Grace…In Real Life

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I haven’t exercised in weeks.

No scrapbooks are current.  None.

Ok…I’ll be real.  Levi, the youngest, doesn’t even have one.

My fall flag is flapping in the wind out back.  Complete with harvest cornucopia and all.

So when you see my photos, you must know that they are my silver lining.  They are packages of precious joy that I’ve unwrapped carefully and with great anticipation.  That there have been moments of meltdown.  That I’ve had to offer I’m sorries to everyone who lives with me.  That I snapped a few quite possibly while standing on filthy garments.

We mamas, we want it all.  We want the pinterest-perfect motherhood that is so often displayed.  Yet, don’t you feel relief when you hear one of them reveal their not-so-perfect lives to you?  The one’s who you think have it ALL together? When they tell you their kid potty-trained in, not a week, but a YEAR!  Yeah, that.

Things are never as they seem.

I once had a panic over a single silica packet that the big girl brought to me opened and half-empty.  She told an untruth as she passed it over to me with dread in her solemn eyes.  I dropped the remains and listened as the beads of poison fell like rain all over my kitchen.  She said it opened by itself.  She knew if she ever found one, she was not to open it, but bring it to me.  I bolted for the shop vac in our garage and began to suck them all up, thinking that someone would surely find one, eat it, and I cannot finish the thought.  Coconut oil sizzles in a hot pan and half-a-dozen eggs stare at me waiting to be cooked.  My husband comes in and takes over the vacuuming in her room and I learn the 3 year old tried one to see if it was salty.  Poison control, who I should have added as a contact, was on the line in seconds and Diane confirmed to me that my baby boy would live.  Because, silica beads are manmade sand.  And it says “Do Not Eat” because the packet itself is a choking hazard.  Oh.  My.  Gosh.  And I suddenly feel the need to run to my daughter, since I now know the 3 year old is fine, and apologize.  Because, I didn’t yell.   I shamed her with my face.  Because looks can kill.

They can kill little spirits, ambitions, curiosities, enthusiasm, bonds of unconditional love.  I never raised my voice, but my brow.  You know, the one of complete and utter disapproval, disappointment?  Shame?  My silence was too loud.  The dinner prep hour was in full swing and I couldn’t find patience anywhere!  She was sorry and I didn’t accept.  And now, I’d squat right down and look her eye to eye and thank her for her honesty. And tell her to come to me when she’s that curious and we’d just open silica poison right there together. And we’d embrace and smell each other’s hair and smile…we’d live out grace. 

That was 5 night’s ago.

And I could get caught in a storm of “I should’ve’s.”

And I might miss the gifts I’ve unwrapped these last days.  This Grace in real life.  

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Grace doesn’t wait for you to bounce back after a mess-up.

It doesn’t wait for you to get everything right!

It’s the Enough that catches your breath.

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Wonderment walks about our feet.  And maybe to experience this grace, to marvel at its beauty, we need only open our eyes a little more. I can’t be pinterest perfect, and that makes grace even more beautiful.

If not for grace…



  1. Can I tell you that I just want to cry here and now after reading that? You would think that after these years of raising and loving and training that it would get easier, grace would be more apparent, the killer looks less. But every day, I am still in great need of His love and grace, both to revel in and share with my lovies.

    Thank you for your honesty today, as usual. Real life is out of season flags and décor still blowing in the breeze, unfinished breakfasts and frantic calls to poison control. It just is. Grace, grace, grace.

  2. Loved every word here, Kristen. You are the sweetest, and your kids are lucky to have you, imperfections and all. Real posts help me breathe easier, so thank you!

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