"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."
If you were with me for my little "Different Packages" mini-series about my kids (Ben and Bethany), hopefully you'll recognize this as the missing conclusion. It's not like I've never gushed over my kids before on my blog. I'd hate to try to confine myself to once a year on their birthdays or something crazy like that. Because every time they come up with some new way of expressing themselves, and the people they are becoming, it just knocks my socks off.
I love the verses above from Zephaniah, written to God's people to remind them that he is a God of purpose and redemption. That though as their Father he must discipline them, his intent is always to restore and heal, and make his relationship with them even sweeter than before. Seriously, can you imagine what it would sound like to hear God singing for joy? Over YOU??
I have learned so much about the way God looks at me from the pleasure I have in watching my kids. Rick Warren says it well in his bestseller, The Purpose Driven Life:
"You may feel that the only time God is pleased with you is when you're doing 'spiritual' activities--like reading the Bible, attending church, praying, or sharing your faith. And you may think God is unconcerned about the other parts of your life. Actually, God enjoys watching every detail of your life, whether you are working, playing, resting, or eating. He doesn't miss a single move you make." (p. 74)
I love to imagine God watching me and smiling when I am taking pictures of the world he made (and seeing it through new eyes as a result), making ridiculously labor-intensive (but cute!) Valentine treats, thinking my way through a blog post, pondering with Lee how to deal with our kids' latest issues, struggling over how to do a better job in an area where I am not measuring up to my own expectations.
I admit that sometimes I live dangerously close to my boundaries...
...but when I turn and look in God's eyes long enough to rediscover that connection, I love to do the right thing, because I know it pleases him.
If you haven't looked God in the eye lately, don't wait another minute. Your Creator is crazy about you!