Grace and Space

Or Space and Grace — I molded this from the *conversation* I had with the lovely Melinda Kucsera. If you haven’t read her stuff – it’s good! Check her out at

Image Credit – Bikurgurl 2016

“We can be innocent enough to be vulnerable, but need to be tough enough to pick up the pieces.”

{Thanks @AnnieScribes for the poem prompt! She authors What the Woman Wrote}

As a recovering perfectionist, I wish someone had given me permission years ago to let go, let it flow….I wish that someone had been me.

Melinda discusses the messiness of life be okay with the messiness of life in her post Permission to Be Me. We all write for different reasons, blog for different reasons, reveal – or conceal – to craft our stories. For my own neurotic reasons, I suppose, I prefer to use a moniker versus my first and last name. It gives me permission to be me without exception. The good, the bad, the ugly. I prefer the anonymity it provides my children – whom may or may not want my ramblings to be electronically linked to them, as well as my husband, family, friends.

Not to mention, I’ve owned this domain for years πŸ˜‰

But that’s beside the point. I choose to give myself permission to write and discuss my writing on-line with other like-minded writers in this writing community. Here’s the

Image Credit – Bikurgurl 2016

thing: I also homeschool my children, I like gardening and posting garden images to Instagram, riding my bike {as many of you know, I used to mountain bike – thus the moniker I’ve used for 20+ years}, my rescue dogs, my family, my spirituality, the environment ….well, I have a life. IRL {In Real Life}.

Here it is: As much as I prefer to stay positive on-line with my writing and interactions, I am fatally flawed. I miss appointments, forget to call friends, swing through the drive-through, don’t visit my parents as much as I’d like…in fact, I’m very imperfect in this imperfect world. However, my life experiences, my struggles, my quirks, my imperfections — they give me one thing all the well-lit, well-photographed Instagrammers {You look good, BTW!} may not have…


…because no one wants to read about a character, or a story, or a process that is perfect. Hell: Cinderella couldn’t even keep the glass slipper on when she went down the stairs, and she was a saint by all accounts in the Disney cartoon! None of us can relate to that kind of process, to that kind of life. We are all full of imperfections, holes, cracks, and mistakes…

…but sometimes, it’s those imperfections that are so alluring, draws people in, makes people feel comfortable and relatable {realte-able? Is that edit necessary, WordPress?!? }.

The comfort in our own skin, in our own life, with our own choices, our own realities — It’s something most of us will strive for most of our lives to obtain. I will say that as I am rounding the corner of 40, it’s much easier to see the progression, the ideal of not worrying about measuring up and not being enough.

Because here’s the thing: I’ve never really cared what people have thought about me, what I’ve done or said…but I’ve beaten myself up enough for not living up to my own expectations.

We can be our own worst enemies. I found my children starting to follow in my footsteps of seeking perfection. I was not only disturbed, but horrified, they couldn’t be happy with their successes. It wasn’t until I realized they were likely never satisfied with themselves because I was never satisfied with myself. They likely based their own self-worth on their perceived value of my self-worth. I didn’t see a lot of my mistakes until they manifested in my children…

Like the first time I heard my child say, “I hate it when that happens.” Something I used to say all the time, until I heard it come out of my then 2 year old’s mouth. I was flabbergasted – such an innocent, sweet child saying seemingly innocuous words — words I used all the time {“I hate that happened to you” or “I hate that your cookies burnt!” or “I hate it that you weren’t able to come to the party” – I think it’s a very Southern thing, or maybe a Midwest spoken vernacular}. Hearing my sweet child say the words sounded, well, hateful. We stopped using the word that day.

You can imagine my horror to believe I allowed my children to think less of themselves; painted myself into a box of never being good enough, thereby painting them into that same proverbial box. How sad! This is not what I was meant for, or meant to be.

These days, it’s all about grace and space.

Image Credit – Bikurgurl 2016

We try to remind each other daily — if we don’t give ourselves grace and space, how can we expect anyone else to do so? If we demand it of ourselves, we’ll demand others give us this too…we’ll be sending out the messages to the world we wish to receive. Circling back to Melinda’s post — giving yourself Permission to Be – it’s a a beautiful thing! I call it Grace and Space — you call it what works for you!


As I finished up my writing class last week, my students and I discussed the need to put space between the writing process and the edit process. To allow time to elapse between finishing the work and the editing. Stephen King wrote in his book, On Writing that he allows 3 months between the writing and the editing. I like to think of it as marinating versus brooding.

I wrote my latest book iteration mainly during NaNoWriMo last November. I allowed several months to pass and began edits in late February. I started teaching a writing class again in April, and I write with my classes, so I put edits on hold. Before I knew it, I realized my writing actually dovetailed my November writing — which was ultimately a necessary first edit — so I’m knitting the two stories together in one massive edit {or do we call it a rewrite?}. It’s just going to be a mess now — but I can live with it. Grace and Space.

Once I get the rest of my big gardening ventures completed, and the construction we have

Image Credit – Bikurgurl 2016

scheduled to begin Monday, I’ll go back to it. That’s the thing about our writing…it’s always there waiting for us whenever we’re ready for it. My blog has been missing me, I know. I’ve been trying to keep up with at least Three Line Tales on Wednesdays {I often write of Space and Grace in these} and a few of the Friday challenges, but I’m woefully behind reading posts from my community. I keep up a little better with a few who Instagram – we follow each other – but I’m giving myself the Space and Grace I need.

In some ways, I wish I had the time to dedicate to getting it finished in one go — but in other ways, I’m finding the story is much better with the marinating. My experiences build. My story grows fat with texture and layers. My depth and reflection allows for more precision, less garbage, when I write. I like the efficiency I’m building through practice.

I remind my children, my students, myself: We are our own worst critic.

We will always expect more of ourselves than anyone else will. If we don’t give ourselves permission to be imperfect, impractical, make mistakes, have fun, goof off – who will? No one will give us what we need if we don’t demand it of ourselves.

Change comes from within — and ultimately the only person you can change is yourself. I

Image Credit – Bikurgurl 2016

talk about this with my children a lot. In a world so wonderful, so many bad things can – and do – happen. Control is but an illusion — and the basis for the perfectionism. So if you change the script – allow yourself the Grace and Space to be whomever, whatever, you are evolving to be — you’ll be happier, you’ll have energy and love for yourself AND for the people around you.

I have to remind myself…when I feel sucked into that rabbit hole of self-doubt and regret…that I’m the only one I have to blame for it. Instead of continuing down the winding spiral of self-deprecation and soul-bashing, acknowledge that it is part of who I am. Accept my imperfections – I don’t want to indulge the urge to slide into regrets.

I give myself Grace and Space to begin anew.

Thank you for this post, Melinda. As promised — I totally took my comments, linked back to your post, and blogged about this πŸ™‚

Our words have power and I’m so happy I’ve found yours and can follow your process!

Congrats on all your hard work and the work to come πŸ™‚

And for my other readers, thank you for reading my rambling. If you liked this, you’re going to love my novel πŸ˜‰ If not, I understand – but you probably stopped reading long ago!

Are you giving yourself Grace and Space?


79 thoughts on “Grace and Space

  1. Thank you for taking our conversation about grace and space from the comments section and elevating them to a post. This is so awesome. Thank you for your kind words about my writing and your best wishes. It was a pleasure talking (commenting back and forth?) about perfection/imperfection, grace and space and how important it is to cut ourselves some slack. I am giving myself grace and space from now on πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The pleasure was all mine! It’s something that’s been weighing heavily on my mind to blog about, but life and writing keep getting in the way πŸ˜‰ Thank you for your kind words and inspiration!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I love it! Thank you for reblogging with your thoughts and rounding the troops for their feedback to keep the conversation going! We all need a little Grace and Space πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You’re welcome πŸ™‚ yes we do need grace and space! I’m gathering more perspectives as I write this. I think I may do a series. Maybe it will help shine a little in our dark corners πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

    1. We all do — giving yourself just a little bit of room to breathe is where it starts. Allow yourself more and more freedom to be human, to be you. Daily if you need to remind yourself; keeping a gratitude journal can really help – you don’t want to wait until you get life altering health diagnosis, or lose someone you love, before you stop to give yourself grace — then you can share your grace with those you love, your community, and the world πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Most welcome. You both are inspiring women. I created a hashtag on Twitter for this – feel free to come up with a new one if not to your liking. I’m not spending time on WordPress that much right now so I hope I can do my part in the other “space” ☺️

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Wonderful piece. I read Melinda’s post first. Now I get the entire picture. Thank you for this piece it’s written at a very helpful time for me too. I don’t know if I can leave my manuscript three months. But I agree, giving it some space helps a great deal. Congrats on finishing teaching your writing class.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! It’s been so wonderful conversing with Melinda, Annie, and others on giving ourselves permission to have the Space to be imperfect, to make mistakes, to enjoy and live life! I’m so happy you stumbled upon the conversation and I hope you reblog, join in, and give yourself the Space and Grace you deserve! YOU are WORTH IT! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ohhhh… that is so sweet of you.. that made me feel my thoughts are valued. ❀ I've read a lot of great responses already from writers that i look up to and I am not sure if mine still have to be said. but… i will. because you said so. ❀

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Don’t do it for me, do it for you if you feel it….THAT is the space and grace you deserve πŸ˜‰ Just because I value your POV doesn’t entitle me to demand it of you πŸ˜‰ Thank you so much for you kindness — I hope you allow yourself that kindness in return πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  3. It gives me such a relief to read this post! We sometimes take ourselves so sternly that we start fearing to do anything new. I am beginning to see, this is a very dangerous thing. Often we say we are afraid of what others will say, but after reading this, I am feeling the first fear emerges from ourselves.We never give space to self, ‘the permission to be me’. This is an important insight. Do incorporate this in your teachings at homeschool through stories. Thank you for sharing this.Thank you to Melinda for starting this discussion. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your thoughts! I’d love for you to continue you your thoughts on your blog if you feel so inclined — and so happy you’re back on-line! Your writing has been missed πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes it is a good thought to spread.I will surely carry it forward through one post. Thanks a lot! πŸ™‚ I’m happy to get back to your writings too! πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Fantastic πŸ™‚ I am thrilled to see the idea of Space and Grace being carried forward and thoughts crafted to encourage others to love themselves a little more – take a deep breath, give themselves and the ones they love, the space and grace they need as well πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

    1. What a sad tale of remorse, yet I feel a twinge of some anticipation of our protagonist going after her – by plane? By letter? Text? Love the open endedness of your story – it could lead to many interesting destinations. Thank you for joining us again this week ❀


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