Let’s Be Natural

The other day Tallie said to Kendra, “mommie, why do you always not laugh when I try to make you laugh and you do laugh when i’m not trying to be funny.” I’ve seen this frustrate/dishearten her on other occasions when she was working hard to do something funny and it was just too much striving until the kernel of humor was killed beyond the point of reviving. the most hilarious things come out of her when she’s just being herself and funny observations or behaviors come out of her. In the same way the most heartwarming things that affect our heart as parents are when we see spontaneous love that the kids express to each other or the moments when they stop to take genuine delight in their little sisters (Karina or Caitlyn). They are just enjoying themselves and noticing the delightful qualities of the little ones before them and yet our hearts fill up with joy and pride in who they are. Nothing contrived…they are not looking over their shoulders to make sure someone is watching their good deeds.

I caught a glimpse in this exchange of the way God must take delight in us. I think it is simply in the act of being who we were made to be, natural and unencumbered, that God finds great delight in us. When we begin to strive to please him or labor after righteousness or think for a moment that we can add anything to the gift of righteousness he has given us, we begin to obscure the image of who he made us to be. We reach too hard after something that was always there inherent in our design…the ability to bring great delight to His heart. Much like sin (which in Hebrew translates to something similar to “missing the mark”) we begin to muddy the water of our interchange with God, feel it difficult to find his approval, wonder what it would take to really please him, say things like, “what does he want from me?”

The moment we cast off our striving, rest in what he has done for us, and begin to live freely and naturally in the knowledge that his delight is in us, we begin to hear his laughter reverberate in our ears as we clumsily express our love to each other, do things that appear silly to the minds of grownups as we express our devotion to Him…and a thousand other things every day that endear us to his heart. the lesson to me here is not to overthink this life, especially those natural reactions to God’s love and kindness made known to me.

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