Friday, October 31, 2008

Beyond perfection

Someone has gotten much more demanding of my time and attention this week. Crew is 6 weeks old today (and weighs exactly 10 pounds) and for whatever reason, has decided to fuss almost on cue, from about 9 pm until 12 pm every night. Hence, the lack of blogposts around here.
This post is a bit of a recap then- a mix of photos, stories and thoughts.
I have been able to get better photos of Ava lately, and most recently it's been for a reward such as, "You can watch the Tinkerbell dvd as soon as you smile for a picture." I am not above bribes for smiles. =) She also has fallen hard for Crew and continues to just love being my helper and smothering him with kisses and attention. I can't forget to document her saying to me yesterday in the van as we drove home from dropping Wyndham off at therapy, she said, "Mommy...I love you with my whole being". Talk about melting me! I'm not sure where that came from, but it did make me think of how many times I love "just enough". It made me want to love more- even when I'm tired- even when I'm at my wit's end- even when someone doesn't 'deserve' all my love.
I have been thinking over and over about God and His love for me- for us. It doesn't make sense to me at how He could love us- even when we don't love Him back. God sits and waits patiently for us as we mess us, make mistakes, turn our backs on Him, follow our selfish plans and dreams in life, and yet He is always there. He loves us with His "whole self" and I can't even begin to comprehend what that really means. Anyway, awhile back one of our guest speakers at church made this statement and it has stuck with me and for some reason it keeps coming to mind this week and that is this:
"He suffered much too much for our hearts to only be stirred from time to time."
Think about that. Read it again. Do you believe it?
If so, what does that mean?
I have been humbled at how my actions in life should look...what kind of response should I have to God, who sent His Son, Jesus, to suffer and pay the penalty for my sin. Jesus died for me- for you- for everyone- in order that He might make a way for us to be reconciled to God forever.
I'm sorry to say that most of the time in my life I don't act like someone who is eternally grateful for His saving grace and salvation. I mess up. I make mistakes. I don't love others with my "whole self". I know I'm not perfect and I yet I want to live my life with purpose and in response to His great love. I love that God forgives and loves beyond perfection. He only asks that we give Him our hearts and thankfully He fills in the gap and provides the way of righteousness.
I just wanted to pass that on to anyone who feels inadequate or overwhelmed or fearful that you've let God down in your life. He is always there. He is a God of compassion and mercy and I just want to thank Him for that again today. I want my heart to be more than stirred...I want to worship and praise Him and love more. Each and everyday.
I wasn't planning to write all that, but my heart just felt led to do so.
I intended to just share the following bits from my everyday life this week, which included Bella being so excited about a little book she made and brought to school for show & tell. She was so happy to show her daddy her little book and I captured a photo of her as Chip flipped through her book and listened as she described the pictures and notes written inside. Chip smiled and laughed as he turned the pages and Bella couldn't have been happier. In fact she is a little blurry in the photo because of her delight- she couldn't stand still for her joy.
Brock also came home and literally ran to the front door this week waving a piece of paper as I opened the door to greet him after school. "Mom, mom!", he yelled, "wait til you see my spelling test!" I figured he had gotten 100%, but as he held it up, I could see a couple of checkmarks on his page.
"You got a hundred?" I asked.
"No", he replied, "I got two wrong, but I used my own handwriting and look how great I did!".
Now, this has been a big challenge and area of frustration for him and for Chip and me. We have watched him struggle with neatness and have been very hard on him about trying harder and working on his handwriting. He normally types his spelling words for his tests.
This time, he had written slowly and methodically and his teacher noted his beautiful writing- even though he spelled two words wrong.
Chip was there and we both lavished Brock with praise.
(I tried to take a 'nice picture' of Brock and Chip, but as you can see, they only posed 'good' for a silly photo...the 'nice photo' came out all blurry. Still, I think I love the not-so-nice photo and blurry "good" photo equally...they both tell a story I don't want to forget!)
I love moments such as these in life- when we celebrate effort and hard work and personal accomplishment, even when the results are less than perfect.
I know that time and attention and celebrating little stuff is the kind things my kids will remember lfor a long time. They are the kind of things that shape them more than my being a 'perfect mom'. Sure I yell at times and even threatened "no Christmas presents" because of the chaos and clutter the kids had all over their rooms and playroom. Sure I miss opportunities to tell them how much I love and care for them and sometimes I don't make the best meals or I snap at Chip for some little thing in front of them.
I admit it.
I'm not perfect.
But I hope that they will see beyond perfection and appreciate the things that Chip and I do do right, and I hope they will grow up knowing that we demand much- not perfection- but we just want to push them to their full potential.
I think that is how God sees and loves us. He knows we're not perfect, but He will do everything He can to show us He loves us. He will demand much of us, but it's only because He knows we can do it. He will push us to extremes at times, but in the end, He is there waiting to reward us with blessings.
I love that everyday is another day to strive to be better than the day before. I'm humbled that I don't need to 'measure up' or try to earn God's love and devotion. Just as I love my kids with my "whole self" no matter how good they do on their schoolwork or how well they settle down at bedtime, God's love for us is bigger and better than that toward each of us. He is totally perfect and loves us just the way we are. All the while He works to make us more like Him.
Yes, it's so true...
He suffered much too much for our hearts to only be stirred from time to time. He desires us to be more like Him in all we say and do. Even if we're not perfect.


Jodie R. said...

Thanks for this, Jody. What a good quote to keep in true! How I long for my heart to be stirred continually by what my Saviour has done for me. I desire to be humbled and in awe as a constant state of being...that the reality of my existence, only living FREE because of His great GRACE, would permeate every fiber of my being/thinking/living. Paul exhorts us to pray continually, without ceasing. I pray that we can do that, keeping in mind that a prayer of "Thank You, Lord, for the incredible cost You were willing to pay for my liberty!" will be at the forefront, as I am moved by the truth of the Gospel each day.

Many blessings to you and your family, Jody!

Anonymous said...

Such a beautiful post reflecting the love you have for your family, Jody. How could anyone read your blog and NOT believe just how much God loves each of us. May he bless you extra special today!


Yarnmomma said...

You are awesome... You having the time to blog about your life and your being as a person has given me strength and encouragement. You are such a blessing. Having read your blog and understanding fully what you are saying. I took it to praying and I had this feeling to start a blog..

You are very inspirational and thank you for all that you share!!


Anonymous said...

Hello Jodi,

I am a lurker that has never posted a comment on your blog...I found it through the "Bring the Rain" blog. I just wanted to say though how much I admire your strength and conviction. I have read a lot of your blog to understand better what you have been through and it just touches my heart how you allow God to fill your heart and life. All your children are beautiful and you are such a wonderful example of how we really should love God and try to be more like Him. God bless you and your family in every little corner of your lives. Thank you also for helping me (through your blog) not to fear the unknown in life and just live each day to the fullest. God Bless!

Anonymous said...

This exact message was what my brother preached at my nieces dedication a few weeks ago! It was a pleasure to read your blog this morning and be reminded of it once again. Thank you Jody! I love your "realness" and appreciate your sharing of yourself and your family. Awesome photos, btw! Crew has gotten so big this week! Brock totally rocked on his handwriting too!

Anonymous said...

"He suffered much too much for our hearts to only be stirred from time to time."
This is a quote I will remember forever and especially when I act selfishly and make Him wait for me to have time for Him. Thank you

....t said...

What wonderful writing Brock!!!! i know that your teacher must be very proud of your hard work!!!!....t

So Blessed said...

This is such a beautiful example of the testimony of your life...thank you for sharing your heart and deepest thoughts and beliefs.