God Wants You To Know His Pleasure In You

When my three brothers and I were little, we would get so excited when Mom or Dad would stop what they were doing to watch our latest “feat.” Like what? you may ask. Oh, amazing things like a basketball shot we finally mastered, tricks off the diving board, a dance move, a bike trick . . . The thing was we often didn’t get it right the first, second, or third time we tried for them. So, more than once, we’d ask (or plead), “Wait; can I start over?! . . . “Hold on; let me try again! . . . I’ll get it right this time!”

Whatever our final performance looked like, their facial expression, words, or clapping showed us their delight. Looking back, I don’t think their delight was mainly about what we were doing. We knew their pleasure for who we are to them.  When our children were little, they called us to watch them, too. Whatever they presented was fun to see, but mostly we enjoyed them and our relationship.

God enjoys you and me. He takes pleasure in us because we are His. Do you know the experience of enjoying God’s pleasure in you?

For the Lord takes pleasure in his people; he adorns the humble with salvation.” (Psalm 149.4)

I lived a lot of years thinking that God’s pleasure was earned according to my performance. (You can read more on this theme in my book, Becoming A Peaceful Mom.) God takes pleasure in us simply because He made us.  We can experience His pleasure through relationship with him, even as we struggle through our ugly stuff, weaknesses, and times when we’re distant from Him.

Relationship with God is not a daily performance—to say or do something right. God is not watching for how we perform, to only then express His pleasure if we behave well.

Relationship with God is a daily partnership of the heart. He is always very near to us. We can decide daily to draw near to Him–or not. When we make time to read God’s Word, we demonstrate that we want to know Him, and He instills understanding for how committed He is to relationship with us. When we pray—praise, confess, thank, ask, listen—we partner with God. We practice depending on Him and experience how dependable He is.

The more we know God and spend time with Him, the fact of His pleasure in us captures our heart as real and true—and awe for such grace overwhelms. He knows we’ll mess up, and He forgives us. We practice heart partnership, one hour at a time. Through each right-step, misstep, humility step, and faith-step, God shapes, loves, and reveals His pleasure in us.

Thank you, God, that I am not a human project for your evaluation. Help me grasp Your tender love and pleasure in me and enjoy our relationship, which you created me for. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Surrender Is A Strength

Becoming A Peaceful Mom is available on Amazon!  I’ll save you a minute ~ Just tap here to purchase. 

Today I’m sharing a little piece from the book—and a day in my life—with you . . .

dsc02539One afternoon I was overwhelmed by my inadequacies, discouraged by my seeming failures as a mom, and exhausted physically and emotionally. I collapsed to the sofa crying and vented: God, I am so frustrated! Nothing seems to be working. I don’t feel like I’m doing anything right. I keep messing up as a mom, and I feel like a disappointment to you.

After I emptied my heart and had a good cry, I sat subdued in silence—and clarity came. It dawned on me how I contribute to my exhaustion and experience of discouragement: Most days I try to be and do what I think a mom should be and do—without asking God to teach me, much less help me. I try to mold my children according to my goals, employing every ounce of my mental, emotional, and physical energy.

Humbled, I saw my pride. God, I repent of my pride. I’m sorry for not inviting you to lead and help me. I need you. What a relief to unload these thoughts and emotions to him, to know he forgives me immediately, and to be able to start over—following God.

In those few minutes, my circumstance with the children did not change, but I felt like God was glad that I stopped and cried out to him. Focus on my failure shifted to hope in God. My perspective changed: I’m a mother for God. Therefore, I want to do this his way, with him. I recognized that I can’t do this on my own; I need him.

All of this took only a few minutes. God knows how little time a mom has to be still, much less alone! From time to time, I pray this prayer when I recognize that my attitude is out of whack and I need to recommit my heart’s path to God.

Practice: Prayer of Surrender and Dedication
1. Surrender each child by name to God: “God, I give you _______. She is your child whom you have given me for a season.”

2. Claim and dedicate your relationship with each child to the God: “God, I claim my relationship with _______ for you. I dedicate this relationship to you. I want our relationship and how I parent ______ to glorify you. Amen.”

DSC01780Life circumstances will challenge our family. God hopes we will look to him for the way through. “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure” (Philippians 2:12–13). You are God’s Beloved. Yield to his love and leadership.

In our culture, self-sufficiency is an ideal. If we make our own decisions, take care of our self, and don’t need anyone for anything, then we feel strong. God’s kingdom on earth has an opposite ideal: All our needs are met in God. He wants us to seek his guidance for all decisions, to depend on him to take care of us, and to know we need him. In order to live this way, we need to surrender or release to God what we want to do—and then trust and obey him.

Surrender is really hard. Like all hard things, the more we practice, the better we get at it. Opportunity to practice occurs all day long. We lay down our preferred way for his:  God, I surrender ________ to you. Please help me discern and follow your way.

Once we recognize surrender as a strength, desire to practice relying on God increases. It’s humbling how quickly we can put our self in the driver’s seat with themes like training and correction methods, making plans, and relational issues. Sometimes our independent strategy works, but often we leave a trail of circumstances that needs to be rectified. Pray for grace and believe that God responds to your effort to yield. Gradually, our self-centered life is transformed to a Christ-centered life.

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them (Psalm 139:13–16).

When we rely on God throughout the day, we trust that he knows us best and holds the plan for our life—including how to parent our child. God desires to parent us as he shows us how to parent our child.

To surrender is to trust God.

#BecomingAPeacefulMom

Will you help me share #BecomingAPeacefulMom with your friends?  Thank you!

God Sees Beautiful In You

dsc01044 Momma Friend, There is only one YOU.
You and your child are a match made in heaven.

God gave your child YOU. God sees beautiful in you.

He knows the mom we can be today and continue to become—as we depend on him. We can be his vessels to reflect his love and character. The more we invite God into our life and follow him, we become more like him.

“And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3.18)

dsc00447Every day he works in our heart and in our child’s heart. Every day. We decide to turn toward him or not.

He pours love to you. Receive it.
He showers grace. Embrace it.
He supplies wisdom, discernment, and guidance. Seek it, listen for it, watch for it.
He dwells with you. Abide.
He comforts and restores. Rest with him.
God is with you every day. Talk to him–and listen.

We’ll have good days and not-so-good days. We mess up and our child messes up. We hurt and disappoint each other—and we disappoint our self. We are being built by a God who knows our weaknesses, loves unconditionally, and desires that we walk with him.

“For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building.” 
(1 Corinthians 3.9)

dsc00890Know that you are very significant. That’s a value statement, not a pressure statement. You matter greatly to your child, in the life of your child, and to God. God sees beautiful in you.

For through him (Jesus) we both have access in one Spirit to the Father . . . you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit. (Ephesians 2.18-22)