I think every kid likes to hear stories about how they got their name. While my sister and I weren’t named after specific people, our parents (aka my mom) were focused on the meaning of the names. Amy Elizabeth. Amy = Beloved. Elizabeth = Child of God/God’s daughter. I remember my mom telling me she liked that when the names combined that they became Beloved Child of God. A name defining who I am and who I always will be. I am loved. I am a child of God. I have been shown this truth over and over again. I need only look as far as my name for a reminder.
As humans, we forget so easily. God walks us though the desert. Christ dies on the cross. And yet, we forget. We complain. We look for more as if what has been done isn’t enough. It is. Every mountain has a valley below and we must remember that God is in it all. The highs and the lows. I forget that I that I am beloved. I forget my value in God’s family. I forget to be a team player when I focus only on myself and my needs. I am so small and yet so loved. So seen. God never forgets. Even in my forgetfulness, he still shows up. He still reminds me. Never let’s go. True love.
I’m in the last chapter of One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. Yet again, I am undone. I am brought low, humbled by the act of counting gifts. This discipline that brings joy. This discipline that helps me remember. The blessing that comes from counting blessings. It’s amazing how exciting life is when I am looking for the next gift. I would say that since my last time reading this book I have grown in my character. I now see beauty in the ugly. I am thankful for the pain. I can see God’s blessings in the good and the bad. In times when I can’t see the beauty, I am reminded to trust. I am reminded that I am completely out of control. When I quit pretending to have it all together, I feel peace. I know God’s got it covered. This challenge is like fresh air. I am grateful. I will keep doing it. It brings life and I want to live fully.
I am beloved. Because of his love for me, I can turn around and share love. It isn’t for me to keep to myself. The gifts are not meant to be lived in isolation. Yes, I love my quiet life. I have learned that my pace is slower than most. I have found myself in stillness. That doesn’t mean I have become a hermit. I’m not hidden in seclusion left only to a faith that I contemplate. My life is very much about my relationships. The flesh and blood loved ones that drive me crazy and make my laugh and make me pray hard. I am in love. With people. Because God has loved me, I can now love them. Be light in their life. Share joy. Be a blessing since I have been blessed. This is my goal.
This Beloved Child of God, this Daughter of the King is signing off with a quote from the book, with a hope for a lifetime well spent.
Spend the whole of your one wild and beautiful life investing in many lives, and God simply will not be outdone. God extravagantly pays back everything we give away and exactly in the currency that is not of this world but the one we yearn for: Joy in Him. – Ann Voskamp
PS… This blog by Sarah Bessey also left me undone this week. I see myself so reflected in the words of Ann and of Sarah. I am blessed by women who speak truth and share their lives – along the road, in the pain, in the mess. This blog is worth the read.