If I had a warning label… it would say “Beware! Chronic high expectations.” Not only for others, but the truth is that I am foremost tremendously hard on myself. I think it comes partly from being a first-born, and partly from a desire to perform and earn approval from others…beginning at a very young age.
The Lord is on a mission of late: to convince me of His love and His unending grace for me no matter what. Today, my children slept in and provided the peace and quiet I needed to read my bible and hear a little bit from the Lord. I was reading in psalm 127 & 128 and came upon this:
Blessed are all who fear the LORD, who walk in his ways.
You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours.
Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house;
your children will be like olive shoots around your table.
Thus is the one blessed who fears the LORD. Ps. 128:1-4
Immediately after reading this, the Holy Spirit brought to my mind a couple of recent events. My oldest daughter is volunteering at VBS this week, paired up with another mom in the craft area. This sweet woman was so taken with my daughter that she went home and told her husband all about their time together. This same daughter has been helping my 70+ year old neighbor navigate her computer and the internet at home. 12 year olds today are so tech-savvy! Our beloved Miss Pat from two doors down never tires of singing the praises of my oldest. The Lord also stirred up a memory from yesterday’s trip to Knott’s Berry Farm. The kids and I arranged to meet a dear friend and her kiddos. I was reminded of the loving words and embraces that this mom extended to all three of my children. As He connected the bible passage and these recent interactions with others, the Lord was definitely speaking to me this morning:
You are blessed. Because you have been walking in My ways, you will eat the fruit of your labor. The fruit is so sweet… watch how others love your children. Listen as others praise your girls. You are blessed to mother them and watch them grow. You are a fruitful vine: as a mother, as a home maker, and as a wife. Your children are growing and maturing before your very eyes. Your hard work is paying off. You often grow weary of caring for them day after day and dealing with their faults and weaknesses, but today, enjoy the fruit of your labor!
Do you find yourself keeping distance from the Lord because you fear that He is displeased with you? I find that every time I press into Him and listen, I hear words of love, affirmation, and grace. Will you press in and listen? Receive the affection your Heavenly Father wants to share with you.