Written months ago, but always true:
I get tired of falling short in so many things I want to do. Many of them I can just let go of--they aren't important (such as being a great dancer). Many I postpone--they can wait (like figuring out how to decorate my living room). But many things that I fail at matter. If I mess up my parenting, I don't get another chance with that child. If I am not kind to my neighbor or my family, those relationships are damaged. I feel surrounded by people constantly judging my efforts and telling me how badly I'm doing (from the dentist to the schools to church to well-meaning family or friends). My housekeeping and my discipline and my fashion sense and my priorities and my health and my faith and my choices are all lacking. It gets discouraging. Trying today is hard when I tried yesterday and the day before and the day before only to still not have made any visible progress.
And so I was reminded about grace. BYU magazine a while ago featured a talk given by Brad Wilcox on grace that I really liked.
"In all of these cases there should never be just two options: perfection or giving up. When learning the piano, are the only options performing at Carnegie Hall or quitting? No. Growth and development take time. Learning takes time. When we understand grace, we understand that God is long-suffering, that change is a process, and that repentance is a pattern in our lives. When we understand grace, we understand that the blessings of Christ’s Atonement are continuous and His strength is perfect in our weakness (see 2 Cor. 12:9). When we understand grace, we can, as it says in the Doctrine and Covenants, “continue in patience until [we] are perfected” (D&C 67:13)."