love letter

I write this to you after an incredible experience I had last night and this morning. I got to attend a taping of a Beth Moore series that will air over the course of several weeks, and as wonderful as it was and as much as I learned, what I really want to share with you is how it was like a love letter from God to me.

I have hit a bit of a rough patch in the parenting department over the past few weeks. Nothing serious; I’ve just been feeling worn out and frustrated and like I haven’t been the greatest parent. Between all of us being sick with two different rounds of illnesses and three of baby girl’s molars coming in at the same time, along with the subsequent interference with her eating and sleeping, it’s been a tiresome few weeks. By the end of this week, my patience was wearing thin, to say the least, and I can say with a degree of certainty that my parenting was going from bad to worse. We were both tired and grumpy.

On top of that, as we are entering this new season of parenting where you have to actually start thinking about discipline, I am finding myself overwhelmed and at a bit of a loss. I know that my parenting and ability to discipline with patience and consistence will never be perfect, but at this point, I don’t even really know what I’m shooting for or what I believe about how a 13 month old should be disciplined in an effective but age appropriate way. I’ve done a little reading and some talking here and there with other friends with young children, but it has all just left me feeling like I don’t know where to start.

Somewhere along the way in my nearly three decades of life, I must have subconsciously picked up the belief that God doesn’t really want to deal with me when I’m not at my best. Don’t get me wrong, I know that this is not true and would advise anyone else accordingly, but in that deep down place where we hold subconscious beliefs that are sometimes only apparent in the way we act, I think I have always had this fear of approaching God when I feel like I don’t have all my ducks in a row. Can you just SEE the pride in that? I know it’s a terrible deception, especially because it means that some part of me thinks that there are times when I actually DO have it together enough to approach a holy, righteous, and perfect God, and let me tell you, I do NOT. Not now, nor ever, absent the grace and forgiveness and justification of Jesus Christ. So. I need the Holy Spirit to really convince me of this, in the deep-down subconscious places in my heart and spirit.

Therefore, as I was saying, my feeling like a pretty poor parent over the past few weeks has affected my relationship with God. I’ve still been praying and doing my quiet time, etc., but I think my heart has been a bit closed off, because after all, why would God want anything to do with me when I’m acting frustrated and irritable with my daughter, right? Wrong. Oh so wrong…

God poured out a huge heaping of love, conviction, encouragement, and plain old good teaching to me this weekend, completely unexpectedly. It was so unexpected, in fact, that I know that I know that God was all over it and did it to bless me at a time when I felt especially undeserving. But then, when do we ever really deserve any of the good gifts God gives us, after all?

After sweetpea had refused to eat much more than a little junk food and had had a very cranky morning, I put her down for her afternoon nap and was just listening to her cry, AKA have a nap revolt, when my mom called to say she had free tickets to see Beth Moore in the Dallas area but that she had decided not to use them. Later I found out that it was all sort of a crazy coincidence that she even found out about the event and that she got the tickets to begin with. She wanted to know if I wanted to go with a friend. I felt so overwhelmed with my daughter and didn’t think Chris would be home early enough for me to leave in time, so I told her I couldn’t. I proceeded to make a facebook post asking if anyone else wanted the tickets, and the only response I got was a friend from church saying that she and another mutual church friend were going. In my frustration, I started to think maybe it would be a really good time for me to go and hear from the Lord, but I couldn’t figure out the logstics, and I didn’t have much time to get it figured out. Even if I could go, I was afraid I would get lost and have trouble figuring out parking, etc. I remembered that Chris had called a little earlier in the afternoon and left a message saying he needed to go by the car rental place (long story) and therefore would be coming home early to get the car. Long story short (or at least shorter), everything fell into place so that as soon as Chris got home, I practically threw sweetpea at him and was on my way to meet up with my two church friends to carpool to see Beth Moore. My sweet husband graciously agreed to take our daughter both last night and for half of the day today so that I could go.

I was blessed beyond measure, both by the time of refreshing and wonderful teaching from Beth Moore and from getting some time with girl friends. I was on the verge of tears for nearly the whole time Beth spoke on Friday night and saw God at work, speaking to me through her as He has done so many times before. All of the obstacles and concerns I had, He worked out quickly so that I could go, even down to the detail of me not having to drive by myself. My mom and sister went to see Beth Moore in Austin in July, but I couldn’t go because we were out of town. I was disappointed, but I feel like since I couldn’t go then, God brought her to me now, when I needed it even more. I feel downright spoiled by the way God loved me and blessed me so overwhelmingly, in the midst of my selfishness and shortcomings. I didn’t deserve it, but He did it anyway, and that truth never seems to get old.

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