Sunday, July 22, 2007

A Welcoming Lap

OK, the kids are all in bed and all their bags are packed. Tomorrow morning at approximately 8:00 we're hitting the road to deliver them to their "good week" destinations. Elizabeth is going to camp, while Joshua and Matthew will be spending the week up north with my mom and dad. I just know this week is going to be filled with great things for each of them and I am thankful for the memories they'll be creating.
Back here at home, Brian and I will surely enjoy some time alone in peace. Of course, I am open to the possibility that God will give us a great new house by moving in the seller to accept the ridiculously low offer we've submitted, which would mean Brian and I will use this week to clean, purge, and fix up our house - taking advantage of a kid-free week. However, what I'm really hoping for is some time to focus on my current writing project.
Not sure if I've mentioned it here in my blog, but I'm working on a new book. This time I am writing a devotional in which I share stories of how God shows Himself to me through my children. Tonight I'm going to include one entry here for you to preview. I'm calling this one, A Welcoming Lap.

It was a cloudy, cool summer afternoon in northern Michigan. I had my kids and my niece with me and we were at a lake. Because we were up north and because they are kids, my little charges felt it a necessity to go swimming. I, on the other hand, being a reasonable adult, realized it was just too much on the cool side of summer to actually get wet. Let the kids swim if they must, but I was content to sit on the beach wrapped up as much as I could be in a towel, trying to ignore the goose bumps surfacing all over my body.
After a fair amount of running, yelling and splashing, Matthew left the water and approached me. He was feeling the chill of the air on his wet skin and wanted to wrap up in a towel so he could sit on my lap to soak up some of my warmth. I observed the goose bumps rising on his skin, listened to his chattering teeth, considered how cold he must be, and thought, No way!
I didn’t want Matthew to sit on me and get me wet, too. He was the one who made the choice to go swimming, not me. Hadn’t I made it clear enough at the start? I was willing to take the kids to the beach, but I wasn’t going to be getting wet! Besides, I didn’t think I had any warmth to share. Having Matthew sit on my lap would only serve to make me colder than I was already.
But he stood there and looked at me. Water was dripping from his chin and ear lobes, his little body was shivering, and his eyes spoke ever so softly, “Mommy, can I please sit on your lap?” What could I do? I had to let him sit on my lap.
As I opened my arms and welcomed (albeit reluctantly) my cold little boy onto my less-than-warm lap, I thought about how God accepts me. I come to Him broken and needy. I struggle with selfishness, irritability, impatience, and a lack of self-control. As much as I desire to be a reflection of my Lord to the world around me, I know I fail to do it. And He knows it, too. Yet He accepts me.
Isn’t it wonderful to know we don’t have to be acceptable in order to be accepted? God knows who He wants us to be. He who began a good work in us will see it through to completion. God knows the trials through which we’ll need to go in order for us to be mature and complete. He will bring just the right amount of adversity into our lives so we may become holy, even as He is holy. Yes, He has a vision of who we will be when His work in us is finished.
I so want to be the woman God wants me to be!
But I’m not there yet.
And God knows it.
Ever so graciously, God accepts us right where we are. He patiently and perfectly works in our lives so we may become more like Him. Our job is not to become acceptable. Our job is to trust in God and cooperate with His Spirit as He makes us acceptable.
Sitting on the beach with Matthew on my lap, I prayed and thanked God for accepting me onto His lap in any condition in which I come to Him. I don’t need to be dry and warm.

Your Turn:
Do you believe God accepts you just as you are, or do you sometimes think you need to clean yourself up so He’ll love you? If God accepts you as you are, and is working to make you into the woman He wants you to be, what would He say to you about how He sees you right now? What would He say about His vision for you? Imagine what His words would be, and write yourself a letter from Him. Then spend time in prayer thanking God for His love and committing yourself to cooperating with Him as His Spirit works to transform you.

God is so good! I pray you are encouraged today as you consider how much He loves you!

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Marcia said...

Karen, it's beautiful! All the best with your book.

Organising queen and
Take charge blogs

kreed said...

Enjoy your quiet week. I'll be praying for you and the house and hoping you get to start preparing for a move! I'll be waiting for your book - it looks wonderful!

Anonymous said...

I look forward to this book. This is exactly the type of book that moms like me enjoy! Keep it up! God will continue to work through you and inspire you!

Karen said...

Karen, this is awesome! You really do provide a drink for a thirsty soul and point the way to the source. This is fabulous.

Ang said...

It is easy for me to slip into the midset of feeling I need to be acceptable first. He wants me the way I am so His power can shine through my weaknesses. I love how He uses our children to teach us each day.

Thanks for the sneak peek!

Jenileigh said...

Oh how I have missed you! This is beautiful, I cried! I look forward to reading your book dear one! Have a blessed day!

Tishia said...

I really enjoyed reading that and now I'm sitting here reflecting.

Enjoy your 'quiet' week :-)

Coach J said...

I've missed you, too!! How exciting to hear you are working on another book. How true it is that you must learn the lessons first before you can relay them to others, so I KNOW you've been busy!
Maybe I missed it, but I didn't know you were moving/buying/selling/whatever!!
But, first, I hope you enjoy a time of peace! God knows we need it and I pray that guilt does not creep up your back door and come right in. Get some R&R!!