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365 days....

I couldn’t sleep this morning.

We are currently in Hawaii vacationing and this morning I was up at 5am… With zero chance of falling back asleep.

Today is important day.

This morning a lot was on my mind.
Have you ever thought back on your opinions of being a parent before you were ever actually a parent?
I do this at times when I need to have a good laugh – or remind myself that I have evolved. That people evolve.

One thing (pre-kids) I was passionate about was naming my children after loved ones. I would say I had a fixed mindset with this. I didn’t think anything would change my mind. I would have kids and then they would be named after someone. End of story.

Mason came along and naturally we named him after someone – His father. Mason Gregory. Strong name for a strong boy.

There is a four year gap in between our children. Those four years changed and challenged everything.

When it was time to name our beautiful little girl we struggled.

It came so easy when we named Mason. Kendall took hours of discussion. In fact she wasn’t named until we met her. We went into the hospital with a list and came out with a perfectly named and beautiful child.

Kendall Grace. Not named after anyone.

GRACE. The only middle name that fit.
Believer or not you may think this is cliché.
Maybe I sort of get it but I honestly don’t care.

Kendall Grace is MY GRACE. She reminds me to have more Grace. Be GRACE. Show Grace.

This might just heal the world, mend relationships and sooth the inter turmoil that lives in a lot of us. It might just be able to grease the machine of humanity vs grinding it to a halt.
GRACE. It reminds us that we are all brothers and sisters.  No one higher than the other. We are people who need to love each other.
I am no bible scholar but isn’t that the way Jesus came, and isn’t this what saved our souls….

Kendall is THREE (where does the time go).

Jesus has and continues to show me GRACE.
I believe forgiveness and having GRACE for others is the most powerful thing you can do to heal hurt. Heal yourself. Heal one and other. 
(Even though I try, I still fail miserably. But that does not and will not keep me from trying to live a life full of GRACE)

We serve an AMAZING GOD and it we let him he will radically change our life. He will show you, me – US GRACE like we have never witnessed.

Today marks 365 days since Rowyn Leea gained her angel wings.

When I think of Rowyn’s legacy. I think of GRACE.
This is shown in the strength, bond and friendship between two women – Brynn and Cassie. These women render me speechless and show each of US a living breathing example of true human GRACE.(If you have not yet done so read the story of Rowyn Leea and learn how these women have shown GRACE in the past 365 days

Today is the one year anniversary. I ask you to pray for these families. I ask you to support the work they are doing to heal themselves and others who face similar tragedies.  I ask you to think about how you show, receive and give GRACE in your life. With your people.

SHOP. I ask you to shop.
A portion of the proceeds form this months sales goes to support this very worthy cause. 

Since I could not sleep this morning. 
I used that time to sit alone. Watch the sunrise (It was GLORIOUS) 

I also felt that it was fair that I spent sometime to reflect and think about GRACE in my life. I wasn’t too happy with what I found…
I struggle with an impulse to critique, to deconstruct, to dismantle.
I too easily write people off and assume the worst.
I am UNDOUBTEDLY my own worst enemy.
I see SHARP edges that need to be softened and each problem I face has the same answer. MORE GRACE.

I don’t think I can think of one horrible fight disagreement that Greg and I have had that GRACE couldn’t have unscrambled in a hot minute.
Every bit of tension, lessened.
Every misunderstanding, truncated.
I will stop expecting him to read my mind. 
I will use my words (my goodness I sound like I am parenting myself). 
I will stop expecting that he meets all of my needs.  
I will stop expecting that he decodes my body language (even though I must add… I am pretty animated).

We were kids with NO idea what the future had in-store with us.

We have logged 11 years of marriage and 18 years as BEST friends. These years together deserve more mercy, apologies, and celebrating.

We wont ever be the lovely dovey couple that writes mushy things on facebook. That is not really our style. Will we ever re-new our vows? Doubtful.

These things are ok. 
Because we are us.

One thing I think stands for certain in our marriage and yours (just might look differently) all of our JUNK can be soothed if not sorted out by the simple addition of more GRACE.
(What I hear you say is my unwillingness to add things into not only my work calendar but our shared icalendar makes you want to throw my phone in the ocean) 

If there is one title I LOVE in my life it is the one of MOM.
That said. I am going to try to lead with GRACE for my kids.

I hope to laugh first, listen longer, forgive quicker and surprise them with Mercy.
I will attempt to find the gracious response. Even in discipline. Even in exhaustion. Even in PULL YOUR HAIR OUT MOMENTS. For instance. If a daughter – hypothetically speaking,  Doesn’t want to poo on the toilet. I imagine that GRACE could be found somewhere in here… I have struggled to find patience and grace in situations similar. Hypothetically of course.

I think we all sort of have it on some level. That inner voice.
Mine battles with me day and night. I am done listening to her. 
She is the one who whispers to me – All hope is lost, you can do more, you are not good enough… 
Well isn’t that disabling?!?!?!

The bose commercial with Russell Wilson even addresses this “The only voice that matters is the one in your head”. Well it is time to adjust her commentary.

I will start by naming all the lovely things, the beautiful moments, and the GOOD parts.
My SMALL victories deserve to be noticed.

FOR THE LOVE…. (read the book).

None of us are good at EVERYTHING but we are all good at something. Lets honor and celebrate our own gifts and others gifts. Let’s quit trying to keep up with the “Jones” through talents and recognize what we can and can not do- Lets be ok with things we cant do and celebrate others when they can – GO THEM!!!

I have looked. THERE is no rule that requires us to focus on what we get wrong or cant do…. 

There is ALWAYS something worthy to honor if we are brave enough to live like that.

Jen Hatmaker sums it up with ONE paragraph “Show GRACE to ourselves, because how dare we rob our transformed hearts of the mercy Jesus won for us already. Living in guilt and despair is such a drag. There is too much goodness, too much love, too much prosperity to go on like that. ENOUGH of it. Let us LIVE in the wide open spaces we have been granted and laugh and dance and celebrate and notice the ordinary little wonders we are conditioned to minimize”.

If doing it for myself is not a good enough reason then I will do it for a beautiful little girl who was loved so much.
For when I think of her I think of GRACE.

As life carries on, I hope my edges soften and my defense weakens.
I don’t want to be the arm chair quarterback that suffocates people with critiques. That is exhausting and numbing. So many of us are trying. That deserves GRACE.

GRACE is the beginning of freedom, and there isn’t a corner of earth that doesn’t need more of it.

Let’s help GIVE IT!


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