I Love My Shepherd

This is the post that inspired me to re-start my personal blog for all of my family and friends who have yet to create a myspace account. Namely, my parents and my in-laws. I love you guys, and I want you to be able to keep up with everything going on in our lives. So. Without further ado…

“Like a shepherd He will tend His flock, In His arm He will gather the lambs And carry them in His bosom; He will gently lead the nursing ewes.” Isaiah 40:11 (NASB)

This was given to me today at church by a gal who has seven children of her own. I don’t really know where to start in telling this story, but I have to share what God has done for me today. He reminded me that He sees me.

I’ve had a bad week. Not terrible, but very trying in all those little, daily things. I’ve kept up on housework pretty well, and even started a little spring cleaning. However, Audrey is in full-blown “terrible two” mode, the older two are crazy, and Dain is still hard to keep up with. Especially at night.

I’ve also been very homesick for Oregon and family. Very homesick. One of my sisters has been really sick, and I’ve wanted to be there to help her out. But I can’t. My other sister is in her last year of college, and fighting her own battles that I can’t help with. My in-laws just told us they’re putting their house up for sale this week. The same house that Levi grew up in. He doesn’t ever remember living in any other house.

Plus, we have some big financial and life decisions that need to be made soon. With Levi getting out of the Air Force in a year (or less – that’s a story in itself), we have a lot of praying and planning to do. And it’s intimidating, frankly.

But, honestly, it all boils down to the “dailies” for me. Daily dealing with screaming/fighting/whining/defiant/loud children in a Christ-like manner is practically impossible. On my own. And I’ve been doing it on my own – failing miserably this week. I have had zero patience and grace with my children this week. I feel like I’m constantly begging God to help me calm down, give me wisdom, give me strength, give me anything that will hold me together for the next 5 minutes.

I’ve been carrying what feels like the weight of the world on my shoulders.

Anyway, today was the first time I’ve been able to make it to church in two weeks. Two full weeks without my meat & potatoes. That is not a good thing. Needless to say, I was feeling empty, distracted, and weepy this morning. I couldn’t focus on worship. I just couldn’t. And I was beginning to ask God if He could even see me. Even though I know better – I was fighting hard against pity party mode. And losing. I bowed my head, trying to reach God.

And then I was touched.

Kris, the lady with 7 kids, touched me and asked if she could pray with me. Of course, I said “Yes! I need it!” So, she began to pray quietly for me. For everything I’ve just told you about. Especially the daily grind. Everything she said was specific to something I’ve been struggling with in regards to the kids. One thing that really stood out is that she asked the Lord to help my babies sleep through the night! How could she possibly have known that I haven’t had more than 5 good nights of sleep since Dain’s birth??? I never told her that.

Now. This is not a lady I’m particularly close to, though we’re friends. She’s not one of the people I call and talk to. In fact, our paths don’t even cross much at church, because her youngest is 6 or 7 now, so our kids aren’t in Sunday school together or anything. I have told her nothing of my struggles.

I wanted to know if God could see me. And I found out – once again – that He does! Not only does He see me, but He has a special place in His heart for me. And He took the time to let me know today! He sent Kris to me just so I would know that He is listening, and that He’s here.

After she went back to her seat, Levi asked if I was ok, because I was crying. So, I told him what happened, and I was so full of the joy and comfort of knowing that God sees me, that I wanted to encourage him too. So, I reminded Levi of how we look at our kids, and just smile because they’re so precious to us. We couldn’t imagine our lives without them. Ever. I reminded him that this is exactly how the Lord is looking at us right now. (Because the Lord had just reminded me.)

And Levi’s heart was touched too. He needed to hear it as much as I did, with all the weight of “what to do after the Air Force” on his shoulders. We were both reminded of the great Truth of God’s Love for us.

In the same way we love our kids, desire the best for them, and desire to provide and care for them, He loves, desires our best, and provides for us. Only He’s perfect at it. He never gets irritated when we whine. He never gets frustrated when we throw a tantrum. And He never gets insulted when we ignore Him. He’s just there. Waiting for us to crawl into His lap and ask Him to hold us.

Right after worship, Kris handed me Isaiah 40:11 written on a sticky note, and I wanted to cry again.

“Like a shepherd He will tend His flock, In His arm He will gather the lambs and carry them in His bosom; He will gently lead the nursing ewes.” Isaiah 40:11 (NASB)

I am a “nursing ewe”. I adore the fact that because I have little ones, the Lord is understanding, and He leads me gently. Gently. Tenderly. Lovingly. He sees me. And He smiles. Why? I have no idea. There is certainly nothing to recommend me to Him. But I’m not about to question it!

I’m just going to “taste and see that the Lord is good”. I’m going to drink His love in like a good wine. Or a tall glass of sweet tea on a hot day. I’m going to savor it like a good piece of dark chocolate. I’m going to let it sooth me like hot chicken noodle soup. I’m going to let it fill me up to the brim. I will breathe it, drink it, and eat it everyday until I get it through my thick skull that I am loved by God in a way that throws me beyond understanding and into a world of peace.

Thank you, Lord, for touching me today. For reminding me that you see me. That you love me. That you are gentle and kind to me. That you know my troubles. That you know my heart. That you want me to see your face, hear your voice, and know that you truly are GOD. That you are in control, and that I am in a season of life I will never see again. Help me be thankful for this time when my kids are small. While I’m a “nursing ewe”. Thank you for reminding me that you are a tender, gracious, soft-hearted Father. And you are my Abba as well as my King. Help me to drink you in daily, and be an example of YOU to my kids. In Jesus’ name…AMEN!!!

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