Amidst the Mess and the Grace

posted in: Woman to Woman Newsletter | 0

By Dr. Stephanie Averill

stressed-woman-3403423_1920I recently had someone tell me, “You are so amazing! And with three young kids, to get everything done the way you do is just inspiring.”

I said “thank you” because I’m trying to learn to be gracious in accepting compliments, but inside my response was more like “BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA … no.”

You guys, I’m a mess. And not even a “hot” one. My house is cluttered and crazy and my baby belly seems to be getting bigger rather than smaller and I still haven’t gotten into that workout regimen I had planned and I lose my temper with my kids and husband when I’m stressed about life and I have way too much on my plate but the only things that are cut-able are the things that give me an outlet and I doubt myself CONSTANTLY.

I feel like a failure frequently. But the answer isn’t in pulling myself up, brushing myself off, and doing better. That’s a recipe for burnout and isolation. It’s a lie that many in the Church believe because we secretly think we still have to earn our worthiness.

No, the answer is simple and difficult. The answer is GRACE. Breathe in. Breathe out. The God of the universe has chosen me, and He loves me. Loves me even when I can’t do it. Loves me knowing that I could NEVER do it.

And you know what? Even when I say I’m okay with that, I still try to hide my ugly from the world, as if I didn’t need grace every second I’m alive. I take my failure personally. I tell myself I’ve let everybody down. I hate being vulnerable. But this morning this just sat on my chest and lodged itself in my throat sideways until I decided to say something. So maybe there’s someone else out there, like me, who needs to hear that they aren’t alone. Well, you aren’t. Because at the end of the day, no one is expected to save themselves.

Shalom, friends. ❤️


Dr. Stephanie Averill is a stay-at-home mom and history professor in Fort Polk, Louisiana. She lives the nomadic Army life with her chaplain husband Jonathan, their two little girls, and their brand new baby boy. When she’s not kissing boo boos for the kiddos or grading masters theses (and hopefully not getting the two mixed up), she volunteers in the military community, plays her guitar, and chips away at the three or four writing projects she always seems to have going at once.