Conversations

Museum

I am a pretty analytical person. I think a lot about things. I probably think too much about some things. Last week I had one of those thinking days. I was analyzing my thoughts in fact! I was struggling with my love language, words of affirmation. I was trying to understand why I had a stronger draw to help someone who affirmed me than I even wanted to be in the same room with someone who hadn’t. I was a little disgusted with myself because I knew the feelings creeping in to my heart had been poisoned with pride.

I grappled with the questions “Why am I like this? Why is this my love language?”

Father, can’t you just take away this driving desire for affirmation from people? Why can’t my primary love language be something else that isn’t driven by such pride?

That last one was kind of a silly question because anything that deals with feeling like I’m loved has the potential to be twisted by pride, even acts of service.

The Father had an answer already prepared for me.

I put that desire for affirmation in you, it is a piece of myself that I put in you too. Come to me when you feel that desire for affirmation go unfulfilled. I love you and am always cheering you on, loving you perfectly and completely. Listen for my affirmation, especially when you need it the most.”

I want all of my affirmation to come from The Father…so why do I struggle with this? Why do I still feel this longing for people to acknowledge or appreciate what I’ve done? I feel wrong or broken, like I’m not doing something right…

The Father tenderly takes my hand and leads me. We are walking through large hallways with marble floors and high ceilings that looked like they went on forever. This was a museum of the great things The Father had done! There were mini replicas of the story of Abraham and Sarah, Jacob fighting with the Lord, Moses, Noah, David… so much to see! But we kept right on walking. When The Father’s pace slowed I was able to see some of the names of people He created and clearly delighted in along with little notes of their accomplishments and proud moments, like a mini scrapbook. I glanced up at The Father. He was smiling, as if He were recalling the notes He’d written about each person. When we finally came to a stop, The Father told me to come look at what He was standing in front of. I noticed there was a frame around it just like the others and some of those notes too. I looked up and I saw … me. The Father wanted to show me something He created, that He was proud of, and it was me.

Kneeling down to make His eyes level with mine, He placed His hands on my shoulders.

You are my very own amazing creation.

That desire to be affirmed – I put that in you. I made that a deep part of who you are. I know you are wondering why I made you this way because you don’t see it as good – but I do.

I gave you this specific desire to be affirmed so that you could enjoy my affirmation and so you could use it to affirm others. People need encouragement and to feel loved, especially when they don’t feel lovable or acceptable. As someone uniquely created to be filled up by affirmation and encouragement, you are specially qualified to give it and receive it when it is given.

I don’t do anything by mistake, precious one. Creating you this way is just one of the great things I’ve given you out of myself. There are even more great things still to come, little one. You are my prized and treasured creation and I’m still writing these notes of wonderful things you are doing and have yet to do.”

By now I was wiping tears from my face and threw my arms around The Father’s neck. He did it again – He showed me His love for me.

 

Precious reader, I’ve shared a little glimpse of my heart and conversation with The Father but I know this message is not just for me. There is a place in His museum where your picture hangs. You are His prized and treasured creation. That thing in you that gets ugly when pride leaks in has a more beautiful purpose. What is The Father whispering to you? Let Him show you your place in His museum. Let Him tell you the story of how He wants to use that piece of who you are for His more beautiful purpose.

Conversations

Best Day Ever

Come on. He whispers. Come with me. 

“Where are we going?” (For some reason I think I always need all the details)

We’re going for a walk.

I often find lots of excuses (I call them “reasons”) why I don’t have the time or focus or energy, but this time I wasn’t making any excuses! Yes, I want to take a walk with The Father!

We walk along quietly for a while. It feels like a slow, un-hurried, almost aimless pace. The weather is perfect. The sun is shining to keep us warm and the breeze blows every now and then making sure we aren’t too warm. There are no annoying bugs or critters and there’s what looks like a path laying smoothly in front of us. There is a majestic chorus being sung by the birds, not too loud to be distracting, more like background music. Its as if The Father is orchestrating, painting, and perfecting everything around us while we are walking! I stop for a moment, closing my eyes to just listen and take in the sounds all around me.

I couldn’t help but blurt out clumsily amid the chorus, “The music of the forest is beautiful!”

I am so glad you like it, little one. I made it just for that reason – so you could enjoy it. 

A slow, distracted smile forms on my face. I’m so glad I came on this walk today.

We continue walking and step through the tree line into a wide-open, spacious meadow filled with color from wildflowers and green grass with the bluest sky I’ve ever seen as the backdrop. It looks like we just stepped into a painting! I feel giddy with joy. I want to run and twirl and fling my arms open and fall into the tall wildflowers and soft grass. I look at The Father. He is smiling, almost chuckling as if to say “go ahead!”. I am giggling now running and twirling before falling into the soft ground looking up at the clouds. I’m not even wind

ed. And there The Father is, right beside me on the ground looking at the clouds with me.

 

“This is so beautiful! All these colors and the sky and the grass! Its so wonderful.” While I don’t feel breathless, its almost difficult to get the words out. 

I am glad you like it, little one. I made it just for that reason – so you could enjoy it.

“You make so many beautiful, amazing things. Thank you for bringing me on this walk with you today.”

It feels like time has stopped for a moment. As I lay here smiling and soaking all of this in, I start to wonder what could be on The Father’s mind? Why did He want to bring me on this walk today?

I can tell something is on your mind, little one. What do you want to ask me?

“This is such a wonderful, amazing, beautiful time with you. I really don’t want it to end, but I know we’ll have to go back soon but I don’t want to miss anything before we do. Was there a reason you brought me here? Is there something you want me to know or see or learn?”

Locking His gaze with mine He answers, This right here. He points to my heart and back to His creating a motion as if there were an invisible chord connecting our hearts.

This is what I want you to know. My heart is for you and I long to be connected to your heart in an unbroken way. I desire just to be with you. I want you to want to be with me and to enjoy my company. This moment right here, right now is what I want you to know. What do I want you to learn? I want you to learn that I love you and all this is for you. I want you to learn to be still with me. To seek out these moments and remember them, to hold on to them and foster them. I want you to know that the depths of my heart cry out to the depths of yours, longing for your heart to chase after mine because mine chases yours.

Our walk back was just as quiet as our walk here but it wasn’t an empty quiet. There was fullness in the silence. All that The Father had said still filled the air and my mind. My heart was full. What could possibly bother me or interrupt this great, full love of His for me? I felt safe in His presence. I felt strong in His presence. I felt peace in His presence.

We walked up the steps of the porch and sat together on the swing, examining the sunset together. Taking in the atmosphere with awe, I wonder how I could have never seen a sunset so beautiful, so colorful? I lean my head against The Father’s arm, soaking in every moment, trying to remember all the smallest details and every word, trying to hold it in my memory as if they were a jar full of lightning bugs like the ones now starting to flash in the dusk.

He wraps His arm around me and with a voice of tender reassurance He tells me,

No need to worry, little one. All you ever need to do is seek me out and I will tell you again how much you mean to me. I will always say ‘yes’ to the chance to walk and talk with you, to comfort and reassure you, to bring beauty and praise into your day, and to listen to you. Remember these moments. Remember I am always right here, always ready for the depths of your heart to cry out to mine, always ready for another afternoon walk or sunset swing. You are my most valued 

Conversations

Who Am I?

Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child.
And since you are his child, God has made you his heir.
Galatians 4:7

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Who am I, really?

What am I doing?

Why am I here?

I can’t seem to do anything right. I’m just failing all over the place. What good am I?

These are thoughts I struggle with far too frequently. I am my own worst critic, especially when things aren’t going according to plan (specifically my plan). This morning, after what feels like a very long week couple of weeks, I was definitely down on myself again. I was thinking about all the things I’m not doing well – I’m not being a great mom, or a great wife, or excelling at work, or keeping my house clean… the list just seemed to go on forever.

I pulled out my Bible to find help and encouragement and read just a few short verses in Galatians chapter four, and paused on verse 7. “What does a good, well-rounded (not stuck up) heir to a wealthy fortune look like? How does someone like that behave every day?”, I asked myself. I came up with a few things: confident, secure, they know who they are, they know how their father is respected.

But right now, I don’t feel like I look or act that way at all. I feel like I’m “failing all over the place”, not measuring up. So I asked The Father, “What does this mean – that I am Your heir? How should I be acting?” I started to write down what came to mind: strong, loved, confident, teacher, encourager, learner, studier, held, wise, helped, capable…img_5407

This mindset shift reminded me of who my Father is which then helped me begin to remember who I really am. All that muck and self-guilt that I started my morning with – that is not what my Daddy-God says about me. That’s not who I am. “Failure” is not one of my labels. I am not a failure, because my Daddy-God is not a failure. I still have things to work on. I’m an heir, not a perfect heir. But I’m not useless, purposeless, or a “failure all over the place”.

Sitting on my couch with my coffee in hand, I thought “Yup. I do know this. Got it.”

I was thankful for the reminders and did have more peace, but I had an almost casual response. I still wrestled a little with my thoughts.

And then came the tap on my shoulder.

I was listening to the radio in my car (I rarely do that these days) and a brand new song by Lauren Daigle was playing. It was about what God says about us. It was exactly the things my Daddy-God had been speaking to me earlier this morning!

Tap. Tap.

“Are you listening to what I’m telling you, little one?”, says The Father. “You are MY child. My child is not defined by averages, successes, or feelings. You are my very own Daughter. There is nothing we can’t do together and I’m always right here to help you, to hold you, to give you exactly what you need to do all the things you need to do. Who are you? -You are loved, you are strong, you are held, you are able. You are Mine.”

To the Precious Ones reading this, if you are struggling with your thoughts today, know that you are His. You are held closely by The Father, who loves you so dearly, without condition. You are helped by Him. He is able to do anything you need Him to because you are His child. Who you are is not defined by the measurements of the world around you. Who you are is declared by your Daddy-God. You are priceless to Him. You are His very own precious, beloved child and all He has is yours.

What do you hear The Father say about you?