Grace dress, take two ~ Guest Post by Jill Buteyn

I know many of you know the story of Kara's grace dress. But most don’t know that I also have a grace dress—and necklace—story.

{For those of you who don’t know Kara’s grace dress story, the very short of it is that a friend took off her dress and gave it to Kara for some photos that the Tippetts family were having done right after Kara’s initial cancer diagnosis. Kara called it her “grace dress” and wore it to many appointments over the years.}

Last year, I needed to get author headshots done. I’m not the best in front of a camera, but I was excited to have my favorite Jen Lints snap some pics and get to hang with my friend in the process. Kara and I both loved green. We had similar green eyes, so maybe that’s why, but it’s always a go-to color me. I shopped online for a dress for photos and found a green one I loved. It arrived and it actually fit. I couldn’t believe it. I was ahead of schedule and not rushing around at the last minute. I should have known something seemed fishy about the whole scenario, but alas, I was oblivious.

The day before I was scheduled to do photos, my friend came over with accessories. She’s the best at putting things together. Sort of like having a personal shopper/stylist/friend in one. I tried on the dress I’d purchased to show her and… tada!! It had a wonky thing going on around the neck. (I just googled wonky. It’s a word.) The neck wouldn’t lay right. It buckled up, and that was the part of the dress that would definitely be in ALL THE PHOTOS. *deep sigh*

We analyzed the dress from all angles, both of us giving it a big, fat, no.

Now what was I going to do?

My friend grabbed a stack of things from her car and came back in. I just happened to throw in a dress at the last minute. I’m not even sure why, but I just loved this orange.

It was perfect. She’d also brought a jean jacket. Accessories. She had me decked out in minutes, even stopping at a store after she left my house to make sure she couldn’t find something else that would work better than her dress. I have amazing people in my life!

I ended up settling on the dress she’d brought over. The orange went great with the outdoor setting (lots of green). Truly, a green dress would have been too much. And then… the necklace. Oh, this necklace. Isn’t it the most fun? I loved it.

My friend worked at a little boutique clothing store, and that’s where she’d gotten the necklace. She told me to keep the necklace, that she’d get another one. But being me (and horrible at accepting from others) I dropped the necklace back off after the photo shoot that day along with my friend’s dress and jean jacket. (So yes, pretty much everything in my author photos is something borrowed except for my boots. I kind of love that.)

She tried to find another of the same necklace for me but never found one. It was as though it had disappeared from the store and the internets all at once. I was pretty bummed. I loved that necklace. But at the same time, I didn’t want to take hers.

Fast forward to when Falling for Texas came out earlier this spring. My friend handed me a little box. You’ll never guess what was inside. A necklace. THE necklace. She never found another, but she gave me hers. I may have cried about a necklace. I get teary thinking of it now. You see, I’m not great at accepting help. I’m not bragging about that. It’s sinful, and I’m working on it. It was hard for me to accept that necklace knowing she also loved it and couldn’t find another. It was hard, but I did it. Why? Because she had so much joy in giving it to me. She wasn’t forced to give it up. (I hope!) She wanted to give it to me.

At times I wonder why it’s so hard for me to accept from others. And this morning, it hit me. Because I don’t deserve it. I’m not sure when all of those thoughts got wrapped up together, but what a lie I’ve been believing all of this time. I’m right. I don’t deserve it. I don’t deserve anything. Friendships. Community. Salvation. Love. But it’s grace. It’s all grace. I don’t have to deserve it. That’s the beauty of it.

Kara wasn’t always great at accepting help—according to her. But the Kara I knew became gifted in this area. It may not have been easy for her, but she became gracious. Accepting of what others wanted to bless her with. And the beauty in that, is that both the giver and the receiver are blessed.

We’re so excited to be sharing an opportunity with you today—a chance for everyone to share their own story of how someone showed up for you, or maybe how you showed up for someone else. Perhaps you might have a story about when you or someone else didn’t show up and the lessons learned in that. Basically, we want you to write and share your Just Show Up story.

We’re going to have a blog link up on October 8 hosted on the Mundane Faithfulness blog. If you don’t have your own blog, don’t worry! There’s a way for you to join in.

How do you participate?

Write your Just Show Up story. Post it on your own blog if you have one, and we’ll have a way for you to link your blog with Mundane Faithfulness on October 8. (Note: you’ll need to have an image in your blog post so that a thumbnail appears when you link up.)

If you don’t have a blog, write your Just Show Up story and when we post the link up blog, you can simply paste your story into the Facebook comments or post it as a comment under the link up blog.

We’re excited to hear your Just Show Up story!