Loving

Oh How He Loves Us

It’s Saturday, almost midnight, and I’m writing a blog post.

I have 2 Etsy orders to finish up and have shipped by next Friday, but I’m writing a blog post instead.

I have a meal to prepare for the fellowship after church tomorrow, but I’m writing this blog post instead.

I have 3 sleeping kiddos, who, come 7 am, will be ready for their momma to fix them breakfast and get them ready for the busy day ahead. Instead of being in the bed now to prepare for the insanity that can be our mornings, I’m writing this blog post instead.

Why?

Because I am so overwhelmed by the evidence of God’s love for me, that came in the craziest ways today, and I just have to write it down. I want to remember this.

To start off, you should know that I’ve had a bad week. Like a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week. Even though there were some amazing moments in midst of it, overall it’s been a rough one. Want to know why?

My sin.

I have seen ugliness in me this week unlike I have seen in a long time. I have felt like a failure as a mom. I lost my patience with my kids more times than I can count. I yelled. I was harsh. I was unkind. I sinned. And in midst of it all, I found my self despairing and thinking that I will never be able to change. Thinking that my kids are going to be ruined because their mom is one big bag of sinfulness!

And then today happened.

I went to Target with my kiddos, which is something that we often do. Now, some of my worst moments since having my kids have happened in this Target (at least 2 throw up experiences, one kid pushing another kid down and making them bleed, and the biggest freak out at denying a kid a whole cookie, and more!). So, whenever I venture there I get a little nervous, yet hopeful that it will be uneventful. My mom was with me this time, so I was pretty hopeful that things would go smoothly!

We were getting a snack at the snack bar, because distracting my kids with snacks to get them through Target smoothly is sometimes a necessary thing. I was passing out popcorn to one kid who was demanding that they get the whole bag and not just the little amount in the paper bowl I just gave them, one kid grabbing at the bag and knocking a bunch in the floor, and one kid who was actually kind of chill and waiting for their bowl.

While this craziness was happening, I noticed a lady walk up and stand next to us. She was smiling and then said something, but it didn’t register at first. And then her words finally processed in my brain, after the sounds of the popcorn kids kind of faded,

“You are doing a great job. I would like to buy you a drink at Starbucks. What would you like?”

Huh??

I mean, I have read stories about people doing this kind of thing, but I have never been on the receiving end! This sweet woman has 2 kids and is expecting her 3rd in June. She stood in the line at Starbucks, after already completing her shopping trip, just to bless me with a drink. The sacrifice of her time, comfort, and resources were such an unexpected blessing to me, that I believe came from the Lord.

Erica, my God appointed blesser of Starbucks, reminded me that God gives us good things and that He LOVES us! He doesn’t love us because we are perfect, and He doesn’t NOT love us because we have a bad week. Through Christ, He loves us. Period! If nothing else had happened today, that in and of itself would have been enough to break me down and worship the Lord!

But that wasn’t all.

After we made it back home from Target, I perused the blogosphere and came upon my friend Kelly’s latest post. She linked a few articles and read one that struck my interest, as it was pertaining to Little Women (which I love!):

 On Raising Little Women (or men): What We Can Learn From Marmee

Marmee reaped exactly what she sowed, and so will we.

The question we need to ask ourselves is this: Are we planting and nurturing the seeds that will lead to the harvest we hope for?

– See more at: http://simplehomeschool.net/little-women/#sthash.9BUWYhuh.dpu

I felt the gentle hand of the Lord correcting me and pointing out things in me, and things to be careful of.  He used these lines in particular:

“Marmee reaped exactly what she sowed, and so will we.
The question we need to ask ourselves is this:
Are we planting and nurturing the seeds that will lead to the harvest we hope for?”

My kids are such little sponges, and I can tell that they are picking up some not so good habits from me. This post was like the Lord reminding me,  and encouraging me, to be careful with them. They are going to learn from me how to live, act, and respond to things, just to name a few. I have the huge and awesome responsibility of raising my kids, and I want there to be a harvest of fruit of the Spirit in their lives. That, however, has to start with me. They have to be shown how to control anger. They have to see the proper way to respond to situations and circumstances even if it’s not the way they want. They have to be taught how to be kind to others, even when they aren’t kind. They have to be taught, and God made me their most influential teacher. And, I want to do a good job.

And there was even another way that I felt the love of the Lord tonight,

In my sweet girl’s bedtime prayers.

Karis, among other wonderfully sweet kid things that she prayed tonight, said,

“God, none of us are perfect. But You are, and we need you.”

From the lips of babes, right?!? That is exactly what I needed to hear to end this week on. I am not perfect, and whoa have I seen that this week! I cannot be a perfect mommy. I cannot perfectly teach my kids how to live this life. I. Cannot. Do. It. But that’s ok, because He is perfect and wants to help me!

I need to be begging and pleading every single day for the Lord to help me love my little ones. I need His help to teach them and to emulate Him so that they see how He is beautiful and gracious and patient and kind!

But, you know what else they also need to see? They need to see that mommy is not perfect, and that mommy will fail them. They need to see that only Jesus will never fail them.

That’s the gospel right there. Sinful man. Perfect God. Trust in Him and not in ourselves. We will fail, but He never will. Beautiful.

I have felt like a terrible failure of a mommy this week, but God doesn’t see me that way. He doesn’t see my sinfulness, because His son covered it with His blood on the cross. I am so very thankful for His grace, mercy, kindness, and love.

He lavished me with undeserved favor (my Starbucks drink from sweet stranger Erica), He disciplined me as a beloved child (convicting me to be careful with the things my kids are seeing in me), and reminded me that through the gospel I now have His Spirit to help me be and do what He has called me to (Karis’ prayer).

I am going to go to sleep tonight as a sinner who feels so incredibly loved by her Savior, and what a precious gift that is.

~Heather

I feel like there is no better way to kick off Valentine’s Day than this, being reminded that God loves us. This holiday will not satisfy you, the perfect gift will not satisfy you, your spouse or boyfriend/girlfriend will not satisfy you. Only Jesus Christ will perfectly satisfy. He is what is perfect.

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3 thoughts on “Oh How He Loves Us

  1. This morning God was working on my heart in almost the exact same theme that you blogged about. Last night I went to bed crying with the guilt that I would never overcome anger in my heart towards my children’s disrespect and disobedience. As I had put my kids to bed last night I was fed up and raised my voice at them. I have been fighting against anger in my heart for quite awhile now and I see God’s grace so clearly some days and others I’m very blinded by my own sin. This morning in church we sang, Jesus I Come. This song had become so special to me during our season of infertility because I struggled with anxiousness but today I was able to think on the words in light of my sin struggle with anger….
    Out of my bondage, sorrow and night,
    Jesus, I come, Jesus, I come;
    Into Thy freedom, gladness, and light,
    Jesus, I come to Thee;
    Out of my sickness, into Thy health,
    Out of my want and into Thy wealth,
    Out of my sin and into Thyself,
    Jesus, I come to Thee.
    Out of my shameful failure and loss,
    Jesus, I come, Jesus, I come;
    Into the glorious gain of Thy cross,
    Jesus, I come to Thee;
    Out of earth’s sorrows, into Thy balm,
    Out of life’s storms and into Thy calm,
    Out of distress to jubilant psalm,
    Jesus, I come to Thee.
    Out of unrest and arrogant pride,
    Jesus, I come, Jesus, I come;
    Into Thy blessed will to abide,
    Jesus, I come to Thee;
    Out of myself to dwell in Thy love,
    Out of despair, into raptures above,
    Upward for aye on wings like a dove,
    Jesus, I come to Thee.
    Out of the fear and dread of the tomb,
    Jesus, I come, Jesus, I come;
    Into the joy and light of Thy home,
    Jesus, I come to Thee;
    Out of the depths of ruin untold,
    Into the peace of Thy sheltering fold,
    Ever Thy glorious face to behold,
    Jesus, I come to Thee.

    God gave me so much joy this morning that I am no longer in BONDAGE to my sin, but I am FREE! I have no reason to live in SHAME and GUILT because of my failures but as a believer I can live in the GLORIOUS GAIN of HIS CROSS!

    How absolutely encouraging was it to sit down and immediately see the Lord was reinforcing this lesson through your blog post! It is a work of the Holy Spirit in your heart! You ministered to me in your faithfulness to share his goodness. I love you. Thank you!

  2. Amanda, thank you so much for sharing this with me! I love to see the Lord work in ways to reinforce things in our lives! And the line, “out of my shameful failures and loss, into the gain of thy glorious cross,” is ringing beautifully to me right now! He’s good to us friend, and He loves us! 🙂

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