My mom invited me to go to a Fall Women's Conference at Third Church in Richmond, VA to hear Sara Hagerty speak... my mom is awesome like that... and this post is because of this experience. I'm tempted to tell you each detail from this morning until now, but I'll try to stay focused. You'll have to try and see her in person yourself for the whole experience or read her book!
I'd heard her voice in my head as I read her book "Every Bitter Thing is Sweet." I knew her story. It was like mine, but different. Isn't that how it is with all of our stories? Her words had touched me during a time when I was struggling and today her words touched me again.
I am not one to highlight in books. I'm more likely to write down a quote for a card or share it on Facebook or my blog than make a mark in a book just for myself. But I did. As I read Sara's book over a few days last October, I clicked on one passage on my kindle and hit the yellow button.
"My mess wouldn't forever be my curse. One day it would be my crown. One day it would tell the story that, yes, He is good... to me."
I looked at those words just before the worship time today. I know those words. Do I believe them?
Sara's opening question was "How do you think God sees you?" Then, she said try it without Sunday school answers. Honestly, I sometimes wonder if He is even looking my direction anymore even though I know He is. I've had so many struggles and so many times that I've questioned Him and His goodness toward me. I want keep Him at arms length. I don't know if I want Him to see me.
At one point today, Sara told about a day in her life and her mistakes. It seemed like she was standing in my kitchen watching me and now telling my story! We all have those days. One of those bad days. One of those days when you know what you need to be working on to be a better person and you still get it wrong at every step.
Missed my quiet time because I slept in. (Great job genius. Can't even start the day right!)
Spoke with a not so nice tone to the kid asking me for help with school because I wanted to finish my workout for once. (Could I be more selfish? That really showed where my priority lies.)
Remembered at noon that I hadn't been to the store to get anything healthy for lunch and fed the kids ramen noodles. (How is it that God thought I could be responsible for the health of six kids?)
I could keep going if anyone needs to feel better about themselves!
She spoke of heading up to her room for prayer time and to, basically, punish herself mentally for all her mess ups that day. As she crossed the threshold to the room, God's Spirit spoke to her that He had seen the good things.
Desiree's Day through her Father's Eyes
Fixed coffee for Matt and packed his lunch with lots of protein for after his workout. (God sees me doing and says great job being a helpmeet.)
Did Bible time with the six kids and encouraged them to spend their day focusing on thanking God for the small things throughout the day. (God sees me and says thank you for training them to make Me a priority.)
Put a band-aid on a scratch that didn't need it just to help my little one feel better. (God sees me and smiles because He knows that one needed to see that mommy really cares today.)
I could keep going because I am good because He sees me as good.
God... Thank you for seeing the good you have done in me!! Thank you for delighting in me even as I accuse myself.
One of the question on the reflection sheet was "What are the voices - people, circumstances, accolades, or corrections - that are speaking loudest to you about who you are?" My quick response was...
Give me 10 minutes and I can list the thousands of mess ups and missed opportunities and the times I stayed silent when I should have spoken. I am the loudest voice. I am my biggest critic. You call me "Supermom" and I shrink back because I know how many times I lack control with my words with my kids. I hear you say I'm beautiful, but I feel like I'm not where I should be. You tell me how well behaved my kids are and I can only think it is despite of me and not because of me. I'm 32 years old. How can I still be messing it all up so much? How can you not see all my failures?
Do you do this to yourself too? My hope is that I can begin to focus on Him. His thoughts about me. His word that He has for me. The joy in His eyes as He looks at me. His compassion. His grace. His love never ending. I'm not good at looking toward Him because if I look at Him He might look back at me and see me ... and that's personal moment when you look at one another. That's a closeness that I want, but that makes me nervous all at the same time. It's going to change me and I'm not real good at change. I'm not good at letting people get near me much less the all powerful God of the universe... But I'm going to try.