Biggest Fan

I am a soccer mom. A football mom. A basketball mom. A baseball mom. I am my kids’ biggest fan. I love watching them do what they love to do. I am so proud when I see them pour so much passion into their sport. I love watching them succeed. But guess what…when they struggle in a game, or when they don’t score, or when they mess up out there,  I don’t love them any less. I still love them will all that I am. No question. No doubt. The more goals they score, or catches they make – that doesn’t make me love them more either. This may sound pretty simple – and really it is. It’s called love. Unconditional love. But as simple as it may seem on the surface, and as logical as it is to my brain, I sometimes forget that my heavenly father has the same kind of love for me (only on a much deeper level that is more than my brain can comprehend). So if I know how I love my children regardless of how they “perform,” and I know that God loves me as a child of His, why is it so hard for me to accept and embrace the fact that God loves me regardless of how I “perform”? I don’t have to try and please God just to make him love me more. He loves me infinitely regardless of my actions. He already proved that love when He sent His son to die for me. I WANT to please God and live a holy, sanctified life – but let’s keep it real…I’m very human and I will fall, try again, and fall some more. And even in my failures, God doesn’t stop loving me. God doesn’t love me less. And when I try to please and “do” and try some more, God doesn’t love me anymore. He can’t love me anymore than he already does. My kids don’t have to earn my love by “doing” things. It’s free to them. It doesn’t change based on their actions. I don’t have to earn God’s love by doing…I just have to accept it. I can stop being so hard on myself and accept that I am a beloved daughter of God and that He loves me for exactly who I am. He is my biggest fan.

carty zach

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Keeping me in check

God has an amazing way of keeping me in check. And I am so thankful for His love and mercy and grace – and for His guidance. I started out this week in a funk. I was enveloped in a cloud of sadness and self-pity. I spent hours focusing on all the things that I felt were going wrong in my world. What a waste of energy! Not that this is the first time it has occurred to me that my behavior at times can be counter productive. But, wow…if I could just have channelled that energy into something more positive…wow. Thankfully the events of this weekend brought me out of my funk. Ok – so not just the events…my God put me in the places and with the people that He knew would bring me back to where I needed to be – and then some. He has a way of doing that…and I am more thank thankful for His wisdom. The more Brian and I get to go new places and share our music and story, the more we are blessed with such wonderful people. I am just in awe of the way in which we have been blessed over the course of the last year. Friday night, after leading worship at an event at Grace Pointe in Oxford, we found ourselves encircled by a group of wonderful people who wanted to pray for us and our ministry. I was overwhelmed by the love and the prayers offered up for us. For us! Encounters like that humble me and are such a blessing to me. We are still finding our way on this path God has laid out before us…and to know that there are people out there praying blessings upon us is so comforting. To be uplifted in such a way is truly overwhelming. It makes me feel foolish and selfish for the way I started my week. I am thankful that God loves me in spite of my brokenness…I am thankful that He loves me enough to put the people in my life that He knows I need. I am thankful for that extravagant love…a love that I don’t deserve. I am thankful that God loves me enough to keep me in check.