Wednesday, May 21, 2014

We are preapproved.

We're preapproved. I've been repeating that to myself silently as I go about my everyday life. And I've been repeating it to my 7-year-old girl as we wrap up the school year this week. 

Jennifer Dukes Lee introduced me to the term "preapproved." Well, you know, when it's used beyond what a credit card company tells you. But it's a truth God's been trying to get me to understand for years. Decades, really.

"She is who she is -- organized, tidy, high-achieving, and genetically predisposed to an approval addiction under the subclass known as perfectionism. But we are both learning that a fine line separates perfectionism and excellence. We're trying to keep on the healthy side of that line, with God's daily nudging. (We) are learning that life in grace is about a Savior, not gold stars on a chart."
{Jennifer Dukes Lee in "Love Idol"}

{And this is the second time this year an author has written about perfectionism versus excellence in a way that reminds me this is God's lesson for me. The other time was in "No More Perfect Kids" by Jill Savage and Dr. Kathy Koch.}

I'm certainly not perfected yet, but I'm understanding this preapproval of mine that comes through Christ alone more than ever. Clearly repetition is how I learn, so thanks for joining me in the journey. Yes, sometimes I try too hard for the gold stars, but then God scatters glitter in my life to remind me what matters.

Maybe the end-of-the-school-year papers and projects are stressing out your Type A soul. Perhaps you're doing everything you can to fix a relationship that seems to be crumbling. Do all the ways you're different from others in your life seem so big right now? Maybe the to-do list is dictating your days.

I've been there. Lots of times. Thankfully, I'm getting a new perspective, even if it's a slow soul process. I'm going to keep repeating: I'm preapproved. We're preapproved. And to my girl: You're preapproved.

Yes, even when ...

... the dinosaur diorama {that my girl cleverly labeled a "dino-rama"} is smaller and less elaborate that the others in the class. Who knew families would make bigger-than-shoeboxes dioramas? People, this project is due one week before school lets out for the summer. Yeah, no paper mache volcano for us. I was happy to help Cate cut and glue paper to implement the ideas she had. And we're still loved. Comparison too often steals that joy.

... you eat out because the grocery store seems daunting or you asked your husband to bring home salads because you spent the afternoon at the park with your friend instead of preparing dinner. Productivity and errands don't define my days; God's love for me does.

... we're apparently the only family who chose to send supplies to school to construct a cardboard box car for the end-of-school program. The note from the teacher clearly stated we could make it at home or send it to school. Um, that's a no brainer for this momma. But, hey, I helped gathered supplies for her to take with her to make the box car. And then a week later stopped in Dollar General after drop off to get some more supplies because we forgot a steering wheel and ribbon for straps so she can wear the car. Again, don't let comparison distract you from what matters and what is true.

... someone in the house loses one, er, maybe two, library books. There's a lesson in responsibility in there but no love is lost.

... people don't understand your intentions or decisions. It's OK not everyone shares the same convictions. Love others because God loves you. For me, this sometimes means admitting I was wrong.

... the words don't come even though your head is full of thoughts. Even when you're a writer. Our stories matter, but there's no mandate on how or when to tell them.

... you're waiting and unsure what's next. God's still got you. He still hears the desires of your heart.

God's going to keep nudging. We're going to keep growing and learning and losing and doubting and wondering and deciding and loving and trying and winning and creating and doing. We get to do all those things because Christ approved us and chose us long ago on a cross.

You can read more about Jennifer Dukes Lee's "Love Idol: Letting Go of Your Need for Approval and Seeing Yourself through God's Eyes," a book that explores the idea we're preapproved in Christ and some more of my previous thoughts on the message here. I guest posted at Jennifer Dukes Lee's blog earlier this month on the subject, specifically how motherhood has spurred me along in this process. 

I'm joining #TellHisStory over at Jennifer's place, Beth Stiff's Three Word Wednesday and Coffee for Your Heart at Holley Gerth's blog. If you're looking for encouragement built on truth, you'll want to visit these ladies' online homes. 

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  1. This: "... the words don't come even though your head is full of thoughts. Even when you're a writer. Our stories matter, but there's no mandate on how or when to tell them." This is what God keeps repeating to me. There is no mandate on how or when. Thank you, Kristin!

  2. Kristin, I loved this post as it brought to mind this thought - perfection versus preapproved. They will always vie for my attention so which would I rather? So thankful that Jennifer is turning so many towards remembering they are pre-approved. Blessings & enjoy the summer :)

  3. KristinHillTaylor5/21/2014 9:37 AM

    Thanks! I really love the perfection vs. preapproved thought. I'm going to hang on to that one. Jennifer's book has truly been life-changing for me; so grateful for it.

  4. KristinHillTaylor5/21/2014 9:37 AM

    I've needed the reminder myself! Thanks for coming by and commenting, Tresta!

  5. KristinHillTaylor5/21/2014 9:40 AM

    Amen. :) Glad you came by, Kim!

  6. That word preapproved plays over and over again in my mind now. I just love seeing the impact it has had on so many. I've just loved following along in your journey. Your words always inspire and encourage, friend. Have a blessed weekend. Much love.

  7. KristinHillTaylor5/23/2014 2:41 PM

    Thanks for your encouragement, especially because this isn't a new subject. I know it's a little repetitive, but that's how God is driving it home in my life. Enjoy your weekend, Beth!