Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Grace that inspires

With markers in hand, Cate was creating a detailed picture for Gran-Gran's birthday present. It involved a rainbow and leprechaun. Although I'm not entirely sure of the significance, I know she had a plan. When Ben haphazardly swiped the red marker across the corner of the paper near the sunshine, Cate was irritated. She thought her vision was messed up with the stray red markers.

I totally get that reaction, but I reminded her  Gran-Gran was going to love whatever she made. With some convincing, she let go of the irritation she had for Ben's interference and finished her picture while Ben kept his marks on his own picture.

We went about our weekend that included a granddaughter-planned surprise party for Gran-Gran. I forgot about the picture snafu the day before.

The day after the party, Cate was talking about how she made the sunshine rays out of the red mark Ben left on her paper. She was talking to me, but Ben was listening closely.

"You aren't mad?" Ben asked.

"No. That was yesterday," Cate said

She had no hesitation in her voice. She meant it.

She had moved on. Truly.

I explained how she was demonstrating grace and forgiveness to her brother. Having held onto too many grudges myself, I was proud of her for realizing letting go was so much freer than dwelling on imperfect interference.

"I thought I just changed my attitude," Cate said in response to my lesson on grudges.

Ah, yes, an attitude adjustment. She's right. Changing her attitude helped her let go. Letting go helped her enjoy the rest of the day, including the party she was thrilled to plan with her cousins.

Grudges create barriers between people and hearts. Grace opens the door to joy.

Author Holley Gerth asks, Who inspires you?

These two little ones do. {They wouldn't like me calling them little. But they're 6 1/2 and 4. They're still little.}

They're full of joy and ideas and dreams and grace. Yes, sometimes the energy and ideas pile on my weary momma brain and lead me to mental exhaustion. But their innocence and life remind me of what matters.

Some days I don't feel equipped to be a mom, their mom.

I don't want Cate to carry a burden of perfectionism like I have for so long. Her personality leans that way already, and I want to show her freedom that only comes from laying it all down at the foot of the cross.

I don't want to silence Ben's joy, but on the days I become annoyed with the noises and repeating words and constant movement I'm afraid that's what I'll end up doing. Knowing how best to channel his energy while still training him that there are times to stop talking and moving is hard.

But then I see Cate's big, brown eyes soaking up life and Ben plotting his next joke and endearing interaction. God reminds me of the faith journey he's brought me on. Their adoptions followed a heart-wrenching infertility season. Their lives are testimonies to God's faithfulness.

God most certainly wanted me to a be a mom, their mom. 

Learning about laying down perfection and teaching my daughter to do the same is possible because of the faith journey that led us here. Figuring out how to be a boy mom is part of my story. These two are my God-sized dreams personified. Greg and I want God to have his way in our family. I don't always know what that means, but I know the One who does, even on the hard days.

If I knew how to do it all perfectly right now, then I wouldn't need the One who gives and sustains life. I want that grace that Cate showed her brother to swing our front door open. I want joy to come in here.

I'm joining writers at God-sized Dreams, Holley Gerth's Coffee for Your Heart, Beth Stiff's Three Word Wednesday, and Jennifer Dukes Lee's #TellHisStory

This post is part of something happening in my heart hearing the message that I'm pre-approved in God's love. Next week I'll join Jennifer Dukes Lee and others who are saying yes to God and laying down idols as the Lenten season begins. I've gotten a sneak peek at "Love Idol: Letting Go of Your Need for Approval and Seeing Yourself through God's Eyes," Jennifer's book that is inspiring this movement. I've read enough to know you'll want to pre-order it and have it in your hands when it releases on April 1. Her post today introduces you to the movement and offers some fun printables. 

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  1. Kristin,
    What a tender and beautiful story about your kids....they are blessed to have you as their mom :) Saying "yes" to grace and joy with you :)

  2. KristinHillTaylor2/26/2014 10:24 AM

    Thanks, Dolly. It's good to see you here.

  3. Kathy Schwanke2/26/2014 10:49 AM

    Kristin, I love your blog! {You Got Mail ringing in my ears! Love!!} And turning red streaks into rays. Isaiah 61! It's so reminiscent of Jesus! He brings beauty from ashes. Glad we are on this journey together!
    Also wondering, is this a wordpress blog? And if so, what is the name of the theme? I like your font and the theme I am using has a font I don't especially like.

  4. KristinHillTaylor2/26/2014 12:34 PM

    Hi, Kathy! Thanks for your sweet comment.

    I just went to read Isaiah 61 and I'll be holding on to verse 7, especially: "Instead of your shame, you will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace you will rejoice in your inheritance. And so you will inherit a double portion in your land and everlasting joy will be yours."

    This is actually a Blogger blog and a general template that I tweaked. Is it the font on the post itself you like? That's called Trebuchet.

  5. What a beautiful lesson your daughter has already learned. I love the line, "that was yesterday." How sweet, too, your boy in listening carefully to hear his sister was holding no grudges.

  6. KristinHillTaylor2/26/2014 4:19 PM

    Those unexpected, meaningful conversations are some of my favorite moments of being a mom! Thanks for visiting, Melanie!

  7. Jennifer Jackson Linck2/26/2014 4:48 PM

    Great post! I want to offer grace to others and myself as easily as your daughter. :)

  8. KristinHillTaylor2/26/2014 4:49 PM

    Thanks, Jennifer! Yes, I want that too. I didn't expect these faith lessons when I became a mom - silly me. :)

  9. Patricia W Hunter2/26/2014 5:55 PM

    Wonderful post, Kristin. Your children are so blessed to have a momma like you - one who recognizes her own bent toward perfectionism {like the rest of us} and is determined to do all she can to keep it away from her little ones {4 and 6.5 are little}. Happy to be on this journey with you.

  10. KristinHillTaylor2/26/2014 6:55 PM

    Thanks, Patricia! Being a mom is the hardest thing I've ever done, but I wouldn't trade it for anything. That's how the best things in life are, right? :)

  11. Clearly you're an intentional mom...and you take joy in your kids. A beautiful combination. Love Idol sounds spot on! I can't wait to meet you!!

  12. KristinHillTaylor2/27/2014 8:20 AM

    Oh, thanks for those kind words, Elise! I'm so excited to hang out with you this weekend too!

  13. A great message, as always. The joy you find in your children is always such a delight to read about. I just love your heart and I'm getting super excited about meeting you soon. {Hugs}

  14. KristinHillTaylor2/27/2014 6:57 PM

    Thanks, Beth! Spring is coming - that means warmer weather and YOU!

  15. It is but a Joy to meet ya in real life!

  16. Angie Kay Webb3/01/2014 11:31 AM

    Glad to find you at Holley's site. Good to "meet" you. You can find me at Http://

  17. KristinHillTaylor3/01/2014 5:22 PM

    You too, Sonya!

  18. Lovely examples in those kiddos. They are blessed to have you guide them.

  19. KristinHillTaylor3/02/2014 5:10 PM

    I'm so blessed, Mindy! Good to see you here - hope you're doing well.

  20. KristinHillTaylor3/11/2014 9:31 PM

    Hi, Angie! Good to see you here. Somehow your comment ended up in the Spam filter, but I rescued it tonight. :)