This morning I was ugly mom to my kids.
I wanted all the scones and pizza for breakfast and delicious coffee that is so bad on my stomach. I wanted to pay a babysitter to come do a better job then my short temper was doing. I didn’t want to reason with unreasonable toddlers anymore. And I didn’t want to try and figure out why they were acting out so badly.
So I sent them to their rooms so I could pee all by myself and be in my ugly quiet.
And I opened up my bible app (yep, in the bathroom) and God was like helloooo.
This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. John 15:12-13
As in many days in motherhood, I wiped my tears, put on my mom pants, checked my heart, breathed a deep sigh and looked myself in the mirror knowing how deep my love for them actually runs. Far beyond my feelings.
I found it so timely though to backtrack on that entire chapter in John.
The true vine & the Vinedresser.
The fruit bearing & the pruning.
The loss & the gain.
The abiding & the obedience.
2019 had a chiseling effect. There was nothing comfortable about it. There was always something about it that was aching, even with the joy & peace that was overflowing. Have you ever been there?
To be honest, I struggled hard with loving this year,
It was because I was so wiped out and exhausted, sad and bitter, annoyed and just over it–seeing the many, many Christians all around me who weren’t dressing truth, but tossing it like a replaceable shirt in an old pile of laundry. Getting so comfortable with their love of Christ, without their obedience or abiding in Him. Knowing and speaking and elevating His good grace, but somehow neglecting and denying the just Father that He is…
And these things? These things He has pruned back in me and brought to life in such a sun-burst, redemptive way … they aren’t wrong.
But the feelings I had around it were a lot like ugly mom. Lacking, deeply, and incredible inward-focused. I’ve retreated, I’ve gotten quieter, I’ve written less, I engage where I know it’s heard and then I tuck down deep in prayer. Self righteous right? I’ve essentially done the same. Face palm. Because you guys, my flesh is still pulled to those things, even though it’s been pruned back and back to eternal understanding.
The truth is, this pruning that has happened within me, that He has used to bring much greater fruit then I ever could have imagined, is exactly what I long for for every single person in my world…starting with my kiddos.
I want them to know true unconditional love and to live in genuine friendship.
I want them to know the beauty in obedience and what happens when we lay down our idols.
I want them to experience pruning and abiding and the achey-longing for their King.
I want them to want for Jesus.
I want them to taste the gospel in a way that makes them trade all the world for His promises.
I learned a lot about myself this year, who I am & who I’m not. I learned a lot about people in general. Some were gut punches, some were ah-hah glimpses of that heavenly table.
I loved well. And I didn’t.
But mostly, I learned again and again that life isn’t about me, I can’t fix it all, I’m still navigating messy faith-led action, and oh what that means…
I get to love well and abide in His word every day.
As I head into 2020, I’m focusing on whole.
The whole person, the whole story, the whole becoming.
The whole way of love,
The whole friend,
The whole of Christ.