My two year old crawls up on the couch, asking me to pull up the purple blanket, "Cause it's too heavy for me, momma." I pull it up and he climbs up with it, we quickly get into an intense game of winking, each of us blinking every other eye as fast as we can until one of us loses it in giggles. He loses, like he does nearly every time, but I laugh harder, like I do every time. He sees my phone and asks to take a selfie (Should I be proud or ashamed of that? Definitely proud.), so we snap a few pics of our best gangsta faces.
I have always heard that God loves me the way a mother loves her children. And at some level, I can grasp that. My natural, "good girl mentality" can identify with how we as mothers want to see our children succeed through training and teaching. I know my children are not naturally good - give them five minutes in a room full of toys and other kids and you'll clearly see their selfish little hearts. I know their desperate need for Jesus and I long to show them just how great that need is.
But there's this other side of me as a mother. The side that loves the impromptu wink-off and selfie-sesh even when I'm trying to get work done.
Just let me tell you about my children for a minute.
I have two. And they are the brightest, most beautiful, sweet, talented, lovely children you'll ever meet in your entire life. I believe everyone in their right minds should want to meet them, know them and love them. Because I love them without effort or bounds, my love for them is fierce and intense and honestly, it makes me a little crazy - it's almost a terrifying love it's so strong. I want all the gifts and success and pleasures in the world for them and I would do ANYTHING to help them realize their dreams and capitalize on their talents. I want to rain down gifts from the toy store on them, I want to take them to Disney Land every day, feed them all the mac and cheese and hot dogs and cookies their little stomachs can handle and magically wrap them in bubble wrap that never lets them feel the pain of a stubbed toe or the stab of losing a favorite toy. I want to protect them, clear the path for them and give, give, give them every good gift their tiny little hearts could ever dream of.
And that's the part of God that I don't know well. For some reason, when I became a mother, it felt like God became only the teacher, and never the fun one. We all know motherhood is hard, and often it feels like God is only focused on teaching me humility and brokenness, constantly reminding me of my need for him as I stir mac and cheese in my stained Target-tee, greasy hair and short temper. I see my failures as a mother - and well, all around person - so clearly that I feel that even God has lost faith in me to do anything great or exciting in this life.
What a small view of God.
It may be true that I need him, so desperately need him, but that does not discount the fact that he is CRAZY for me, he is excited, passionate, delighted and thrilled with me. It's a, "I created the mountains and the flowers and sun for you, my daughter - for you, can't you see that? If I cut holes in the sky for stars purely for you to look at and enjoy each night, don't you think that I want to give you bigger and greater and more wonderful gifts? The stars were only the beginning. They are just a glimpse of the big, great, grand things I want to give you in this life."
Moms, God is NUTS for us. He's over-the-moon in love with us! I know it's so hard to feel like he's excited about you right now. With your three-day top-knot and sweats, it's hard to believe anyone could be thrilled to hang with you - but HE IS. He's so obsessed with you, he made flowers and rivers and sunsets and - YOUR BEAUTIFUL CHILDREN - just to show you how much he loves you!
You know when you hear your kids giggling in the other room, you can't see them, but you hear them laughing together because one of them is throwing trains at the wall? And you don't even care that they are denting the wall with those expensive wooden trains because you are just delighting in their laughter together and you just want to record it with your iPhone so you can fall asleep happy to it every night forever and ever?
THAT'S how God feels about you!
He takes great delight over you! He rejoices over you with singing! He comes roaring out of the heavens for YOU.
For you momma.
So if you are like me and struggling to see and feel how God could delight in you, a weary, messy mother, give up the fight and lean into truth. As mothers we know our children are not "earning" their birthday or Christmas gifts, they do not earn the toy from the Dollar Spot, the cookie for snack time, or the trip to Disney Land. We give those things to our children regardless of how they behave, or talk about us, or thank us, because we love them, we enjoy them, we celebrate them.
We love enjoying and spending time with our children, just as God loves hanging out with us mothers. Fight your natural tendency to believe that God does not have big dreams or good gifts for you, trust him to delight in you and want to be so, so good to you! He loves you so much more than you can ever imagine. If you don't know what that looks like, just look at your children. Feel the swell and pride. Feel the weight.
He feels that for you too, momma. Hard to believe isn't it?
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