Sunday, October 6, 2013

{Giveaway} One Way Love

When someone asks how I am, I often answer with a list of what I've accomplished. Far too often, productivity terms my perceived worth.

God's been talking to me about that. He's been showing me how my true identity is in him. He's been reminding me life is about relationships and moments, not necessarily conquering a to-do list.

I certainly know perfectionism, which often pushes me toward a distorted identity that I base on performance. While I know my identity isn't in what I do, I too often get caught up in proving I can juggle motherhood, freelance work, housekeeping responsibilities, hobbies, friends, and serving in our community.

Um, I say I can. Maybe I can if I want to be stressed, overwhelmed, and missing the best parts of life. But I am certain that's not what God wants for me.

In the past several weeks, God has convinced me that there is freedom in letting go and saying no. But doing this I can say yes to what God truly has for me. Last week, I let go of a freelance job. And I know other specific things I'm supposed to do {or, rather, not do ...} so I can be more available and present.

These are the sort of things on my mind when I opened "One Way Love" by Tullian Tchividjian. And then when I started underlining in the introduction, I was confident I was reading a worthwhile book. 

"When we worship at the alter of performance -- and make no mistake, performance is a form of worship -- we spend our lives frantically propping up our images or reputations, trying to do it all -- and do it all well -- often at the cost of ourselves and those we love.

... The hub of Christianity is not 'do something for Jesus.' The hub of Christianity is 'Jesus has done everything for you.' And my fear is that too many people, both inside and outside the church, have heard our pleas for intensified devotion and concluded that the focus of Christian faith is our love for God instead of God's love for us. Don't get me wrong -- what we do is important. But it is infinitely less important that what Jesus has done for us."
{From the introduction of "One Way Love" by Tullian Tchividjian}

Enter grace. Such a big, sometimes mysterious concept. But Tchividjian makes is so real and practical. So many good lines I want to remember in ways that make my life different.

"Grace generates panic, because it wrestles both control and glory out of our hands."

"... because Jesus paid it all, we are free from the need to do it all."

While this one-way love will change us, obsessing over that process will distract from the purpose. I've been known to over-analyze a moment. I've been sucked into trying to figure it all out and then wanting to explain it. This book has reminded me that self-absorption, like performance and perfectionism, is exactly the opposite of grace.

Even as I learn of grace, I'm still surprised by its presence. Tchividjian says being unexpected is one of the primary characteristics of this amazon one-way love:

"Grace is always a surprise. We are hardwired for reciprocity and punishment; tit for tat is an utterly instinctual mode of thinking and living. So when someone withholds judgment, especially when it is deserved, we are astonished." 

Admittedly, I've read this book too fast. I need to go back and reread the parts I've starred and underlined. I've jotted down notes next to passages because grace is a transforming truth I need more of in my life.

Ironically, I need to slow down in life too. Yes, life is busy, but I know God is calling me to be even more intentional with my time so I can be present to be available to what others need and what the Maker of it all is trying to show me.

About "One Way Love" :: Real life is long on law and short on grace -- the demands never stop, the failures pile up, and fear sets in. Life requires many things from us -- a stable marriage, successful children, a certain quality of life. Anyone living inside the guilt, anxiety, and uncertainty of daily life knows that the weight of life is heavy. We are all in need of some relief. Bestselling author Tullian Tchividjian is convinced our world needs a fresh encounter with grace.

Learn more at the book's website.

About the author :: William Graham Tullian Tchividjian (pronounced cha-vi-jin) is the senior pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. A Florida native, Tullian is the grandson of Billy and Ruth Graham. He is a visiting professor of theology at Reformed Theological Seminary, and a contributing editor to Leadership Journal. He is an ordained minister in Presbyterian Church of America. He is the author of six books, including the best seller, "Jesus + Nothing = Everything" that won Christianity Today’s 2011 book of the year. He travels extensively, speaking at conferences throughout the country.

Follow Tullian Tchividjian on Twitter.

Now, it's giveaway time! If you could pick up a book that speaks to what you're going through in life right now, what kind of topic would you choose?

Leave a comment below answering that question and you'll be entered the winner. This giveaway is open to U.S. and Canadian residents. I'll randomly choose a winner on Friday.

{Edited 10.11.13 :: Congratulations to Jen Ferguson for winning this copy of "One Way Love."}

I received a copy of "One Way Love" to review from FlyBy Promotions, which is also providing a second copy to whoever wins this giveaway. It may have been free, but this book's message echoed so many things God has been showing me in my everyday life. And, hey, "One Way Love" {Amazon affiliate link} is worth the money if you want to buy it. 

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  1. Oh, goodness. Just one? I would choose a book that reiterates to me the value and purpose of rest, that I am not what I do, that play is purposeful, and fun is a must in order to be really able to ENJOY life.

  2. Hey Kristin! I'd choose a book on surrendering to God's processes in us in the hidden places of our lives. Knowing Him and trusting His work in the hard waiting seasons. Something like that. :)

  3. I would pick a book on how to have a peaceful home or something on teaching kids about strife.

  4. KristinHillTaylor10/06/2013 9:48 PM

    Ah, yes. We all need that kind of truth. Hang in there, Mandy! Phil. 4. :)

  5. KristinHillTaylor10/06/2013 9:48 PM

    Yeah, I wouldn't be able to choose just one either!

  6. KristinHillTaylor10/06/2013 9:49 PM

    Oooh, good one!

  7. KristinHillTaylor10/06/2013 9:50 PM

    Yes, peace during the 4 o'clock hour, right?!

  8. Tabitha Myers10/06/2013 10:17 PM

    I agree with Jamie. I would pick a book on having a peaceful home. Lots of peace needed here right now...grumpy upset kids and grumpy upset husband too often, which is really exhausting. I can't force people to be content, but sometimes I wish I could!

  9. KristinHillTaylor10/07/2013 1:34 PM

    Oh, yes ...

  10. JacknMisty Lindsey10/10/2013 4:28 PM

    I can so relate Kristin! Right now I am reading Giving them Grace by Elyse Fitzpatrick & working through the Sonship bstudy by World Harvest Mission. Both have been such sweet reminders of His grace & an encouragement to live as His daughter & not an orphan. I am constantly struggling with trying to add to the gospel by doing works & measuring myself according to performance. & then feeling defeated when I don't cut it. So I need to keep reminding myself of His goodness & grace! This book sounds really great! (I love your writing girl! So encouraging!)

  11. KristinHillTaylor10/10/2013 7:16 PM

    You're the second person to mention that book to me this week! And I love the thought you said - to live as God's daughter and not an orphan. I'm going to use that for an upcoming series I have planned for adoption! So glad you stopped by here - your words are so encouraging. Hope you and all the kiddos are doing well!

  12. No More Perfect Moms by Jill Savage

  13. KristinHillTaylor10/17/2013 1:12 PM

    That's one of my all-time favorite books - I loved being on the launch team earlier this year.