holy ground

I have a list of wrong-doings in my head.
It’s like a grocery list. But instead of things I need to pick up from the store, it’s a list of things I don’t like about myself.
Things I wish I could change.

When I’m tired and overwhelmed, I let words slip through my lips like a drip on a faucet. That drip, drip, drip wears me down. Other days, I let my insecurities strip away my joy like a swarm of locusts. Piece by piece my gratitude is dragged away in the clutches of something that should not hold so much power over myself.

I wish I could handle it better; I wish I could weather the storms better. For goodness sake, I have the LOVE of heaven at my fingertips. Why on earth do I lose sight of that sometimes?

A few weeks ago my husband came home and shared something someone else had said about me. It was a wonderful compliment. But I rejected it instantly, bursting into tears. “How could they believe that about me? It’s not true.”
Most days, I feel as if I am harboring a great secret. That I am broken. That I can’t get it quite right. That I am weak. . . and the grocery list goes on . . .

But here is the truth

I am Someone’s child.

And that changes everything.

This morning I took a minute to sit down at the kitchen window with my coffee. My son came in. He is at the magical age of three.  He asked for some oatmeal in that precious way only three years olds can do. There was a frown upon his face, and even while I reminded him to ask politely, my heart burst with love for him. His very existence fills me with the purest delight. I scooped oatmeal into a plastic bowl and gave it to him. With my hand lingering on his soft golden hair, he scampered off on his tip toes, and joy filled me.

I let him carry his oatmeal into the living room and eat it in front of the television. I’ve been letting the kids do that for weeks now. It’s something else I hate about myself. I want to be the mother that gets up before dawn, exercises, reads her Bible in the quiet, and greets her kids with a wide-awake smile. But I’m not.

I’m the mom who drags herself out of bed when the kids do. I stumble downstairs and stair at the walls while the kids ask for breakfast. I fumble with my coffee and try to wake up. Before 9 am, I’ve already added items to that list of things I need to change about myself.

But as my son skipped out of the kitchen this morning, I was struck by a thought. What if my kids did the same thing every day?  What if they battled an inner dialogue of self-hatred, in an effort to be who they thought the needed to be?

Oh. 

It would crush my heart.
Because it would not be true.
Because they are so much more than their mistakes.
They are so much more.

The smile on their faces is victory.
Their laughter is a breath of fresh air.
I love to watch them play together, to see their creativity flow, to watch them meet challenges and solve problems.
But it’s more than that even.

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Even on their worst days, their very existence fills me with complete joy. My favorite thing to do is to just be with them

Their very being proclaims the glory of God.
Their breathing in and out, their blood pumping, their lungs filtering air, their eyes seeing, those baby blues taking in an entire world of sensory details, their minds thinking, asking, processing . . .

Our first family vacation. Last weekend.

This is the holy ground. Holy ground where I do not walk with pride- filled steps. This is holy ground where I am starkly reminded that they are the evidence of God’s love. A love that is timeless, ageless, eternal . . . reaching back far beyond a point we will ever know, to hovering over the waters, a void where something burst into nothing, and WORDS filled each vacant space until everything that ever was and ever will be was saturated with the LOVE OF GOD.

And my children are apart of that story.

I am apart of that story.

You are apart of that story.

If there is any good in me, it is a reflection of the One who made me.
That must mean that the delight with which I gaze upon my children is but a shadow of the delight with which He gazes upon me. Upon you. Upon us.

Can you breathe that in?
Can you accept that today?
Can you believe that God’s love for you in unconditional?

Read this with me:

“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 were none of them.

How precious to me are Your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I would count them, they are more than the sand. I awake, and I am still with you. ”

Psalm 139:13-18

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