Monday, October 14, 2013

Grace that smells like fresh flowers

While I was burning soup that was supposed to be our dinner tonight, my husband was buying my flowers.


Yes, I burned soup. To make it worse, it was my freezer and only needed to be heated up. For whatever reason, I put the soup in a pot and turned on high heat. And then I got distracted.

Some soups may have fared alright but the broccoli cheese soup was nearly overflowing the pot and full of burnt globs when I finally stirred it and turned down the heat.

I called my husband and the conversation went like this:

Greg: Hey, darlin'.
Me: I just burned dinner.
Greg: Do you want me to bring something home?
Me: How about we go to Zaxby's? Kids eat free tonight.
Greg: OK, meet me there in a few minutes?
Me: Sure. But aren't you still at work? 
Greg: I'm {pause ...} at Kroger buying you a treat. 
Me: A treat for me? 
Greg: I thought you would like some flowers. 
Me: That's sweet. And thanks for not caring about the soup I just burned. 
Greg: See you at Zaxby's in a few minutes. 

That's some real-life grace right there, where fresh flowers drown the smell of burnt cheese and broccoli.  

I'm still reading "One Way Love" by Tullian Tchividjian. I highly recommend it. I'm on page 167 of 227, but I would have recommended it from the introduction alone. While reading it the last couple weeks, I've had so many thoughts of grace and how it applies to identity and marriage and friendships and Christianity and service and parenting and daily life. And, like only God can do, opportunities to live what I'm learning are happening all around me.

This isn't the first time I've messed up dinner, forgotten an ingredient in the middle of cooking, or allowed my day to get away with me without making a plan for what we could eat. Greg has never made my identity as a wife be defined by what we eat for {or where we eat!} dinner. Even the time we both got sick after eating some homemade beef stroganoff, Greg didn't love me less because I failed at dinner time.

I didn't cook much when we first got married. In 2005, I decided cooking wasn't so bad and now we even have our favorite recipes. But plenty of times I still mess up. Yes, in the kitchen, but also in all the rooms of my life.

And then Greg walks in holding a bouquet of flowers. Just because he knew I'd like them.

This isn't the first time I've been handed a gift that has absolutely nothing to do with my performance. And by gifts I don't mean tangible treats like flowers, but all the expressions of grace that show up in my life. My husband has done it many times before. I'm blessed with friends who know how to spur one another one. I'm hoping my kids learn how to give like this. When I let go of my perfectionist, performance-based ways, I know that it's so much freeing to give and receive grace than keep a scorecard of successes and failures.

And God has done this since the beginning of time. Grace was God's idea. He showed the ultimate grace for me and you with his son on a cross. And he continues to show it in my life in simple moments, like my husband buying me flowers while I'm busy burning our dinner.

I'm linking up with ...
Jen Ferguson's Soli Deo Gloria party, where grace abounds. 
Crystal Stine's Behind the Scenes, where real stories are shared. 
Jennifer Dukes Lee's #TellHisStory, where God moves.

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  1. I have a print over my piano that a friend gave me that says "full of grace," reminding me of exactly this. His grace is just so amazing.

  2. KristinHillTaylor10/14/2013 8:22 PM

    Amazing, indeed! I'm thankful for the everyday reminders. Thanks for stopping by, Andrea!

  3. I love that verse that says He gives more grace... grace upon grace. I am so amazed at God's patience with me.

    I am stopping by from MissionalWomen.Com today. We were blessed to link up after you at SDG. :)

  4. I feel like you could have been writing about my life throughout this post...aren't we blessed by the grace given so freely? (Both from our Father and from our hubbies?) Love this...thanks for sharing! :)

  5. KristinHillTaylor10/15/2013 8:42 PM

    You're sweet, Mel. I'd be a total mess without grace in all areas of my life. :) Hope you're having a good week!

  6. Elizabeth Anne May10/16/2013 2:51 PM

    So, so good. I especially love this one: "When I let go of my perfectionist, performance-based ways, I know that it's so much more freeing to give and receive grace than keep a scorecard of successes and failures." Can I get an AMEN!

  7. KristinHillTaylor10/16/2013 3:04 PM

    It's a hard lesson for us Type A people, isn't it?! :) Glad to see your pretty face here.

  8. Oh man. That is so sweet. You are so blessed, girl. Love you!

  9. KristinHillTaylor10/21/2013 8:36 AM

    Love back to you, friend!