Grace Enough

I am wrestling the notion of good enough these days. I’m taking measurements, self-assessments, and coming up short. I’m feeling the failure. Inadequacy.

Contempt seeps into my brain, whispering accusations and reminding me of where I lack. I see it everywhere. Even though . . .

Even though I have worked hard this year at my job as teacher and working mother.

Even though I have loved my husband, children, students, co-workers in the midst of my struggles.

Even though I have learned much about flexibility and taking one day at a time.

Even though I have walked through a school year not knowing at the beginning that a wedding was awaiting me on the other side. Would I have taken that first step had I known?

I can still see so many shortcomings.

I’m NOT good enough. 

That’s why there is grace enough.

There has been an abundance of grace, and today’s was no exception.

Inspired by my homeschool-mama friend, Davene, I planned a field trip to the Woodrow Wilson Birthplace in Staunton. The planning began weeks ago, and today was the day of the trip. I was feeling woefully inadequate.

Had I prepared my students well for the experience? Would they learn from it? Would it count in their minds as something fun while at the same time holding lasting educational value?

As we sat in the parlor of the manse, not touching, only listening, and our guide explained the serious nature of the parlor and the importance of the family Bible, I was reminded of yesterday’s conclusion of Caddie Woodlawn

One of my favorite childhood books, I had chosen to read it to the class, and yesterday we finished the last two chapters. Not wanting to be a spoiler, I will simply say that Father received an important letter from England and called Mother to the parlor where they shut the door to discuss its contents. Later, a family vote was taken on a serious matter with each member casting their ballot in the family Bible.

I hadn’t set an agenda in the timing of the chapter, yet it fit perfectly with our experience.

Later, when asked questions about Woodrow Wilson, my students knew answers due to a crash course we had that morning and on the way riding on the bus. I brought some books along, and we discussed some random facts, and I let students read the books, or be read to, if they wanted something to do.

I hadn’t planned out a big unit, but the time spent riding the bus was productive.

It was grace enough.

This is what I need to remember. There is grace enough for each day, and when I recognize it, it’s breathtaking. And I can breathe.

3 thoughts on “Grace Enough

  1. Davene Grace

    Oh, Julie, I’m so proud of you! Not really because you took your students to Woodrow Wilson’s birthplace (although that’s pretty wonderful!), but because you are learning–and sharing–so many lessons about walking in grace. And you know what? You are experiencing so many victories!

    Also, I LOVE those “coincidences” like the Caddie Woodlawn chapter and the Bible in the parlor experience. 🙂

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  2. Stephanie

    It’s a good thing to feel the inadequacy and failure because it’s only in that place that you can truly receive the grace and truth that you will never be able to do what Jesus already did!
    I love the way everything fell into place in ways that you couldn’t have planned if you tried! Walking in the Spirit is a scary and beautiful thing!

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Thanks for heart-composting with me! I appreciate your words.