Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Three Word Wednesday :: Rhythms of Grace

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me — watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
{Matt. 11:28-30 in The Message}

I’ve read these verses many times. I know and believe them in my head – but my heart is hearing them right now. When life is full, I tend to want to grasp anything – everything? – and hold on so very tightly. I end up suffocating good things.

I don’t want to do that this time. I want to embrace this season and know God is with me, teaching me to trust him moment by moment. God knows it’s easier for me to trust him with the big things than with the ordinary moments.

What God has been teaching me in my everyday life was echoed this past Saturday at an adoptive moms retreat I was helping lead.

I definitely consider myself a writer and not a speaker so I hesitate to say I was helping. But I volunteered to help Hope That Binds’ founder Wendy Wilson with this event. Organizing and planning are my strengths but speaking in front of a group – even a small group as this one was – is out of my comfort zone.

So I prepared for three sessions – one was about peace and waiting for the adoptive mommas waiting to bring babies home. The two others were for roundtables: Fundraising Ideas for Adoption and How to Find Alone Time as a Mom. Well, we ended up only have time for one roundtable and that meant I shared fundraising ideas. But only one person needed that message so we ended up sitting on a couch and talking.

Y’all, the fact I had prepared to talk more than I ended up doing was such a blessing.

I don’t say that because speaking to a group makes me nervous. I say that because my soul needed to hear these other women’s stories. I shared my family’s adoption story that was a faith journey for me like I do sitting at the table with friends. And they shared about peace and waiting and adopting and living. The whole day was an ongoing conversation that God led.

I had prepared to serve and ended being served. {Tweet that.}

Along with the conversations, two volunteers loved on all the moms – including Wendy and me – with delicious breakfast and lunch, more snacks that we could want, and gifts. Toward the end of the day, we all took an hour to spend with God however we wanted. I journaled and read and prayed.

As I drove home, I realized this is how serving others should be. Service doesn’t go one way. Service is about building relationships. Not everyone will become your best friend, but through serving others we get a chance to be part of building God’s kingdom. It begins here on earth by serving and loving each other and continues into an eternity.

I know life is full. But God showed me something about that during the retreat.

While watching a teaching by Beth Guckenberger, an adoptive mom and author who runs a ministry, I remembered those verses from Matthew. I remembered God wants us to live with him. He tells us to come to him and do life with him so we can learn the unforced rhythms of grace.

Then Guckenberger said something I needed to hear: There’s much talk about achieving a balanced life. But life isn’t balanced. Sometimes one thing demands more attention than the other things. There can be a rhythm even without balance – and God wants it to be an unforced rhythm of grace.

That one thing that is demanding your attention now? It’s probably not going to forever. And that’s the beauty of seasons. We have opportunities to serve and be served regardless of where we are and what we’re doing.

Hey, #ThreeWordWednesday friends, I’m also giving away a copy of Christy Nockel’s new {live!} worship album called “Let It Be Jesus.” I’d love for y’all to enter to win.

Want more insights? "Peace in the Process: How Adoption Built My Faith & My Family" is available on Amazon. Like me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, peek into my life on Instagram, follow 152 Insights at Bloglovin', or subscribe to receive "Insights in Your Inbox."


  1. It sounds like you had a wonderful time, Kristin! Love this: "Service is about building relationships." It really is a beautiful 2-way street. I'm so glad you stepped out of your comfort zone and prepared to speak. I'm sure others were blessed by what you had to say. I have a huge fear of public speaking as well. It was almost my undoing in college, but each presentation got a little easier :).

  2. KristinHillTaylor4/22/2015 7:27 AM

    Thankfully I got to write a lot of papers and newspaper articles in college. I avoided the public speaking class like the plague and managed to get out without taking it. Maybe I should have faced my fear a little earlier. :) Thanks for your encouragement, Candace!

  3. Such a great message, Kristin. I am so glad your retreat was not only a blessing to those who attended but also to you. I really am anxious for time with you again! Love you. xoxo

  4. So much truth. We all have seasons. Sometimes I can't wait for some of them to end, LOL. Then I miss them. Don't we all want the 'sitting quietly at Jesus' feet time' all the time?

  5. Isn't that the best version of those verses in Matthew?! I never understood them well until I read them in the message. Thanks for sharing your heart today. Sometimes serving seems like one more thing to do on an endless scroll, but God uses it for so much more than that.

  6. KristinHillTaylor4/22/2015 1:54 PM

    The best, Becky, really. I'm so glad God brought them back to mind this week. Thanks for being here and encouraging well.

  7. KristinHillTaylor4/22/2015 1:55 PM

    I'm glad you're here, Kim! Yes, I've wished many seasons would end, but I'm *trying* to be better about that ... :)

  8. KristinHillTaylor4/22/2015 1:58 PM

    I've always been a huge proponent for balance too, and then I get frustrated when it's not balanced. One day parenting will suck every bit of energy I have. Other days, I am barely home. Some seasons friends need me more than others. With anything, there is an ebb and flow that isn't always BALANCED. This is a hard lesson for me to learn because I like everything to be organized and ... well ... balanced. :) But sometimes that's just not how it is, and that's okay too, I'm learning. When I heard that the other day and then read these verses, God made it all make sense in my head more than it ever has. Thanks for being here, Susan!

  9. KristinHillTaylor4/22/2015 1:58 PM

    I'm getting excited too. I think we need a planning session soon. :) Love you so much, sweet friend. xoxo

  10. Ginger Harrington4/22/2015 2:28 PM

    That is one of my favorite verses in The Message translation. I love the way that God often blesses us in the serving, so that we come away loved and filled. Sometimes unexpectedly so. This really resonated with me: Service is about building relationships. Yes it is!

  11. I just love the MSG translation of this verse. Doesn't it make you just take a deep breath and sigh? The unforced rhythms of grace - it's like a little vacation with Jesus. :) It's been one of those weeks in which other things are demanding my attention, so no post for the linkup (which feels strange and unnerving), but I wanted to come and visit. I can only imagine how blessed these moms were that you served them, and the fact that you ended up receiving more than you planned to give, well that just has God written all over it. Blessed by your words today, friend.

  12. I would have loved to hear you share your stories in person. Grateful, as always, for your wisdom, dear Kristin. You encourage me, helping me to be grateful for this season, this beauty right here. Thank you.

  13. Your post is rich with some great truths, Kristin, the one that stands out for me is that serving goes both ways... as we minister, we will be ministered to. It's an amazing gift of God when that happens but not something we always remember can be ours!
    So glad I got to be your neighbour on #CoffeeForYourHeart

  14. KristinHillTaylor4/23/2015 8:04 AM

    You're right - and God is good to work like that. Glad you stopped by, Christine!

  15. KristinHillTaylor4/23/2015 8:04 AM

    I'm hoping we can swap stories face to face one day, sweet friend. xoxo

  16. KristinHillTaylor4/23/2015 8:05 AM

    A deep sigh, indeed. Thank you for your kind words and encouragement, as always, Tiffany. I know those kind of weeks, like the one you're having, so hang in there and remember not every week is like that. I'm missing your post today, but oh-so glad you stopped by anyway.

  17. KristinHillTaylor4/23/2015 8:06 AM

    Mine too. :) Thanks for your comment, Ginger! I'm glad you could relate to my post and took the time to be here.