Wednesday, November 5, 2008

God thinks you rock the casbah

An Internet Cafe devotion

This is, without a doubt, the dearest thing to me that I have ever written. I am praying that this message penetrates your heart the way it has mine. Love, Mis



My son Ingram is 18 months old. Each morning he wakes up and cries out for his momma. I enter his room see him standing in his crib, swaying back and forth. He's so cute. He's just so stinking cute. No matter how cranky or tired I may be, as soon as I see his face, I break into a huge smile.

Ingram has bad allergies, so usually in the mornings his little smiling face is just caked in snot. Under his nose, and then wiped all over his face. There's often even some dried snot in his ears and hair. And his diaper is always full so the first thing that greets me, before I see his crusty face, is one of two stenches - or both. On a good day I catch a whiff of it as I walk up the stairs. And he usually chews on his crib rail while he waits so I also get slimed by drool.

He's a mess.

And oh, do I love that boy. My heart dances at the sight of his nasty little self. Covered in uck, I sing good morning to him, kiss him, and take him downstairs to begin our day.

Do I love this baby more when he is fresh from a bath and covered in lavender lotion? No. I love him, dirty or clean, because he is mine. He is my child and I would give my life for him.

Do you realize that your Heavenly Father sees you this same way?

For years, I was crippled by what I termed a Janet Jackson view of God, based on her hit song of years ago. I thought that God looked down on me and thought, "What have you done for me lately?" (Ooo, ooo, ooo, yeah.) And I always felt he looked down and said "tsk, tsk", disappointed because on any given day I had led zero bible studies, and fed zero homeless people, and hadn't even cracked open my bible.

And I had some sin. Lots of sin that haunted me. I felt like I was covered in snot, and poop, and drool - just covered. I was a mess.

I knew God loved me, he officially had to, the Bible tells me so, yeah yeah. But how could God possibly really love me, unconditionally, me being so stinky and sticky and such a flop at being a "good Christian"??

God impressed upon my heart - through a mentor - that God actually loves me. Really, really loves me. He delights in me.

Because it's not about me.


When the creator of Heaven and Earth sees me, I am not covered in snot. I have been drenched, soaked, dripping wet in the blood of the Lamb. Because of the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, and because I have believed in my heart and confessed with my mouth that he is Lord, all God sees when he looks at me is a holy shade of white. I am clean.

Have you also believed that he is Lord? Then when he sees you, he sees the face of his perfect Son! God is not judging us with a naughty or nice list. His list always reads nice. More than nice: perfect and unblemished. The bible tells me so.

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
Romans 8:1

How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!
Hebrews 9:14

That's what it means to be washed in the blood of the lamb.

What a relief, y'all! It isn't dependent upon you! It's dependent on Christ, who is totally reliable to complete the work he began in you!

If you forget to pray or do or don't do quiet time or yell at your kids or gripe at your husband or are otherwise not the perfect Christian, his love is not diminished. Even if you are carrying around some "big" sin, God does not turn his face from you. No matter what you do or have done, he still sees you the same way that I see Ingram each morning: precious, perfect, and melting my heart with his beauty. The Lord of the Universe sees you with that same pure love and joy every. single. morning.

It is of the LORD's mercies that we are not consumed,
because his compassions fail not.

They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

Lamentations 3:22-23

Every morning, I walk into Ingram's room and he laughs, claps, then reaches out his hands to me. I never fail to lift him up, embrace him, kiss his fuzzy head and tell him I love him.

When the Lord sees you each morning, he says, "That's my baby. She is mine. I gave my life for her!"

Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name: you are Mine.
Isaiah 43:1b

How great is the love the Father has lavished on us,
that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!
1 John 3:1a

Rejoice! Clap your snotty hands! Reach out and allow him to gather you into his loving arms!

Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy.
How awesome is the LORD Most High, the great King over all the earth!
Psalm 47:1-2

My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.
Psalm 63:8

Let him clean you up

Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Psalm 51:7

Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. "I am willing," he said. "Be clean!" Mark 1:41

Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith,
having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience
and having our bodies washed with pure water.

Hebrews 10:22


and feed you breakfast

My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods;
with singing lips my mouth will praise you.
Psalm 63:5

Then Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.
John 6:35

because he loves you.
About a million times more than I love sweet Ingram.

the LORD delights in those who fear him,
who put their hope in his unfailing love.
Psalm 147:11


How could believing this change the way you live your life?







94 comments:

  1. Missy, thank you so much! What a beautiful, and very real example of God's love. That really touched me this morning. It was just what I needed to hear!

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  2. Missy, this is one of the best pieces on the love of God that I have read ANYWHERE! It's been a few decades since my little ones were peering around the corner to see if Mommy was coming to get them out of their crib - your descriptive post took me back there in spades. Thank you so much for making this almost-empty nester's day!

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  3. oh how precious and oh so true!

    Before I had Ginny I never ever in a million years thought I would wipes aways.....various icks with my bare hands. But i do!

    I caught myself cleaning out my baby girls eyes the other morning without a thought.

    And to think that the God of the universe loves me even more than that?

    it's a WOW moment. beautiful post Mis. beautiful.

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  4. Beautiful and incredibly well-put. Thanks for the reminder...we all need it sometimes!

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  5. This was absolutely and positively anointed. I can see why it is so special to you!

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  6. Wow, what great thoughts how you turned your sons crib mess and related it to how much God loves us depite all our imperfections. Great Job!

    By the Way... I love the name of your blog.. I love napetime too...it's my blogtime/ facebook time/ get some stuff done!

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  7. Absolutely loved this post! You are a talented writer and Child of Him!

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  8. I have to tell you...when I started reading here, I almost didn't click over. Because out of everything, this is the thing I struggle with the most. I cannot read things like this without crying. I am not quite there yet...but He's working on me. My head knows it's true, now my heart just needs to catch up.

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  9. How perfect. What a completely perfect way to sum this up. I love it. And FANTASTIC picture:)

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  10. Missy,
    I just read this. I am a little behind due to the crashing of my laptop... : (

    I loved this article and your sweet picture.

    Thanks for sharing,
    Julie

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  11. Preach it, sister.

    You've painted a beautiful word picture of God's amazing love. I was just reading Ephesians this morning and was once again overcome by the phrase, "But God, in His great love...."

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  12. Missy this is so amazing. And being a Mom makes it all the more "graspable". You have a knack for putting things into words in such a beautiful way.

    How could this change my life? In a word: rest. Sweet, sweet rest.

    PS - Where have you gone? I miss you (my imaginary friend). :) Did I offend or bore you in some way?

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  13. Thank you, thank you, thank you for writing that. I really needed to be reminded of those words today. I can't imagine how many people are going to be touched by this post!

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  14. Oh honey, I think this post rocks the casbah, too! What a fantastic, beautiful reminder. I am so blessed to call you friend.

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  15. Yes! I love analogies of God's love for us when we realize how much we love our children. It's a glimpse, oh but a glimpse of His love.

    Beautiful.

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  16. A new mom gave a devotional years back at a baby shower. She talked about how much she loved her infant son. All he does is eat, sleep and poop and I love him so much. That is how God sees us.

    It was precious, like your post.

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  17. Beautifully written and just what I needed to hear!

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  18. Missy,

    God led me to your blog yesterday for a reason. And am I glad He did! This post has been just one more reminder to me, that we are not called to be perfect. No one is perfect but our Lord. Remembering that has been a struggle for me. Thank goodness He loves us clean or snotty. Thank you for this wonderful post!

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  19. Wow. This was the best thing I could read this morning. Why is this such a hard thing to 'get'? I GET it, I just go back to the old way of thinking far too often. Gotta pass this along. And save it for myself to be reminded.

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  20. Missy, I just now happened upon this from your header, and it's BEAUTIFUL! Hope you won't mind....I'm linking to it on my blog.

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  21. Kimba blogged about this piece today.. very touching and awe inspiring!! Perfect, needed to hear, uhm, read words!!

    Thanks!
    Sallie
    http://www.mikeandsallie.com/sallie

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  22. What a BEAUTIFUL post and wonderful example!!

    I came over via Kimba's and now I see what all of her blubbering was all about!! What a beautiful beautiful person you are!♥

    ~TidyMom

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  23. OH MY WORD I needed this! I have a snotty boy/am a snotty girl (in more ways than one lately, sigh). I hope you were/are blessed a thousand times over in the writing of this post, as I think you've written about a thousand blessings into it's lovely words and message. Hugs!

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  24. Found you from A Soft Place To Land, but I place nothing happening by coincidence or accident. WOW!! And even that is an understatement. Awesome awesome post.

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  25. This is absolutely gorgeous. What a privilege to know His love this way. I am your those words with me today!

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  26. sent here by God via kimba.
    thank you for writing what i am unable to articulate.

    isn't it just like our Lord to find the most unique ways to bless us when we need it the most.

    i praise Him for snotty nosed babies (my grandchildren) & for you, today.

    through you - may others seek Him whom you (& I) have found.

    thanks for today -

    randee

    p.s. God rocks! (& so do you!)

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  27. I'm wiping away tears as I write this. How grateful I am that I read Kimba's post this morning, which led to this post of yours. It is exactly what I needed to hear right now. Thank you.

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  28. Oh bless your heart. What a nerve you have struck with many of us!!! Thank you so much for such a right-on visual of our Father in Heaven. It was perfect! Bless you, Jennifer

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  29. Thank you so much for such a beautiful picture you have painted of God's love for me. I really need this, this morning. I am visiting through Kimba today, and after reading her letter to you, I needed to come over myself. Again, I just can not tell you how much I needed this, this morning.
    Sincerely ~ Tricia Anne

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  30. it's always a joy to find other moms sold out for our Lord and using this platform to shine HIS glory. SO thrilled Kimba pointed us to you.

    blessings from a mom of five who knows those snotty hands all to well,
    Jen :)

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  31. My prayer this morning is that all who need this message will find it.
    Glory to God.

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  32. I also made my way over here from Kimba's blog. What a fantastic, uplifting and humbling post. Thanks for the wonderful reminder and the great start to my day.

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  33. i needed this. REALLY needed this. from the bottom of my heart, thank you.

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  34. Missy...

    God knew I needed that today...
    So grateful for Kimba for posting that, and finding your blog.

    Thanks!

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  35. Okay so you knew way back when you wrote this that I was going to need to hear this today?
    Yep, I believe so!
    Thank You!

    God Bless~

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  36. Hello! Stopping over from Kimba's. So beautiful how the LORD revealed this truth to you! Thank you for sharing!

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  37. Missy, I'm pretty sure you have been the cause of quite a few teary eyes and snotty computer keys this morning.
    Thank you for that - I feel so loved!!!!!

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  38. One of the best illustrations EVER!!! Thank you so much for sharing this with us...something that any Mom can surely relate to. Came by way of Kimba and I'm so glad. I'm leaving feeling more loved than ever before!

    Blessings,
    Tracy

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  39. I'll join my voice in with the crowd and say, "Thanks, you are so right and I needed to hear this"
    Blessings!

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  40. Hi Missy~over from Kimba's! From another mom of 5~Beautiful post that touched my soul this morning~thank you so much.:)

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  41. This is so true--and you've said it so beautifully. More than that, you've given us a picture that we can identify with. You've written a parable, just the kind of story that Jesus told. You were the voice of Jesus when you wrote this. Blessings, blessings on you. Thank you for this.

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  42. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

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  43. Amen! I came over here from Kimba's blog. What a great post! THANK YOU!!!

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  44. Dearest Missy,

    Thank you for showing us your heart today-your mother's heart and your "daughter's" heart! You have a true gift for sharing your love of God in a humble,yet inspiring way! May you be blessed in the same measure as you have so obviously blessed all of us!

    In His Love,
    Allison McMillan

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  45. Missy, after the day I had yesterday I so needed this. I'm so grateful to you for writing this and I'm grateful to Kimba for sending me this way.

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  46. Beautifully shared.

    Thanks for this.

    JanMary, N Ireland

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  47. WoW! Missy, I found your blog through a post over at Kimba's blog, and MAN, I so needed this right now. Thank you so much for sharing and sharing your heart, your faith, your son. Just Beautiful!!

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  48. A friend sent me your blog and I have to say I have never heard this explained better. Thank yoU!

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  49. Came over from Kimba's blog....this was so good! Thanks for being so transparent.

    Blessings!

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  50. Thank you for writing this. Jesus talked to me through this. I want to live like I know this is true.

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  51. Totally a divine appointment here!
    Stuggling with some "stuff" in my life, I was just telling a dear friend yesterday that I don't understand how God can love me like He does, let alone at all!
    Thank you for sharing this, and for allowing the Lord to use you to bless others with this post!
    May you be blessed!

    In Him~
    Kelly

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  52. I am so glad that God lead me to your blog through Kimba...That was something I so needed to read. You are now in my blog reader!

    Thanks so much for letting God use you.

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  53. What a beautiful reminder. I recalled how my grandfather always affectionately called me Honey Baby Girl o Mine. I need to remember God is even more crazy about me. You said it all so beautifully.
    Blessings,
    Lallee
    PS I also came via Kimba.

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  54. Here from Kimba's place! This is an absolutely beautiful post and a wonderful reminder! Thank you!!

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  55. Words cannot express how much I needed this today. I am so grateful that Kimba led me here and that you have bestowed this amazing message to us today. In these terms "I got it!" I've been a Christian for over 20 years and have NEVER understood it soooo fully as I do now. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

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  56. Praise the Lord, Gina! That blesses me so much. "Getting it" has completely changed my life.

    Praying that you continue to grow in the freedom of Christ's love.

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  57. I went over to Kimba's tonight just before shutting down my computer and I just had to click over here. I'm so glad I did. What a beautiful way to explain the righteousness we have in Christ. I SO do not live out of that truth day in and day out. And I feel like such a slack believer day in and day out. Especially days like today when I spent too much time on my computer instead of in my Bible or doing some noble or "spiritual."

    I look forward to another visit!

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  58. Found you via Kimba....do we have the same mentor? Mine said the exact thing to me earlier this year - God delights in me! - I'm still trying to wrap my brain around that, but I agree wholeheartedly that there is nothing we can do to make God love us (more). He sent his Son for goodness sakes, what else could he do to show us His extravagant love.

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  59. Leighann it seems to be the message every woman needs to hear and has a hard time believing - took me a couple of years to wrap my brain around it but WOW, what freedom there is in knowing that!!

    I think we are all slaves to legalism in so many more ways than we realize.

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  60. Missy, I came over from ASPTL, and am so thankful that I did. It feels like you wrote this just for me. Thanks so much for this post. I could totally relate to the snotty stinky boy analogy, and so much more. Love in Christ, Mandi

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  61. I hate that life has been so crazy the past few weeks and haven't kept up with your posts, Missy! I came over from ASPTL and I'm so glad I did! I NEEDED to read this, today especially. I am at a point right now where I feel like I have failed as a parent, wife, and child of God. Thank you for writing this.

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  62. LOVE THIS! I am totally where you wrote about - wrapped up in life and not in God's arms. Thank you, thank you, thank you for this.

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  63. Typing through the tears in my eyes.
    Thank you for this sweet reminder of God's everlasting love.

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  64. Thanks a lot! Now i dropped my iPod Touch in the toilet!!!! Seriously I did.

    As a mama I do not have to much time to myself. This means I get my quality reading done in the bathroom.

    Kimba sent me to this post via Angie,at www.TheCreativeMama.com. I have/am being attacked by Satan as I type. I started getting up early, having a quiet time and exercising. When I go walking I listen to church messages on podcasts. Then, yesterday needing the lift I did read Kimba's and yours post. What an dose of encouragement it was to me. Thanks

    Thankfully, I read enough to get the message before the iPod got sick. I am praying (probably selfishly) that it is only sick and not dead. That is how my faith has been. I am also praying (not selfishly) that my faith is only sick and not dead.

    Now you have given me something to blog about - thanks!

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  65. 1 - I am confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. (Phil 1:6)

    2 - That is not selfish!! 1 Thes. 5 says to take EVERYTHING to God in prayer. EVERY.THING. If it's important to your best friend, or your mom, it's important to God!

    I just got a new iPhone and am in love with it. Someone sent me a copy of a t-shirt that said "Dear iPhone, You've changed the way I poop." LOL!

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  66. Wow! Found you via Kimba. This post both took my breath away and brought tears to my eyes. I just used 1John 3:1 in a post on my blog today, but with far less eloquence. Thank you for a wonderful picture. Blessings!

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  67. Thank-you for posting this. This really touched me and my weak and weary heart that I have right now. I am a stay-at-home momma to a 3, 2 and 8 month old. Life is busy, crazy and a little more than I can handle at the moment... With a sprinkle of LOUD on top. I am very thankful I found your REAL blog, you talking about life, pure, funny and simple, no sugar coating.

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  68. I never cease to be amazed by the ways in which God teaches me through my children!

    The funny, crazy, gentle, shocking, overwhemling ways in which God uses those precious kids to show me how much *he* loves *me*!

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  69. What a post and what a great way to illustrate a simple Truth that we really can't hear too often! Thanks so much for sharing and inspiring!

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  70. Ok...I admit it. I like your blog and don't even know who you are other than from the blog. (although I think my sister in law Paige does) The connection is through adoption. Our son is 17 months old and was adopted. The blog is http://patrickjamesturner.blogspot.com but that is not so important as is the fact that kids are God's gift to us and he also shows us His grace through them since we did nothing to deserve to have them
    anyway...thanks for writing.

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  71. Wow...where to start...I feel like you wrote that for me specifically.

    I've been struggling to find my place with God. Knowing he loves me, but still caught up in the imperfections of myself and my life. I stumbled across your blog through an old acquaintance's blog, quite by accident, and here I am feeling more like I could really live a better life for God like I've always wanted, but never felt quite comfortable with. I guess I still need to take the next step of reaching out for help and finding a church that feels right for me, but either way I feel like I can. Those "church people", "good Christians" aren't better than me and I shouldn't feel that way. God loves me for who I am and it's time to make some changes for him and myself not for others.

    Ok, I just spilled my guts on your comments...SORRY! Just had to share because your words inspired me. :)

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  72. I cried. This hit home as my youngest is about Ingram's age and so everything you say rings so true to me. Thank you for your reminder of God's unconditional love and the depth of that love. I'm humbled by His incredible mercy and it makes me want to be better. Thank you. Karen (Aurora, CO)

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  73. I am new to this blog. I found it somehow through some post on FB, I think, not even sure. Read something, was touched by it and signed up. What I just read has tears running down my face.Thank you for being used by the Father to encourage a tired, haggard child of God. I feel like we are friends and we have never even met. Thank you! Thank you!
    Mom of 8 (1 bio. 23 yr. 5 adopted 17,16,5,3.2, and 2 foster 14,15)

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  74. This is beautiful! I just came across your blog last night. Thank you for sharing God's truth. Something else that hit me while reading this is how your son reaches for you in excitement. He doesn't cower away or apologize for his mess or stink... He's just excited to see you and accept your love! Isn't that how we should embrace God once we've become His child? We shouldn't hide from Him. We should allow Him to love us, allow him to clean us up... we can't do it on our own... the same way your son can't clean himself up for you before you enter the room! AND you are NEVER surprised by what you find in his room... you expect a mess... and you go anyway! Oh, what a wonderful picture of God's love for us! Thank you for sharing! Blessings, Melinda =0)

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  75. This is just amazing. God is speaking through you to others' hearts. I am truly blessed to have read through your blog and found this piece!

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  76. Thank you for the reminder of our Father's and our Savior's love for each of us. I also think of His love every time I get my snotty baby out of her crib!

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  77. I read your blog regularly, and "accidently" clicked to this older post. Our God is sovereign. I woke up at 4:30 am this morning reliving every mistake I have ever made; I am 42 years old so this was a bit overwhelming. Needless to say, I couldn't go back to sleep so I just cried out to God. This is such a fresh reminder, thank you.

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  78. I have been struggling with God's love... It's something that hasn't sunk in... I know a lot of it has to do with my past but these last 6 months has made me realize that my relationship with God needs to be different if I'm going to claim to live this life for Him. Through this processing I realized that I'm not recognizing His love. I do not have children.. let alone married... So it makes me wonder if I will ever completely understand His love until I do have children... I sure hope not because things need to change soon!

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  79. You're my kind of mama!

    When I became a mother, I thought long and hard about the saying "mother love is God love." I'd never understood it, but here is what I came to understand. Our (us mommies) love is the first our children receive. So it is important to love them unconditionally the way God loves them. That way when we tell them that God loves them they can feel that unconditional love from Him. They will already have a reference for that kind of love.

    So I like your "love 'em snotty" approach. Praise God He made me a mom or would have never been able to grasp a hint of the deep, expanse, and wholeness of my heavenly Father's love for me.

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  80. I needed to hear this today! Thanks so much. sometimes i feel like i am struggling to make God happy-which i should not in the first place.

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  81. Thank you for this reminder. I am daily involved in ministry and sometimes I think I forget how much God loves ME too! What a wonderful thing.

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  82. I've read this post of yours before, when I first visited your blog (and ended up subscribing :)). Read it again tonight, and the Lord must have directed me to it...I had such a really bad afternoon and evening with my kiddos...I don't know why I was having such a horrible time keeping my temper under control! But we all survived, and I am so very grateful to God for His new mercies each morning! I definitely need them tomorrow morning, from Him and my kiddos! Thank you so much for this post...it spoke to me stonight!

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  83. This made me cry...especially because I have my own sweet little 18-month-old boy right now. And yes, he is often filthy dirty (he's just into EVERYTHING--but I can bet you know what that's like!) but I love him anyway, just as much as when he's all clean and soft and freshly bathed (but I do love him like that too-ah, clean baby smell!)

    Thanks for an excellent post.

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  84. Thank you. I'm currently re-learning who God is. I had this view of God as a mean, old, Gandulf type with a stick waiting to whack me when I messed up. Your article got to me. Thank you for letting God use you to teach me truth.

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  85. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  86. Thank you for making me cry black mascara tears this morning at work. : )

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  87. Loved this:) thank you for sharing your heart and

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