Purple Hearts

I hadn’t made it all the way through her classroom door, when Adellyn came running up to me as I arrived to pick her up from school earlier this week.FullSizeRender(3)

“Mom, here,” she said, handing me a sheet of paper filled with purple hearts that she had colored. “This is for you. I made it for you because I just love you so much and I know you love purple.”

The innocence. The love. The thoughtfulness. My heart swelled as I hugged my sweet daughter and thanked her for the beautiful artwork, which now hangs front and center on my fridge. It is those moments that make the sleepless nights and the hundreds of dinners I’ve eaten standing at the kitchen counter and answering the same question 484 times all worth it.

I didn’t do anything to earn that picture from her that day. I didn’t even have to ask for it. The best response, the only response, was to thank my little girl and accept her gift.

It is those moments that remind me that I love that little girl more than I can explain in words. It is those moments, like when she’s sleeping so peacefully or when she giggles with her hand over her mouth in exasperation or when she hugs my legs as she says good-bye for the day or when she figures something out and her face beams with pride. It is then when an unconditional love wells up in me from a place I didn’t know existed until I met my daughter.

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Today, Good Friday, is a significant day for me. I was raised Catholic and can Hail Mary and Our Father with the best of ‘em. Through the Catholic church, I learned a lot about God and Jesus. Then, when I was a teenager working a summer job folding t-shirts on an island called Nantucket, a group of friends told me about the difference between religion and having a relationship with a loving God through Jesus.

That understanding has changed the trajectory of my whole life. And while I understood rationally that Jesus loves me, yes I know, for the Bible tells me so, I couldn’t comprehend how Jesus really felt about me…until I met my daughter.

God calls us his sons and daughters. His children. When I look at my daughter just being herself, my heart hurts with love. And now, I get it. I believe that when Jesus looks at you and me, His heart hurts. I think He loves watching us be us, shortcomings, flaws, imperfections and all. And just like I words fall short at explaining how much I love my kiddo, I believe that words can’t explain just how much Jesus loves His kids.

Words may be insufficient, but His life. His obedience. His sacrifice. That.Speaks.Volumes. about how much He loves us.

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And most humbling, is that just like the purple heart picture from my daughter, I didn’t do anything to earn what He chose to do for me. I didn’t even have to ask for it. The best response, the only response was to thank Him and accept His gift.

My prayer for you as we celebrate this Easter weekend is that you would know that you’re worth it, that you’re loved and that there is a plan for your life. You didn’t have to do anything to earn it. You didn’t have to ask. The best response, the only response is to thank Him and accept His gift.

Happy Easter, friends.

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