How Deep The Father’s Love For Us…

How deep the Father’s love for us,
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure

How great the pain of searing loss,
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the chosen One,
Bring many sons to glory

Behold the Man upon a cross,
My sin upon His shoulders
Ashamed I hear my mocking voice,
Call out among the scoffers

It was my sin that left Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished

I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection

Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom

I feel like I should sing myself this song every time that Ella frustrates me… though it doesn’t cross my mind at that moment.  I know, I know, “I’m a good mom”, “I’m doing my best”, etc… But if we’re honest – sometimes we’re not.

Sometimes we just want our kids to be quiet, behave, and let us do what we’re trying to do.

Growing up, I dreamed of being a mother.  I knew I’d rock at it because I adored kids and babysitting was so easy-peasy.  I even worked in childcare for several years – working my way up to being an assistant director in a pre-school setting. 

So why on earth is being a mother so difficult? 

Where is my creativity when it is time to decorate a turkey feather?  (Seriously – we did this tonight because it is DUE tomorrow and I’d forgotten.  I even allowed her to use – gasp – GLITTER)

Where is my excitement for I-Spy?  (Seriously – that is the worst game ever on 295 and we are forever on 295)

Where is my sense of “Who cares that all the puzzle pieces are on the floor?  Let’s play a game to find them!”  Just kidding – that chick has NEVER existed.  I hate puzzles.  I hate losing pieces or having to find pieces.  I had stepping on the pieces that have the little red knobs that make it easier for a kid to pick up the piece.

I really do love my kids, but some days I honestly do feel like running away.  Not that I would, because I’d never let their little lives leave my control.  I barely trust Jeff to watch them and do things “my way”… GREAT story on that…

A few weeks ago, Jeff and I had made plans with another couple to double date.  It didn’t work out with their sitter, but we kept Katie lined up and decided to go out to dinner ourselves.  When we got home, Katie had WONDERFULLY gotten both kids ready for bed.  I said, “Where did you find those pajamas for Joe?  I didn’t even know we had those?”They were in a drawer… who cares?  When she left, Jeff said, “So those are the wrong pajamas, right?”
They were.  But not because of any valid reason.  I really had forgotten that they existed and probably would never have found them.  Katie did a wonderful job, but I always have this odd tone to things I don’t expect with my kids. 
(I’m sorry if I offended you that night, Katie)

I bet there are lots of times when God looks down at us and sees our rebellion and our scrunched up “I don’t want to obey you” facial expressions; our disobedience and our choosing things for ourselves (his children) that he wouldn’t choose for us.  And yet – HOW DEEP THE FATHER’S LOVE FOR US…

I can’t count for you the number of times my father has referenced God’s love for us and sacrificing Jesus in his sermons… how often he’s looked a parent sitting in the congregation and asked if they would sacrifice their child for the people around them – or for a stranger.  I’ve even heard those references since becoming a parent and let me tell you – NOT A CHANCE would I allow my kids to go through what Jesus did.  And yet – HOW DEEP THE FATHER’S LOVE FOR US…

My youth minister from middle school sang this song on his CD.  I got our praise team at United to listen to it, and we added it to our list of songs we used.  Every time I have ever sung these words, I have been moved…so deeply.

“Behold the man upon the cross, my sin upon his shoulder; Ashamed I hear my searing voice call out among the scoffers”
How often do we hear someone say (or perhaps we’ve said it ourselves) that if we’d lived back then, we wouldn’t have yelled “CRUCIFY HIM!”  Yet I guarantee we would – Peter denied him, John ran and hid – and they were the big dogs.

I am totally unworthy of God’s grace.  And yet, I am his child and HOW DEEP THE FATHER’S LOVE FOR ME.
HOW DEEP THE FATHER’S LOVE FOR YOU.  HOW DEEP THE FATHER’S LOVE FOR ELLA.  HOW DEEP THE FATHER’S LOVE FOR JOE.
How deep MY love for Ella…  How deep MY love for Joe…
My love can’t compare to God’s, but I can try harder.  I can pray that God brings this tune to my brain every moment I am tempted to yell, to shame, to hurt with words.

This past Monday, the Bible Study that I am a part of started Priscilla Shirer’s study on Gideon.  In our first video from her she talked about her shortcomings in doing Bible Study with her children.  It was funny when she told the solution, but I am seriously going to take it to heart.  She said that before her children left the confines of her van to face the day she prayed over them.
Here is a quote from her blog (dated Oct 30, 2011):

You are a man of integrity and character. You will love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul and all your strength. You will be a blessing to your teachers and a blessing to your friends. You are the head and not the tail. You are above and not beneath. You are a leader and not a follower.

Normally, I say only a few more things before sending them out the door, backpacks securely in place, to school.

You are the temple of the Holy Spirit.

You are a man of valor.

You have the whole armour of God so that you can stand against the schemes of the devil.

You will bless the Lord at all times and His praises shall continually be in your mouth.

Oh, that I can pray this prayer over my children every day… but I want to add “HOW DEEP IS GOD’S LOVE FOR YOU, CHILD” and then hope that it all sinks in…

P.S.  Here’s a video of the song… it isn’t Scot singing, but it is close: http://youtu.be/CYV7hpD9JTI

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