Monday, January 27, 2014

{No More Perfect Kids} Letting the light escape

My kids were chasing each other. It had started out as a game and then morphed into him picking on her and her yelling at him. My husband walked through the door into the tense moment. Again. Seriously, what is it about the hour before dinner that ramps up the stress level?

I was trying to get dinner finished. In effort to gain some control over the people in my house, I yelled some rant about how having fun is OK but wildness is dangerous and how I could use some help setting the table and how nobody was getting along and how ...

You know, I don't even remember everything in my rant. I'm certain my kids didn't actually learn anything from it either. And my husband just became more irritated with my attempt at control.

Letting go has been my desire long before Elsa sang about her icy powers. But in trying to let go and embrace the imperfection, I've failed over and over again. Yes, I've improved. But I'm still not there.

I'm not perfect, but I'm being perfected by a perfect God. Did you catch that? Notice the drastic difference when perfect is an unattainable adjective and when it's an on-going verb.

This is the process I've been embracing the past year and it's the same one I'm going to continue embrace this year. {You can read many previous posts about embracing imperfection inspired by Jill Savage's "No More Perfect Moms."}

"Change is really about exchange. We replace one thing with something else. What if you and I replaced 'being perfect' with 'being perfected'? What if we were truly able to embrace that the imperfect parts of our lives are counterbalanced with the reality of a perfect God who longs to shine His light through the cracks in our lives? What if we could believe that fully for ourselves and fully for our children, who are also 'being perfected'?"
{Jill Savage in "No More Perfect Kids"}

That's right. Jill Savage has a new book out. Written with Dr. Kathy Koch, it's an ideal follow-up to her book last year, especially for someone like me who desires change but isn't always sure how to let go. As part of the launch team, I've gotten to read the book already. It encourages parents to really get to know their children and offers practical advice for ridding parenting of perfection

As much as I recommend you buy it, I also recommend you wait until the release week. If you buy the book between March 14-22, then you'll get additional FREE resources worth more than $100 from Hearts at Home and Moody Publishers. Totally worth the wait. Stay tuned because this won't be the only time I talk about it.

So that quote above from Jill? Yeah. It pierced my heart because it's EXACTLY what I want to happen in my heart and my life and my children.

I chose "LIGHT" as my one-word focus for the year. God has since brought songs and words into my life to affirm the importance of letting go so His light alone can shine. For me, it's about seeing God in imperfect real life and holding on to his promises while letting go of my expectations.

He's there ...

... in the piles of laundry that are washed, dried, folded and put away for my favorite people in the world.

... in the dishes that need to be loaded into the dishwasher because we had food to eat around the table together.

... in the noisy, sometimes rough games the kids make up because they're creative and active.

... when I'm not sure what to say or when I've said too much.

... on the hard days because we can do all things with His strength.

... when my words are too loud and my lectures too long because he forgives and redeems.

... when my kids are slow to obey because God is slow to anger and wants us to learn patience.

... when my kids ask the same questions over and over. They're learning and figuring things out.

... when we all forget and run late and crowd our schedules because none of us are perfect but God still manages to work all things together for our good when he choose him.

... when we feel left out or passed over or like we aren't sure what step to take next.

... always, especially when we finally remember we aren't in control anyway.

Those cracks have been on my mind. And then Jill Savage goes and talks about them too. Those cracks aren't worth yelling about because I want to hear the truth they whisper and the light they allow to shine.

I'm linking this post with Jen Ferguson's Soli Deo Gloria party, where the imperfect cracks are embraced fully, and Jennifer Dukes Lee's #TellHisStory, where the stories are real.

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  1. I just started reading the book and have also had the book speak to me, looking forward to reading more!! Love this, so resonates with me too!

  2. KristinHillTaylor1/27/2014 5:09 PM

    The way she writes and the stories she tells get me ... I guess that's the point. I couldn't get over how perfect that quote I posted that's toward the end was perfect for what was happening in my head already! I know you'll continue loving it. Looking forward to reading your post/posts about it!

  3. I am being perfected . . I am not perfect but I am being perfected . . . I think I might just keep repeating this to myself the rest of this week . . or longer. Thank you for your powerful vulnerability and encouragement, Kristin. Wow, how I needed it. xo

  4. KristinHillTaylor1/27/2014 7:14 PM

    That concept is powerful for me too. It's being repeated over here too, friend. I so love seeing your pretty face here.

  5. I loved the entirety of this post. And yes, I do think our hearts are in sync. I do have to let go if I am to take, relaxing, enjoying life. And it's crazy that the things I hold onto are not good for me, and yet, I cannot imagine life without them. I am definitely in need of being perfected and I am so grateful for a Father willing to do so. And can I just tell you how much I loved this line? "I'm linking this post with Jen Ferguson's Soli Deo Gloria party, where the imperfect cracks are embraced fully."

    Because, yes, this is what I've longed for the SDG community to be. Thank you for this amazing bit of encouragement.

  6. KristinHillTaylor1/27/2014 7:32 PM

    Until this past year, I didn't understand online friendships. This community you've allowed God to create at SDG has been a life-changer for me. I seriously wish our families could hang out regularly. So thank you for that.

  7. Love the quote. Embrace the imperfect parts of our life... I think I need to place that somewhere for me to see every day. I'm not adding any more books to my list until I make it through Storyline next. :) Thanks for the encouragement always found here. Is it spring yet?

  8. KristinHillTaylor1/27/2014 7:47 PM

    This embracing the imperfect is a ongoing process around here in my house and heart. It's certainly a concept I return to over and over again. Thanks for the sweet words you always bring. Hoping for spring down here too! :)

  9. bluecottonmemory1/27/2014 10:53 PM

    My youngest do the same thing - light-hearted wrestling turns serious - and then chaos explodes. I'm still not good with it - and I'm trying not to rant but I'm imperfect. I rant when I'm overwhelmed - I need to let His light shine through these cracks! Wonderful review! Even though I'm down to 3 at home - I still need refresher courses!

  10. I so wish that, too, about our families! I am really blessed that God has used SDG in your life in such a powerful way. I can say the same thing!

  11. KristinHillTaylor1/28/2014 1:22 PM

    Ranting is my default too often - that's the part I want God to change. We all need refreshers. :) Thanks for commenting and visiting here!

  12. Have you heard the saying practice makes progress? There's no such thing as perfection, but we can strive to make some progress every day. And when we don't make any, God's grace is right there with us. :)

  13. KristinHillTaylor1/30/2014 7:34 AM

    That's a good saying! Love it! Thanks for stopping by here.