May 10, 2012
God Loves Me Horrid.
I love picture perfect families and donna reed and Pinterest projects.
I love neat, edited, CONCISE blogs.
I love clean houses and well-groomed children.
I want to be perfect... and, I believe perfection is possible.
I know the seven habits of highly effective people.
I want to be highly effective...
My favorite thing about Mormonism is this-- Mormons know HOW to live a good life.
Since I was a young girl, I have looked around at the many happy, shining LDS families and thought, I want that someday.
I know how to have a good life.
I know how to budget, how to save, how to serve, how to speak kindly, how to clean my home, how to discipline my children, how to mend, how to play.
I know how to exercise and eat healthy and take time for my marriage and teach my children.
I know to read my scriptures every day and pray more often.
I know what I shouldn't do.
Yes, I know how to live a good, righteous, happy life.
The more I know, the better I become, and the more one lesson stands out it my mind.
It is the great lesson that Christ has written in my heart and molded into my soul...
GOD LOVES ME LESS-EFFECTIVE.
GOD LOVES ME POOR.
GOD LOVES ME WHEN I DO NOT GET ENOUGH SLEEP.
GOD LOVES ME WHEN I LOOSE MY TEMPER.
GOD LOVES ME WHEN I’M UNREFINED.
Because I spend so much of my life trying to do everything right, I am ALWAYS amazed that I feel God’s love MOST when I am NOT doing things the “best” way.
Yes, because of all that I have been taught I know HOW to have a good, happy life.
I know that getting more sleep makes me a better mother.
But, when I stay up late reading a book and I feel myself cranky and tired the next day.
When I call out to God in prayer at dinnertime asking for His mercy... asking for one more ounce of patience to counteract my tired soul.
I feel Him with me.
I feel Him holding up my tired hands.
At the end of a long day, even if I didn’t take time for a nap, even when I don’t plan ahead,
He turns my water into wine.
He makes me stronger.
He LOVES me tired.
I know that it is good to save money.
10% Tithing, 20% Savings, 70% Living.
I know that.
But when I pray and worry. When I feel stressed about clothes for my children or events I would love to attend or feel an overwhelming stress of feeding my family on a budget.
When I spend all my % at the beginning of the month and don’t know how I’m going to make it till the end of the month.
God whispers, “Take no thought for the morrow... consider the lilies of the field... come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give thee rest.”
More than that, when we had nothing— a laughable amount of tithing, no savings and not enough money to live off of.
When we were on Medicaid and Foodstamps (yes, that is embarrassing to admit).
God didn’t help us to be more self-sufficient.
God didn’t tell us to budget better.
God didn’t tell us to stop having children, so that we could afford them.
When we were sitting at church wondering how we would make it through the summer, an inspired bishop called us into his office.
He asked how we were doing. We told him, fine.
He said, “I feel inspired to pay your mortgage this summer for you. You are doing enough.”
We cried. We knew that God is real. He knows us. He cares for us.
God LOVES me poor.
We followed Him and He let us be poor so that we could feel His hand in our lives.
I KNOW IT.
God showed me poor so that I could prove Him.
And in our poverty, He opened the windows of heaven and poured down the dews from Heaven upon our head.
He made us grateful for HIS grace.
He did not make us strong enough without Him.
God asks me to give to others even when I don’t have enough for myself.
We always have enough.
Budgeting is the right way. Saving is so good.
We know the principles, we believe these principles, we live these principles.
Most of the time we have enough and some to spare.
But, God took me to poor so that I could learn.
I know that God loves me poor.
God loves me MAD.
I know about forgiveness.
It is good.
Most of the time I love easily and forget easily.
But when my soul is heavy with selfishness and anger...
When I want to HIDE from God because I am clinging to my hate.
He calls me quietly.
He asks me again, what is wrong?
I cry, I tantrum, I tell him that it isn’t fair.
I tell him I am so mad.
That I won’t love, I won’t forgive, I can’t forget.
And he soothes me while I cry.
He loves me angry.
He hugs me and says that He understands.
God is big enough for my anger.
He doesn’t want my perfect side—he likes me imperfect.
Somehow, as I stand there before the Lord complaining and hating, my hard heart softens.
Not because it was rebuked, because it was understood and validated.
He changes me.
He takes my anger and gifts me with love.
God teaches me to love, but he LOVES me mad.
He is closest by me in those moments when I am most wrong.
And, he gets it. He loves me still.
God loves me UNORGANIZED.
God LOVES to help me find my keys.
God LOVES to help me find my other shoe.
God LOVES to help me find my children or to remind me of an important meeting at the last minute.
God LOVES me LOST—he is GREAT at giving me directions to Costco, and the temple, and the away football games in Sweet Home.
I feel angels around me when I am disorganized.
Helping me, teaching me, calming me, leading me.
God loves me fat.
He has taken my skinny, tight body and stretched it out with babies.
He’s wrinkled it with age.
My hair’s turning grey and my legs aren’t as fast as they once were.
(I know I still have a ways to go before I really understand this concept.)
I think God loves my bosom saggy and my hair grey.
He makes my eyes shine and my face glow—and I am beautiful.
God doesn’t mind that I talk too much in social settings.
In fact, because I talk, He fills me with things to say.
I always want to be more refined.
He always tells me that He loves me just the way I am.
Sometimes He shows me things that I can work on, tomorrow.
I am never stagnant.
God is guiding me and teaching me and helping me to be more than I ever imagined I could become.
And at the same time, He loves me today.
Warts and all.
God takes my humble fishes and my loaf of bread and He multiplies it.
If I was better at fishing and baking—I wouldn’t see His hand in my life so clearly.
He loves me hungry.
When I am scared, he comforts me.
When I don’t believe, he fills me with belief.
God can handle me cranky.
I know that God wants me to be happy and healthy and safe.
But, I have felt him closest when I am sad, and sick, and hurting.
God blesses me with great things.
I thank Him most for the hard things that He’s helped me through that are making me great.
I am the woman standing by Christ- caught in sin.
He does not condemn me.
He stands by me.
He writes my name in the sand.
He tells me not to throw stones.
He is the only one without sin and yet He loves me still.
He tells me to go on my way and sin no more.
He will be there when I sin again.
My husband reminds me of God sometimes.
He seems to love me most for my faults.
He laughs at my quirks.
He is quick to forgive and quick to see my intent.
He loves me second best.
He thinks I’m beautiful and good.
He knows my bad and loves me for my good.
He is God’s gift to me.
I love him most and yet I fail him most.
God loves me stupid and selfish and blind.
God takes our marriage, imperfect and contentious and He blesses us with greater love and unity.
The hardest parts of our marriage have become our greatest assets.
I am like God, sometimes.
As a mother, I try very hard to teach my children to do what is right.
I know that if I were a good enough mother, I could teach them all they needed to know to be happy.
I know what my kids need to do to be happy.
If I could teach them to go to bed on time...
To always brush their teeth...
To speak softly in the house...
To get good grades and study hard...
To always be kind...
To be humble...
To serve others...
To chew with their mouth closed...
To raise their hand...
To be respectful...
To learn and be smart and be clean and be nice and be modest and be grateful...
Oh, how their life would be good if I could teach them all that they need to do.
I could teach them to use good manners, to always be on time, to read their scriptures and say their prayers, to always put their dirty clothes in the hamper, to control their tempers.
My soul yearns to teach them all that they need to do and know and be.
It is my QUEST of life.
The BEST thing I do as a mother is this...
I LOVE THEM UNFINISHED.
I love them as they tantrum on the floor because they want to play in the dog food.
I love them because they leave their homework on the counter EVERY SINGLE DAY.
I love them with their hair undone and their beds unmade.
I love them teasing.
I love them crying and sassy and lying and... trying.
I love them when they don’t raise their hand, when they talk too loud in sacrament meeting, when there room is a mess, when they turn my bathroom into a pond, when they’re mean to the dog, when they won’t eat their vegetables, when they say “damn”, when they are so tired that they cry and yell and don’t know what to do with themselves.
You’re not a bad mom if you smile at your unfinished children.
You can teach them all they need to know tomorrow.
Eternity is a long time.
It’s ok to love them today.
And, on the days when I am racked with guilt that I didn’t love them enough.
When I am rocking in my rocking chair with a baby in my arms, sobbing to God my heartfelt apology.
When I see that I expected too much and didn’t love enough.
He whispers in my ear—you are my young child. Even when you tantrum. Even when you are tired at the end of the day and loose your patience with your children. Even when you don’t put your dirty clothes in the basket or eat all your vegetables. Even when you aren’t kind to your brothers and sisters. Even when you sneak onto the computer. Even when you forget to read your scriptures and say your prayers. Even when you are mean.
I love you still.
I love you the way you wish you loved them.
He reminds me that they are mine, but they are HIS.
That HIS love is enough even when mine isn’t.
God loves me humble.
Sometimes, sometimes I worry that when people know HOW to be good they forget that we are not just here to learn to be perfect.
Really good people forget that it's OK to not be good enough.
We are here to make mistakes.
We are here to be imperfect.
We are loved.
We are enough.
We are made glorious in our imperfection.
Sometimes I worry that we don’t love others enough.
That when we look at our children, we don’t love OURSELVES enough.
We see in them one more thing we haven’t done perfectly and we are too harsh.
Give yourself a break!!
God loves you imperfect.
You can love them imperfect.
You are NOT good enough, or patient enough, or clean enough, or disciplined enough, or kind enough, or forgiving enough... you’re NOT.
But, God loves sucky moms.
He loves us still.
I don’t believe that a mother has failed when her child is imperfect.
Even a really, really good mother can not teach her child everything that child needs to know.
Even a really, really good mother can not force her child to behave perfectly all the time.
You do not fail when your children are imperfect.
But-- you can fail.
You can fail to love enough.
You can fail to teach your child ONE ESSENTIAL TRUTH.
WE ARE LOVED AND LOVEABLE.
God loves imperfect people.
God loves sinners.
God loves us lazy.
God loves us unclean.
God loves us maimed and blind and possessed of devils.
God loves us young.
He loves us and he loves them.
He will help us love them where they are.
Take your frustrations to God and your love to your child.
Every time you feel the need to nag or scream or correct—serve instead.
I am always surprised at the love I feel when I stand naked before my God.
He covers me with His goodness, His mercy and His love.
My pathetic, lazy, sinful efforts are enough because he clothes me with His power.
God loves me poor.
He loves me lazy.
He loves me lost.
He loves me when I don’t have a plan.
He loves me mad.
He loves me mental.
He loves me today... and yesterday... and tomorrow.
Together we will be perfect someday.
But today- He loves me imperfect.
And so I will keep climbing my mountain.
I do reach peaks and plateaus.
Somehow, along this journey we have taken together from imperfection to imperfection, I have gotten a little brighter.
I am more patient. I am more kind. I am more disciplined.
I don’t burn food as much as I used to.
I’m getting better... and I love to see how far I’ve come.
But, I love the days when I see that I am broken.
Because I can so easily see that He loves me broke.
He feeds me.
He finds me.
He fixes me.
He fills me.
And always, He loves me trying...
My heart aches to be better.
I know that there are many who are BETTER than me.
I also know that there is no one more loved.
I've tried to learn how to be great.
Instead, God has taught me that He is great.
Praise the Lord!
He loves me horrid.
She was in trouble, again.
We returned home to see her happily looking at picture albums.
After she went to sleep we found some notes she had left...
Be KIND to others was edited to say, be HORRID to others.
And, be filled with JOY was edited to say, be filled with Satan.
Hah! Oh, how we laugh and pray over that sweet, rotten child.
i LOVE her horrid.
i ADORE her "filled with Satin."
just so you know.
and, when i finished writing this post and thought about it throughout my day, one thing kept coming back to me-- this question.
Does SHE know it?
Does SHE know that i love her rotten?
Does SHE know that i see all the goodness and creativity and glow?
I know God loves me. Does SHE know God loves HER?
Today, i'm going to tell her again.
And today, i'm going to LOVE her more.
even if she NEVER brushes her teeth without a reminder.
She WILL know she is loved by both of us.
That is the point of this post.
This is what He taught me as I wrote.
This is what He always teaches me.
life is good.