I read this book Grace Based Parenting by Tim Kimmel for the first time probably nine years ago, I’ve read it again several times, seven years ago I quoted him on Facebook. When I did that I had no forethought into what it would mean to me when it would pop up seven years later. I had no idea we would be halfway through middle school with the oldest. I had no idea the struggles our family would undergo over the next seven years. I just knew when I read that line it stuck with me. It resonated with what I wanted for my family and my kids.

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I wanted my kids strong, secure, grounded in faith and love, and ready to change a broken world.

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It didn’t occur to me what would happen when I raised my kids that way. I didn’t think through what it meant to raise kids who were strong and grasped this concept to love people.

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What it meant is I have kids who are quick to forgive. I have kids who are quick to include. Kids who want to help their friends. And they don’t pick the popular kids to try and be friends with. They pick quirky, odd, broken kids who need friends. They help them and protect them. They don’t put up with shit. They call out wrongs and expect them to be made right.

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My own kids intimidate me at times. They push me out of my own comfort zone. They remind me that part of loving people well is forgiving them. And in their forgiveness, they call them to something higher.

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If I would have known all the implications that quote meant, I might have been too scared to do it. I’m glad I didn’t. I’m glad they surprise me each day with their bravery, inclusion, and grit. I’m glad I’m raising boys who are grounded in love and know they can bring people into our home to receive some of that love.