October 18, 2015

I Don't Deserve to be Treated This Way

A few Saturdays ago, I was having one of my mom freak-outs.

I felt overwhelmed and tired and crunched for time and stressed and discouraged. 


So I did what I always do under those circumstances: I started running around like a maniac, doing bits of one project, then abandoning it to do a piece of another. The whole time, I was slamming things and babbling incoherently and generally scaring my daughters--except that they've seen this so many times before, they're used to it. Which is terrible but true.


A few hours later, when I'd calmed down, I noticed a sticky note my daughter had written to me, mid freak-out. She'd posted it on the faux-vintage Ghiradelli canister that lives on my counter for easy access to chocolate-for-medicinal-purposes.


The note said, "We love you."

Oh.

And that, mama, is what grace looks like. That is what mercy looks like.

My girls gave me what I didn't deserve, and they didn't give me what I did deserve.

Which is what God--the Grace-Giver, the Merciful Judge--does. 

He loves me most when I am least lovable. And His love, like that of my sweet daughters', doesn't hinge on what I do or don't do.
"This is how God showed His love for us: God sent His only Son into the world so we might live through Him. This is the kind of love we are talking about--not that we once upon a time loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as a sacrifice to clear away our sins and the damage they've done to our relationship with God." (1 John 4:9,10 The Message)
My girls and husband and God also do not give what they get from me. They do not treat me the way I treat them. They do not repay me in kind but by being kind.
"The LORD is compassionate, merciful, patient, and always ready to forgive. He will not always accuse us of wrong or be angry [with us] forever. He has not treated us as we deserve for our sins or paid us back for our wrongs." (Psalm 103:8-10 GOD'S WORD Translation)
Missionary and author Amy Carmichael wrote, "Our feelings do not affect God's facts." The fact is that my family loves me. The fact is that God loves me. These facts are not altered by what I say or do or feel like or act like.



I don't deserve to be treated this way. In fact, I can't deserve to be treated this way. There is nothing I can do to earn this kind of unconditional, lavish, generous mercy and grace. This is does not mean I have an excuse to be as undeserving as possible. It just means that I love God and my family not to get something from them but out of gratitude for what they've already given.

I'll be keeping that sticky note on the canister on my counter for, oh, forever. 

To remind me of how much my family loves me and how much God loves me.

And to remind me of how to love them. 

*  *  *  *  *  *  *

Have you been on the receiving end of some mercy or grace lately? I'd love to hear about it.

45 comments:

  1. Ohh so sweet! I'm reading between the lines here and have to say while you feel that you were acting unlovable in that moment what you are teaching all the other moments is some really good stuff!! Stopping over from Reflect.

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    1. Aw, thanks, Winter, for the benefit of the doubt! I hope what you very kindly say is true. :) Thanks so much for stopping by...I just had a lovely visit at your site!

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  2. I love the twist that I thought I was going to read about being treated unfairly but in fact it was all about the grace God gives us and grace from our children. My children do the same for me. I will be mad and one of them will slip me a note with a picture of us both holding hands with butterflies and rainbows. God's love is so much like that. Loved this!

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    1. Thank you so much, Valerie! I LOVE your comment about the holding-hands/butterflies/rainbows note. That is beyond precious. Thanks so much for taking a chance on my "whiny" title and stopping by anyway. ;)

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  3. How refreshing that your children could see your need, and chose to act upon it! I love it when the Lord uses my children to remind me of a valuable lesson. No, we don't deserve the grace He has for us, and we don't deserve the grace our family gives us. This is what the love of the Lord does for us, it gives us an opportunity to be on the receiving end of grace daily, and to share it out of gratitude of that grace. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. So beautifully expressed, Caroline! YOU should have written this post! :) Thank you for sharing your lovely words and for taking time to stop by.

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  4. Glad someone else goes off the deep end at times. This makes me feel so much better! I've been known to "react" instead of, well, what the experts say we should do. It is a good thing that grace is evident in my family's heart, they would have ditched me a long time ago! AND God, well, He is use to me coming and asking forgiveness A LOT!

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    1. Well, Michelle, if knowing that another mom goes off the deep end at times makes you feel better, you should feel like a million bucks, because I spend quite a bit of time in the deep end. My family puts up with me because I make killer chocolate chip cookies. ;) It sounds like we are both recipients of amazing grace...thanks be to God! And thank you for taking time to stop by and leave your honest and entertaining comments...it is always a blessings to me to hear from you!

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  5. I just love this, Elizabeth--it's a message I really needed to hear right now! (And as I've thought so many times while reading your blog, what fantastic girls you have :)

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    1. Jen, my friend, encourager, and gift, thank you. Your words mean more to me than I can express at 6:35 a.m. I think I needed to write this post "for the record." I have been on the receiving end of my girls' grace again and again...and now, when they are full-on into t(w)eenhood with all that brings (among other things, A Boyfriend for my almost 17-year-old!), I need to give what I've gotten. That sticky note is still there, reminding me. Grace and mercy to you today! ;)

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  6. Wonderful post! I was also surprised at the twist from the title. I love it! I get the exact same way when I am overwhelmed here. Hopefully the next time I feel that way, I will remember this post and pause.

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    1. Jamie, thank you so much...you are such an encouragement to me! And hopefully, the next time I am overwhelmed, I will remember this post, too! :) Practicing what we preach and all that...;) Thank you for taking time to drop in today, busy mama!

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  7. You are an incredible MOM! What a sweet note and right when you needed it. God knows our hearts and when we need a lil extra grace and love! <3

    ps.com your comment came in as a no reply blogger this morning so I couldn't respond to it in email. Glad my pushup tutorial could help you, GREAT WORK doing them! I love the idea of pushups and praying :)!

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    1. Thanks, Pinky! :) Yes...who knows what we need and when we need it? God knows! And He even sends push-up tutors via link parties just when we need them. ;) I love that whole story line! Thanks for stopping by!

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  8. Um....yes friend...I do believe we definitely MAY have been separated at birth!! So thankful that my family is so good at giving grace when I head off on one of my irrational tangents. Glad to find you!

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    1. Heehee, Oh Queen! Is it possible I am not, in fact, the only mom whose family is acquainted with her "irrational tangents"? NOT that it makes it okay, but it is nice to have company here once in a while! ;) Thanks so much for making your way to my little dot in the blogsphere...I love your site, and not just because I "me, too!" most of what you write there!

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  9. Out of the mouth of babes, right? I love how God uses our kiddos to show us more about Him.

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    1. Oh, yes, Shannon. God has taken me places as a mom I can't image going any other way. Thank you for stopping by...I appreciate you so much!

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  10. It is such a blessing when our children are the ones to lift us up. Once, my husband and I were in a heated disagreement about something (which I don't even remember now) and he said something a bit hurtful from the other room and as I turned to react, my teen daughter whispered from behind me, "Be the first to the cross, Mom!" That stopped me in my tracks! How could I react in pride when my daughter was reminding me to humble myself before the cross?

    It sounds like you are raising some uplifting, Christ-honoring daughters who speak truth and life to you as well.

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    1. Wow! "Be the first to the cross"? What a moment! That is (or was, depending on how long ago this took place) some wise and amazing daughter you've got there (ONE of them, I know ;) ). Thanks so much for taking time to stop by, Cheryl!

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  11. "Chocolate for medicinal purposes"--LOVE!! And this post is full of so much truth. My hubby and children are often one of the best earthly illustrators of grace, love, and mercy in action (and let's be honest, we often are for them as well ;-) ). It is always amazing to me how God set up the parenting/family/marriage relationships to illustrate how He feels about and interacts with us.

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    1. Haha, Carrie...written like a true (fellow) chocolate lover! ;) Thank you so much for your kind and lovely words. Meeting you was one of today's great blessings.I look forward to following your Momma Minutes from now on!

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    2. I am also very glad to have met you and discover your blog! I love your sense of humor--we express humor similarly. Must be the chocolate ;-) {and I totally wish I had known SAG existed in high school . . . totally would have joined lol!}

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  12. Such a great post! I love the reminder that God loves us. And, your note is a keeper! Thanks for sharing! It is a great way to start the day.

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    1. Thank you, Debbie! And yes, that note is still around...I was just looking at it this morning. ;) Thank you for taking time to stop by...grace and mercy to you today!

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  13. Grace has definitely a topic that keeps coming up lately! Enjoyed your story.

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    1. Thank you, Sheryl! I look forward to keeping up with you through Cherished magazine, of which I'm a follower! :)

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  14. The CROSS ... we must run back there constantly! You said it so well! I hope you'll come link up on Mondays @ Soul Survival. Blessings!

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    1. Yes, the wonderful, terrible cross, Donna. Thank you so much for visiting...I look forward to linking up at Soul Survival!

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  15. Awwww. What precious girls you have. The ways the Lord works through the little things to bring us reminders of His grace is incredible and often brings me to tears.
    Thank you for sharing this with us!
    ~Haley

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    1. Aw, thanks, Haley...you sound like a precious girl yourself. :) I'm so glad to be a "friend" of the Long Ladies!

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  16. Such sweet little lady's you have! Children are so forgiving and full of grace aren't they? I love your honesty as well, we all have our days or our moments.

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    1. Anastasia, you are so right (thank goodness): our children do model forgiveness and grace to us! And I'm glad my brutal honesty could encourage another mom..that, really, is what I'm here for. Thank you for taking time to stop by!

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  17. I could have written every word of your second paragraph. Every single word! Thanks for the perspective.
    #SHINEbloghop

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    1. Jenny, I'm both sorry for and encouraged by your comment! ;) Sorry another mom was in a similar state to mine, but encouraged I'm not the only one! I really very nearly thought I was. Thank you for sharing honestly with me, and may we both receive the grace and mercy offered to us...and then pour it back out onto those we love. Thanks so much for taking time to stop by from #SHINEbloghop. P.S. Your blog is hilarious. :)

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  18. Great blog. I needed to be reminded today that I'm loved. Feeling a little sorry for myself this morning. Those pity parties such you in don't they? Thank you.

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    1. Oh my, Debbie, you are so right: those pity parties DO suck us in. I've actually been having one myself a little today. Thank YOU for righting my course with your encouraging and thoughtful words. I'm so grateful you stopped by!

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  19. Wonderfully thought-provoking post. Thanx.

    God bless.

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    1. Thank YOU for your kind words! May God bless you back!

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  20. So good! I'm featuring you tomorrow on Women With Intention Wednesdays! Thanks for linking up and I look forward to what you'll share this week! :)

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    1. Oh my goodness, Jenny! Thank you so much. I am humbled and honored! Thank you for letting me know and for hosting Women With Intention Wednesdays...see you tomorrow! :)

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  21. What a lovely post, Elizabeth! I can SO relate. Thanks for sharing this. And chocolate is DEFINITELY medicinal.

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    1. Thank you so much, Erica! I greatly appreciate you taking time to stop by! And it's always nice to meet someone else who holds chocolate in proper regard. ;) Blessings on you, and Happy 25th Anniversary (on Valentine's Day, no less!) to you and your husband. How beautiful is that?

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  22. I love this post. Thanks for sharing it in the Faithful Bloggers FB group. I tear up just reading about these moments. And am so glad God lets us have them to remind us of His unconditional love... and that others love us, too!

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    1. Thank you, Melinda! I am so grateful to have "met" you via Faithful Bloggers on FB. I LOVE what you're doing on your blog. Thank you so much for stopping by mine today.

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I'd love to hear from you! Feel free to tell me what you really think. Years ago, I explained to my then-two-year that my appointment with a counselor was "sort of like going to a doctor who will help me be a better mommy." Without blinking, she replied, "You'd better go every day." All of which is just to say I've spent some time in the school of brutal honesty!