Wednesday, February 25, 2015

{Three Word Wednesday} Participate in Grace

I went to bed grumpy for no real reason the past couple of nights. My head was full of seemingly unconnected thoughts about how parenting is hard, how life’s seasons change quicker than I ever anticipate, how my life looks nothing like I expected but is more than I could have ever wanted, how I miss people, how I want to go camping when the weather warms, how I see so much of myself in my daughter …

The thoughts weren’t all bad, but for whatever reason they were overwhelming all at once. So I dived into a fiction book I had recently started.

And I didn’t like it. But I kept reading.

Sure, it was well written. But I didn’t like the plot or some of the characters. I didn’t like their choices or their perspectives. Their lives were full of heartache – and some of it hit too close to home. There was a childhood friendship – you know, the kind you think really will last forever – that fell apart. And a marriage did the same and fragmented a community of friends. Intimacy was displaced and dreams were shattered.

Of course, some of that is real life. But I’ve also seen how God changes people.

I know how God has changed me and will continue doing so. I’ve fought against the change in some seasons, but right now I see some of the evidence that I’m not who I once was. God’s grace broke through my stubborn, selfish heart that tried to control even those closest to me.

I’ve struggled to accept grace – from the One who make is possible and others who do their best to give it. I’ve created some unnecessary heartache because I couldn’t grasp grace. I’ve been too concerned with justice.

“We don’t think of our flaws as the glue that binds us to the people we love, but they are. Grace only sticks to our imperfections. Those who can’t accept their imperfections can’t accept grace either.”

I spent a long time striving for perfection. It stressed me out. God’s been teaching me – for years – about letting go. Finally, I’m understanding why it’s necessary. I now know why my tight grip on my husband, my friends, my kids, my family, my house, my dreams, and my moments was going to ruin me – and maybe them.

Grace comes when I let go. Again and again. {Tweet that.}

Grace comes when I say no to something that doesn’t belong in my life.

Grace comes when I say yes to something meant for this season.

Grace comes when I choose to the see the best in someone.

Grace comes when my husband loves me even in my grumpiness.

Graces comes when I take care of myself.

And I finally feel like I can begin to grasp it – on the days that make sense, on the days that don’t go as expected, and in the moments in between. Choosing grace and joy is freeing. {Tweet that.}

Turns out, I didn’t really want to be in charge anyway. I just wanted to be part of what God is doing. And that’s exactly where I’m finding myself lately.

“Real love stories don’t have dictators, they have participants. Love is an ever-changing, complicated, choose-your-own adventure narrative that offers the world but guarantees nothing. When you climb a mountain or sail an ocean, you’re rewarded for staying in control. Perhaps that’s another reason true intimacy is so frightening. It’s the one thing we all want, and must give up control to get.”
{Donald Miller in “Scary Close”}

I want to be a participant. I want to say yes to grace and no to perfection. {Tweet that.} I want to know the Maker more so I can know grace more. I want to receive it and give it as this adventure called life continues.

God never ceases to amaze me. AFTER I wrote this post, I started reading "You're Loved No Matter What" by Holly Gerth. She spoke right into my right now. Like she knew I wrote this post. So I decided I wanted to lead an online book discussion of "You're Loved No Matter What." I'd love for you #ThreeWordWednesday friends to join me. Here's the post with more details. 

Earlier this week on Facebook, I shared an excerpt of my ebook, "Peace in the Process: How Adoption Built My Faith & My Family," which is available on Amazon. I'd love for you to come join me there too. 

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  1. "I want to say yes to grace and no to perfection." I so want this too. Perfectionism has been a life long struggle for me. My food issues are out of control lately and rather than accept grace, I get angry at myself for not being perfect. Thank you for this beautiful reminder that God can absolutely change us and not to ever give up :).

  2. Kristin, you have shared some powerful quotes from Donald Miller's book. I want to accept my imperfections, so I can accept grace so that I may extend grace to others. We are so in need of God's grace & I am grateful you shared these thoughts this morning. Blessings!

  3. Michelle Anderson2/25/2015 7:53 AM

    I want it too!!! Grace! Have a great Wednesday Kristin!

  4. It's funny. I've never considered myself a perfectionist, but the older I get the more I see those tendencies in me. I think a lot of my procrastination comes from if something isn't going to be perfect then I don't want to even try. I want to walk better in giving myself grace and freedom to just be me and take off the mask of "having it together."

  5. Ah yes, I needed to hear this. God is working on this control vs. grace thing- so hard, but so necessary. Thank you friend.:)

  6. KristinHillTaylor2/25/2015 10:19 AM

    I'm glad I'm not alone, Katie!

  7. KristinHillTaylor2/25/2015 10:20 AM

    Isn't it funny how we give others more grace than we give ourselves? Nobody has it all together, so let's be real! Glad you're here, Alecia!

  8. KristinHillTaylor2/25/2015 10:20 AM

    I'm so glad there's more than enough grace to go around!

  9. KristinHillTaylor2/25/2015 10:21 AM

    Have you read "Scary Close"? There was so really good stuff to think about in that one! Thanks for your faithful encouragement!

  10. KristinHillTaylor2/25/2015 10:22 AM

    Perfectionism rears its ugly head in so many ways! Hoping you can grasp onto grace. Thank you for your kind words.

  11. KristinHillTaylor2/25/2015 1:03 PM

    Thank you, sweet lady!

  12. Yes to grace and no to perfection - oh, yes! So grateful for that grace that is doled out so freely to me again and again.

  13. KristinHillTaylor2/25/2015 3:00 PM

    Me too, friend!

  14. Ah. Yes. Amen. Thank you. :)

  15. KristinHillTaylor3/03/2015 11:10 AM

    Glad you could be encouraged. This is what God teaches me over and over again. Perhaps one day I'll learn it for good. :)