A mom’s admission

I’m not the best mom. I am honest enough to admit that. But, I do love my kids! They are precious to me; in a milli-second I would give my life for them. They are my delight.

I love them even when they drive me crazy and I find myself yelling. I remember a couple of years ago, the girls had gotten caught doing the very thing I had demanded they not do, and I lost it. I just started yelling at them. Frustrated with their lack of obedience and my lack of self-control, I screamed, “I AM NOT A YELLER!” picture spit flying, hair blown back, and little eyes wide. And, I wasn’t lying, well, not completely. In my nature, I’m not a yeller, I’m non- confrontational, I’m rational. But that day I was feeling extra “fleshly”. I would be tempted to believe that was an isolated incident but it was not, indicated by the time my neighbor’s daughter stated, “Mizz Lazlie…You sure do like to yell.” Ugh – Like a ten ton brick lobbed at my toe! Then she said, “My mom yells a lot, too!” And like that I was relieved. I shouldn’t have been. I mean the evidence of my temper had just crushed my toe, but, with that bit of information – that another well meaning Christian mom was a yeller, too! – Well, it was a comfort. I even had the audacity to think, “Her poor kids.”

I love them even when I don’t listen. I try to listen. I really do, but there are moments when I’m driving and they’ve hollered my name a million times and I finally snap, “What???” And they say, “Right?” And then I’m caught. I’m stuck and I’m caught. I could say, “Yes,” but with my luck they would have been talking about taking a trip to Disney or to Hawaii. I could say, “No,” but then I’m left with the possibility that one of them had argued that she was my natural born daughter. The flood works would have started and the feelings of inferiority… So I was honest. “I’m sorry what were we talking about?” As if the “we” in that might confuse them enough to think I might have actually been listening all along. Nope. “You never listen!” and like that, she hit the bullseye with an arrow to the heart. I could have argued her “never” but instead I pulled up my pity pants and said, “I’m sorry.”

I love them even when I’m hurt by their words, or sick and can’t take care of them, or tired and I can’t see to read a bedtime story, or busy and I can’t stop to pee much less watch a movie! And they love me … Even when.

But I was thinking today, as I was out, “I’m gonna do something special!” So I headed over to our local Asian grocery store and picked up keem and mandu and pockey. For the non-educated in all things Korean that is: seaweed, dumplings (gyoza for sushi bar frequenters), and chocolate covered pretzel sticks (for dessert, of course!) I had so much fun thinking about how much my kids would enjoy their simple Korean meal that I found myself humming, and even the Vietnamese lady and her horn-rimmed glasses didn’t deter me. I was playing the part of the doting mother, because even if I yell or don’t listen or forget or so many other things I’m reluctant to admit, my kids can’t deny the fact that I dote!

I’m not the best mom, but I love my kids! Heck, they’re my kids! Perfection doesn’t run in my genes. But I’m perfect for them since God obviously chose me to mother them, and they’re perfect for me because they keep me humble. And tonight, were having a perfectly simple Korean meal. (I’m actually hoping that makes up for yesterday when I apparently misunderstood my daughter’s “LIKE” for “like” and should have let her play longer with the boy who will heretofore remain nameless.) Sigh. That’s just delightful.

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Always never

Always.

There is such assurance in that word. Always. Not temporarily, not for the moment, not while it feels good, or its convenient, or I’ve got nothing better to do but always.

It’s not a word we toss around lightly. It’s not a word that we even feel comfortable saying. It requires commitment and loyalty, vulnerability and resolve. Not just because I have to, or because you’ve asked – but because it is – always.

Always. We long for it. There’s not a human on this planet that doesn’t crave to hear that word. But, we want to hear it from lips that are sincere, dedicated, and trustworthy. We want the follow through, the action that speaks the essence of the word – always.

Never.

It isn’t pretty. Never. It’s riddled with fear and speculation. It’s usually the visceral response to a jilted always. I’ll never trust him again. I never want to see her again. I’ll never let that happen again. Never … Again. A compromised always.

Never is spoken through clinched teeth and a wounded spirit. Never! It’s a word of protection and isolation – keeping us further and further from healing and freedom and gripping us tighter in fear and anger. It’s a word cancer that threatens to kill our hope. A dangerous utterance that binds us to desperation.

But, there is an always you can trust – it’s an always that is dedicated and endures the tests of time and space, an always that speaks forever out of eternal lips that know exactly how epic that is; “I am with you always.” It’s not temporary or flippant; it is steadfast and resolved – always.

And, there is a never that doesn’t make your heart ache, a never that doesn’t come from the whisper of a scared victim cautious of the next assault. It is a never that speaks safety and hope, not borne of human walls; “I will never leave you or forsake you.” It’s a courageous, arms wide, passionately loving never.

He is your always and your never. The thing that you need most, the answer to your longings, the safety you’ve been looking for. He is.

His never comes with a guarantee. He will never suck you in and spit you out. He will never make light of your vulnerability, and He will never misuse your trust.

His always comes with a promise. He will always be by your side. He will always love you. He will always protect you.

He won’t ever compromise those two things. Ever. It would compromise His character, and He could never do that. It’s hard to understand, too good to be true, too amazingly hopeful…yes. But, He is “Always” here and “Never” leaving, and good enough to be perfectly trusted! Christ is!

Proof positive

Proofing:  The detection and correction of error.

I have spent multiple hours proofing and editing and getting more sleep in the morning then at night. As an author it is important to me to get it just right…and try as I might, it still has to be re-edited and proofed by another set of eyes that leave ugly red marks all over again. Such is the life of a writer. No matter how many times I go over it, no matter how many mistakes I correct there are still more…that someone else sees and corrects and the cycle continues…until eventually we are at a place that we both approve of, and finally, we go to the printer!

I’ve been thinking a lot about this proofing process as it relates to my faith walk.

We are told by the apostle Paul that we should run with endurance the race that God has marked before us by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the Author (I like that) and the Perfector (I really like that) or our faith. (Hebrews 12:1-3) God is the ultimate perfectionist.  He wants the story that He writes on us to be absolutely perfect. That doesn’t mean that we are or that we can even hope to be, that means that, in the end, that story is going to say exactly what He wants it to say, exactly the way He wants it said.

It doesn’t take a genius to know that there is not a single person (fully flesh and blood – lest any of you smart alecks out there correct me by shouting out “Jesus!”)  alive or dead that has lived a “perfect” life. Give me a name of someone that you admire and that inspires you and you will find that the very thing that makes them do so is the muck and mire that they were given the grace to fight through. It isn’t that their lives were perfect that draws you to them…it is the very fact that somehow, someway Christ took those imperfections and made them perfectly beautiful.

It isn’t the blemishes, the typos, the insurrections that define us or the story of our lives, it is the way in which we allow Him to edit them.

And the key here is that He edits.

I had something happen recently that quite honestly pissed me off. (Yes, mom, I realize that is strong language, but that’s how I felt.) Satan got a hold of me, pulled me into some grief, some sin, some sadness with my own rope, and I was ticked! How dare he? I was determined to set it right, so after Christ in His great mercy reached down into the pit to rescue me, I grabbed the rope intended for my harm and made a lasso, determined to capture the trapper. (Hmmmm…any guess as to how that turned out? Yep. Snared again.) I literally gave him one more chance to stick it to me…and believe me, it stuck. Like a pin to my already severely deflated spirit. Christ had to rescue me again.

Proofing. It’s important to Him. SO important that He says, “Let Me die for you.” He died. We know this. We’ve seen the pictures, heard the sermons, watched the Passion of the Christ and wept, but have we really captured the amazing truth that He died for “me?” After I was rescued out of that pit, the second snare of the eternally evil one, I knew it without a doubt. It was fixed on my heart with a pen that couldn’t be washed away. No more doubts. He finished it.

Proofing. I tried to proof my own life. Find the caves and the traps, looking to keep myself from falling into temptation. I failed miserably. And the amazing thing is that the very thing that I had created as a “wall” a “coping mechanism” a “boundary” became the very thing that did me in…because it was me. My walls are thin and my boundaries move.

Proofing. It’s important to Him. He doesn’t want satan to get the victory anymore than we want him to get it, and here’s the thing: He settled that, too. We don’t have to edit our mistakes so that God gets the glory…we just simpy glorify God as He edits our mistakes. I had it backward. I was doing the edits and, in effect, taking back control. He says, “Give me all your imperfections, those things that hold you back, those things that are burdening you and worrying you, give them to Me.” He wants them. He knows that you can’t handle them, fix them, or cope. He is the red pen, holding an inkwell of blood that corrects the ugliest of mistakes.

Proofing. It’s never complete. Get that in your mind now, and settle it in your heart. Until you breathe your final breath and your heart surges one last beat, the editing continues. Aren’t you glad? He’s not finished with you, yet. 🙂

In your face

I still shudder when I think about the door slamming and my daughter yelling, “I HATE YOUR FACE!” She wasn’t talking to me. She was talking to her older sister. And it pains me, deeply.

It pains me that she didn’t think twice before saying it, or that we could tell anyway. It pains me that it was filled with such venom and hatred that I wondered where my little angel flew off to and when this minion from the nether regions appeared. It pains me that it was her first response to a very simple solution.

They were playing Barbies. It’s their favorite thing to do together, and they can enjoy it for hours. But yesterday it ended in tragedy. Apparently Ken was needed as the husband for Vet Barbie and Fashion Barbie was sitting too close. My older daughter in an attempt to fix the situation grabbed another Ken (Prince Antonio) and put him in the mix. No stinkin’ way! Vet Barbie was blonde, and she had to be married to the blonde Ken! No other situation would do, no matter what the rationalization, and it all ended with a ripped off Ken head, a slammed door, and those very painful words.

As a parent, I rushed in to try and remedy the situation. Assuage the tears and pain of one and correct the wrath of the other. In time, they came back together. A hug and a kiss and a promise brought the sisters back into the love that they truly felt when their emotions weren’t controlling them. But, I don’t think they have forgotten. I think the words, “I hate your face!” have staying power. It hurts me.

I started thinking about my own outbursts. Maybe I hadn’t said, “I hate your face!” but I’d said, “I’m disappointed in you.” And, “You’re acting stupid!” And, “I hope you fail!” Yep. Those were my words to my sisters. And perhaps the worst, the “I hate your face!” moment was when I looked in the scared eyes of my young, pregnant sister and yelled, “I hope your baby’s deformed!” Ugh. Still hurts to hear my past. Luckily, she forgave me and my precious neice was perfectly healthy…but the words were said.

I wish I could take back many things. I wish that I would have appreciated my sisters for what they are: incredible creations of God, deeply loved and worthy and precious. The pain I felt when I heard my daughter’s words must mirror the pain God feels when we murder each other with our words.

“I hate your face!” and God says, “I made that face.” “Your acting stupid!” and God says, “Like you never do?” “I hope you fail!” and God says, “I desire good things for you!” And to that horrible curse, uttered from a selfish heart and an injured ego, He says, “Before you were put together in your mother’s womb, I chose you.”

You see. That’s why we are told to “Be slow to anger and slow to SPEAK.” Words injure deeply. He knows this. Words carelessly spoken, have the power to break the spirit and sever the heart. I didn’t have to hear from my older daughter’s mouth how painful those words were to her; I could see it in the tears in her eyes, and feel it in quiver of her puckered lips. “I hate your face!” Those are words reserved for one and one alone – satan. Everyone else is worthy of far better, so much more…words of love and encouragement and inspiration…even the worst of criminals and the ugliest of sins. God’s love is greater than any of that.

Can you imagine the difference if my little girl would have dropped the insignificant Barbie, smiled at her older sister, squeezed her cheeks (because she does everything with such gusto!), kissed her and said, “I LOVE YOUR FACE!” Yeah, that would have been a much prettier moment for all of us.

When pigs fly

I was reading in Matthew, and I was taken by storm… Or the disciples were and I learned a lesson? Anyway, I saw two very real scenarios of fear and two very real reactions.

The first scene we come upon is Jesus. He’s invited two more disciples to follow Him, and they take off on a boat ride across the sea. All of a sudden out of nowhere a storm attacks! The winds rage, the boat rocks, the lightening bolts, and several grown men, many of which have lived on the seas, freak out! “Jesus! Help us! Do something before we die!” I love the next moment. Jesus had been sleeping. He was not oblivious to their peril, but He had no fear. He wakes up, yawns and looks at the panicked faces around him and says, “Don’t be afraid.” Then, He turns His attention to the elements – the wind, the rain, the fire from the sky – and says, “Peace be still.” The storm ceases. Immediately. Jesus goes back to sleep while the disciples ponder yet again this Lord that they follow. “Who is this man that even the wind and waves obey him?” I want to say, “Well, Duh. He’s Jesus, Son of God. Power is His middle name and peace is His kingdom.” But I wasn’t there, and since I’m a woman they wouldn’t have listened. 😉

The second scene involves many of the same players; add two demoniacs and some pigherders. Jesus comes upon a demon possessed man (or two according to Mark and Luke) that lives in the caves. A man so violent that he cannot live around people, and he cuts himself with stones… The townspeople and, no doubt the local pigsherders, are afraid of these men. The demons see Jesus coming a mile away! After all, they recognize their God, and they know their fate; so immediately they begin bargaining. “Please Master! Don’t let us be wandering spirits without a home; put us in the pigs!” Seems like a bazaar request and yet, He grants it. He casts the demons into the 2000 pigs grazing in the hillside. Interesting day for the pigsherders, no doubt! Next thing they know, their pigs are flying off the cliff, and their collecting unemployment. The freed men/or man rejoice, begin to talk intelligently and recover their dignity while the pigherders run off in fear! “Havila! You won’t believe it! Some man was talking to the crazy mountain men and before I knew what was happening my pigs jumped off a cliff!” Of course, Havila tells Sukka and Sukka tells Salome and before you know it the whole town is running in fear! “Who is this man that even the demons obey Him!” Again, I could interject, but that would require time travel and could result in a fatal stoning so I’ll just keep writing. 😉

Here’s where the two scenarios divulge… Again. In the first story, the men are filled with fear and they request the help of their Savior. He’s faithful; He saves them from the storm. In the second story, the pigsherders are filled with fear, too. They have seen the unexpected, the frankly unbelievable and they run! But they do more than that. They do something tragic. They reject their Savior. After running around the town spreading the fear and the fever, they gather around Jesus and tell Him to leave.

My heart grieves at that. There is no telling the healing, the help, the peace Jesus could have left for that town, but fear kept them from seeking anything! His power frightened them when He wanted it to free them. I’m sure the disciples followed Jesus outside of town in disbelief! They had the Son of God available to them and they pushed Him away like a giant smelly ogre! What were they thinking?!

They were thinking many things, I’m sure. But they were thinking with their emotions and not their souls. They were thinking with their fearful flesh, and their flesh sold them out. It will. Everytime. How many times do I allow my emotions to get the better of my faith? I’ve seen Him do the miraculous for others. Why can’t I see the miracles He has for me? And in fear, my emotions spiral quickly away from Him and deep into an abyss of self and pride. And I’m enslaved to what might have been. Today’s scripture reminds me, when those moments of fear surface and threaten to overwhelm me, I have two choices: request or reject. Sleep or run. I think I’ll sleep. Running takes too long and gets me nowhere. In fact, if I’d been one of the demoniacs? I’d have high tailed it out of town; better to sleep in the dust at Jesus feet than have to lay with one eye open every night in the finest hotel of the Gadarenes!

“Lord, the one you love is sick.”

How many times have we struggled with this? “Lord, don’t you see that the one you love is dying of cancer?” “Lord, don’t you see that the one you love is being abused?” “Lord, don’t you see that the one you love is heartbroken?” And, we address Him thinking that because we don’t see Him acting on their behalf that He has somehow lost sight of them. He hasn’t. His sight is greater.

We are told that Jesus waited two days after hearing that statement to go the one He loved. Lazarus. When he finally got there; he was dead. In the grave four days. And we are told that Jesus was so filled with compassion that He wept – heartfelt emotion about the death of one that He loved. And like Mary and Martha, we say, “Why?” As we sit in funeral homes and pick out caskets, or sing a tribute of love to the one that was taken too soon, or we look at the grave stone, we wonder how could you let this happen?

Very rarely do I take a verse out of the Bible and smother it with imaginative juices. But, today as I was reading, purpose hit my heart. Greater purpose. Lazarus resurrection was a precursor to the ultimate victory over death! Four days he had been dead, rotting had begun, the stench was expected, and yet, Jesus had to show them something big! He had to get the wheels in their brains working. I imagine that Jesus had a conversation with the Father over this:
“Okay, so I’m gonna get there, and He’s gonna be dead.”
“Yes.”
“So I’m gonna go up to grave call him out, and they’ll believe?”
“Some of them.”
“But it will set the stage, right? Put in their hearts the thought for the next time they see an empty grave?”
“Yes.”
“Okay, let’s do it!”

So, he got to Jerusalem, the place where they would sentence Him to death a short while later, and we are told that He was deeply troubled, another translation is “moved with intention and regard.” There’s that foreshadowing of purpose. Martha was the first to approach him in her perfectionistic expectations, she demanded, “Why didn’t you come sooner?” He doesn’t answer her. She’ll soon find out. Even Mary, with her selfless love for an amazing savior that so overwhelmed her that she washed his feet with her hair, Mary, a woman of ill repute that had given herself over and over only to find true love in the eyes of her Lord, came to him with doubt. “It’s been too long. He’ll stink.”

Jesus took it all in and wept. Feeling the emotion, the heartbreak, the desperation, but more than that, looking around Him and realizing the magnitude of this next move, I imagine His tears were shed not for His beloved friend as much for His beloved children, gathered around Him, doubting His love. He stepped forward and declared, “Take away the stone.” I’m sure they looked at him in disbelief. Did He really say what they thought He said? But with the authority His voice commanded, they did as they were told. Then with the power of heaven and earth in His tongue, He released the hold of death as He spoke the words, “Lazurus, come forth!”

The people waited, noses clenched, eyes scared to look. Then they saw him, still wrapped in sheets and blind from the covering, the first walking mummy! The weaker bloods, like myself, might have fainted! Then Jesus said some of the most precious words to me, “UNBIND HIM!” I like to think that He said it as He reached for that one piece of material that covered Lazurus’ eyes. I like to think that as He pulled it away, His eyes twinkled and His heart pounded to see the friend He so purposefully loved! (That’s some of those imaginative juices again.) I like to think it though. But, I believe that moment, that day, that miracle set the people’s minds on greater possibilities, and a short time later when they heard the news of another stone that was rolled away, they would believe the impossible and spread the Truth of a living Savior!

Lazarus’ story is so much more than a man coming back to life. It’s the beginning of believing in a God that put an end to death, completely! “Lord, the one you love is sick.” Yes. He knew. He knows now. He knows the suffering, the agony, the heartache. He sees and knows it all. But, to Him it’s more than a story about a loved one being healed temporarily or coming back to life or reversing time. It’s about a love that sees you through all of that and offers life, eternal. Make no mistake, He weeps. He sees what you’re going through and feels it, too. But, He knows the hope of the future when you can’t see past today. He knows the joy that comes after a season of mourning. He knows the thrill of the sight when He declares, “UNBIND HIM!” You gotta trust in that. I gotta trust in that. Even when we can’t see.

I’m God’s favorite kid!

Have you ever had a moment, a day, a week (if you’re super lucky) where you had the sheepish thought, “I’m God’s favorite kid!” Maybe you brushed it away quickly lest it become some shameful statement of pride, or maybe you haven’t had that thought at all; maybe that thought is so foreign to you that you judge me for admitting that I’ve had several. But I have! And today was no exception. In fact, those moments take me by storm, blow me away, and sweep me off my feet all at the same time.

It usually comes unexpectedly. Most the time it follows a deep season of doubt and fear. Occasionally it lasts for days, but most the time its a moment or two. And it is glorious and beautiful.  It’s like I’m standing in a ballroom, eyes down, watching the toes of my ridiculously bare feet, intently trying to ignore the fact that every other girl is being led away by her prince… when I feel a hand reach for mine.   I look up and He’s there, waiting, and asking me to dance, and suddenly, I feel like the prettiest princess in a long line of beauty queens…and His eyes are set on me.  Can you sense that thrill of acceptance?

Or it’s like I’m the kid at the window of the candy store. I watch as my friends take their money in and buy the treat that they want most, but my hand is empty as are my pockets. I’m left standing there, watching, wishing… when I sense someone beside me; I look and it’s Him. He’s smiling at me and holding out the biggest bag of my most favoritest candy in all the world! It’s too good to be true and yet, it is true; it is my Father! I don’t even look twice at the bag I just grab His waist and hold Him feeling His amazing chest breathing in and out and listen to a heart that beats for me!  In that moment, I could run a marathon, swim the ocean, and scale a mountain! Can you sense that joy?

Or I’m just me – Scarred and hurt, feeling the burden of the world on my shoulders, wondering if I can ever do anything right… when I feel His presence. It’s like a ray of sunshine on a cloudy day, a moment of hope in a period of dispair. It’s as if all time stands still, everything else goes away, and He is there with me. He looks deeply at me, into me – past my sorrow and my fear to the heart He so obviously created, and He smiles a deep dimpled smile. Can you sense that peace?

He wants you to. He does. God almighty is full of love for His children. He wants to wrap us up and hold us close and assure us that we are His treasure. He delights in us. But too often we are filled with the image that He’s just complacent with us. Or, we disappoint Him but He chose us so He’ll deal with it. Or, maybe you think you are nothing so you don’t even look for those moments as often as He’s tried to share them with you.

Maybe I’m silly, or certifiable, but I will admit to dancing with God. It’s our Father/Daughter time.  We’ve done the jitterbug and we’ve slow danced. I’ve done a clumsy ballet before His throne and I’ve head-banged with Him. Really. And in those moments, where in your eyes I’m dancing slowly around my quiet kitchen with my hands in position, I’m His favorite. I know that if you were to see me you would call “those people.” But what you can’t see that He shows me is that He’s there. He’s brushing away my hair, and wiping away my tears, and He’s letting me rest my weary head upon His shoulder, and He’s there…loving me. I see it. Even if you can’t.

Now, He’s not gonna dance with all of His children. My dear, sweet, manly husband wouldn’t find that thrilling at all!  In fact, he might wonder if someone slipped him a mickey!  But, God knows it means the world to me, and so He meets me, to dance. With Brian, it would be more adventurous and personal, a man to man kind of thing.  Perhaps, He would show him a magnificent deer that is majestic and mighty and give him the perfect shot (and yes, I, with all the other animal lovers, cringe at the thought.) But, that would thrill my husband! God knows this. And in that moment, Brian is likely to feel like His favorite.

Maybe you’ve searched all over the place for that perfect dress/shirt/belt/item of jewelry and you haven’t been able to find it anywhere. It’s a simple thing, but as materialistic as it sounds you want it! Then, a friend says that the Lord laid you on her heart and she wanted to get you something, and she presents to you the very thing that you have been salivating over! You hug your friend; after all, she’s the vessel, and you feel special, don’t you? You barely whisper it but feel it deeply, you’re His favorite.

Maybe you’re nine with a dream of a puppy, and it’s all you can think about!  You would take any old dog you were given but deep down inside what you really hope for is a white chihuahua that you can name Chloe.  It seems impossible, but your Father tells you nothing is impossible so you pray and you believe!  Then a week later your parents find the sweetest puppy you’ve ever seen – she’s perfect.  She’s yours!  You reach out for her, “God gave me Chloe!”  Later that night you weep, listening to her sweet breathing as she lays on a pillow beside you, you smile.  You can’t believe it!  You must be God’s favorite kid!

Maybe your in over your head with bills.  Maybe you have completely given up hope that you will ever get out of the pit.  You pray, unbelieving, unable to even fathom the idea that God might meet that need.  When all of the sudden, out of nowhere in your mail, you find a check.  It’s a money order for a large sum of money and no legible signature, but on the side where you usually find the reason for the money spent, there are three words that take you to your knees – “God loves you!”  You cry and you clutch that money to your chest and you know that He heard you, and you find within that moment the love that says, “You are His favorite!”

You ARE His favorite! I can say that with absolute belief and trust because it’s true. You may say, “How can everyone be His favorite!” Well, we all, each and every twenty nine thousand billion of us, hold a special place in His heart! He thinks about us, works on our behalf, pays intimate attention to every detail of our lives because He loves us! It’s why He chose us! He calls us each by name. Now, it’s true; you may share the same name with someone in the world, but you are more than a name to Him. You are a face with freckles or a scar that He knows, He traces. You are a head of hair that is graying or colored or receding. You are an eye that is speckled or ridged or blue or green or grey or hazel and made up of so many shades of color even the the girl at the Clinique counter can’t label you! But He knows exactly what and who and how you are…every single part of you. Nothing has gone without His attention, even that imperfection you so desperately try to hide, He loves it! To Him it’s you. It tells a story or it emphasizes your character … it’s unique and beautiful. It’s probably His favorite part about you!

I could go on and on about His loving attention to detail. I could tell you story after story about Him being personal and intentional and intimate to meet His precious children where they need or want to be met most. But, it would mean more if you’d just let Him tell you. If you’d just take a moment and believe that what I’ve said, what He’s said over and over through His Word, is true! You are everything to Him! Everything you are and have and want and need is exactly what He lives for, not as a genie in a bottle, an easily manipulated parent that doesn’t know when to say no…but as a loving Father that longs to do good for His children. Embrace it, live it and share it – You’re God’s favorite kid! 🙂