Thursday, December 19, 2013

One Perfect God

I'm a rule follower who sometimes loses sight of grace. This has been a struggle for me my entire life, mostly because of my perfectionist-driven personality. Motherhood has rocked this part of me. And six years, seven months, and 13 days in, this balance of rules and graces still rocks my world.

Lately I've felt trapped in the middle of rules that create healthy boundaries and develop responsible people and graces that frees and points directly to God. I want my kids to know Jesus and be generous and be responsible, independent people and obey immediately and ... so many other things.

But sometimes I mix up it all up and dwell on the "Obey now!" and "Come on, pick up your stuff!" and lose sight of Jesus. Sometimes I yell when I should whisper. And punish when I should forgive and teach. And lecture before I pray. And react before I realize the truth.

This week my kids have stained shirts and lost coats. They've picked on each other, invaded my personal space, and demanded things I didn't think were necessary. They've sang and talked loudly, often at inappropriate times.

I make those things the issues, but they're really not. My kids are imperfect people who need a Savior. And I'm an imperfect momma who needs her Savior.

"Perhaps it's time to offer some friendliness to the members of our own homes, to keep our tempers in check and our grumbling at bay, to let perfect love wash over a multitude of sins. Not the jelly-smeared, crumb-laden kind, but the hideous-word-hurling, mama-mouthed variety."

{From "Let. It. Go." by Karen Ehman}

I'm thankful for the grace to come to our Savior. And I'm thankful for that perfect love that does cover all our ugliness. I pray I let go more each day and my kids are drawn to Jesus each time. Perhaps that's the greatest illustration of faith, at least for a control-gripping soul like me.

It reminds me of my favorite quote from "One Way Love" by Tullian Tchividjian: "Grace generates panic, because it wrestles both control and glory out of our hands."

So, so true.

And, really, so, so freeing.

I try so hard to make decisions to please everyone. I make plans and raise my expectations. I rehearse conversations in my mind and replay them after the fact. I have opinions on nearly everything. And too often that all explodes out of my mouth, usually onto my husband and kids.

I need to control and glory wrestled right out of my hands. It's not mine to have anyway. But I have personal access to the One who does deserve the glory and has control of all the details.

"We can’t be perfect parents, but we can act in partnership with a perfect God. There is peace, hope, and expectancy in that statement."
{From "No More Perfect Moms" by Jill Savage}

What a relief! Perfection isn't possible here in this life. Not for my kids. And not for me. But God is here with us, perfecting and refining us as we go along.

This has been the lesson I'm supposed to learn this year. I know it from every aspect of my life. And I'm learning. Slowly. Books that have helped me along the way are "No More Perfect Moms" by Jill Savage, "One Way Love" by Tullian Tchividjian and "Let. It. Go." by Karen Ehman. Those are Amazon affiliate links, but those are books that are helping me let go. 

Joining others at Jill Savage's blog for the Hearts at Home blog hop as they share how the One perfect God made himself known in their imperfections. And for the first time, I'm also linking up with Lyli Dunbar's Thought-Provoking Thursday.

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  1. Kristin, I am not parenting little ones right now, but this post still really resonated with me because I lived in a very "rules centered" environment as a Christian school teacher. Now that I am in a new season with no students to boss around, I am slowly learning to be less OCD and just trying to roll with it more gracefully.... I am thankful that God gives us a "do-over" every morning, and that His mercies never fail.... (I need a lot of mercy in this area!)

    I loved the Tullian quote that you shared ... He is from my neck of the woods here in Florida. His brother, Stephan, is actually one of the assistant pastors at our church.

    Thanks so much for linking up at Thought-Provoking Thursday today. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas! :)

  2. KristinHillTaylor12/19/2013 12:16 PM

    I'm glad I learned about your link-up today and had an appropriate post to bring. Oh, yes, new mercies. I'm so grateful for them every day.

    That's a neat connection to Tullian. I'm glad to learn more about you. Merry Christmas!

  3. KristinHillTaylor12/19/2013 12:17 PM

    I'm pretty sure it's a life-long process, right? :) Thanks for visiting here!

  4. KristinHillTaylor12/19/2013 2:09 PM

    I'm so glad this post helped you, Heidi! It's a lesson I've been in the midst of learning for awhile now. With God's grace, us control freaks can let go one situation at a time. I need all the reminders and grace that I can get. I hope you enjoy those books - they've spoken such truth into my life.

    (My boy is a Thanksgiving week baby - so I also understand getting birthdays getting wrapped up in holidays. I've been known to have his party a couple weeks early so it doesn't start conflicting with holiday plans!)

    Hoping you have a wonderful Christmas and arrival of your baby!

  5. Tabitha Myers12/20/2013 7:56 AM

    I struggle with this battle everyday, and often lose. Most of the time, I even know how I should respond or what to do, but I want that control and obedience. Some days I can give grace and do a better job at letting go and I count those as small victories. Thanks for the post!

  6. KristinHillTaylor12/20/2013 6:23 PM

    Small victories are worth counting! Loosening my grip is such a hard thing for me to do some days, even though I know it's better.

  7. KristinHillTaylor12/23/2013 3:15 PM

    Those three words get me too, Beth! :)