To Know You Are Loved Deeply

Happy Mother’s Day to all of you who are moms! I hope you experience a giant glimpse of how cherished you are by those you love!

Whether you’re a mom or not, it’s a blessing to have days when we taste the beautiful love that God has for us.

God knows how you and I wrestle with how we see ourselves. Some days our heart is peaceful, yet other days, the assault of worry, regret, comparison, or feeling inadequate overwhelms us. Often circumstances, or circumstances we imagine, dominate our perspective.

“‘For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace share not be removed,’ says the LORD, who has compassion on you.” (Isaiah 54.10)

Our every thought is seen and each unspoken experience and emotion in our heart is known. . . And God’s love for you and me never changes. Never.

You, my friend, are loved deeply by the Father. Savor this truth and let it soak in to your soul—

YOU are loved deeply.  Uniquely YOU. God designed you differently from every person who has lived before you, who walks the earth now, and who will one day take steps here. YOU, special you, are made by him with delight and for his delight.

“…my steadfast love shall not depart from you”

You ARE loved deeply.  This moment, as you slept last night, in your weaknesses, sadnesses, trials, and joys—God IS pouring perfect love over you. Be still; believe this; receive; and rest in his love for you.

“…my steadfast love shall not depart from you”

You are LOVED deeply.  Perfectly, not conditionally. This is hard to imagine, yet it’s true. Every detail of who you are right now today is covered with God’s grace and blanketed with his love. The part of you that feels unforgivable, ashamed, like a failure, or unworthy—God loves.

“…my steadfast love shall not depart from you”

You are loved DEEPLY.  God’s love heals, comforts, and restores. His love fills cracks and empty places in our heart that life experiences–or absence of these–have made. The power of his love transforms us. Our heavenly Father wants us to step closer to him, to open our heart to receive the fullness of his amazing love.

Dear God,
I want to know the truth of these words fully in the deepest part of my heart—that I am loved deeply by you. I open my heart to you right now. Heal, comfort, and restore me. Fill every crack and empty place with your love. Transform me that I live knowing how deeply I am loved by you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

The Power of a Smile

dsc01540Picture this. Your child or husband glances your way or walks in the door—and smiles just at you. It’s a moment, fleeting yet formative. We love our family most, so it makes sense that their smiles are of greatest value to us. So, this means that our smile is of greatest value to them.

It’s a moment, fleeting yet formative.
It is one way that we encourage and build one another up. Our facial expression carries influence to a child’s heart. Throughout the day, a child receives all sorts of messages – at school, among siblings, on the bus, among peers at an event, at a sleepover, or on social media. The warmth of our smile helps wash away the film of the other messages. We communicate value.
When we’re in a challenging season with a child, a smile says, “I love you no matter what.” It’s a tangible way to demonstrate and distinguish that our dislike is toward the challenging issue at hand, not the child. When we smile, God’s love shines through and stirs relief in a child. When we smile, we invite nearness. We extend grace. We love.
dsc01529At different times God has gently shown me the absence of my smile toward Terrell or our children. I’ve realized this mostly happens when I’m distracted by a circumstance or busyness. It’s so easy to unintentionally move through a day in our home without a smile, even though these are the very people we love most on this earth. Thankfully, God is our help in all things.
“A cheerful heart brings a smile to your face” (Proverbs 15.13, The Message)
The key to a cheerful heart is our personal relationship with Jesus. He knows that daily circumstances can give us emotional whiplash. In the Old Testament, David wrestled through hard relationship challenges, yet God was his focus and this relationship sustained him. His gladness was in God and his countenance displayed this.
“I bless the LORD who gives me counsel:
     in the night also my heart instructs me.
I have set the LORD always before me;
    because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.
Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices…”  
(Ps. 16.7-9a)

dsc01525Our desire to smile rides on the condition of our heart. It’s easy to smile when we’re happy,  when good or encouraging things happen. But when disappointment, discouragement, or disobedience color the day, it’s hard to muster such desire. Our optimistic-tank is drained dry. God knows. Like David, we can “set the LORD always before” us. With God at our right hand, we will not be shaken. We can smile because God is good.

Dear Jesus,
I want my relationship with you to be more. I want my gladness to be found in You—and then overflow to my family. Thank you for your love. Amen.

Perspective for Your Right-Now Season

get-attachment-2-aspx“They grow up so fast.”  Whenever someone said this to me, I paused for a second, thinking, I should probably appreciate her well-intended words.  But silently I reacted, Right now, it’s not going fast enough.  Days can be long.  Hard seasons feel endless.

Mothers on the other side of our current season look in their rear view mirror of motherhood, and the details of their former seasons blur.  They bear witness that children do grow up—and we grow with them.

From the best days to the hardest, God bonds our heart with each child’s heart.  He supplies all that we need even when we don’t ask.  Looking back even now, we can see much that God has done—in our child and in us.  We can mark his allowances and protection, his grace and mercy.  Gratitude swells for all that he has helped us do up to this point—things that we never imagined we could do.

cimg2805As time distances us from prior stages, we realize how short each really was.  On the larger canvas of life, each stage blends into the next.  Each brush stroke has purpose, for the child and for us.  Memories of hard experiences slowly fade as love covers all.

Treasure now.  Soak up what God has for your child and you now.  Don’t wish or worry it away.  They grow up so fast.

~ From Becoming A Peaceful Mom: Through Every Season of Raising Your Child

. . .  Thank You to all of you who have read or are reading Becoming A Peaceful Mom. I love receiving your emails as you make your way through and express what the Lord is doing in you or how you’re encouraged or how you’re challenged. I pray for you daily.

 . . . Thank you for recommending the book to your friends. I am blessed to be connected to those you hold dear.

. . . And thank you for using some of your precious time to write a review on Amazon, Christianbook.com, or Barnesandnoble.com. Moms want to hear what other moms (like you) have to say.