So, as anyone within a ten foot radius of me in the last month well knows, I’m a huge advocate of asking God how much He loves me. I must sound like a little kid to Him, constantly asking Him “Do you love me? Do you love me? Do you love me?”. “Hey, me again. Do you love me? Ok, just checking.” Ummm, insecure much?
Yeah, I totally am painfully insecure, and am not a person who realizes she’s loved easily. Even when people will tell me that, tangibly, to my face, as in the case of my amazing bestie K, I often think it’s more lip service, and something we say like “I’m American, therefore I’m Christian”, than the real thing. For instance, “I love you Trin” translates in my brain as “I put up with you, cuz we’re friends. And you’re just ok”. But what does it really mean to be loved, wildly loved by the Creator of this universe? That’s something I’m still discovering, through the beautiful relationship my Heavenly Father has cultivated with me.
I ask Him all the time to remind me He loves me. And sometimes it’s through pink sunrises and Newsboys songs that He answers me. Sometimes it’s through His word, like being reminded that “The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing." (Zephaniah 3:17 or something). Other times it’s an inescapable feeling of peace and being cradled in the palm of His great big hand, like one of those Anne Geddes pictures of tiny babies dressed up like vegetables and what not. Usually that happens as I’m falling asleep, and I have to tell you, there’s nothing better to fall asleep to. At all.
But this past weekend, a speaker at a retreat I was at shared something that at first I thought was totally cheesy, but has been on my mind to do today. I’m gonna call it “The Love Project” and I’m totally ripping it off from her.
Here’s the 411 on The Love Project. Every day I’m going to write a different post-it note to myself, with one way that God shows me how He loves me. This is great, because I just got a brand new pack of super-bright, Caribbean color-schemed, Super-Sticky Post-It notes. Thank you Jesus & 3M. They're the classic 3”x3” size too. I do get a little fanatical about my office supplies, I’m not gonna lie to you.
So, Thursday I did my first one. My first TLP note, and I dated it and in my heart, I said “God, what’s one way I know you love ME?” And I wrote down “Pink sunrises and the perfect Wreck from Potbelly”. Come on let’s face it, I’m not always the deepest.
But I know that for the next few months, or years or however long this goes, I will have plenty of fodder, plenty of stuff to write down. Here’s a few that come to mind, to get me started:
- Ummm, helloooo.... He died on the cross! Dur.
- He didn’t just stay there, but He rose again, and is making a place for us to be with Him forever.
- And I’m pretty sure it’s gonna rock.
- He Reigns by the Newsboys
- Pink Sunrises
- Jeremiah 31:3&4 “The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: "I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness. I will build you up again and you will be rebuilt, O Virgin Israel. Again you will take up your tambourines and go out to dance with the joyful.”
- The smell of babies’ heads.
- Chloe, when she smiles at me. That baby has an amazing, light up the room smile.
- Every time Celia asks me to have another sleepover at my house.
- Ephesians 5:1-2 “Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”
- A hug from M – she really means it & holds on tight.
- Glee songs
- Romans 8. All of it.
- Falling asleep to tears as I know He holds me (see cradled in the palm of His hand reference above)
- Hearing from K that she’s still my best friend and biggest cheerleader
- The perfect Campfire Mocha, with lots of marshmallows.
- Knowing that He does not deal with me according to my transgressions, but has given me a huge heaping measure of grace and mercy, beyond what I could ever deserve, ask for or imagine. I am sooooo not punished like I need to be. Whew.
- Just stopping to think about it all. His love, that is.
- Going to the MIA.
- Art in general
- Colossians 3:12-15 “Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.”
- Just Haven’t Met You Yet by Michael Buble…. And the knowledge that if God has a husband for me, I just haven’t met him yet. Look, God supplies all my needs according to His riches in Jesus Christ, so if I really needed a husband, well by golly, I’d have one already. Till then, I’m not sweating it …. I just haven’t met him yet, or ever, but either way, good song, great God.
- Being called “kid” or “kiddo”
- When people guess my age, and they get it wrong, thinking I’m younger than I am. Ok, I’m vain, I know. But I can thank God for good aging genes, can’t I? There’s joy in being content with what God made you look like. Yeah, I want it to be better (skin care product freak, getting back to the Y!!), but I thank Him when I think of looking 5 or 6 years younger than I really am, and only having one grey hair.
- Defying Gravity, or for that matter, a good Aria.
- All Creatures of Our God & King.
- The way Caravaggio painted Christ.
- Laughing with T - well, really just when T laughs
- Shivers when I worship
- Tigers – and not the kind you find in your bathroom, but just the way they move and their soft orange slinkiness
- Snowflakes – the big, crystalline kind
- Loaded Potatoes – the girls, not the food
- Fireplace fires
- Finding money in the back pocket of my jeans.
There’s more y’all. Lots more. And maybe some of this is a stretch. I mean, Glee songs? But, the point is, there are just some things that bring me joy, and make me stop and thank God for them.
I know that He could have given us a world of grey nothingness. No beauty. No sunrises. No tigers. No snow days, No Caravaggio. No light, no bright, no music, nothing that was beautiful or awe inspiring, or even that just makes us smile. But our God is, among other things, indescribably beautiful. And He delights in making beauty and watching us enjoy it. He loves music, and joy, and smiles, and all good things. He has created a lot, and said it was all good. He gave us the ability to smell, to feel (touch), to taste, to hear, to see. I acknowledge that He’s got an amazing sense of humor, probably rocks out to the songs of the saints, and adores babies and puppies. How awesome is He?
And that makes me love Him – as Stephanie Smith sang, not for His wonders, but for who He is. I am crazy in love with a God that loves life that much. And you know what? I’m pretty sure He loves me too.