To Know and Be Known

It's been a whopper of a month. 

After 21 days of the stomach virus, we welcomed three young girls into our home. Buster B is nine, Peppermint Patty is 7, and Little KBug is 3. If you're doing math in your head, that's two 9's, two 7's, two 3's and a five-year-old in our house right now. 

On March 4th, I turned 34. And so many of you jumped in on my Blog Birthday Party. God has and is providing for next week's Project Sunshine in beautiful ways. Can't wait to report.

But on the home front, I spent my birthday cleaning up yet more vomit. That was day 20.

Ironically, it was one of my favorite birthdays ever. 

There were no extravagant gifts. No big date. No dressing up.

But Jamie and the boys decorated the house with 34 post it notes of things they love about me. These were some of my favorite...

One of Jamie's...

One of Benjamin's...

One of Caleb's...

I took all the notes and taped them all over my bedroom wall, so I see them first thing when my eyes open in the morning. It makes me so happy. 

If you know me, you know that I prefer a true note or talk with you over a gift any day. As I was taping my notes on my wall, I realized how deeply Jamie has grown to know me and know how I long to be loved.

Later in the week, we were all stable enough that I was able to escape for a night with my Besties. These three girls and I have literally been to the deepest, darkest places together over the last six years, and we've held hands through it all. We're not alike. God has called us and our families to very different ministries and spaces of His kingdom, but there's not many places I feel more at home, that make me want my Savior more, and where I rest more.

And so, I wept when I opened this...

This Behold the Lamb wreath is available from Family Life. It's designed to use each day during the week leading up to Easter, starting on Palm Sunday. Each day we are able to talk about one of the eight "I Am" statements in the book of John. The cards are held in a small burlap sack, and then can be displayed on the wreath. My understanding is that they will be making Thanksgiving and Christmas supplements available for the wreath as well.

If you know me, you know one of my greatest passions is family worship times and equipping families in the discipleship of their children. As I thumbed through all the booklets, I realized my Besties didn't get me a purse or earrings because they felt they had to get my something. They studied me and my heart, and they have taken the time to know me and know the types of things that draw me closer to others and closer to Jesus.

I'm a blessed gal.

But from there, I turned to welcome three little girls who in an instant became virtually unknown. In a moment, the person who once knew their favorite colors, their sizes, the foods they eat, their fears, hopes and dreams....all the things they had once shared with another vaporized in a moment of crisis, and they woke to face a new school, new teachers, new rules, new peers, new routines and schedules, new siblings, and a new "momma" and "daddy."

Buster B said that night collapsing in the bed, My heart is so tired.

Isn't that how all our hearts feel we fail to be known to others? When we feel we've slipped through the cracks and somehow become invisible in the moments of chaos?

And we forget that the whispers that we are unknown and unseen are a lie from the Ultimate Liar. 

And the Lover of our Souls reminds us...

But now, thus says the Lord, He who created you, O Jacob, He who formed you, O Israel: "Fear not for I have redeemed you. I have called you by name; you are mine." ~ Isaiah 43:1

And He reassures us...

I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me. Just as the Father knows me and I know the Father;  and I lay down my life for the sheep. ~ John 10:14-15

And He promises us...

I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore, I have continued my faithfulness to you. ~ Jeremiah 31:3

And as I tuck my sons and my daughters into bed, I whisper that they are deeply known and deeply loved.

Beloved, let us know one another because of the One who knows us.

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