I woke up this morning with a hacking cough, aching all over. This could be the flu, although I had the flu shot, and it really doesn't feel quite that horrible. It could be allergies, because we live in Texas, where the cedars inexplicably bloom in winter. Most likely, though, I think I can blame pure exhaustion and the Super Bowl.
My kids have always wanted to host their youth group Super Bowl party, and this was our year. So there were football shaped sugar cookies and red velvet cupcakes and veggie trays and seven layer dip and chicken-bacon wraps. Amounting to about 12 hours of work over the weekend, now that I come to think about it. (And the roasting pans are still soaking. Curse you, Paula Deen.)
I did this for one reason only: I love my children. They wanted this. I love seeing them happy, and I wanted to do it.
And last night, in the middle of giving to my kids just because I love them, I heard God saying to me, "Do you get it? Do you see? Let me do this for you, too."
I really, truly believe in my head that God wants to give to me. He loves me. He knows what gives me joy. He gives to me just because He loves me. I believe he loves for me to be at peace, to experience joy and happiness.
I really, truly believe that that is true. And yet it feels kind of funky when I say it.
It's easy for me to understand that if I receive from God, then go out and help somebody else, then that's good. Or if I am in a terrible trial and I praise God anyway, that's good. Clearly those things glorify God.
But what if I also learn to simply receive good gifts from God, and what if God is glorified in the joy and happiness that I feel? What if that isn't selfish? What if that's good? What if that's exactly what God means when He gives to me?
I would be extremely disturbed if my kids went to school this morning thinking, "I ate 4 cupcakes, 3 cookies, 10 chicken wraps, and drank 2 Dr. Peppers. How selfish. I wonder what I need to do to make up for all that. "
Instead, I will be thrilled if the experience of happiness can empower them to face whatever comes their way this week. I will be thrilled if the experience of receiving can embolden them to ask me for what they want and need, and confidently expect that I care.
God, let me get it. Let me see the things you do for love of me.