Grace Among Us

027 - Finding Grace Amidst Chaos: Zoom Out.

September 21, 2023 Carri Richard and Ebony C. Gilbert Season 1 Episode 27
Grace Among Us
027 - Finding Grace Amidst Chaos: Zoom Out.
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

What if grace isn't about the task at hand but managing the emotions that surround it? Join me and my co-host, Ebony Gilbert, as we navigate the intricate dance of finding grace amidst frustration. Ebony illustrates the power of zooming out, with a personal anecdote about a mundane task of pulling weeds in her backyard. God uses everything. As we look at shifting our perspective, even in our darkest moments, we discover a gentle undercurrent of growth and progress that embraces us.

Can you recall a time when you felt burdened by problems, yet, a slight shift in perspective brought an unexpected shower of blessings? This is what Ebony experienced and she shares her wisdom about embracing the seasons of life and celebrating grace within the chaos. In our tendency to lean in, grasp, get stuck, figure, and force there is always a choice to pause. Step back. Have faith in the bigger picutre and let go enough to get a new view. We dive deep into the concept of gratitude, and how, at times, our ego becomes the barrier in seeking help from others. The conversation is an eye-opener about the lives we are living today - lives that seemed unthinkable a decade ago. So, come along on this journey of self-discovery, you might just find some grace in your own life, waiting to be acknowledged and shared.

We'd love to meet you in person! Come Join Us in Heaven's Net. A 3-day retreat March 13 - 15, 2024 - find out more by clicking HERE.

Speaker 1:

Welcome to Grace Among Us, the podcast where we unearth the many faces and places of grace and share stories of the power of grace in our human lives. Our desire is that this will inspire you to see grace in your own life and share it with others. Hey.

Ebony Gilbert:

Carri Richard. I am Ebony Gilbert. Hello everyone, welcome to Grace Among Us. I get to co-host this podcast with Carri and I'm super excited about our conversation today. Carri, you want to introduce yourself and kick us off.

Carri Richard:

I would love to. Hey, my name is Carri Richard, I'm a mindset coach, and I am doing what I love right here and right now with Ebony Gilbert, talking about grace all the many faces and places and pointing to it. Our intention is that we may light something up that you haven't seen before about grace and realize that it's all around, all the time. With that in mind, Ebony, my question today is. We talk about it all the time, sometimes it's easier to see grace than others, and what happens when it feels like grace is nowhere to be found? Where the proverbial SH stuff is hitting the fan?

Ebony Gilbert:

When the show is active, there it is. When the show is active?

Carri Richard:

When the show is active, what do you do?

Ebony Gilbert:

Well, I have a couple of examples this week where I didn't know what to do and I didn't stop in the moment and say I can't see grace, what shall I do? But after the fact I was like whoa, that was grace, right there, that was - and it was there all the time. The only difference was I changed my position. I'll give you an example where grace showed up to deal with my frustration. I have several, but I'll start with that one. I was a bum over the weekend. I had a list of things to do that I didn't do. So Monday after work - worked a full day. I decided I was going to go in my backyard and pull all the weeds on my fence line. Now let me lay this out for you. My fence line is longer than it looks from the house the fence line. It's not an enormous piece of land, but it's a little under half an acre. I'm one person without proper tools, by the way - you know - gloves, a hoe and boots. Let's see what happens. So I go out there and after about 30 minutes and 95 degree heat, I don't see my progress. Other than looking at the pile of weeds next to me that I pulled, I feel like I've been standing in the exact same spot the entire time. So I can go a little bit further, and I just can't see it. Carri, I can't see it. I'm frustrated. I'm like I should have hired someone to do this. Why am I doing this to myself? Surely I have overcome the point in my life where I have to do this myself. I mean, I'm having every conversation imaginable.

Carri Richard:

Out loud. What does that emotion feel like in that place?

Ebony Gilbert:

I'm angry, I am mad as hell. Because, number one why did I do this? Why did I do this? Number two, I don't see the progress. Do I even know what I'm doing? I mean, it can't be rocket science. You just pull them out. As long as you pull out the rope, you get it. But they're everywhere and they're on the fence and it's at the part of the land where your water drains, so it's soft and fertile and there are frogs. And I don't do frogs and I'm just angry. So I decide to quit. I take my little tools and I march my behind back up to the house. And when I get back up to the house and I turn around to look back and see what it looks like. Because I've decided, this isn't working and I can when my yard guy comes back with his equipment and his staff, they can take care of this for a nominal fee. When I look back, I can see the progress and I can tell that I only have a small patch left. So now I'm like, well, okay, I want to go back out there and finish the job. Was a different attitude. So I went back out there and I finished and even knowing what I just experienced, stepping away and seeing it better. When I went back, I still felt the same anger and frustration, like this is stupid, this is useless, even though I knew better. So I finished, I walked back up to the house again, looked back and it looks amazing. It looks amazing. And a friend of mine came over and said "gosh, your back yard looks great. And I thought (Carri - victory!", I won. You have no idea what it took me to do that. It was an hour and a half of intensive labor and anger and anger, and I have bites and stings and all kind of stuff going on. But I got it done and I had to zoom out. So, to answer your question, what do I do when I can't see it? I've learned this week Zoom out, zoom out, zoom out, change the view. Have you seen these brain teaser games where they show you a photo and it's so close on the photo you don't know what it is, but you have to guess what it is. Yes, you have no idea what it is. It looks like a hand, it looks like a finger and then, when they zoom out, it's a swan. Yes, yes, that's how I felt in the yard with the weeds. I love it this is ridiculous, but I zoomed out and I could see what was going on. So that's one thing that happened this week that made me realize, and the grace wasn't for the weeds or the yard, the grace was for dealing with my emotion, and I was so triggered by the fact that I felt like my efforts were in vain and I had good intentions and I was going to do the right thing and all these things, and I couldn't see that it was working.

Carri Richard:

There's the yeah, that's the thing it's. I want to see that it's working before before it's worked.

Ebony Gilbert:

I couldn't see it. I couldn't see it, I couldn't feel it. All I could feel was every muscle in the back of my thigh and back was starting to tingle. The hands are bleeding. So the grace in that situation became obvious to me once I zoomed out, stepped away from the weeds, the fray, came back up to the house, got back into my safe space, looked back on the situation and realized that the grace was in Him dealing with my emotions and my frustration and giving me the opportunity to see it from a different perspective. And I was like, oh, my goodness, how often do we not zoom out?

Carri Richard:

Especially when I can speak for myself, especially if I'm agitated, angry, frustrated, scared, all of those like when I am in those places. I can so forget that I'm not in charge and like, essentially, instead of pausing and stepping back, having the faith to step back, it's like I start grasping, like almost like I'm trying to get some kind of ground under my feet because things aren't going the way I want them to, or I can't see where they're going, and it's like, oh my gosh, and for me there's God standing back there, going. I'm waiting for you, honey, come on back.

Ebony Gilbert:

This has been a recurring theme. It keeps coming up in my life. It almost feels like this is the season of perspective or vantage point, because I keep having these moments where I'm in it and I can't see. And even though I keep having the moment, you think by now I know how this works, I know how this ends I still feel everything I feel in that moment, still go through all the changes, and then I'm like, oh, wait, wait, wait, wait. Am I seeing the full picture here, and can I trust that there's a picture bigger than even what I can see?

Carri Richard:

Yeah, for sure.

Ebony Gilbert:

You know there's more at work.

Carri Richard:

Yeah, just like I think last week we talked about, or the week before, I can't remember we talked about that telescope out there, what's it called?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, it's called the James Webb telescope.

Carri Richard:

It's like holy moly, like we have no idea how big the picture is. No problem, what do you want to look at it physically at this point, spiritually, like? However you want to look at it, it's so big and it makes me think of what's that? Dr Seuss Horton hears a who Do you know that? The one that she's got on the dandelion, like this whole world.

Ebony Gilbert:

Yeah.

Carri Richard:

Yeah, yeah, and I think when I can get that perspective, it's so easy to get that perspective right here with you talking right now, and I'm encouraging everybody who's here listening just to kind of take a deep breath and just feel how spacious this world is. And I don't know if I'll ever be cured of. - when I'm uncomfortable, I'm going to try to gather. My first reaction is to move in and get, try to see, like zoom in and try to figure it out, or get close or, and, as you say, it's the opposite. That actually is the most powerful. You know, I had a situation this week with my dad. He's 90 and he's had he had we'll call it a health scare, right, and so all of a sudden everything is shifting, like we're going to the hospital, things are shifting, we don't know what's happening and it's like it's if I let myself, I can become absolutely overwhelmed by the present, and what's going on. And at one point, one night I was staying up near him and one night I needed to go home, like I just he was in the hospital and I went home and it was interesting, it was kind of I hadn't thought about it like this. It was a step back, like even driving home. It was like I finally literally really for the first half hour it was dead silence because my mind was spinning on what if and how and what are we going to do, and blah, blah, blah, blah. And then it's like, "urn on the radio, carrie, turn on some music. And so I turned on, I'm all into this woman, the Bel Giberto. Right now she is like just - she is awesome. And I turned her on and cranked it and it was just, it was okay to change the subject. And in fact everybody wins, zoom out. Change the subject. Yeah, zoom out. And what I realized was I could see all the things to be thankful for. (Ebony - Right, that's the beauty of it.)

Ebony Gilbert:

That's it, Carri, right there. Yeah, yeah, when I zoomed out of that fence line, it wasn't just that the fence line looked better and maybe.

Speaker 1:

I planted some rose bushes.

Ebony Gilbert:

It wasn't just that, it was. You own a piece of property, kid, shut up. Yes, you have a fence line in suburbia.

Carri Richard:

That you get to take care of.

Ebony Gilbert:

Who the heck do you think you are? It was so much bigger than the fence line. It was., "Thank you, God, for this house and this yard. Thank you that I can stand up and do this, because a year ago I couldn't do this. Yeah, A week ago I was feeling too weak to do it. There was so many. It was like this overwhelming flood of gratitude and I was like, oh my gosh. And then I felt convicted. I was like, oh, forgive me for my pettiness, because I had a big petty moment. That came back so quickly.

Carri Richard:

Yeah, back to the. I don't know if I'll ever be cured of it, and there's grace in that. And I love, just just like you're saying the fence, it's like, hey, kid you're, you're a property owner, like this is your property right and you're taking care of it. And one of the as I drove away, as I started listening to some music and you know, just kind of. I realized, my ego, my humaneness had gotten me to a place where it's like, " you have to do everything. It's all on you. I'm not a doctor, I'm not a cardiologist, I'm not a nurse, I'm not even a candy striper.

Ebony Gilbert:

This is not your lane.

Carri Richard:

This is not my lane and I have siblings who are a hundred percent there. I have a ton of people praying. I had there's community. But in that moment, when I'm in the thick of it, it's almost like I got to put like I got my shield and I got my Wonder Woman things and and I'm also not including God, (Ebony - you're so right, you're so right).

Ebony Gilbert:

You made me just think about something. So I told that whole story about the fence line and I failed to mention that somebody was out there helping me, and that wasn't intentional. I didn't intentionally delete that from the conversation, but in describing my frustration and reliving that moment, I completely failed to mention the fact. Why did I omit that I had help?

Carri Richard:

Hmm.

Ebony Gilbert:

I thought about it when you say hey, I have siblings who are, you know, able body, and they're here and they're willing. I had somebody help me.

Carri Richard:

I love that you say that, because and and you tell me if this is incorrect, because I'm not you. But part of part of it is ego, for me when I do that, but also it it reminds me in it I don't know how to say this Like this is still a solo journey. (Ebony - right, it felt like just me and the heat ) Yeah, and it's not that there's so much power in community, there's so much power in connection, like like this, right here, this interaction. There's an energy here that I can't create all by myself. It doesn't work like that. And my relationship to God is a solo journey.

Ebony Gilbert:

Yes, all of my relationship with him. Yes, yeah, that's good. That's good, that's good. I got another example. (Carri - Good, I want to hear it). This is much shorter. I was trying to see what my next doctor's appointment is. I pulled up my chart online. You can pull it up on your phone, go to the app. It's pretty user-friendly. It's cool I'm an elderly person describing my fascination with technology right now, but it's cool. I pull it up and it brings up this nice little calendar. I'm clicking through, trying to see what my next appointment is. While I'm in there, I'm looking to see what's on the list to discuss next time I come across my diagnosis list. These folks have done a great job of tracking everything that's ever been wrong with me.

Carri Richard:

All in one place, in a one place.

Ebony Gilbert:

A nice bulletin list. I'm holding my phone and I'm looking at it and I feel my mood shifting. I can feel the energy draining out of me just from reading it, Carri. Yeah, just the memory of what these things meant, at what point in time. They meant them Before I know it. And I'm not talking about 10, 20 minutes, I'm talking about probably 60 seconds, 90 seconds. I feel so low, I am so broken. And all these ways that they've told me on this page. And as I'm getting fidgety and trying to manage what I'm feeling because I don't know what it is, my phone flips to landscape, right, and I have this.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Ebony Gilbert:

Yeah. Yeah, so the normal way you answer it to the long way and it's on the setting where it automatically adjusts the picture. When the phone flipped, I could see that this table wasn't just a table of all my diagnosis, mm-hmm. It was a table showing the start and end dates. And what made me feel in that first 30, 60 seconds like I'm so broken and messed up and jacked up, how I'll ever live to be 90, how I'll ever be? I'm going through a list of questions what was me? I'm awful Victim, victim, victim, victim, victim, victim. And that one accidental, shifting to landscape. I can see that 99% of the things on this list have an end date. They started and they ended, and in that moment, something happened to me. I said, oh my God, look where he's brought me from. And all that energy that was going into that sunken, dark, deep, dark place shifted to what a mighty God. How much grace is on this? Yeah, because now what looked like overwhelm, complicated, nothing's right, has turned into miracle, blessings, overcomer. No weapon formed against me. Now I'm on it. I'm on it, and I don't know why. I needed that reminder in that moment, because I wasn't feeling sick. Let's be clear. I didn't do this because I was not well. I was just trying to orient myself to was the next time I need to go in. It's time for a checkup. I'm not having anything that suggested all those diagnoses are really in my life right now, but seeing it I was triggered and, just like seeing it triggered me, changed the position just a little bit. It invigorated me. I had to zoom out.

Carri Richard:

I love, yes, and you also bringing up a point. I think the first two examples that we talked about was like a big zoom out, like you walked all the way back to your house, right, I got in the car and like drove away, and like the shift can be minuscule. Like the zoom out, like that's the beauty of God's kingdom in my mind is like big and little are irrelevant. It's even the intention of stepping back, like a deep breath, like a let me look at this different. Like I have no idea what's going on. Like, " God, can give me the eyes to see? Like shift my attitude. Yeah, I need to shift my attitude, you know.

Ebony Gilbert:

Yeah, the zoom could be physical, or it could be your perspective, your perception, your, your attitude, your mood. Don't be so dialed in. I thought I was looking at a list. It was a table, it was a full grid. I just couldn't see it on this little tiny device. That was turned the wrong way, evidently.

Carri Richard:

And what if you had been so distraught you just decided to just put your phone down and say well, I was trying to, but the thing flipped on me. Oh, sometimes God's real helpful. He's like hey, no.

Ebony Gilbert:

You're not about to walk away feeling like this. I've brought you too far, I've done too much. You're not giving me credit for what I've done in your life. Right now, let me remind you, let me bring to your memory because you're being triggered by these memories there's a correlating memory with these things you're associating with these diagnosis. I could look back and say stomach cancer was the worst time of my life. Or I can look back and say it was the most miraculous season of my life. When I look at the table in the traditional format on my phone, it's the worst time of my life. It gave me 13 other diagnosis. When I flip the phone the other way, I could see that none of those things are current and they healed me and blessed me and delivered me from all of them one by one, some all at once.

Carri Richard:

Yeah, it's a totally different story. It is a totally different story and it's a beautiful reminder that sometimes you gotta walk through it and you gotta get to the other side Exactly, and sometimes, when I'm overwhelmed and I'm walking through it, it's really hard to see that there is an end date. There's an end date, there's a start and an end date, and then season for everything. It is not in my control.

Ebony Gilbert:

There's an end date. This too shall pass.

Carri Richard:

And a season. I'm gonna bop all over. So I can remember when my son was young, I was a single working mom. I had a great job and it took me places and sometimes it was very overwhelming. And I have some friends who are older than me and they're vacationing. Some of them were retiring even, and they were living a very different life than I was living. And I'm zooming in right. "Wait, thinking to do that. I'm comparing the heck out of myself. And I had a dear friend and a spiritual mentor who said Carri, it's not your season. You are a single mother who is raising a child, working. These people have done that, Whether they have kids or not. Like you're trying to put yourself in a season that is not yours.

Ebony Gilbert:

I heard it before you.

Carri Richard:

And it was like I've heard this woman, pema Chodron she talks about like popping a bubble with a feather. It was like when this woman said that, like it's not your season, it was like all the defenses came down. I was like she's right, sometimes I gotta step back, she's still good. Yeah, I'm not in this season by mistake.

Ebony Gilbert:

And if it's a season that's miserably uncomfortable. You just said it. Some things you just got to walk through.

Carri Richard:

Yeah, yeah, absolutely.

Ebony Gilbert:

Or let them carry you through it. But you got to get through it. You've got to get to the other side.

Carri Richard:

And what you said. Remember who to give thanks to.

Ebony Gilbert:

Don't forget, yeah, Don't forget. I sometimes I pray God. Let me remember your blessings as much as I remember the problems. Yeah help me to recall all the miracles as much as I remember the tragedies. Let that list be longer, because it is, but for some reason the weight of the problems feel so much heavier sometimes, you know.

Carri Richard:

I do, I do and it takes practice.

Ebony Gilbert:

I'm big on celebrations, I'm big on yes, you are, yes, you are.

Carri Richard:

I know I'm big on reflecting back, like I see God in the rear view mirror, like I see to the point when I'm in the midst of something I don't. I don't see the work that's being done, so I can't.

Ebony Gilbert:

What are you celebrating today.

Carri Richard:

Oh my gosh, what am I celebrating today? You know what I'm celebrating? I'm at my dad's house and he's not in the hospital, and we had we met a new specialist today who was just magnificent, and I got to sit in the sunroom with my dad today and just be present, and then I know how to do that today, and that is, that is God's grace. That's what I'm celebrating in this moment. I can keep going, but that's the big one.

Ebony Gilbert:

I'm celebrating with you.

Carri Richard:

What are you celebrating today?

Ebony Gilbert:

Today I'm celebrating a little bit of peace and I have peace every day but I don't have the least bit of anxiety today. I don't feel like I'm worried about anything. I don't have what I do have to do list. I haven't looked at it. I just don't feel the pressures of the world today, not at work. I was two minutes late to this call. I was like you're going to beat me up. I know you'll give me some grace Like I just feel really relaxed and at ease. Our internet cut out in the middle of this. It's okay, we'll put it back together. Like I just feel at ease and I pray that that continues. And I don't know why you know and you don't have to.

Carri Richard:

That's the beautiful thing. And I have a friend (now the dog is barking). I have a friend who says I can't know why I am celebrating your ease balance.

Ebony Gilbert:

And I woke up with a little bit of it's cool, let it roll off.

Carri Richard:

Well, I am. I am praying that everyone who listens to this can feel that in this moment.

Ebony Gilbert:

And it's not the absence of stuff, let's be clear.

Carri Richard:

Yeah.

Ebony Gilbert:

I'm not going to be saying that it's your orientation to this stuff. Absolutely.

Carri Richard:

And tomorrow, when all hell breaks loose and I'm stressed out again, I'm going to remember today and I'm going to be thankful that I had a day without it Absolutely, and you can look back and celebrate hey, I know it's possible, it's possible for me, it happens, it's possible, it happens and like they bring it on, maybe it'll happen again on Sunday.

Ebony Gilbert:

Yeah, yeah, I'm grateful for that. I'm so grateful for that Good stuff. So there is another pointer to grace. Yes, zoom out, take the drive, step away from the scene, turn the phone, turn the picture, take a deep breath. Take a deep breath and by someone else into your situation. Sometimes it could be one word from somebody else.

Carri Richard:

Absolutely, Absolutely. And you know what I've found over and over. I don't even. I have some dear friends, you included, when I am in the midst, I can just say I just need a prayer. I don't have to give you any detail, all the details, any detail. It's just this connection. Okay, I just stubbed my toe Like figuratively right, I love it. Like can you pray for me?

Ebony Gilbert:

Yeah, and you got it. Yes, you got it Beautiful.

Carri Richard:

Beautiful. I love it.

Ebony Gilbert:

Thank you for the question.

Carri Richard:

Yes, thank you for the beautiful Examples and inspiration. So, anything we need to wrap up, you are the master Rapper Upper.

Ebony Gilbert:

Oh, I wanted to say something nice and clever about zooming out, but I'm not. I'm going to say don't forget where you come from, don't forget where you've come from, the life you're living today, the life I'm living today, was something we would have never dreamed of 10 years ago. The life we're living today is the life that somebody else is praying for. So when you really zoom out on your purpose, on your reason for existing, on what you're here to do on this planet, on why God gave you breath in your body, it's to move forward and carry on and carry out his mission and to love on people and to serve people. We talked about serving others in the last podcast. Zoom out to get to your purpose and understand that where you are today won't be where you are 10 years from now. Where you are today wasn't where you were 10 years ago. And don't forget. Don't forget the good, don't forget the good. That's what I got. I can't forget where I've come from, Carri. What about you?

Carri Richard:

I love it. I mean, you're so good. Yeah, I love it. There's that question how important is this going to be in three years?

Ebony Gilbert:

Or tomorrow.

Carri Richard:

Sometimes I got to go that far out, right, because I can't. It's got to. I got to drive away, zoom out, yeah, really zoom out. And you're absolutely right that you know I was going to ask. I'll say this, I don't know, 15 years ago, 17 years ago, I can't tell you exactly, maybe 15. It became very clear to me my purpose is to bear witness to God's grace. I had no idea how that would be. And here we are. What did we start? 13, 14 years later, I get to talk to you about this subject. We have no idea how our purpose gets used. You don't, no, we have no idea.

Ebony Gilbert:

We have no idea.

Carri Richard:

No, so have fun with it. Ride the wave, step back, look you know, zoom out. So that's what I got. This is. It's so good to see you.

Ebony Gilbert:

It's good to see you as well. So we're going to think about how we're going to zoom out when the enemy tries to trick us into thinking that life sucks. There you go, all right. I love you, my friend. I love everyone listening.

Carri Richard:

I love you too. And all out there. And until next time, Grace out, (Ebony - grace out).

Speaker 1:

Thank you so much for joining us. If you enjoyed this episode, please let us know. We love to hear from you and share it with a friend. Also, please be sure to subscribe so you're notified when a new episode is posted. We hope you're leaving with another pointer to grace, a new perspective that will light it up in your own life. Until next time, be well, be bold, be kind to yourself and be on the lookout.

Discovering Grace in Frustration
Shift in Perspective
Embracing Seasons and Celebrating Grace