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when what i deserve is not what He gives….

what i deserve and what i am given are two of life’s great mysteries to me.

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i think about this often….
how i really do not deserve any of the life i am living.
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i’ve especially thought of this with our recent move and how all of the events that led up to this change played out.
i’ve thought of it each and every time we have experienced the miracle of our children’s births.
i’ve thought of it when ‘little’ gifts that were given at ‘just the right time’ happened.
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i’ve thought of it a lot in this past week too, because, we had an episode where, for about 2 minutes, we thought we had lost one of our children.
lost as in, we could not find them.
in that amount of time i nearly lost my mind too.
i still feel shaken by this experience and yet it has made me think about so many things.
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no matter which one of my children this could have happened to, i still would have felt as horrible and scared as i did with the one that it did happen to.
my back was not even ‘turned’ when this happened and yet…it did.
it’s like i can’t even blink and something could happen.
this experience scared and shook us all up pretty badly.
i think it solidified in new ways in my mind that each one of our children, every single day, every single moment is more precious to me than i can ever know.
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every day since that experience, i’ve said to this child ‘i am so, so glad you are in our family.’
and i’m ashamed to admit that before that day, before those two minutes, i hadn’t made it a habit of saying that to my children.
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i’ve thought it and i think they know i love and want them, but i’ve not done so good with expressing it.
i’m sure i’ll still have plenty of days where i’ll forget how much i love having them in our family.
it seems this is the way of humanity; we let busyness and normal crowd out the fragility and shortness of life and we take those closest to us for granted.
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i’m sure we all can think of people we know or are close to who have lost someone dear to them and because of their loss, we find life put into perspective quite quickly.
it makes me so sad, and ashamed at how easily this can happen to me.
not that i deserve to not lose any more than another deserves to have lost.
i don’t profess to understand this thing of what i deserve and what i’m actually given.
at all.
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i know that when life is hard, it is my tendency to feel like i don’t ‘deserve’ the hardship.
i know that when i think that i know what i want and i pray to that end and yet God gives differently, i have to come to terms with how big or small my faith is and in What.
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while i would like to never, never repeat the experience from last week, and i really do wish i could totally erase it from my mind, i would be remiss to not learn from it.
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i really do not deserve what the Lord has given me.
but, thankfully, He doesn’t make me forfeit His good gifts.
i want to learn more and more how to live under His undeserved, but freely bestowed grace.
and, then, to live it out.
every day.
every moment.
His love to me…
i can freely, no strings attached, undeservedly receive.
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so that i can….
freely give.
this really is (part of) the message of the Cross.

with love,
Rachel

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10 thoughts on “when what i deserve is not what He gives….

  1. Your words about being given what we don’t deserve . . . I think about this nearly daily . . . and you wrote it so beautifully. These kite-flying pictures are SO beautiful: bright, free, wide-open, perfect. I love following your kansas journey!

  2. Linda says:

    I love following your journey! I am so glad that everything turned out well on the lost child! love the kite flying pictures..it reminds me of freedom! Hope and pray your adjustments keep going well!

  3. I’ve had a heart-stopping experience like this once. Only once, for a few minutes, but I can still feel the sheer panic of those moments. My throat swelled big reading this, remembering my experience, and feeling for yours. You wrote so beautifully… and the paradox between what we deserve and what we’re given ~ all so overwhelmingly grace filled. Thank you for your words… xo

  4. Shanda says:

    It’s so strange to have that “why are you so good to me” feeling from God, but He delights in giving good to His children…it’s GOD, that feeling, and it causes us to worship and become humble again. So sorry about your scare. We have had situations like that happen and it really shakes me up for a few days, we learn lessons from them, most importantly that God does not want us to live in fear but in daily trust and faith. HUGS.

  5. Good words! Saying “I don’t deserve this” about the negatives more often than the positives…guilty. I don’t recognize Kansas in green.

  6. How scary those moments are! I actually did that to my mom in the city when I was little. She STILL talks about it to this day. I didn’t realize she couldn’t see me and she was in a panic.
    Glad everything was okay. I can just imagine how awful you must have felt.

    All your pictures are so beautiful. Just like you. 🙂
    XxOo

  7. I lost Ryan at the zoo once and it was terrifying. He had to go to the bathroom and just slipped off to look for one. Thinking about even makes my heart thud a little faster. What beautiful pictures… that echo well your words to live for the moment, experiencing the gifts God gives.

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