When you need a superhero cape to get through your day: a guest post by Emily Pardy

Monday, November 3, 2014

image by TurtleCraftyGirl
“Are you okay? You seem irritated,” my husband asked me as I pulled out the laptop and harrumphed myself onto the couch.  

“I am irritated. I have no time for everything I need to do, want to do, and pretty much feel guilty whatever I choose to do no matter what.” I took a deep breath. I apologized. I silently prayed for grace and caught myself when my mind started to wander again. 

Right now, I'm the busiest person I know. I meet people all the time who feel exactly the same way. Frankly, I don't know anyone who isn't juggling too much or feels like their plate is too full most of the time.  

Multiple times a week I run into the “Who’s Busier?” conversation trap with my friends, family, co-workers, or classmates. As a wife, mom of two young children, blogger, full-time grad school student, part-time retail associate, and author editing my first book…well, let’s just say the competition for “Who’s Busier?” is steep with me.

It’s a lot. It’s admittedly too much. I get a lot of “I don’t know how you do it all” and “How do you fit it all in?” and “When do you sleep?” commentary in this season of my life. And, for the most part, people see me at my best. I tend to thrive under pressure, so I often fall victim to my own pursuits. I dress the part, I say the right things, I get good grades, I pray aloud for others, I only invite my friends over when the house has been vacuumed and picked up (usually by my husband). So, it’s irritating to me to even be asked if I’m irritated when I’m just doing what I do to the best of my ability ALL. THE. TIME.  

But, I’m here to tell you that I’m a weakling. Truly, my strength gives out daily. I “lose it” regularly. I pout and whine and grimace nearly as much as my toddler (sometimes more). I let the laundry pile up, drink too much coffee, and let my kids watch way too much Netflix.  And, when you lump all that together, you know what you get? NORMAL. (Welcome.  You’re in good company.)

My schedule might look like a superhero’s, but my inner core is extremely human. It’s a murky mess in there that needs to get flushed out by grace alone again and again. This is what keeps me going. This is what turns my nights of up-at-2am-worrying-about-money into mornings of gratitude. This is how I can fret over homework deadlines and churn out something worthwhile on time. My human cycle of sin, repentance, and grace is constantly deepening my faith and allowing me to take these days of insanity and see them for what they really are:  a season of mercy.

I try not to live a façade. I want nothing more than to be transparent in my life, though I don’t deny that I strive for “having it all” or “holding it together” which can look pretty great from the outside at times. But, I always miss the mark when I depend on myself. Am I irritated?  Yes. Humanity sucks. I wish I was a superhero and that my power was total self-control (and maybe invisibility!) But, while I’m in this time and place, with this body and brain, I’ve got something even better I can rely on. 

2 Corinthians 12:9 says it perfectlyBut he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.

Grace may be the greatest superpower there ever was or ever will be. It’s always available, never ending, and the one thing that can conquer all my villains (doubt, anger, shame) and transform them into virtuous heroes (joy, peace, generosity). 

Schedules ebb and flow. I won’t always be this busy (Lord, help me) or in this same season forever. As the world changes around me, I find my focus harnessed to the One who is unchanging in the midst of my chaos. Grace isn’t a mask I wear to “get through” one more task or cope with the day-to-day mayhem. Grace is the strength, the motivation, the capacity, the finesse, the ability itself that is found in Christ alone who makes it all possible before, during, and after the craziness even sets in.  

Grace is the superhero all along.  No cape required.  

Emily Pardy is a 30-something writer living in Nashville, Tennessee. As a wife, mother of two, and full-time grad student pursuing her Masters in Marriage & Family Therapy, she completely understands the definition of busy. When she's not writing, she's probably over-thinking her next book or reheating her coffee for the millionth time.

You can find more of Emily's thoughts on her blog, PARDYMAMA

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