Your grace isn’t a thing that You place in my hands. Your grace is your very Hand, Jesus, offered to me to hold onto. And when I don’t even have the faith for that, it’s the Hand that is on my back, guiding me forward into the next moment, because you never leave my side. Thank you, Jesus! (Isaiah 41:10-13, Ephesians 2:8-9, Hebrews 13:5-6)

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Behold, all who are incensed against you shall be put to shame and confounded; those who strive against you shall be as nothing and shall perish. You shall seek those who contend with you, but you shall not find them; those who war against you shall be as nothing at all. For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you.” Isaiah 41:10-13

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. Ephesians 2:8-9

. . . for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” Hebrews 13:5-6

Puzzles of Grace

I’ve memorized Proverbs 3:5-6, but what does it mean to trust in the Lord? To not lean on my own understanding? Will God really make my paths straight? These thoughts come as whispers into my heart:

My daughter, why don’t you try thanking Me for My plans for your future instead of trying to figure them all out? I love helping you to rest in My love right now, in the exact life you’re living right now. What am I asking you to do today? That’s what I’m taking delight in watching and helping and offering My grace and wisdom in. You are trying to fill in the gaps of the partly finished puzzle in your mind, but you don’t know what it’s going to look like when it’s finished. I haven’t given you all the pieces yet. Will you accept each piece as I give it, knowing that it might have different colors than you thought it would, but that it will all fit together perfectly in My puzzle of grace in your life? When you start to worry about the future, thank Me for the pieces I’m preparing for you, knowing that I will give each one at the right time.  

Why Our Children (And Others) Need to See Us as a Work-In-Progress

“Please go to your room so Mommy can change your diaper.”

He looks at me and then hurries in the opposite direction. “Let me get my legos first. And bear. And. . .”

I hear plinking on the piano, which he happened to see on his quest for diaper-changing buddies.


It’s easy to get offended, “How dare he disobey his mother. His own mother!” rather than see the behavior as part of his sin nature.

It’s easy to get angry and respond in a demanding tone, rather than take the time to instruct and discipline. (Especially in his moments of desperation when he shouts, “No. I won’t,” to my face.)

And then I realize how often I do the same in my relationship with God. Sometimes, it’s a direct “no” when I sense His conviction. Often, it’s a fake obedience of excuses.

I know I need to give the worry and stress over my broken washing machine to God, but I just can’t let it go. I think I’ll feel better if I worry about it a little longer, talk to other people about how stressed it’s making me, and then I can surrender it to God and feel free to accept His peace…

But what if it was my fault that the washer broke? Maybe I’d better worry about it a while more, so I can feel as bad as I should…

Hiding From Grace

It’s hard to give grace to our children and others in our lives when we choose to ignore the root of sin buried deep in all of us, (or at least try to cover it up so that people will think we have it all together).

It’s easy to take on an I’m-your-mother-so-you’ll-do-what-I-say attitude or to be proud when I don’t fall into sins I see others commit…

And then a second later feel like a complete failure after responding in harshness and anger to my son in Food Lion and other people have the chance to judge me.


Sometimes the energy it takes to “bring our children up in the training and instruction of the Lord” feels too tiring to be worth it.

Elyse Fitzpatrick and Jessica Thompson in their book, Give Them Grace: Dazzling Your Kids With the Love of Jesus, remind us to, “embrace your weakness and the difficulties of parenting because they are the means that the Lord will use to acquaint you with the realities of his gracious power.” (p. 155)

God never commanded us to be perfect parents. And He never asked us to pretend for our children or anyone else that we are.

For me, daily discipline often feels like I’m walking through a dark sewer tunnel, feeling my way around the slime as I make decisions and not always being sure that I’m going the right way.

Sometimes I’ve wished for specifics from God like, “This is the way he should be punished if he doesn’t obey by the count of three.”

Like following step-by-step directions on the back of a brownie box.

But then I realize how I’d still struggle with consistency, trying to find my worth in my ability to keep to the standards given.

In Give Them Grace, the author quotes author Paul Miller who wrote, “I came to realize that I did my best parenting by prayer. I began to speak less to the kids and more to God.” (p. 135)

Melissa Kruger, in her Biblestudy on Motherhood shares that, “When impatience, anger or discontent well up in our hearts, these are signs that we are mothering in our own strength. Rather than dealing only with our outward behavior, we need the Lord to renew and recharge our hearts. Just as a cell phone loses power and needs to be recharged, our souls find renewed energy only by abiding in Jesus.” (p. 33)

Beautiful Discipline

We have the gift of being parented by the perfect Parent. In Hebrews 12:10, the author reminds us that, “God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness.” The training God does in us produces a “harvest of righteousness.”


As we enjoy the benefits of sharing in God’s holiness and righteousness, we can invite our children into the peace of that as well, experiencing glimpses of life as it was created to be.

And when we feel like we’ll never get it right, Melissa reminds us in her Biblestudy chapter on “PMS—Perfect Mom Syndrome” that, “Any failure that I fear is covered by His sacrifice. In Jesus, the performance pendulum stops—both the pride of success and the despair of failure are absorbed by grace (p.208).

As we admit our mistakes and accept the forgiveness Christ has earned on our behalf, we can show our children their inability to obey perfectly, so that they too, can see their need for Jesus.

We can pray with our children for God to help us obey His commands, just as God has asked them to obey ours as His agents.

When we live our lives in a rhythm of grace—failing and accepting forgiveness, we are free to rest in His satisfaction and security, no matter who is watching.

Maybe observing our mistake is just what someone needs to learn what God wants to teach them.

Maybe our children need to see us vulnerably embracing God’s grace to know that they can do the same.

Will you allow your parenting insufficiencies and failures to guide you into a deeper dependence on Jesus?

Will you let Him use your mistakes as a way to point others to His glory and perfection?

Thanksgiving Joy (an original short story)

tap-791172_1920Rachel pushed the frozen turkey down into the water-filled sink.

Some of it sloshed over the top onto her socks. She’d been up five times last night, and not once had she thought of thawing the turkey.

There’s no way her mom would have forgotten to buy the turkey until the night before Thanksgiving.

This morning she hadn’t even heard Patrick leave, but there must have been an emergency at the electrical plant for them to call him in on a holiday. She turned on the oven.

Pulling out the potatoes from the closet, she picked off as many of the eyes as she could and opened drawer after drawer, trying to find her vegetable peeler.

Cassidy stomped into the kitchen, her blanket squeezed between her crossed arms. “Bryce told me I was too little to play cars with him. He said I always mess everything up.”

Rachel wrapped Cassidy in a hug, but the girl stood firm as a tree trunk. “Maybe you can help me find my vegetable peeler.”

“You’re just going to let him be mean to me?”

Rachel took a deep breath and let Cassidy lead her to the bedroom. Bryce was on his stomach, piecing together a race track. “Have you seen my vegetable peeler?”

Bryce bit his lip. “Um, me and Kirk were digging trenches for the ants yesterday and one of us kind of snapped it.”

Cassidy put a hand on her hip. “Mommy, you’re supposed to be giving him a spanking.”

Rachel bent down, but couldn’t think of what to say. She heard squeaks coming from the other room, followed by Grace’s wailing from her bassinet.

feet-946366_1280Rachel leaned her head against the doorframe.

Even in her first three weeks of life, Grace seemed so much needier than the other two had been . . . unless she had blocked those first newborn weeks out of her mind.

If she waited much longer, Grace would have an even harder time latching on. She winced as she stood and scooped Grace into her arms.

Sinking down into the recliner, she heard something whack the wall, followed by a “Go away!”

At least Grace was content, and Rachel wasn’t as sore as she’d been yesterday.

A charred scent filled the air. Not wanting to disturb Grace, she tried to use her free hand to stand. Grace whipped her head to the side and crunched her face as if Rachel had pinched her. Sighing, Rachel set her down and bolted over to the oven.

She pulled out the cookie sheet of three leftover chicken nuggets, which now resembled charcoals. Dumping them outside, she opened some windows and tried to coax Grace from her anguished state into nursing again.

Cassidy and Bryce’s voices crescendoed from the other room, so she threw together peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and set up a show for them.

The turkey still felt like an iceberg in the sink.

How had her mom done it with three kids of her own? Dad hadn’t let them get a TV until they were teenagers. Rachel had always been annoyed when her mom made her work in the kitchen all morning, especially since her brothers only had to help Dad put up the Christmas lights.

Christmas lights. She hadn’t bought any new ones in three years, since there had been a short in part of one string.

She grabbed a glass dish. She could at least put together her green bean casserole while she was waiting for the turkey and avoiding the fact that she’d have to peel the potatoes with a knife. Pushing aside cans, she finally sat back on the floor as she realized she’d used her last can of mushroom soup two nights ago.

When she closed her eyes, her hunger came on her like a bear, so that she hardly knew what she was doing until the bag of Cheetos was empty. She’d never seen her mom nibble on anything while they were cooking the big meal.

Crumpling the bag into her fists, she tossed it onto the floor. If only she could call her mom now. She’d know how to whip it all together.

Rachel wiped her eyes. Giving birth to Grace had made her even more emotional than she thought was possible. Lots of people lost their moms, and many more of her friends would in the next fifteen years.

But no one else knew what it was like to lose her mom. She just wanted the meal to be like she’d had growing up, since it was the first Thanksgiving without her. Why had she invited her mom’s best friend instead? So that she’d have someone else to witness her failure?

The doorbell rang, and she dived for the Cheetos bag, stuffing it into the bottom of the trashcan. When she passed the wall clock, she thought for sure it was broken. It couldn’t possibly be 3pm. That meant that if she put the turkey in now, they might be able to eat by eight. The thought made her throat constrict, but she swallowed hard before opening the door.

hands-195653_1920Marilyn stood outside, clutching a tin-foil covered pie pan and wearing her plastic rain bonnet, which she tied on even if it wasn’t calling for rain.

She stepped around Rachel and across the living room into the kitchen. Rachel saw her survey the surroundings as if it were a crime scene.

“I thought I’d come over a little early to help get things ready.”

Rachel shuffled toward her. “My vegetable peeler is—“

“Of no concern. It just so happens I put a few things in my freezer when I thought my niece and nephew were coming. I’ll be back in twenty minutes.” She steered Rachel out of the kitchen.


Cassidy came bursting into the living room. “It’s my turn to pick a show. Bryce always picks boring ones.”

Marilyn bent down. “I’m going to need your help soon. Can you start setting the table while I’m gone?”

Cassidy’s eyebrows lifted. “How did you know that’s my job?”

Grace started to whimper, so Rachel picked her up.

Marilyn turned to Rachel and nodded toward the kitchen. “Remember, not one foot in there unless Cassidy can’t reach something.”

By the time Rachel had finished nursing Grace, Marilyn was carrying in grocery bags. She took Grace from Rachel’s arms and set her in the baby swing. “What perfect timing. Now you’ll be free to lay down until supper is ready.”

Rachel grabbed a bag and started setting dishes on the counter. “What are you talking about? I can’t let you do it all yourself.”

Marilyn’s eyes wrinkled. “Who do you think helped your mother out when you were Cassidy’s age? And I can assure you a Norman Rockwell turkey was not on the menu.”


Rachel woke to a soft knock on the door. She’d only planned to lay down for a few minutes before helping Marilyn. When she opened the bedroom door, the smell of turkey made her mouth water.

“How did you—“

Patrick took her arm and pulled out her chair. She sat down, feeling like she was in a dream. There was even a small candle lit on either side of the platter of turkey loaf. Her eyes scanned the paper table cloth where Cassidy and Bryce had drawn pictures of turkeys and pilgrims.

A can of cranberry sauce. Greenbean casserole. A small dish of mashed potatoes in a foil pan.

Marilyn handed her a paper napkin. “They make it pretty easy these days.”

“You said when you helped my mom, you didn’t have turkey. But I wanted to make it just like I remembered.”

Marilyn laughed. “You think she did a whole turkey dinner with three little kids running around? She didn’t start the real fixings until you were old enough to help.”

After a few minutes, Bryce pressed his lips together. “Can we have pie now, or do we have to wait?”

squash pieMarilyn took off the foil. “I think I have a little extra room in my hollow leg.”

Cassidy peeked under the table, gently poking Marilyn’s knee until Marilyn put a slice of pie in front of her.

Rachel let Marilyn dish her up a piece, too. When she took a bite, she almost choked. She’d thought it was pumpkin. Tears burned her eyes. “It’s just like hers.”

“Your mom always made the perfect squash pie. I was a little worried I wouldn’t be able to follow her recipe exactly.”

Rachel let the last bit of crust rest on her tongue before chewing. “I don’t know what I would have done if you hadn’t come. You fixed everything.”

Marilyn placed her wrinkly hand over Rachel’s. “Can’t you see that nothing was ever broken?  Your mama would have loved sitting at this table. I see so much of her in you. But sometimes you both needed to just see the elegance in a microwaved dinner. “

Rachel stood to help clear the dishes, but Patrick tugged her over to the couch. “I’ll take care of it. I think the kids need to hear a little more about all the work you had to do when you were helping your mom with Thanksgiving dinner.”

Cassidy bounded over to the couch. “Can I hold baby Grace?”

Rachel tucked pillows around her and placed Grace in her arms. Bryce snuggled into her side while she rubbed his back. “Hey Mom, do you think we can have this food again sometime? I could help you even.”

Rachel laid her head on top of his. “I’d like that.”

Why You Don’t Have To Be an Extrovert To Be Brave

Why You Don't Have To Be an Extrovert To Be BraveI was in 8th grade, and our family had just moved to a new state. In the past, my gym experience had consisted of making sure the teachers knew I was trying, and not looking too relieved when I got hit with the dodgeball and could sit on the sidelines.

In most team sports, I could run around and still become translucent enough for the other kids to forget to pass me the ball.

But this new school implemented a torture program called skills tests. The teacher would grab her clipboard and check our names off if we bumped the volleyball in the air 100 times in a row. (Okay, maybe it was only 10 times).

I had enough coordination to play a Mozart Minuet on my violin, but could not, for the life of me, get that volleyball to return to my clutched hands when I bumped it into the air.

The other kids stood around watching me (or maybe they’d already started to head to the locker room to change), and there I was, chasing after my renegade volleyball with the gym teacher telling me to try again.

I concluded that I’d be able to save myself a lot of pain and embarrassment if I avoided these situations as much as possible. Since my parents wouldn’t let me homeschool gym class, I had to continue risking my GPA and dignity.

But there were plenty of other chances I could put my theory to work.

The youth group was getting together to play soccer? Offer to take pictures instead.

The summer camp was doing a relay involving shaving cream and wet thrift store clothes?
Find some other girls who wanted to be cheerleaders on the sidelines with me. (And who were also equally disgusted with the idea of jumping in a mud pit for fun)

It seemed to work fairly well, pretending everyone else was on some reality show that I couldn’t join even if I’d tried. (I’d even whisper jokes into my friend’s ear sometimes, because I knew she’d be brave enough to say them out loud and make people laugh.)

But soon these ideas bled into almost all of my relationships and thoughts.

Introduce myself to the new kid at church? What if I don’t know what to say?

Speak up in Sunday School class? I’ll probably stumble over my words, and people will be wishing the whole time that I’d be quiet so someone more capable could vibrate their vocal cords.

Play my violin on the youth worship team? Worship teams don’t have violins, and I might ruin the song with wrong notes.

Pray out loud with someone? What if I get so nervous I say something heretical or there is a long five-second silence?

Over the years, Jesus has used mentors, friends, and His Word to open my fist enough for some of the fears to slip away.

Here are three things I learned (and am learning) in the process:

Why You Don't Have To Be an Extrovert To Be Brave1. It takes practice.
Once I started introducing myself to a few people, it became less finger-numbing and sweaty. I found myself asking similar questions to find out about their lives.

I’d steal my husband’s question and ask what they did for fun. I’d volunteer some information about myself and my interests. Each time it got a little easier, (with a few awkward moments still sprinkled in there to keep me on my toes).

When I’d make a comment in a class, sometimes no one would grab onto it as I silently reeled in my empty fishing line of thoughts. I’d go home and replay the scenes in my head, wishing I’d said something different. Sometimes, I’d ask for Jesus’ help to not think about it anymore.

He caused me to realize that before I started contributing my thoughts, I would always wish I’d been brave enough to say something.

One summer in high school, I shared with my camp counselor about being afraid to speak up. She challenged me to think about what I would be selfishly keeping from the Body of Christ by not sharing the insight I’d learned.

When I was finally brave enough to join the worship team, I got to use the classical musical knowledge I had gained in a new way, adding harmonies to the guitar chords like sprinkles on a cup cake. And I even made some friends in the process.

Praying out loud became easier when I “practiced” praying in my private devotions, asking myself what I really wanted God to do in people’s lives, how I wanted them to feel His grace and love in their pain, and look to Him when they were struggling. (An exciting added dimension in this stage of life has been praying with someone while keeping an eye on my toddler who likes to soak himself at the drinking fountain.)

Why You Don't Have To Be an Extrovert To Be Brave2. It takes focusing more on the other person than on myself.
Sometimes, if someone asks me a question in front of a group, I feel like I have a personal court stenographer who’s going to write down everything I say and read it back so everyone can laugh at how un-eloquent I am.

But when those fears threaten to tie a gag around my mouth, I have to remember where my identity comes from. It’s not about what I say and do. It’s about finding my confidence in Christ’s finished work on the cross.

Only when I know my identity is secure can I invite others to delight in Him as well. I can risk some awkward silences and miscommunications.

If it’s more about showing others God’s glory than looking good ourselves, it doesn’t really matter whether we could have been more witty or intellectual-sounding.

In fact, maybe our fancy words would have just gotten in the way, like trying to convince someone how delicious a souffle is before letting them taste it for themselves.

3. It takes grace. Lots of it.
It’s not easy to admit to being wrong or have someone disagree with me. It’s scary to feel misunderstood. But I’m reminded that I’m not alone when I read the gospels and see how many people disagreed with and misunderstood Jesus, who was perfect. It might not be me they are rejecting.

And when I do say something I wish I hadn’t, I can always ask for forgiveness and accept the grace Jesus offers every second of every day.

Sometimes I still like to just listen and observe. I don’t want to try to become an extrovert. But I also don’t want to miss the chances that God wants to love someone through me.

Jesus, show us how to bravely love like you this week. We are yours.

When Your Weakness is Beautiful

When Your Weakness is BeautifulThe pain crept in slowly, but by the time I laid my head on the pillow, I was nearly in tears. It wasn’t only the stiff throbbing that had settled again in my neck and shoulders.

It was the fear that I would be forced to go back in time and relive the ten years of daily chronic pain and thought patterns that accompanied it.

Christopher prayed for me, and the next day I felt so much better. But when the pain started to sneak back the following day, I was ready to start paying more attention to my limitations and take the physical, mental, and spiritual rest that I needed to find relief from the pain.

Why would God want to use someone so. . . weak?

When Your Weakness is BeautifulIn our culture, women are supposed to be able to do it all–hold a job, raise children, work out at the gym, cook and eat healthy meals (from their own garden), and still find time for relationships.

As believers, we don’t only want to keep our children alive, but we want to shepherd their hearts. We want to respect and bless our husbands. We want to serve as members of the Body of Christ. We want to engage with people on a heart level and pray for their needs.

If we were stronger and had more stamina, wouldn’t we be able to do more for God?

Boasting About Weakness
In 2 Corinthians 11:16-12:10, Paul talks about all the hardships he endured for the sake of the gospel. (think prison, floggings, stonings, and shipwrecks)

He could have gone around telling people how he’d stood strong in his suffering and was still doing the Lord’s work.

He could have told people that they should be able to do it all, too.

But in His infinite wisdom and love, God gave Paul a thorn in his flesh. He begged for God to take it away, but he received an answer better than healing.

He received a new perspective.

” But [God] said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” (2 Corinthians 12:8) 

When our strength, efficiency, and accomplishments are taken off like layers of a ball gown and we stand there shivering in our undergarments, there is still Someone who can never be removed because He lives inside of us.

When Your Weakness is BeautifulThe God who designed each galaxy and forms every one of the billions of cells in every person on the planet chose to send His Son to pay for our sins, so that He could dwell in us and do beautiful works through us.

After Job lost everything and was sitting in the dust, scraping at his sores, he said, “Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him .” (Job 13:15) By the end of the book, he knew the power of the God he served. “My ears had heard of you
    but now my eyes have seen you.” (Job 42:5)

Maybe you were up all night with the baby, your husband came home from work discouraged, and when you finally sat down to read a novel, a friend called who needed encouragement.

Maybe you feel you have nothing left to give.

Or maybe it’s just a constant stream of daily tasks and responsibilities that seem manageable when you look at each day separately, but as the weeks go by, the water pressure keeps carving out a canyon in your heart.

The Shortest Prayer
If you look at God’s redemption story, woven from Genesis to Revelation, you can see that one of God’s deepest desires is for us to look to Him.

So when you don’t know what to say to yourself or others, try praying this: “Jesus.”

You can even whisper it if you’re in the middle of Walmart or holding a sleeping baby.

And then the Spirit may give you a few more words. Maybe just two: “Jesus, help!”

Maybe more.

When we let our Father take charge, we allow His power to work through us whenever He chooses. We don’t try to work ourselves to death trying to make it happen.

God used a barren woman to birth a nation.

God used a shy murderer to lead a people out of slavery in Egypt.

God used a teenage girl to raise the Messiah.

He didn’t have to use them. But when he did, there could be no doubt Who was doing the work.

So why does God bother to use humans at all?

Because He’s crazy about us. He created us in His image and calls us His children. (Romans 8)

When Your Weakness is BeautifulRight now, Christopher and I are celebrating each new word Isaiah learns. We can’t stop laughing when he sees a toy and shouts, “Awesome!” or drops something in his bib and says, “Oh, shoot.”

Don’t you think the Father who knit our bones and muscles together might feel the same way about us?

As we spend time in His Word and in prayer (including the one word ones), He’ll show us what to spend our energy on. As we let Him into all our weak areas, He may not fill us with strength. But it may open the way for something better–a deeper intimacy with Him.

Are you in?

3 Reasons Why It’s Good To Make Mistakes

I used to not forget anything.

Why It's Good to Make MistakesAnything, that is, that had to do with events/times/dates/etc. I’d write things on our calendar, set timers, write sticky notes, and even text myself. My weird personality and subconscious would hold hands and swim around inside my brain, whispering reminders in my ear as I was going to sleep.

“Don’t forget about that family dinner next Friday. . . Remember to turn on the crockpot as soon as you wake up.”

It was a source of pride.

And then we had a baby.

He wouldn’t nap to a timer, and the sticky notes kept falling off him. I forgot about his two-month check-up until it was too late. I missed a scheduled phone call. I’d walk into a room and beg my brain to remember what I came in there for. I felt like even my strengths were slipping away because of this little person.

Which was good, because it started to challenge beliefs I never knew I had.

I used to think: Mistakes = Sin.

Why It's Good to Make MistakesI didn’t make much of a distinction between being a finite human and being a sinner.

We are broken people living in a sin-stained world. This affects everything we do, including our mistakes. But that doesn’t mean every mistake is a sin.

My son is learning to drink milk from a cup. Sometimes it dribbles down his chin and splatters onto the table and floor. I don’t cry over it. And I don’t think Jesus cries over our spilled mistakes, either.

Before the Fall, Adam and Eve weren’t God. Even when we get to heaven, we won’t automatically know everything. We are human.

When mistakes are sin
Sometimes our mistakes do involve sin, though. It used to come naturally for me to feel guilty and abuse myself through my thoughts.

“Won’t you ever learn?”

“What’s your problem?”

It felt like some sort of penance. It was wrong.

Instead, God calls us to repent, ask for forgiveness (and the Spirit’s help), and then bask in the grace He offers because of Jesus’ death on the cross. Jesus has paid the price for all my fallen-ness and sinful mistakes.

So what is the alternative? What should replace the feelings once heavy with guilt, the you’ll-never-be-good-enough accusations in my head?

Recently, I felt the Spirit prompting me to consider what would happen if we weren’t aware of our mistakes. What if we were perfect in our own eyes?

It brought to mind the phrase in Judges, where the people of Israel “did what was right in their own eyes.” (Judges 17:6) When we think we have it all together, pride can creep in, and even unbelief (depending on myself for everything).

Here are three reasons why I’m glad God let’s me make mistakes.

Why It's Good to Make Mistakes1. Remembering my need for Jesus

When everything is going well, we say we have it all under control. But what exactly do we have under our control? A clean house? Obedient children? Appearances can be deceiving.

So many people don’t acknowledge that God is the One who gave them life, allows each breath, and orders the universe. If we don’t take moments to remember, we may start to look and live like them. We may start to think we can do life without Him if we can just organize, plan, and do better.

2. Opportunity to grow in humility

It’s always been hard for me to try things I don’t anticipate doing well at. (You can imagine what the gym class skills tests did to my insides.) Parenting is an everyday reminder of my need for Jesus. Sometimes the day is filled with mistakes, and sometimes it’s just plain messy.

At times, I feel like I’m kicking and screaming my way into sanctification. But it’s in those times of insufficiency, I see my own insignificance.

3. Time to focus on the perfection and all-consuming grace of our Father

I don’t have to be perfect. Jesus doesn’t expect it, so I shouldn’t either. God sent Jesus to live the perfect life so I don’t have to. He knew I never could.

No matter how many stifled laughs or raised eyebrows I encounter (or fear encountering), I can choose to accept the grace the Father longs to give me–no matter how many times I face-plant.