Thursday, September 23, 2010

That's Progress Baby!

I was up at 3:00 this morning, having an awesome conversation with our Father, who for some reason I'm sure only He knows, loves to wake me in the middle of the night for prayer and time to talk. Hmmm, it just occurred to me that it may mean I'm not giving Him enough time during the day. Ok, more on that in a later post. But for now I need to share what He shared. He told me that He is truly pleased with me, amongst many other things, but let's go with this one for today because it's just that good!

He is truly pleased with me! Oh yeah, that's right, uh huh! Ok, I may or may not be doing the jig right now (you'll never know ~ unless you know me, and that would mean that yes, yes I am doing the jig, because, well, that's what I do!) So at the very moment I feel that I am failing completely and irrevocably, the God of this Universe took the time to whisper that He loves me and He is truly pleased with me. I would be lying if I said I wasn't shocked. That whisper made my heart jump! How can YOU be pleased with me? I complain, I stagger backwards with every step I take, I get angry, I am sad, and I sin. And that was just this morning! Not really, but on any given day pick three from the above list and you'd be correct! But here's where He got me. He said,

"But look at where you began, then look at where you are now. And know that I was pleased with you where you began...just as I am truly pleased with you now. Because I knew where you would begin, and I knew that you would get to here, so why would I not be pleased? There is beauty in all of it and it was all in my plan. You are my plan."

I realized then, and even more-so today that I constantly look at where I'm not ~ instead of how far I've grown. I see what I don't have ~ not the bountiful blessings that surround us with every breath that enters our lungs. I see all that I am not ~ instead of seeing what He see's ~ a perfect creation who is exactly who she was made to be at this moment in time. I see the steps I take backward ~ not the HUGE steps taken forward. All in all, I am not giving myself enough credit. I am not celebrating the deeper relationship I now have with my Father, which has slowly changed me in MANY ways! Looking back I realize that the changes have been huge! And while it took me almost 30 years to do the damage, I need to give Him at least a few more years for perfection!

He also reminded me that when I look in the mirror and criticize, I am criticizing His creation. He made me beautiful ~ for eternity. Now, while getting out of bed this morning at 7am, after being up from 3 till mmmm, about 6:00 ~ I can tell you I might not have felt very beautiful at that moment! But upon prying my eyes open and splashing some cold water in my face, I was reminded of His words ~ I'm very beautiful to Him, inside and out. Who am I to question Him? Ok God, if you say so, I guess I'm beautiful (I say with a sheepish little grin).

The point is ~ it's ok. It's all ok, no matter what. If God is for you, who can be against you? And God is for me. God loves me, and that will never change ~ He will never forsake me. So no matter how I struggle in my marriage or with addictions or with patience or with finances or with... (you fill in the blank), it is ok. God is with me, God loves me, God will provide, and in Him there is such abundant joy to be found. His ways are not our ways, so while it is ok to question our lives (I actually encourage you to do so because "an unexamined life is not worth living" ~ Socrates), it is not ok to question the purpose of this life. Whether or not I deserve life or whether or not I want to be here ~ these are not up for examination. Because God has a purpose in each and every one of us, and He is very pleased with each of us, for one reason or another ~ a reason we may not even recognize! But He is pleased. God is pleased with me. Yeah, that's plenty for today, for this moment. Father you are enough...more than enough.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A Love Letter ~

Dearest Little Brother (who's not so little any more):

So you've made me an Aunt (again), and new life is always something to celebrate! But along with being a time to celebrate, it is also a time for reflection on this beautiful thing called life. While I can't stop looking at her beautiful pictures, I also can't stop thinking about what her life will mean to you and your crazy awesome wife. Your lives have been completely and unutterably altered, from this point on. You will forever feel that a piece of you is now living and breathing outside of your beings. You will know what it means to truly worry over a cough. You will feel love in a way that you would have never known, had she not been a part of this world. She will cause worry and tears and doubt and fear...along with beauty and laughter and unimaginable joy and peace...knowing that God has given her to only you, and you to her, because He loves all three of you THAT MUCH! Oh, how he must love us ~ to give us the incredible ability to create an entirely separate being from that which makes us who we are. How can you not gaze at her and see God's love for us?

It is in her fingers ~ tiny and perfect. Her sweet cherub lips that are pink and precious! Her face that would melt the hardest of hearts! Pure beauty and loveliness! What's even lovelier is hearing in your voice something that wasn't there before ~ a sense of caring more for someone else than you've ever cared before. An awe of the grace of our Creator ~ that you might be blessed in this way. Let that awe stick little brother ~ forever and ever, please. Because this new walk is one that will take a lifetime, and even then, you still won't be capable of grasping what a huge gift your daughter's life is. That God chose her just for you and has awesomely amazing plans for your family! You so enjoyed giving her her first bath that I can only imagine the day she walks, talks, gets married, and has a child of her own (and trust me ~ it will happen that quickly!)! How proud and overwhelmed with joy I am for you. She is surely going to change your life, even more than she already has and I beg that you dive deep into that change and enjoy every moment of being a father to such a blessed baby girl! Always remember that she is a gift, who is meant to walk this Earth with a purpose and a way all her own ~ specially gifted by our Father and protected by His love that will carry her through life, with your help!

Along with, of course, the help of your beautiful wife whom I love as a sister! Girl ~ you delight my heart in a million ways! You are strong and courageous and kind and lovely, and an incredible mother, this I know already! And the perfect woman for my brother ~ may he hold onto you forever! What a beautiful family you both have created ~ be sure to always keep God at the center of it and to always remember the importance of your marriage! Without the happiness of Mommy and Daddy, there's not much to go on for any of you! So brother ~ make sure to take your gorgeous wife out on a date every once in a while and revere her for the ability to give life ~ your daughters life. And bring her flowers ~ if I remember correctly she's a stickler for roses ~ fill your home with them just because you love her that much.

My heart spills over with love for you and your family in ways I can't describe! And while it saddens me greatly that I cannot be there to share in this momentous time with you and yours ~ please know that I am there fully in spirit ~ thinking of all 3 of you constantly and praying for each of you deeply. We may not be close in terms of miles, but your place in my heart will never be moved or changed - ours is a bond that will last for eternity & I thank God for blessing me with you, and now your beautiful family. It's just sooo good! I love you endlessly and will always be your big sister, even though you have a little one of your own now and aren't so little yourself any more! And remember that your daughter has two cousins who are dying to hold her and just love all over her! They're pretty good at that ;) Much, much love and all that's good being sent your way little brother! Can you feel me hugging you right now? Cause I am, always!!! Congratulations and blessings over your family! And Momma ~ just keep doing what you do because it's all good and you inspire! And precious baby girl ~ you have an Aunt who will love you forever and can't wait to get her hands on you and kiss you all over and eat you up! In just that order! Love you child whom I have yet to meet but is already a piece of my heart!

Love you all so very, very much! xoxoxoxo