    You are so right that we need to be a little patient with ourselves and like the baby rejoice in what we have learned rather than be upset because we are still having to learn more.

    Some of the real habit things I am working on this year are orderliness and being more organized. I love this journey of life!

  4. Linda says:

    I love your blog and especially where you give the example of the smoker. I never looked at that in that way. Outstanding. I have decided to take on your word “Strive” for myself as well. With many aspects of my life having changed since the lost of my husband to cancer, I have to keep re-evaluating my life. God keeps reminding me that I must trust and “strive” a little more each day so I don’t get stuck in a “Pity Party” about my life. i give thanks to the Lord each day for all that He has done for me. Everything that I have is His to do with as He pleases. I must remember that He wants only the best for me even when I can’t see it. That also means that I need to step out of the boat as Peter did when Jesus called to him when he was walking on water. I find that I get caught up like Peter and doubt as to what I should be doing or where I should be going. Once doubt sets in then I am sunk just like Peter. For now I will try to keep my eyes on Christ and as for my Striving, I will…
    1. Take time each day to study God’s word and the insights from others that God has inspired. I believe that the more we know the better that God can use us.
    2. I will continue my present path to step out in faith when it comes to my talent as an artist and trust God to show me the direction instead of assuming I already know.
    3. I will trust God that my son will be healed from his ongoing battle with cancer and he too will find his way to God.
    4. I will trust God to fill my life with another Christian friend that I too greatly am in need of.
    5. I will strive to me a good , non-interferring mother in the lives of my children and to always hold them up in prayer. Amen

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