Broken Body, Dreams, Faith, Giving Thanks, Grace, Growth, Struggle, Surrender

Thoughts On Love And Discipline {A Call For Guests Posts, And Gifts Counted}

“Define yourself radically as one beloved by God. This is the true self. Every other identity is illusion.” Brennan Manning

“I have loved you with an everlasting love;
I have drawn you with unfailing kindness. Jeremiah 31:3

When I tucked him into bed the other night and said “I love you” his immediate response was “no you don’t”. I went from bending to kneeling, (a position I keep finding myself in these days) and I said “yes, I do love you”. He rebuked me again and I cringed at the direction of this conversation. I say “I love you” to these little ones countless times a day. I show it in hundreds of ways from winks across the room, to back scratches at nap time, from preparing meals to reading mountains of books with the four of them heaped on my lap, at my sides–all vying to be closest to me.

But tonight he says firmly that I don’t love him, that he doesn’t believe me. Further probing reveals his lack of belief stems from the constant discipline phase he has been living through lately. The training for little souls is serious business and is a level of difficult no one tells you about before you birth them–probably because there really aren’t enough words to describe the weight of the task.

Because I discipline him, he feels unloved. We talked long about the truth about love, and that it is precisely because I love him, that I discipline him. After naming every single family member and the Lord above who DO love him, he closed his eyes and said at last he believed it.

Stepping out into the hallway, my head hangs heavy with the harsh realization that my mind, my heart, feel so much the way his does. How often do I forget when God disciplines me, it is because He LOVES me, not because He wants to punish me? Lately, a lot. I just keep forgetting.

Discipline can feel less like love and more like torture when your neck deep in the transformation. 

We sometimes hear “God loves you” and we shrug and nod and smile and know it just on the surface of ourselves. I have been living as if this sincerest truth of all truths were nothing more than a trite bumper sticker, all peeling and sun baked, barely legible and likely adorned with one of those generic yellow smiley faces.

I’ve been living resistant to the real truth of these words. I puzzle over how I can count gifts and still find it nearly impossible to fall freely into the arms of the ONE who loves me above all others. I can’t get the taste of carpet out of my mouth and I am certain in this moment, I’m not meant to.

The truth is, repentance tastes like dirt and the only purification for a life so defiled is the Living Water and some days I smack my dry lips bitterly, resisting the cup of purification.

My will must be broken and the one thing I can count on is that God loves me enough to break me.

Whatever it takes, He will go to that length.

{I have loved you with an everlasting love;}

 

**I am a little overwhelmed this month (and next) with various projects all needing my attention at once. Would you consider guest posting here? I will still be around as I have some obligatory blog business that must be done, but I need to scale back a little for the moment.

 

Counting beyond my 1000 Gifts:

1095. Realizing that it’s through struggle we grow…when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold (Job 23:10)...  relying on that promise.

1096. My sweet friend who speaks unfiltered truth to me, and sharpens me as iron. An obvious mark of God’s love in my life.

1097. Husband home after a long trip.

1098. Lawnmowers humming on a Saturday afternoon

1099. Late evening thunderstorms, and us, me and my babies in a huddle around books on the couch.

2000. Two thousand “Thank You’s to God, and countless others that have been whispered but not written down….

Joining the community of friends and Ann in giving thanks for all things. Won’t you join in the praise?

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Comments

  1. Hi Kris,
    We are going through a constant time of training and discipline right now it seems with one of our girls and it is heartbreaking in so many ways.  But, after a long talk with her yesterday and time spent in the Bible, writing out verses, and praying together,  about an hour later, she was hugging me and telling me how good it felt not to have the burden on her heart that she does when she is doing something she shouldn’t.  Those words were like a song in my heart!  God shows us when we are making a difference with our children and that’s such a blessing.  Thank you for this reminder that we too, as adults, need to realize He loves us and that’s why He disciplines us too.  Blessings!

    Reply
    1. alwaysalleluia

      Oh Susan, thank you for this. It is so hard to watch them struggle, and how often do their struggles mirror my own?! I love to hear how you are leading your children through this faith journey, what a blessing you are to them. Love your heart, friend, thank you for encouraging me!

      Reply
  2. Ro elliott

    Yeah…congrats on 2000….counting to infinity and beyond with you…Oh and i know this well…for way to long I thought God was just about punishment…Always just “ a little ticked off” with me…just waiting to correct (punish) me…but I am so thankful…He has won me over to His love…to filter all through His eyes of love instead of an angry heart…it has made all the difference in my relationship with Him…and with those around me…Blessings as you continue to know how loved you are:)

    Reply
    1. alwaysalleluia

      Thanks Ro. I have to keep reminding myself that when God looks like an accuser, there’s a lie from the enemy being told. The reminder that there is no Condemndation in Christ is one I seem to need too often. God IS love- how can we argue with that? 😉 Blessings, sweet friend.

      Reply
  3. soulstops

    Hi Kris,

    I was nodding my head as I read your post as we had a similar talk with our girl recently and yes, discipline by God can feel like that at times…such a beautiful and truthful post…all is love especially when I see Him on the cross for me….may you continue to know how much God truly does love you.

    Reply
    1. alwaysalleluia

      Oh how encouraging to hear your words. Discipline botht eh doling out and recieving end of it present challenges, but the promise of growth through struggle… that’s what encourages and gives me hope…. for them, and for myself.  Praying for you as you parent and navigate these waters with yoru own babies, andmay God’s love be blatant and abundantin your life, and in yoru heart–to overflowing! 

      Reply
  4. Ann

    Wow, Kris! What a moving post! Your writing reminds me of Ann’s (Voskamp) writing style and the deep metaphorical and picturesque sentences. And so very true…God’s discipline is often painful and we tend to resist it, but because He loves us, He refuses to let us go.

    In His Lo♥e, Ann

    Reply
  5. You are beautiful and I live right beside you in this journey: wondering what the Lord is doing, whining when the refining hurts, and hanging my head in shame. But then grace…I raise my hands in worship, I cry out my brokenness, and I’m able to receive the love. Take the time, my friend. xoxo

    Reply

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