I just started a new book called The Gift of An Ordinary Day: A Mother's Memoir by Katrina Kenison. It's the story of how Kenison and her husband packed up the life they knew, a life they had carefully cultivated, to move from suburbia to rural America as their two sons were moving through adolescence in order to make the best for them and to come to terms with their changing lives. I'm only three chapters in, but already have had several moments of, "Oh, my gosh!! That's so profound!" I was actually reading part of the book aloud to my husband on a recent trip into the city while he was held captive at the wheel. There was a passage in which Kenison was describing her older son that resonated with me in my dealings with my own oldest child. Granted, Kenison's son was a teenager at the time and mine is four, so the circumstances aren't quite the same, but the message is still applicable, I think. Kenison writes that:
"Rather than try to project who our older son might or might not one day turn out to be, we needed to try and appreciate and understand who he is right now. And then we needed to meet him there, loving and accepting him just as he was, supporting his journey of self-discovery, crooked and long though his path might turn out to be." (pg. 26)
Do you know what my prayer has been for myself every day for years? "God, please help me to be someone today you can be proud of. Please help me to deserve the love you have shown and let my life be worth the sacrifice you made." You see, after spending my entire life, literally, in the church, I still fail to grasp the nature of God's love for me. It is unfathomable to me that God can love me for who I am and not who I think I should be!! As a natural-born people pleaser, I think that I need to "please" God, completely ignoring the fact that when God created me he pronounced to the heavens, "(She) is good!" God loves me in all of my human-ness because HE MADE ME!! Every quirk I have is a gift from him, and although my mother literally birthed me into the world, it was God who breathed into me that breath of life. Instead of praying that I may "please" God, a better prayer would be that my day would bring God glory and praise.
Blessings and Peace,