You’re Beloved

It is amazing to me how one minute I am going about my day and the next I’m struck by a simple, kind phrase.

On Twitter today I was bantering with an actor whose work I enjoy. Me and a few other fans were chatting with him as usual, bouncing back and forth, posting pictures of our pets, and being goofballs. It is fun to brush elbows with the people who entertain us week after week on television.

He had posted a bit of a trivia question, wondering if any of his followers knew the answer. No one seemed to know as his fans refused to Google it (at his behest) and honestly replied. Jokingly I tweeted him saying that we as his fans had failed him, and his tweet back stopped me in my tracks.

No, no, you’re beloved. No failure possible.

I actually looked up the definition of the world ‘beloved’ and got these:

1. Dearly loved

2. Greatly loved; dear to the heart.

In other words, it is a fancy way to tell someone they are worth something. That they are loved. It made me stop, not because of who the tweet came from, or the context of anything on Twitter, but because I realized how little time I take to stop and fully comprehend just how loved I am.

I’m far more likely to spend the day thinking of all of the ways I have failed, or all of the things I should have done but didn’t, and don’t take any time to sit and feel loved. To stop and be loved. To love myself and to be thankful for all of the people in my life who love me.

It also made me realize how often I neglect to let the people in my life know that I love them. That they are beloved, no matter what they’ve done. When my niece, who is a toddler, does something she is not supposed to do we scold her…but then tell her that we love her. Her mess up, her mistake, her disobedience does not negate the love we have for her. It is not the “failure” we want her to focus on. We want her to know that she is loved even when she’s at her worse.

We take this approach with kids but lose it as adults. More often than not, at least in my circle of influence, when an adult messes up we tease them. I tease them. Sometimes I even bring it up later in the week and we all laugh about it again. Sometimes I’m the butt of the joke. I had a fact or belief that was proven to be incorrect and it is brought up again and again, laughed at every time, until it becomes something I cringe about.

I don’t like when that happens, so why on earth do I do it to other people?

Pointing out mistakes is not inherently bad, but when people are only told how badly they are screwing up without the understanding that through it all they are loved, it begins to take its toll. Guilt or embarrassment suddenly becomes shame.

I imagine when we’re at our worst and beat ourselves up over one failure or another, God just shakes his head and says something similar to what I was told today:

No, no, you’re beloved. No failure possible.

It is funny how those seven words can have such an impact.

So this week (and for the rest of my life) I hope I can be a person that makes her love clear, even when people screw up. I also hope I will be someone who can accept love from others even when I screw up.

Let grace and love abound. 

Borrowed Thoughts

I was reading an interview with Kerri Caviezel (wife of Jim Caviezel who played Jesus in the Passion of the Christ) and her answer to the last question struck me as profound. In a few paragraphs she manages to sum up a lesson that I am continuing to learn about what it truly means to be in the moment with God and let everything else fall away. You can read the rest of the interview here. 

Q: What is the most valuable lesson you have learned?

A: We have this plan for our life—and it doesn’t include any of the challenges. And yet every life at some point, whether at the beginning, middle or at the end there is some challenge. Suffering is universal. What God asks—He puts us on earth at that special time for a special purpose—we have to be present in that moment, not in the past and not in the future.

And we can’t know these things are going to happen. If we did, we wouldn’t have accepted any of them. But He gives us the grace we need at the time we need and asks us to live in that moment. When I have done that I’ve seen amazing things happen.

We all think we’re supposed to do these amazing things—that they are valuable and important—whatever we’re doing at that time, like “when I get married,” or  “when I have a child.” We focus too much on what we think needs to happen and we lose what we’re supposed to do at that time.

We have three children we adopted. My husband and I used to say that if we had had three or four children like we thought, we might never have chosen to adopt. And we would say to each other, “Can you imagine not having them?” We cannot understand God’s plan for us. It’s too immense.

Just some food for thought.

Patience in the Moment (Matthew 6:31-34)

One day at a time, one moment at a time is one line from the serenity prayer that has always stuck with me.

I am not particularly adept at living one day at a time. Usually I find myself running from the moment in order to have plans three weeks from now. I will run myself ragged trying to anticipate every possible outcome instead of focusing in on what is happening today, right now. I ignore the blessings of the present in favor of maintaining a false sense of control. I don’t have time to be in this moment, I have to be prepared for what might happen tomorrow!

In Matthew 6:31-34 Jesus speaks directly to the heart of every worrier:

So don’t worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ For the idolaters eagerly seek all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you. Therefore, don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Lately that last line, “each day has enough trouble of its own,” has been keeping me in the present. Between a father recovering from a stroke, a mother recovering from a badly sprained ankle, our hallway getting flooded, our kitchen having asbestos under the vinyl we’ve currently got down (meaning our kitchen will be getting ripped up), and a niece to help take care of, there has not been a lot of time to look ahead. Instead, I find myself being taught patience.

I think patience is the key to living in the moment. If we’re impatient then odds are we’re rushing to the next thing, trying to figure out what tomorrow will look like, or what next week will bring. We do not want to take time to be in the moment because the future is far more alluring. Our impatience propels us forward while patience stops us in our tracks and allows us to soak up the moment.

Even when that moment is chasing a stir crazy toddler around the mall, or unpacking two years of Southern California living and integrating it into my old room, or packing up the cabinets in the kitchen so they can be moved and our floor ripped out. Fun moments, crappy moments, all of them deserve to be lived. All of them deserve to have patient consideration for all of the blessings and lessons they contain.

Would I like to know what I will be doing in three months? Sure. Heck, I would like to know what Wednesday is going to look like when the asbestos team comes to rip out our kitchen. Right now, though, I am going to enjoy pondering the scripture, drinking my coffee, and eating my scone.

Why?

Because right now this moment is all I have and there is something to learn from being in it.