Sunday, July 19, 2015

Dear Mr. Trump (on Faith and Forgiveness)

Dear Mr. Trump,

Allow me to begin by introducing myself: I am Molly, a 35 year old mother of three with a background in finance, theology, and non-profit. I, like much of red America, like dogs, bacon, my SUV, red wine, and toasted marshmallows dipped in Irish cream.

I was quite interested to follow your little dust-up this weekend at the Family Leadership Summit, and that is what I'd like to talk to you about right now. I realize that the odds of you reading this are probably even lower than the odds of me voting for you (if that were possible), but I write anyway, because that is what bloggers do.

I also write because there is something great at stake. Not America, silly, although I, too, would like to see America be great again. I'm talking about your soul.

What went through your mind on Saturday morning when Mr. Luntz asked you if you had ever asked God for forgiveness? Did you consider lying to him, knowing that's what this Christian audience would want to hear? I find it truly remarkable that you did not say a simple, "yes." I wonder if that's because you have considered what that "yes" would cost you and you don't want to touch it with a ten-foot pole?

I don't mean to talk down to you, but I considered that "yes" this morning as I had to discipline my two year old for disobedience. After discipline, I asked her to apologize, and she refused. I persisted, not because it makes me feel good to hear her say "I'm sorry," but because of what that "I'm sorry" means for her heart. I asked her if she was afraid to say "I'm sorry," if it would somehow damage her sense of self or her well-being. Even at two, she gets how vulnerable "I'm sorry" makes you. Some might call it pride and leave it at that (there's a lot of that, too), but I've actually thought about this a lot. I understand that it's deeply unnerving to admit to having been wrong, to verbalize it, because it hints at cracks at the very foundation of your being. If I lose this, who am I, and what will I have left?

I took my little girl's peachy-soft, squeezy cheeks in my hands, I held her face to look in my eyes, and I pleaded with her to understand, first of all, her need for forgiveness, and secondly, the freedom that comes therein. The freedom of knowing that you are loved irrevocably, that your identity is sealed unshakably, that no matter what you do wrong, and however many times, it doesn't change God's -- or this family's -- love for you.

Mr. Trump, I can't take your cheeks in my hands, and it would be awfully creepy if I did, but let me do it metaphorically: asking God to forgive you may feel like it costs you so much ... too much. But, what good will it do for you if you gain the whole world (to which you sometimes seem very close) but lose your soul?

I find it telling that, when asked about your faith, you responded, "I own many of the most beautiful buildings in the world." You are a true American, Mr. Trump, but I don't mean that in a complimentary sense this time. I mean that you have substituted faith in yourself, in your bootstraps, for faith in your Maker. I just heard in church Sunday morning how God feels about tall buildings, and I'll give you a hint: he's not super impressed, especially when they are a means for people to believe that they no longer have need for God.

In case you're not sure what I'm talking about, I'm referring to the tower of Babel, where God confused the ambitious builders' languages and foiled their plans. In this judgment also came mercy. If we are convinced that we don't need God, do we then really not need him? Or are we simply comfortably deceived, for God has given us the grave judgment of leaving us to our own devices, a truly hopeless condition given the God-sized chasm between mankind and the Almighty. Mr. Trump, you may have the best architects in the world, but they cannot build for you that bridge.

Jesus is on record as saying that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God. You are a very rich man, as we all know, but that does not mean that the Kingdom of God is out of reach for you. The very next thing that Jesus said is, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."

Mr. Trump, your antics this past weekend may have cost you the race, but you have so much more to gain. Today, if you hear His voice, let Mr. Luntz's questions about faith and forgiveness be a wake-up call to you. Today can be a day of salvation.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Every Hour I Need Thee


I've been on vacation this week - just me and JR and the perfect child* (*needless to say, I say this tongue in cheek) in a resort where I have nary a care in the world. So few cares and responsibilities, I almost (almost) don't know what to so with myself (there is a beach and Downton Abbey season 5 on Amazon, so I've managed).

We are at a conference for JR's work, and at this morning's worship session, we sang, "I need you, oh, I need you" to the Lord and the thought struck me that I haven't felt nearly so desperate for a Savior this week, not to mention "every hour."

I've been well-rested. I haven't sighed as I broke up another fight or cleaned up another spill or calmed another over-tired overreaction. I haven't cooked. I haven't cleaned. I didn't miss any flights or have delays. People have been uniformly kind and polite to me and, in short, I have had no external triggers for sinful responses.

Yet the battle still wages for my soul, a battle of self-sufficiency, of pride, of complacency ... Of forgetting that I depend on God for life and breath and everything else.

In my normal life, I don't love every moment of struggling to get through to the next. I'm so grateful for two sets of grandparents who are giving us a full week of respite while the kiddos remain in the most excellent of care. But I have a renewed perspective on my difficult parenting moments, and it's that my two short sinners cause me to cast myself into the arms of my Savior on a much more regular basis than I would otherwise.

I need them to point me to Jesus, whether they know it or not. They need me to point them to Jesus. Our never ending mission in life is to stand hand-in-hand at the foot of cross. We'll plunge back into life on Sunday morning singing together with renewed vigor, "I need thee, oh I need thee / every hour I need thee. Oh bless me now my Savior, I come to thee."

Monday, June 29, 2015

He Restores My Soul

from CCEF's book Heart of the Matter, David Powlison on Psalm 23 (November 16, which is taken from a booklet called I'm Exhausted.)

More than any other passage, Psalm 23 brought Jesus to life for me in my struggles with fatigue. The psalm is full of promises - he provides, he restores my soul, he is with me, his goodness and mercy pursue me all of my days. Make this psalm your own. Jesus, your good Shepherd, will fill you with confidence. God doesn't meet us the way we want, but he does restore us. No matter what you are facing, you have a Shepherd who is with you, restoring you, and bringing good things -- himself -- into your life. Learn to trust him, and you truly have something worth living and dying for.

Powlison has written quite a lot on Psalm 23, and it's all brilliant. I aspire to make this psalm a dear old friend like that, rather than just a celebrity that everybody knows about but that we don't actually really know.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Undeserving

Sometimes I have to work hard to be thankful, and sometimes it just washes over me in waves.

One of the "waves" times is at night, when I check in my children as they are sleeping. Even if it has been a hard day, those sweet, beautiful, peaceful faces stop my heart briefly and I am overcome with gratitude for their lives and that those lives intersect so closely with mine.

This thankful reverence usually brings with it a healthy dose of fear, as I remember what a great responsibility it is to be caring for, shepherding, these souls. These fully human souls (in tiny bodies) that have just as strong of desires and ambitions, and eternity of destinies, as my own. It's not as though God looked at me and said, "She's up for this task!" In fact, God continually looks upon me and says, "You are not up for the task, but I love you so much I will grant you -- totally undeserving you -- the joy of caring for these small lives while giving grace upon grace to make up for your insufficiencies."

In the best possible way, joy, thankfulness, dependence, and supplication mingle together and overflow from my heart in prayer. This must be how the psalms were written.

"Incline your ear, O Lord, and answer me,
    for I am poor and needy.
Preserve my life, for I am godly;
    save your servant, who trusts in you—you are my God.
Be gracious to me, O Lord,
    for to you do I cry all the day.
Gladden the soul of your servant,
    for to you, O Lord, do I lift up my soul.
For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving,
    abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you.
Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer;
    listen to my plea for grace."

Psalm 86:1-6

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Now, faith

Hebrews 11:1 - "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen."

Today I was edgy with anxiety, and it wasn't until I realized that my anxiety stemmed from faith in a false god that the edge wore off and I could repent and proceed with my day. By this I mean that I was anxious that there wouldn't be enough of something about which God has said, "Don't count on this to make you happy and secure." Of things like this, there can never be enough to satisfy: money, power, affection, obedient kids, health, relationships, cars that don't break, houses that don't leak.

The recent death of Elisabeth Elliot and the subsequent spotlight on her life are a powerful reminder that our only hope must be in Christ, and our only guarantee is that He will be faithful no matter what trials life in this fallen world may bring.

In other words: death, taxes ... and Jesus. Oh, sweet Jesus. May the trials of earth grow strangely dim in the light of his glory and grace. (Don't worry if this is mostly aspirational; God promises to complete the work he has begun in you, including the changing of our affections.)

Which brings me to Hebrews 11:1. There are many things we hope for in this life, but the stuff of faith involves trusting God that though we do not see him, though we do not necessarily see the earthly fulfillment of his promises, though we do not see the underside of the quilt in how he is working all things for our good and his glory, we rest confidently knowing that what is truly important, what is truly best, is irrevocably, inevitably, and eternally ours in Christ.

Now, what was it that I was so anxious about this morning?

Monday, June 15, 2015

Impossible

What, in your daily practices, do you think pleases God? I am applying this to myself in parenting, but go ahead and extrapolate into your own life circumstances. No, really, stop and think about it; I'll wait.

...

At first blush, I want to ask you if you think clean clothes folded and put into dressers, an empty sink, and bathed kids do ... but that's too easy of a target.

Going  a little deeper, maybe you secretly think that it's well-fed, well-behaved, well-scheduled kids? That surely pleases me.

Or maybe you recognize that what's more important is what's going on in your relationship -- that you didn't snap at the kids today (or apologized when you did), that you gently and patiently corrected them, that you knelt down and looked them in the eyes as you listened to them and spent quality time with them, that they are happy and secure.

What if I told you that it's all of this, and it's none of this?
Without faith, it is impossible to please God.
Jesus talks in Matthew 19 about the kind of life that tries to please God apart from faith. He's specifically talking about the sense of self-sufficiency that money brings; but, really, any sort of self-sufficient, bootstrap mentality is equally guilty: "Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God." That's the bad news. The good news is this: "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."
 Without faith, it is impossible to please God.
Faith in what? Faith that your worst mothering moments are never so bad that God cannot (or will not) forgive and redeem. Faith that your best mothering moments are never good enough to please a God so holy that he only accepts absolute perfection in thought and deed. Faith -- reliance, resting -- in a perfect Christ who died for you at your best and for you at your worst. Faith that Christ pleases God and because you are united to him (by faith), you cannot help but please God.

Now, this leaves us here in our quest to please God: "The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love." Love like you have been forgiven, love like you have been redeemed -- and believe (have faith) that, indeed, you have.

Monday, June 08, 2015

Cue the Spiritual Analogy

I was lecturing my son on the way home from a birthday party last night and when I got to the zenith of my pontification and paused mid-breath, my sweet husband interjected: "Cue the spiritual analogy!"

Why, yes!

You see, at this party, there was a fantastic inflatable water slide / splash pool / bounce house, and it was teeming with happy kids when we got there. My little boy wanted to do it, but fear or pride held him back. I know him, and I knew how much fun he would have, and so I asked him to trust me and get in. When that didn't work, I forced him to put on his swimming suit (cue tears in the bathroom) and I not-so-gently coaxed him to give it a shot. It took mere seconds for tears to evaporate into laughter.

I waited for the "I told you so" moment until we were in the car, although I hinted at it several times previously.

You guys, I love being right.

More than that, though, I love to see my son be filled with joy, laughter spilling out of every fiber of his being. I love to see this so much that I will force his swimming suit on through tears, and I will throw him down a water slide despite great protestations and more tears.

And, cue the spiritual analogy.... You see it, right?

While I did the dishes tonight, I listened to Psalm 90 (aside: did you know that you can listen to Max McLean read the ESV at biblegateway.com? It wasn't that long ago that I was super cutting edge because so had the whole Bible on CD, filling up a big binder with CDs). Verse 14: "Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days."

This is not the only verse in the Bible about filling us up with joy in Christ; you can't flip a page in the Psalms without seeing something about joy or satisfaction, hungering and thirsting for God, just because being near him is the most satisfying and delightful thing we could do. God knows this better than anybody else, and he is not content to let us stand on the side of the waterslide in our street clothes. He loves us so much that he's going to do what it takes to get our swimming suits on and to get us down that slide, even if it takes an unceremonious dumping to get us started.

Friends, don't miss out: put on your own swimsuit and jump in. I recommend Psalm 90 or maybe Psalm 63 for getting your toes wet.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Laden with Guilt and Full of Fears

It's hard to fall asleep when, just before bedtime, you read of the sudden and tragic death of a five year old boy just a few miles from the home where your own boy of similar age and stature rests. I didn't know him, but it doesn't take a whole lot of imagination for me to wonder if his mom woke up this morning (if she slept last night), suddenly remembered, and then wondered how she was going to keep breathing today. (Oh Lord, I don't even know what this looks like, but please show your mercy to them today.)

This world is full of flukes and outliers that can make even tame-ol' Billings, MT feel like a dangerous place to live. Just yesterday on Facebook, I saw news that a baby had died sleeping in a swing much like the one that currently sits 8 feet from me. Danger lurks in both the obvious and the innocent, and this realization brings with it crushing fear.

Layer upon this fear my guilt. You guys, I am a yeller. I say this despite my own disbelief and the shock that accompanies each time I yell at my kids. I don't believe it until, once again, I've snapped. The kids are bouyant, yadda yadda yadda; but this is not how I want to be, and it grieves me that this has become part of my parenting repertoire.

I bait my husband when I tell him I feel like this because I want him to assure me that I am a good mother, and he complies; but the guilt remains.

What can wash away my sins? Certainly not the love of my husband. What can make me whole again, free from my fear? Not all the jealous love and safeguards I can muster.

It's hard to sleep well with these burdens on my back. Last night, Scotty Smith tweeted, "The Gospel is true; sleep well."

"Nothing but the love of Jesus." If this is really true, how does it work? How does the Gospel lay me down to sleep? It works through a lifetime of choosing to believe, of mindfully rejecting lies that say anything will keep me or my kids safe or happy apart from the love of Christ, of repenting of my unbelief and saying, "Oh Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!"

The Gospel tells me -- and the cross proves to me -- that God's wisdom is higher than mine and his love combined with his wisdom always do what is best. The Gospel tells me that my children are not my highest good, and I am not theirs. I am very much tempted regularly to believe the former, and I am very much convinced much of the time of the latter; but neither of those are actually good for me or my children. I find my sense of significance in how well I am parenting, Pinteresting, and providing; and I find my security in my children's safety, comfort, and health. Contra all of this, all that we need is Jesus. Freedom from guilt and fear will come in increasing measure the more we believe this.

In this world of so many options, we have occasion to try out many fountains for a taste of true life. But there is only one fount whose flow is so precious as to save. "No other fount I know / Nothing but the blood of Jesus."

(PS - The title of this post is from Indelible Grace's song of the same title; what I find remarkable in re-listening to the song is the emphasis on Scripture. "Laden with guilt and full of fears / I fly to Thee, my Lord / And not a glimpse of hope appears / But in Thy written Word / The volumes of my Father's grace / Does all my griefs assuage / Here I behold my Savior’s face / In every page." Tolle lege.)


Sunday, May 24, 2015

Hollandaise

A few hours ago, I posted a somewhat snarky update on Facebook, that we were celebrating Pentecost by eating Hollandaise sauce, that glorious French concoction that makes me really glad (among other reasons) that God has been working throughout history to redeem what went wrong at the Tower of Babel.

It was snarky, but it was also true. And, thinking of Hollandaise always reminds me of a favorite passage in my favorite book:
Food these days is often identified as the enemy. Butter, salt, sugar, eggs are all out to get you. And yet at our best we know better. Butter is ... well, butter: it glorifies almost everything it touches. Salt is the sovereign perfecter of all flavors. Eggs are, pure and simple, one of the wonders of the world. And if you put them all together, you get not sudden death, but Hollandaise - which in its own way is not one bit less a marvel than the Gothic arch, the computer chip, or a Bach fugue.

In case you've missed me waxing eloquent about this book before (it's been a few months), that was from the preface to the second edition of The Supper of the Lamb by Robert Farrar Capon (p xxvii, to be exact).

You know what I love most about this book? It's the fact that he can simultaneously make me long both for heaven and for earth, to whet my appetites for both more, because both are part and parcel of an appetite that can only be satisfied by the glory of God.

The rest of that quote:
If this book has any claim to make, therefore, it is that food is precisely an epiphany of the greatness of our nature -- or, to use the most accurate theological word of all, it is a sacrament, a real presence of the gorgeous mystery of our being. People have responded to The Supper of the Lamb, I think, because after all the modern reductionism about food ("Food is only a necessity," "Food is nothing but nourishment"), it gave them solid reasons for glorying in the truth they had suspected all along; namely, that food was life, and that life was good...
Food, like all other triumphs of human nature, is evidence of civilization - of that priestly gift by which we lift the whole world into the exchanges of the Ultimate City which even God himself longs to see it become.

...We are not simply the users of creation; we are, all of us, called to be its offerers. The world will be lifted, as it was always meant to be, by our priestly love. We can, you see, take it with us. It will precisely because we loved this Old Jerusalem of a world enough to bear it in our bones that its textures will ascend when we rise; it will be because our eyes have relished the earth that the colors of its countries will compel our hearts forever. The bread and pastry, the cheeses, the wines, and the songs go into the Supper of the Lamb because we do: it is our love that brings the City home.

I am reminded of the old hymn, "Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus" and the line, "and the things of earth will grow strangely dim / in the light of his glory and grace..." I know what the song is trying to say, but you know what's remarkable about seeing things "in the light of his glory and grace"? Everything on earth doesn't grow dim; it comes into sharper focus.

Pain comes into sharper focus because it reminds us of the seriousness of sin.

Joy comes into sharper focus because it points us to the Giver and the greatest of all joys.

Life comes into sharper focus because there is meaning to every moment, large and small. There is movement, there is a purpose, and there is a telos.

There are a few hours left in this day: don't waste your Pentecost! Make some Hollandaise, make some curry, heck, order a pizza and have some wine with it (yay, Italy!). Consider doing it with some friends. And give thanks to the one who designed all these cultures and will bring all of these amazing flavors together in the ultimate Supper of the Lamb.

Friday, May 22, 2015

"My Soul Knows This Full Well?"

The following is the transcript for a baby shower devotion that I gave last month. I've been thinking since then of the line in Psalm 139, "Wonderful are your works, my soul knows this full well." I don't think my soul knows this nearly as well as it needs to, and so this sustained meditation on Psalm 139 is an effort to know it at least a little better. 

*********



Let’s begin with a pop quiz from the children’s catechism:

  • Who made you? God
  • What else did God make? God made all things
  • Why did God make you and all things? For his own glory
  • How can you glorify God? By loving him and doing what he commands
  • Why are you to glorify God? Because he made me and he takes care of me 
Because he made me and he takes care of me.


I’ve spent a lot of time contemplating God as Creator in these last few months, leading up to Elese’s birth and now in the first three months of her life, and this has made me think: what better time to worship God as Creator –maker and sustainer – than at a baby shower! We are gathered today to celebrate the life of little baby H, whom God has known and named and numbered the hairs on his head and words in his mouth from before there was time.

In thinking about God making a baby, I am reminded of that famous GK Chesterton quote about the sun.

He says:

Now…  it might be true that the sun rises regularly because he never gets tired of rising ... It is possible that God says every morning, “Do it again” to the sun; and every evening, “Do it again” to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them.”

And so today, we pause and worship God as creator of this little baby and of every little baby. In the last few months, I've had the pleasure of watching my own little baby develop and grow.  When I nurse her, I marvel at her little bitty fingers, those little bitty fingernails, they're perfectly formed. And if we buy into the Chesterton quote, we have to marvel that God is saying, “Do it again!,” individually crafting each of those fingers and each of those fingernails. Right now, in your belly, God is making perfect little ears, and perfect little toes, and just the right amount of hair, and teeth that we won't even see for months that but that are already there.

What an amazing Creator God we have! That with approximately 353,000 babies born around the world each day, and with each one, God is saying, "Let there be eyelids!

And when labor begins, which is something the doctors have never been able to figure out exactly what starts labor naturally, but God is calling that baby out in that moment, individually.

And when he comes out, we will continue to see Gods attention to detail in creation: the way a little baby knows to nurse as soon as he or she is born, in the way that a baby kicks her legs and does that little panting thing on mom’s lap when she knows she’s about to eat. When she puts her hands in fists and stretches them over her head (but barely, since her head is so proportionately big) when I undo her swaddle. How God designed babies to hit certain, predictable developmental milestones. How a parent is programmed to do certain (sometimes ridiculous) things in order to elicit a response from the baby – did you know that being a mom actually, literally rewires parts of your brain.

When your baby smiles his first smiles or laughs his first delightful laugh, it is God who created that moment, who created your baby's mind to be engaged with that particular thing - in our case, it was Titus jumping on a trampoline that made Elese erupt into peels of belly laughs. And God doesn't just automatically make babies obsessed with ceiling fans, he individually gives that obsession to every baby I know.

It’s not even that God sort of made this kid and then looked around at all the families in the world and said, “Hmm, I think this man and this woman would be the best parents for him.” It’s more like a custom home that he made from scratch and each of your parent personalities and each of your kids was specially crafted to comprise the family that you will be – your kids’ interactions with each other, your interactions with your kids individually and collectively. Those were all purposefully designed and foreordained. There’s nothing haphazard about how God made us, but it was done carefully, and I mean “carefully” both in the sense that he paid great attention to detail and in the sense that it was done with great care – with kindness and affection and joy in us as his children and in families that he is designing to nurture and care for and raise up these little people with the eventual goal of them knowing that love in a personal and profound and life-giving way.

We live in what some people have termed a "culture of death," one that seems to embrace death when life is uncomfortable or inconvenient to us. There are so many facets to this so-called "culture war," but at least one facet has to be deepening our conviction of and worship of God as our Creator. This is the root belief from which all the rest of our life flows, and wherever there's belief, there's worship of what we think is most ultimate, most life-giving.

As the heart of my devotion, I want to read aloud Psalm 139, which is that classic passage about God as creator of babies in their mothers’ wombs. Psalm 139 has become dear to me in these last few months as I anticipated and then celebrated the birth of my own little baby.

As I read to this worshipful language, I would love for you all to picture in your mind the God of all creation, creating this tiny baby. 

Psalm 139:1-18

O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
    you discern my thoughts from afar.
You search out my path and my lying down
    and are acquainted with all my ways.
Even before a word is on my tongue,
    behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.

My baby can't even speak, and yet God knows every word she will ever say.

You hem me in, behind and before,
    and lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
    it is high; I cannot attain it.
Where shall I go from your Spirit?
    Or where shall I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
    If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
If I take the wings of the morning
    and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
10 even there your hand shall lead me,
    and your right hand shall hold me.

When baby Elese is baptized on Sunday, that will be a tangible way that God says this very thing to her. Because she will grow up knowing that God is the God who made her who takes care of her, even so far as dying to rescue her from her since, she will know that there's nowhere she can go that will escape from God. And rather than this being a scary thing that she can run but she can't hide, this is a comforting thing God our Maker is also our Redeemer.

11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
    and the light about me be night,”
12 even the darkness is not dark to you;
    the night is bright as the day,
    for darkness is as light with you.

Even if my little baby get sick or even if God allows something to happen to her and she dies before I do or she suffers in ways that would break my heart, I know that this darkness does not take her out of God's incredible care, because he made her, and he takes care of her.

13 For you formed my inward parts;
    you knitted me together in my mother's womb.

God is making the skin cells that will hold your baby together even as we speak. He's creating each tooth that will come through as a baby and then us an adult, and he will individually call them forth in what we call “teething.” He's creating each hair, and he knows when my little baby will go from being a little baldy to having a head full of hair.

14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works;
    my soul knows it very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret,
    intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them,
    the days that were formed for me,
    when as yet there was none of them.

Before he’s even born, God knows what day he will be born, he knows what day he will die.

17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
    How vast is the sum of them!
18 If I would count them, they are more than the sand.
    I awake, and I am still with you.

As many scientific advancements as mankind will ever make, we will never fully understand the mystery of life, and that is simply because God is God.

This God is the one who made us and who takes care of us, and he will take care of us for all eternity.

In all of this, my desire has been to recognize that we worship God as Creator not just by acknowledging him in passing, but by meditating on his perfections as Creator in all of these details, with every person who has ever existed, especially those who are closest to us and in our care.

It's our duty as Christians, and it's our delight as mothers.
I would like close with verses from another psalm, Psalm 95:6-7
“Oh come let us worship and bow down.  Let us kneel before the Lord our God our maker, for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the sheep of his hand.”