“Come play with me, Mommy!” “I will soon baby, I promise.” I then proceed to walk inside with the intention of getting my sweater. I go inside and gather my phone and kindle (yes I do need these to play). “MOMMY, come play ball with me!”, my daughter says in her sweet little 3 year old frustrated voice. “I will baby, I promise, I just forgot my sweater. (It’s sunny and 60 degrees) I go inside to get the baby monitor… and my sweater. I go back outside and sit down, “Moooommmyyyyy, come play”, my daughter pouts. “I will, I just need to get the charger so I can hear baby brother.” I go inside to find the monitor, just to realize I have misplaced it, spend another few minutes trying to find it, then I give up.
By this time, my daughter is nearing temper tantrum phase. MOMMMYYYY, COME… PLAY… WITH… ME!! Now, I really try not to let her talk to me like that, but I was exasperating her. In her defense, she had asked nicely several times without success.
I finally play ball with her, and we had such a good time! We were both laughing and just delighting in each other.
Isn’t that what our Heavenly Father wants? Much like my daughter continued to plead with me to play with her, our Heavenly Father pleads for us to come to Him. He wants to delight in us. He wants to spend time with us, ball playing, no interruptions, time with us, with you.
"Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart." Psalms 37:4
Aren’t we all like a three year old sometimes, begging and pleading just for someone to pay attention to our antics? Isn’t that’s why we get angry or frustrated or sad because our spouse or our boss or our friends or our parents or siblings or children don’t appreciate us? They just don’t see that you emptied one side of the sink even if the other is still full. They don’t see that you put one basket of the never ceasing laundry mountain away or that you took the garbage out without asking or put away your laundry or shoes without asking. Those people, they don’t see that you helped your co workers with that project or that you have already done all the things expected of you and more. If they only would have noticed what the problem was in the first place or just noticed all the little things we just did or do on a daily basis. Does this sound familiar?
That’s just the point though. How awesome it is that we have a Heavenly father who does just that. That lives in the moment, in the present, and we know we are loved.
"As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love....I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete." John 15: 9,11
He does recognize us and all the little things we do or don’t do. Not because it matters whether the kitchen is clean or the laundry is put away or all the toys are picked up. Not to Him at least. Because He sees what really matters. He sees the heart of the matter. He sees your desire for a clean home so that it is pleasant for you and your family to live in. He sees that you took care of the problem at work because it was the right thing to do. He sees the kindness and the listening ears and helping hands. He sees your broken heart and anxious spirit. And He cares. He care about all of it, because He loves you. Unconditional, never un-breaking, always and forever love.
"For God so loved the world (that's you!) that He gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16
It is because of our God that we have an example of how we should treat all our loved ones. It is because of Him that we have a reason to do things without thanks or recognition. Because of Him, our standard is higher and our hope remains constant.
One of my favorite sayings from my teenage and college years (wish I could remember where I originally heard it), is that we need not remember who we are but whose we are.
We all have days when we are frustrated and overwhelmed, when that laundry pile seems like it will never go away (and maybe it won’t). We all have days where we don’t delight in our loved ones or ourselves even. Today was one of those days for me. I was lacking patience and my daughter was lacking listening. Nothing I did or didn’t do seemed to make a difference in her sassy attitude. It was so bad by 7:00 PM, I was finished. My daughter was in bed by 7:15.
I pray when we have those days the days where you feel like you are the worst mom ever, that instead of raising our fist in anger or thrashing our bodies on the floor toddler style, that we choose the higher standard. I pray we choose love and delight. I failed miserably today, I did not choose love or delight. I chose yelling and frustration and anger. I pray on those days where the end is not what you want to remember, I pray that we will receive grace and forgiveness for ourselves and lift our hands up to our Heavenly Father who hears and forgives all. I pray that we bow on the ground in prayer, not rage.
I pray that we may always choose love and delight and forgiveness for the days when we don’t.
Thanks for reading! Please share with those who need to hear these words.