Saturday, January 8, 2011

To Be Loved

I walk through the door to inspect her bedroom. All is tidy for company expected, the floors cleared of dolls and blocks and blankets. Little crimson-haired, sapphire-eyed girl tries hard to smooth her wrinkled bed and looks up at me, "It's not like you do it, Mama. I can't get all the crumples out." The doorbell rings and company is here now and I tell her how pretty her bed is, just the way it is. But she is disappointed.

I know just how she feels.

Isn't this the way it settles in our hearts....that old, rotten, all-too familiar sense of discouragement. Someone else does it better than we do and so our efforts seem futile. Then our sunken, disheartened soul wonders why we should bother at all. So we give up.

Her upside-down mouth and that crumply bed were in the back of my mind all afternoon. Did she think someone would love her less on account of a few wrinkles? Me?....Her father?....Her friends?

To be loved. Surely it is what we strive most for in life. When I was a teenager, for years I used to read one small part of my then-favorite spiritual book over and over again. The section I would read and re-read, on Defects of Nature, encourages one not to feel grieved at one's natural inferiorities. To be content with the gifts we're given because they are the only gifts we need. God gives us those qualities which are in accordance with the designs He has for us. Nothing more, nothing less. The chapter further suggests that we should consider ourselves fortunate to be lesser than others, blessed to have mediocre talents, because superiority often engenders pride and vanity, and more is expected of those who have more.

That book saved me when I was younger. To realize that I had everything I needed to become perfect one day...in Him...for Him. Not perfect for friends or brothers or even my mother and father. As much as these people love me they'll never Love like Him. Perfectly.

One day in the not so distant future I know I'll find myself explaining all this to my little girl and her siblings: Seek Love only where it truly can be found....in Him; and strive to be perfect only for God, because friends and family will fail you. And that's okay. They're human. They're fallen. In those people you will never find complete rest, unbounded joy, or whole love, my dear. But you will find everything you desire, and much, much more in Him.

The promptings are beginning already.

Lord, help me to teach You....and only You. All I want for them is You, because You are all any of us really wants.

14 comments:

Paula said...

I really needed to read this today. Thank you. I've never heard of that book but I've placed it on my wish list.

Jenny said...

Lovely post. Thank you.

Christine said...

Thank you, Kristen.

Lauren @ Magnify the Lord with Me said...

Beautiful post, Kristen.

Amy said...

I. need. that. book. :) Kristen, this was exactly what I needed to hear this week/month/life. As an adopted person myself, I think we struggle even more than the average bear with perfectionism - as not being "good enough" seems to our young minds to have such dire consequences. What a great attitude you are teaching your little ones! They are blessed to have you.

Elizabeth C. said...

Something I'm trying to work on and teach to my own children...especially my oldest.

Thank you for the reminder and uplifting words.

Literature Goddess said...

Beautiful, Kristen....

Lara

Mary said...

Kristen - you have no idea how your words have blessed today. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I have printed it out and given it to one I love. These words were a gift and an encouragement that made this precious one smile. Thank you once more!

Leila @ Little Catholic Bubble said...

What an excellent post! Thank you!

Shannon said...

this is so beautiful...

veronica said...

Kristen,
I read that little book a couple years back and consider it a gem..thank you for your beautiful reflection that is a reminder to me of where our souls truly and only find rest....in Him.

Robina said...

thank you for such a sweet post. I have a person in mind who I want to share this with who really needs this right now. Just put that book on my wish list.

Neen said...

What a great way to show how how simply He loves us.

Kim @ Starry Sky Ranch said...

My all time favorite. And just when I think I get it there is a new challenge - a chipping away from a new direction and all that resistance and rebellion rears its head again. Sigh. Rereading.