In our old lives, Tuesday diner would mean a fast recipe I’ve served a million times. Something that takes an hour to make, eat, and clean up. No time for innovation. We have got places to go and people to see.
But, of course, spring of 2020 has been so different. There’s no homework, no banquets or practices, no rushing. I can try a new recipe, and even if it fails, who cares? I’ll make something else. What else are we doing anyway?
How is May going for you? Are you creating more? Baking? Turning the guest bedroom into a craft room? Training for a 5K? Writing?
Maybe you’ve discovered, like I have, that this quarantine came bearing gifts. You’re moving away from a timeline dictated by ALL THE THINGS. You have time to innovate.
Here is the best news: through this newfound creativity, you can learn the most important lesson ever: grace for yourself. This grace is the steady motor that drives the creative process. Here’s what it looks like to make anything:
1. First, accept you’re not very good at this thing yet. The first draft of anything I write is terrible. This is not the time for perfection, though. No comparing with other writers or self-hatred. Layers of grace instead. Just do the thing.
2. Show up on Day Two and Day Three and keep on going. You’re doing this to discover, not to produce. Resist the urge to imagine how other people will react to your project. Don’t think about how you can sell this. Don’t picture your Instagram post. You are creating here. That’s enough.
3. Realize you will struggle—but don’t give into instant gratification. You will want to open a browser or inhale a bag of Doritos, or do anything to numb the truth that this project is not happening like you expected. This shame is a lie, though. Keep going. Trust you are loved no matter what this thing becomes. Free yourself from the weight of impossible expectations and just keep trying.
Because, of course, this thing is becoming something so much richer.
You are facing your own imperfection with grace. This is the only way forward. These are the new glasses to see everything else. You have not been doing anything perfectly–relationships or work or life–and that is the gift of vulnerability.
This vulnerability is everything because this is where you glimpse God’s love for you. You are not loved because you do anything well–you are loved because of Jesus.
Knowing this lets you off the hook for the next thing you want to try. Who cares if you mess up or it’s not what you expected or you keep failing? You are still so worthy.
You can bask in the bright, soothing light of God’s immeasurable grace. You can trust that nothing can take that away from you.