God Doesn’t Need Us

egg-944495__480

This morning Bella’s Transitional Kindergarten class delivered the chapel message for the lower school at The First Academy. Dressed in chef hats and aprons, Bella and her class acted out a skit that explained our part in God’s kingdom. The Master Chef—a boy named Kipton—played  the role of God. He asked all the other bakers to join with him in baking a cake.

Another student stepped forward, “But you don’t need us to bake the cake, You’re the Creator of the Universe You can do it all by yourself.”

“God” explained, “I don’t need you, but I want you to partner with me.” (that was the message—not exact wordage.) They each added an ingredient to the cake as God called them out.

“Who has the sugar?” God said. The girl with the sugar walked over and shook it into the bowl.

“Who has my butter?” Another student put her butter in the bowl. (Hmm…don’t skimp now)

“Who has my salt?” The boy with the salt, shook, shook, shook, and shook his salt into the bowl. (Over kill…Yuck!)

They mixed it all together and popped it into the Master oven.

cake-2610754_1280

It was a brilliant way to illustrate our part in the work God gives us to do. It made me realize how we have a tendency to get it wrong. We can believe the lie God needs me. He needs my money, time, energy, talents, and knowledge, in order to help someone or reach people for Jesus Christ; but here’s the kicker…

He doesn’t.

He doesn’t need us at all. Think about it…the God who spoke the universe into existence needs little me? I’m a nobody.

Case in point, take the wisemen for example. They didn’t have anyone to share the news of Jesus’ birth. God plopped a star in the sky to lead them to Him. He wooed them by piquing their curiosity. Don’t you love that?

And God woos us too.

So, we should never believe God needs us. Satan uses that lie to trap us into pride, anxiety, fear, and exhaustion.

Here’s truth…

He wants us.  Now, isn’t that better?

And doesn’t that make you want to use your money, time, energy, talents, and knowledge for His glory?  He wants us to be willing to join with Him in the work He’s already prepared for us to do.
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 English Standard Version.

coffee-3200073_1280

Bella and I snuggled on the sofa last night to watch Cinderella. In the movie, Cinderella’s nasty stepmom gets rid of all the house help, and forces Cinderella to keep things in order. That is the true picture of a God who needs us to work for Him. We would be unloved, uncared for, and treated like a slave. Instead, we are His children, whom He loves and adores, and wants to work side by side with us in growing His kingdom.

So wipe that ash off your face Cinderella because you’re not a slave, instead you’re an adored child of the King.

background-21751__480

As men line up like cattle buying their last minute, heart-shaped box of chocolates (you poor fellas… the pressure of it all), I hope that we take time to remember the God who wants to bake a cake with us. Let’s remember Who invented love to begin with. The Creator who can fill us with more joy than an expensive heart-shaped box of dark chocolates. (Don’t give me the cheap stuff hon.)

And just in case after reading all that, you’re still not feeling loved today. Here’s a love message from God Himself.

love-699480_1280

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 New International Version.

“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.   For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, “nor heavenly rulers” neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:37-39 NIV

The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you but will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17 NIV

Though the mountains be shaken, and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you.” Isaiah 54:10 NIV

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Perfection Obsession

I threw the broken seashells behind me and placed the perfect into my pail. My toddler, Bella followed behind selecting her own shells. The water swirled around our legs. I kept glancing back to insure she wasn’t swept away by the undertow. Later that evening, I returned to the beach to clean up, and peered into our pails. My bucket was a quarter-filled with the perfect shells, hers overflowed with all the broken I’d discarded. Immediately, I felt the familiar nudge when God wants me to see beyond what is physically there.

DSC_0126

            I have a tendency to wade in the waters of perfection-obsession. Perfectionism can be debilitating to a writer… an artist… an older Momma, filling me to the brim with the “not enough” syndrome. My writing doesn’t grab the attention enough, my paintings aren’t riveting enough, as a mother of a toddler I’m not young enough. Perfectionism’s return is always void, always costing me an empty bucket of unfulfilled hopes.

            That night on the beach, I dumped my shells and slipped a couple of Bella’s shards into my jean pocket.

            Bella is a lover of the broken, the imperfect. I am thankful.

            When we snuggle in the chair at night, she raises her brows, and tells me to do the same. She traces the lines on my forehead with her little finger and tells me she has lines too. For now, rooted in innocence, she sees my lines as beautiful, and I am grateful.

            I’ve worried about my Bella, thought about the unfairness of it all, being stuck with the older version of Momma. The one bearing sags of four pregnancies, diminished eyesight, and with three other children- an over-filled calendar. The Momma with lines around her eyes left from a life of laughter, sprinkled on occasion by the heaviest of clouds.

IMG_3334

            Bella watches me put on makeup. “Mommy you’re pretty,” she says. I smile, the lines appear in the mirror, trying to taunt me, but I remind myself they are evidence of a life well lived. I am living proof a bucket filled with broken pieces produce blessings in a lifetime. The crooked legs I was born with, still want to dance.  A creative mind that daydreamed in school, now creates paintings and characters.  A once naive and trusting spirit brings laughter to the joyless.  A broken heart that feared commitment, still leaps at the sight of my husband.  A memory that couldn’t retain history dates, remembers life’s tiniest details. A weak faith has endured testing and strengthened. A girl who wanted to take on the injustices of the world now shows mercy to those around her. A twenty-something’s unwise choices has produced wisdom. It is the broken pieces about us that can produce full buckets of God’s glory.

IMG_0732

            Occasionally, we need reminding, God loves us no matter. Just like Bella, walking along the shoreline picking up the pieces I’d discarded, Jesus walked this earth and picked up the broken, washed up, and rejected. His final act of love for a broken world was to break Himself on the cross and rise from the tomb, leading me to my ultimate blessing… I have a Savior who’s perfect, so I don’t have to be.

IMG_2785

            Are you chasing perfection? Chasing the lie? Do you spend more time worrying over the sags, bags, cracks, and lacks? Do you work harder to impress the world or to please God? Do you compare yourselves to others on social media? Don’t sap the joy out of your life with perfection-obsession.God loves those broken, tired, wrinkled, and baggy parts, my friend. Nestle into His grace, and while you’re at it, spend a little time this summer picking up the broken seashells.