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Wednesday, November 5, 2008

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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 am drenched, soaking, 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 the purest white.

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?

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Blogger Denise said...

Such a beautiful devotion.

November 5, 2008 at 12:55 AM  
Blogger Janet said...

Thank you for such an encouraging message, Missy!

November 5, 2008 at 4:49 AM  
Blogger Praise and Coffee said...

I love this line...
"I am drenched, soaking, dripping wet in the blood of the Lamb"

Put's it all in perspective doesn't it?

Thank you!

November 5, 2008 at 6:12 AM  
Blogger Praise and Coffee said...

I love this line...
"I am drenched, soaking, dripping wet in the blood of the Lamb"

Put's it all in perspective doesn't it?

Thank you!

November 5, 2008 at 6:12 AM  
Blogger Christine G said...

Thank you! How could we ever dream that the Lord loves us any less than we love our sweet babies? What a beautiful reminder. :)

November 5, 2008 at 6:16 AM  
Blogger Chelsey said...

You said: "It isn't dependent upon you! It's dependent on Christ, who is totally reliable to complete the work he began in you!"

LOVE THIS!!! What an incredible reminder. What a wonderful, analogy you laid in front of us today.

Thank you for allowing God to use you for His glory!!!

November 5, 2008 at 6:26 AM  
Blogger Mama Hen said...

I will never be able to hear enough of God's grace and love for me. Thank you!

November 5, 2008 at 7:10 AM  
Anonymous Willow said...

THANK YOU. I really needed those reminders today! You write so beautifully; your heart for God just shines through!

November 5, 2008 at 7:20 AM  
Blogger Betsy Markman said...

I think the line that resonated most with me was "Clap your snotty hands." I think I can do that.

And I'm so glad that He cleans me up daily! It would be wonderful if He just overlooked my "snot" and loved me anyway...but I'm so thankful that He does MORE than that! I don't like my snot, and I'm so glad he gives me a bath, like you joyfully give your precious Ingram.

Thank you for these priceless images!

November 5, 2008 at 7:22 AM  
Blogger Deirdre said...

"clap your snotty hands"

oh what a precious image.

November 5, 2008 at 8:03 AM  
Blogger Jerralea said...

What a fantastic devotion! I, as a mom, can totally relate. Thank you! I will be thinking on this all day ...

November 5, 2008 at 9:01 AM  
Blogger MJ said...

Thank you ~ such encouragement!

November 5, 2008 at 9:39 AM  
Blogger Melanie @ This Ain't New York said...

I am so grateful that His blood washes away my mess. Thanks for this, Missy!

November 5, 2008 at 10:10 AM  
Blogger Carol said...

This is beautiful!!!

November 5, 2008 at 10:14 AM  
Blogger ktwalden said...

Any parent can totally relate to your analogy...what a good word for today. Thank you!

November 5, 2008 at 11:02 AM  
Blogger Christene said...

Thank you. Your parallel really hit me as I have a 23 month old whom I greet in the same state as you described every morning. I've needed just such a message to settle my mind, heart and time on Jesus again. Thank you. Christene

November 5, 2008 at 12:39 PM  
Blogger LauraLee Shaw said...

Anointed, beautiful.

November 5, 2008 at 1:02 PM  
Blogger Melanie said...

A GREAT post, Missy!

November 5, 2008 at 1:24 PM  
Blogger Joanne Sher said...

Oh, do I LOVE this, Missy! I needed this reminder today. Thank you so much for sharing it!

November 5, 2008 at 1:39 PM  
Anonymous Robin @ Heart of Wisdom said...


Beautiful post! I was a Christian for 20 years before I grasped God really loved me as His child. I think you would really like this site. The audios are excellent


November 5, 2008 at 6:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a beautiful devotion!! Thank you!


November 5, 2008 at 8:42 PM  
Blogger mheries said...

I was indeed blessed.. . God really spoke through you and touched my heart.. .this is really encouraging and very powerful.. .so uplifting.. . simple yet very anointed.. . i often tell myself that GOd loves me.. . but it's different to feel in your heart that GOD REALLY LOVES YOU.. .How He loves you.. . even though you are covered with snot.. . i'll repost your devotion in my blog.. .thanks again! God bless you more!

November 5, 2008 at 8:57 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

That was beautiful - exactly what I needed today. God bless you, your week - and Mister Ingram!!

November 5, 2008 at 9:26 PM  
Blogger Shelley a.k.a. Momma said...

Love this! Thanks!

November 5, 2008 at 10:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Positively perfect example of how God loves me! Thank you for such a great post. xo

November 5, 2008 at 11:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for this post. As a Mama, this is an concrete way for us to try to wrap our brains around how God see us, His children. And yet, as human moms we know how much we love our babies & Gods love for us is so much more than that! Some days I still cannot fathom how much God loves me. It is so good to be reminded of this. Thanks.

November 6, 2008 at 8:03 AM  
Blogger Lelia Chealey said...

This is beautifully excellent Missy...just like you!
Love ya,

November 6, 2008 at 10:58 AM  
Blogger Megan@SortaCrunchy said...

I am all teary from this, Miss. Beautiful and so true.

November 6, 2008 at 6:10 PM  
Blogger Sandy at God Speaks Today said...

Love this...

Thanks for the reminder that God loves my snot. :)


February 14, 2009 at 9:27 AM  

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