Cindy vs. Herself

Published by | 22 Comments | Love you, Matt!

Congrats Matt!

You know you’re in trouble when at 30, you resonate with a graduation speech. But whatever. It was good. I’m over it.  My graduation speeches were all about taking on the world and getting what we want with a little hard work.  Typical  sky is the limit kind of crap.  Maybe society has learned a thing or two or maybe it’s the unemployment rate, but I noticed all the speeches at Matt’s (youngest brother, best human ever) ceremony were about how hard life is.  How there won’t be answers and signs for every decision you have to make.  How trials should be expected.  One speaker quoted Bonhoeffer ( I can’t tell you how much it bothers me to talk about him on here twice in one month. Does it help that I know it’s lame?).   When we look at the road of life,  “Where will it lead us? What decisions and partings will it demand? To answer this question we will have to go to Jesus, for only He knows the journey’s end. But we do know it will be a road of boundless mercy.”

I thought about that word, mercy, for the rest of the graduation and on into the weekend.   Really, Jesus has boundless mercy on me and my future?  Why the hell am I so merciless toward myself?  Why do I heap so much pressure on to my career choices, relationships, bank account, body, and timeline?   What would it look like to treat myself with mercy?  The dictionary defines mercy as compassion and forbearance, which literally means to hold back, do without, and leave alone.  Could I hold back on the self-berating while staring at the perfect looking girl sitting in the row in front of me? She is 22, half Asian and 5’9. You aren’t. Let it go.  Could I have mercy on my career and the age for which I want everything to fall into place?  Could I look out at my future and rest in the fact that Jesus is waiting with boundless mercy, not words like, “Get it together”  “Work harder” and “Hot girls don’t eat bagels.”   Although, I’m pretty sure that last one is true.  Jesus is kind and patient towards me and what I do with my days.  Mercy isn’t just reserved for sin.  He uses it on us even when we are trying our best and feel we are coming up short.

I know I’m not the only one.  Most of us are pretty hard on ourselves.  What about you?  Could you use mercy on when you meet a spouse, establish a career, or lose 10 lbs.?  How about compassion on how you raise your kids, battle depression, or decorate your home?  I’d love it if you’d think about finishing the sentence “I’d have mercy on my________” in a comment.

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22 responses to “Cindy vs. Herself”

  1. melodyjwilson says:

    love this. “mercy isn’t just reserved for sin. He uses it on us even when we are trying our best and feel we are coming up short.” beautifully said and a very helpful reminder. having mercy on ourselves is rarely discussed. thanks for writing. :)

  2. Jody Eilts says:

    I’d have mercy on my relationship timeline :)

  3. keri says:

    I know this is broad, but I ‘d have mercy on my shortcomings- especially as a mom. Mercy is seriously what I’ve been most thankful for in the past couple of years- I think that has a lot to do with having kids 2,3 and 4. :) somehow the little people I love so much bring out my anger and impatience like nothing I’ve ever experienced! But the Lord has been so kind in reminding me that for me to show His mercy to my kids I need to enjoy it myself. I’m not Claire Huxtable and that’s okay. :)

    • Thank you for your honesty (and the Cosby reference! Love it! ) I can only imagine how hard it is to keep your head with kids and all their needs! I’ll may be needing your advice one day. I love the joy and laughter in the pictures you post. They always make me smile. Read and see Keri’s fam at

  4. Bree says:

    I’d have mercy on my shitty ability to juggle it all at once and just rejoice in the completion of one thing at a time being enough :) love you!

  5. Alecia says:

    I’d have mercy on my past failures and mistakes-all the shoulda/woulda/couldas that I didn’t/wouldn’t/couldn’t. I’d accept God’s grace instead of clinging to my super-glued Calvinist guilt. (Fantastic-now I can feel guilty for feeling guilty!) Just finished reading Flunking Sainthood by Jana Riess. Good read. I’ve flunked lots of times, big time. Confess it, get over it, get on with it.

  6. Rubie says:

    I completely resonnate with having a hyper critical attitude towards myself, and after reading your blog I couldn’t help but wonder if the some of the obstacles blocking me was my focus (and our culture) on our selves. We spend countless hours evaluating, comparing and strategizing on ways to improve. I know I desperately need to slow down, spend time at the feet of Jesus and have Him transform me from the inside out so I see Him clearly and join His plan for the kingdom, which is so much larger than me and all my dwelt upon imperfections.

  7. I’d have mercy on my inability to fix anyone.

  8. Alecia says:

    I’d have mercy on my NEED to fix EVERYONE!

  9. Jenny Dong says:

    I’d have mercy on my desire to please everyone and focus more on pleasing God.

  10. jenalee says:

    Id have mercy on my thoughts.

  11. jenni says:

    I would have mercy on my inability to keep my house and yard clean and “perfect” like I wish I could…. And about the bagels; no one should eat bagels. There really isn’t any nutritional value. You are just filling your body with empty calories. Who wants to do that? Sorry, had to go there:)

  12. Lynn says:

    that’s matt and not tim? wow.

    love your blog cindy!

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