Guess How Much I Love You

 

Can I be happy today? My first thought of the day. Underneath all the warmth, down feathers, and fluff, an empty feeling tugs at my heart. An uncertainty. I sink low into the pillow-top mattress. I ease back the covers from my face and gasp for air. Still in a daze of sleep, I wonder–Or do I have a reason to be sad today? Am I safe? Is life good right now? Or bad? Is someone upset at me right now? Have I disappointed someone? What’s pressing on me today?

Mourning comes in the morning.

The light shining in from the window covers me, as the framed-pane shadows inch across the quilt. Golden. I ease into peace. My breathing settles into a normal rhythm. No, all is good right now. You’re okay, Shelli.

My reasoning and questioning twists my stomach. How had life come to such? When did I start waking in the morning wondering if I could be happy? When did that become my story? That was a first. Ugh. And I don’t like it. When did outside factors take over my happiness? Life pressed me, I suppose. This. That. How had I allowed this wonderful life to stress me to such a degree?

I’m so thankful for this breath–the one I just took–regardless of what is happening in my life. I’m here … in this day. Do you hear that, Shelli? You’re here in this day. You woke to another day.

Regardless of the past. Regardless of anything the future holds.

My thoughts settle on my oldest daughter. Her love for reading came so early on, just a babe. She’d reach for a book, her treasured possessions, and start toddling backwards. My lap or anyone else’s had better be there to catch her fall. One of her favorite books was Guess How Much I Love You. When #2 came along, she fell right in line with the love for that sweet book. And the girls were so loved when they came into this world that they own four copies of that precious book.

Those girls and their love for reading alone are enough reason to wake with a smile, to wake with assurance.

DSC_0866DSC_0861DSC_0865I grip the covers. What’s wrong with me, God? Are you listening to me? I’m here, and I’m struggling.

DSC_0814 (3)I feel God speak over my heart–

You don’t have to wonder if you can be happy or if you are loved. Take my Word. You have so many copies of it, child. Take my Word for it. And start backing up. Fall into my lap. Because you are so loved. 

You know how much. Does it truly need repeating? After all these years. Truly?

I love you so much that I stretched out my arms … this wide …

DSC_0815 (3)I looked beyond the thorns …

DSC_0816 (3)When someone lays down their life for you, Shelli Ann, every morning blade of grass is graced with joy. The joy that is down in your heart. The joy that you reached out your elementary-school hands to accept. You never have to guess if you are loved. You never have to wonder how to feel. You have been filled with the lifeblood of happiness, peace, joy, love. Know it. Feel it down to your bones. It’s your story.

DSC_0763 - CopyJoy comes in the mourning, on any morning.

I throw back the covers and plant my feet on that solid foundation.


Am I alone, y’all? Have you ever woken like that? Not sure if you could feel happy or if you needed to feel sad, stressed? What a choice, huh? It really is a choice. No matter what … we can choose love, happiness, joy. And just look at the treasure I discovered in my M&Ms this week–

DSC_0720 (6)

Happy Valentine’s Day

8 thoughts on “Guess How Much I Love You

  1. Beautiful post, dear Shelli. Thank you for reminding me who watches over us when we wake with fear or uncertainty. I have that lovely book in my home library. It’s waiting to be read to and by the next generation of readers. xo
    Happy Valentine’s Day blessings ~ Wendy Mac

    Liked by 1 person

  2. jerushaagen

    What a beautiful post, Shelli! We need this reminder that we are loved by the only One Whose love and approval matters. He died because of His love for us, and He promises that love in His Word, over and over and over again. Thank you so much for this reminder to dig into His love in the Word. What achingly sweet word-pictures you’ve drawn in this post. I’ll remember that image for a long time–that I must fall back into His lap and remember the great Story of His love.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jerusha, you made my day. Thank you for being here. “Achingly sweet” … what a lovely way to phrase this. I feel like that is my life, for the most part … can’t be just “sweet” … has to be “achingly sweet” … 🙂 But that’s what moves my heart the most, I suppose, and leaves a lasting impression on me … causes me to change. ❤

      Like

  3. Beautiful, Shelli. Yes, I have awakened some mornings trying to assess if I was happy, or if I should be sad. Some days it’s hard to remember, that I. Am. Loved.

    I love, love that book. I read it to my boys all the time. In fact, after we watched a Louie Giglio video about laminin and Canis Majoris, my youngest would say, “I love you to Canis Majoris and back!”

    Thank you for this sweet post, friend.

    Liked by 1 person

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