Forgiveness, Grace, Mothering, Relationship

Grace: Choosing to Accept Grace

Spilled cereal

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

It was one of those mornings . . .

It seems we’ve had a lot of them lately. I’ve gone from being mad mama, to hurt mama, to  . . . this morning seeing the hurt in one of my boys and my heart aching for him.

He’s in a place I can’t touch. Change has always been difficult for this one. He resists it with temper tantrums and angry outbursts, leveling all hearts in his path when he’s on a rampage. When his sanity returns, we talk through what happened amid lots of cuddles.

Heart with cracks copy

This morning, his hurt radiated right off him, pricking me with angry glares. This morning though, it was different.

He worked to not hurl word daggers at anyone else. He didn’t slam doors when he stalked to his room. He lay quietly on his bed, covers up to his forehead. I stayed calm. Played soft music, burned a scented candle.

And I waited . . .

Heart in grass copy

Waited for the boy to come join us for breakfast. When he poured cereal, it splayed across his place mat, which opened up more rage. Back to his room. Repeat.

His hurt causes him to back away from love. From the only way I know to reach out to him—with a hug.

Heart amid red rocks copy

My heart hurts for this tender spirit, and I have no idea how to get through to him to show him he doesn’t need to be perfect to be loved. He doesn’t have to do everything just right. That grace is enough to cover mistakes, to cover sin.

Grace is a beautiful gift he refuses to accept.

Heart in tree

That stormy exterior? A cover up for the deep hurt in his heart right now. So I do the only thing I can . . . I pray for him. That God will reach into the hurting places. That He will speak truth to erase the lies in the way the boy will understand and embrace.

This mommy-journey? It’s a painful one some days.

Leafy Heart copy

It’s also challenging me to consider how I perceive God. Do I only come to Him when I’ve got my act together? Do I cower in my room when I know I’ve blown it, refusing to accept His forgiveness?


I’m so human.

Green heart copy

Thinking I have merit in and of myself to bring before the King of Kings.

It’s hard to embrace the fact that God delights in me. He made me. He knows my strengths and weaknesses. He knows where I’m going to fail and He loves me anyway. He calls me His beloved, His treasure.

I can’t understand this. Why would He see mistake-ridden me as a treasure?

Heart in Pages

I don’t know. But, only I can make the choice of whether or not to believe it, to embrace this as my identity. Only I can choose to walk in the grace He offers when I make mistakes, and know that He’ll love me through them.

Here’s praying we all come to the place of seeing and believing how God sees us: as worth dying for.

What about you? What do you struggle to believe that God says about you? What’s one truth you cling to that He’s written onto your heart?


18 thoughts on “Grace: Choosing to Accept Grace”

  1. I’m so sorry for the hard time your son is having, and for the hard time YOU are having as a result. You’re in my prayers.

    I’ve never had much trouble with knowing my personal value to God. Frankly, I think He’s lucky I’m around.

    Well, okay. Lucky may be too strong. ‘Fortunate’ is a better choice.

    I believe that God chose to make ‘us’ because on some level – He needs us. Just as He completes us, we complete Him. It seems to be the only thing that makes sense, from the facts of the Bible – we cause Him SO much trouble, and our intrinsic importance to Him shines through virtually every page…especially John 3:16

    I don’t think there’s any one truth that moves me; it’s the whole story through which God’s shown His love, and our worth.


    1. Thank you for the prayers, Andrew. They are much appreciated.

      It’s beyond me to fully understand why God wants fellowship with us, but I love that He does. And the thought that we have intrinsic importance to Him? Amazing. Love your thoughts today. 🙂


  2. You are indeed His treasure. Broken vessels we may be. Yet He chooses to fill us. What a lovely post and a sincere voice. Thank you for sharing.


  3. Jeanne-This brought me back to when my youngest son was little. What a tempest he was! And you’re right… it was a cover for insecurity and longing. Thank you for reminding me that God delights in me no matter how bad I fail. And thanks for prompting me to remind my son. We’re never too old to hear that! Loved this heartfelt post!


    1. Thanks for the reminder, Karen, that we are never alone—nor are we the only ones who deal with specific hard seasons. I take great comfort in knowing God delights in me, and each of us. And thank you for the reminder that my guys need to hear that they are treasured too. I need to be purposeful in reminding them of that. 🙂


  4. Good morning Jeanne. Read this morning…Isaiah 49:13…Shout for joy, you heavens; rejoice, you earth; burst into song, you mountains! For the Lord comforts his people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones…..Also in my Ann Voskamp devotional…”When God moves us out of our comfort zone–into places that are way bigger than us, places that are difficult, hard, painful, places that even hurt—this is a gift. We are being given a gift.” Raising children definitely can get us out of our comfort zones…I know this very well. And a gift? Hmmmm…made me really think today. I know that for sure it leads me to Him. Always. In Him I can trust fully. That is my promise. God has you and your family. He sees you. He is near. Thanks for sharing your heart. It is lovely. Blessings on you this day. Take care.


    1. Gail, thanks for the verse, and for Ann Voskamp’s words. She has a way of putting things into perspective, yes? Ultimately, these children were prayed for for many years before God gifted them into our family. So they are a gift, and the hard days are a gift because they push me to cling to God’s grace and strength to live them out well. 🙂 Loved your thoughts here. Thank you!


  5. Blessings on you today, yes.
    and my reassurance? He has summoned me by name, and I am His. and when we walk through the water the waves will not wash over us and when we walk through the fire we will not be burned. For He is our savior…
    Beautiful heart-felt post — with perfect photos as well…


    1. Thanks for that reassurance! Some days the waves push me under. It’s good to be reminded that Jesus walks with me (and each of us). He is our Savior. Thank goodness! I appreciate your encouragements!


  6. Wonderful post. I have a son who struggles with accepting forgiveness, too…it’s a lot of pain for a kid to carry alone, isn’t it? Thanks for the reminder that accepting grace is what I need, not only for me but also to show him the way. And your photos…amazing. Reminder after reminder from God that we are loved. Thank you for sharing this!


    1. You’re right, Cynthia. It IS a lot of pain for a kid (or an adult) to carry alone. I appreciate the reminder that often our kids learn from our examples. Showing my boy my own struggles with this may help him. Thank you so much for stopping by!


  7. Praying for you today. I think your son might be in the same phase as my daughter 🙂 They are human. We are human. I do very much understand that struggle to truly embrace our worth in Christ. Sometimes it does not come easy.


    1. It’s that whole human-ness factor that keeps me clinging hard to God. Because when I let go? Oh, it gets ugly. And painful. And I always do/say things I’ll regret.

      You’re right, Lisa. Embracing our worth in Christ is hard. Thank goodness He is patient with us as we come to the place where we can do this and rest in who He says we are.


  8. I loved all your heart photos, Jeanne! You were really creative there!! Lovely … like you.

    And I don’t know about you, but most every life moment is worth a picture and a story! 🙂


    1. Thanks, Shelli. Hearts just felt like a good theme for this post. I find myself wanting to take lots of pics throughout most of my days, but I restrain myself. Honestly, I have moments I’d rather forget, but even those make up the fabric of my story, and my family’s story. 🙂


  9. Your insight into your son’s personality really resonated with me, Jeanne. I’m convinced there is a unique part of our mommy hearts that loves the sweet boys in our lives and tries to understand their pain and personality that is so different from ours. My instinct is always to just carry my son’s pain…hand it over, let me handle it. But as he has grown and spread his wings God has reminded me that I have to equip him to walk the path of hurt. To learn to depend on the Lord to remove the burden and ease the pain. I have always carried the weight of perfection…I long for my son to know the rest of grace. Raising men is no simple task…can’t imagine doing it without the wisdom of God (patience & endurance too!) readily available to me. Thanks for your words!


    1. I love how you worded this Tiffany. I do want to carry his pain…to make everything all better. But that’s not my role in his life. I so appreciate the words from a mom a little further along the mommy road than I am. You’re right. We do need to equip our children—our sons—to walk the path of hurt. More’s out there waiting for him. I know. Like you, I’m so very thankful for God’s wisdom and His perspective when I begin to lose heart. Thanks so much for stopping by!


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