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You often hear of grace: grace from God, giving grace, receiving grace, saying grace, but what does that really mean? Is it something you can rely upon? Those days when you feel less than whole and at your worst, do you really deserve grace? Maybe you’ve yelled at your children again? Maybe you feel disconnected from your spouse? Maybe you just don’t feel particularly thankful? You’re wrapped up in the day-to-day struggles, and finding it difficult to feel the joy in the homeschool journey. You are restless, angry, sad, unsure and oh so very tired that you’re beginning to resent it all.

Grace. It can feel elusive. Such a simple word, and yet so hard to fully grasp. What, exactly, is it? How can you deserve it amidst such imperfection?

Consider these synonyms for grace:

















These words connote a two-way relationship, a duality of giving and receiving. You cannot be thankful without having something to be thankful for. You cannot give reverence if there is nothing to revere. A reprieve is needed from hardship, not from contentment. There is no need for mercy in a perfect world.

By its very nature, grace is something to give and something to receive when the situation at hand falls short of perfection. You will frequently fall short, but grace is still there. It is in the broad sweep of your life and in the minute details of your daily struggles. It is found in singular moments of anger, frustration, sadness, doubt and uncertainty. It is a continuous ebb and flow of achievement and failure, where each moment of your life is another chance to get it right; a chance to give and receive grace.



You may feel you are unworthy, but grace gives you enumerable chances to improve, to keep striving to be the person you wish to be. Moments of failure are inevitable. No matter how many steps back you take, grace allows you to keep moving forward. Grace is intertwined with your very existence—in your interactions with God, with others and with yourself. Grace is your safety net, your never-ending supply of second chances. Without it, you are left wanting.

Consider these antonyms of grace:








It is not really your mistakes that hold you in place, but dwelling on those mistakes that slowly erodes your joy, eating away your resolve and tarnishing your heart. The absence of grace can leave you scarred.

Accept this truth: you are imperfect. You will fail much of the time, but that is okay. Don’t dwell on your shortcomings… learn from them. Leave room for grace. It is freely given, again and again. All you must do is quiet your mind, open your heart and receive it for your soul. Give yourself the grace to accept this gift.

And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

2 Corinthians 12:9 KJV


Crystal Bourne is the proud wife of a military Veteran and the mother of five. Her homeschooling philosophy closely resembles relaxed homeschooling/unschooling, though she doesn’t always feel relaxed. She believes all people are Bourne Learners, gifted with individual skills and talents that will shine when given the opportunity to explore the world and pursue their passions.

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"Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it" (Proverbs 22:6).