“Do you love me little?”

Caden: Mommy, I love you SO much!

Me: Well, I love you so much MORE!

Caden: I love you VERY BIG!

Mommy: Well, I love you GIGANTIC, HUGE big!

After a few moments of silence (I thought for sure he had tired of our adorable game):

Caden: Ummm…but do you still love me little? Because I’m still little, Mommy.

Mommy: Oh, buddy! Of course, I do! I love your little self a WHOLE LOT!

Caden: Okay, that’s good!

I asked him to show me again how much he loved me and pictured below is what he gave me (I realize that a piece of undergarment may be hanging in the background, but this mama had no time to stage perfection, so we’ll just let it all hang out)!

 

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Hours later, I found myself mulling over this sweet exchange.

How adorable and yet also heart-wrenching that he was concerned about my love being contingent on his stature? Goodness gracious! I love all 36 inches and 29 pounds of his independent and inquisitive soul and can’t imagine loving him any more or any less than I do right now!

In fact, I honestly can’t imagine anything shaking my love for that little blue-eyed boy.

But what about the time he yelled, “I don’t like you, Mommy, and I don’t like this house anymore!” ?

NOPE, still loved him.

Or what about the time when he shouted, “I want you to go away!” and then chucked a toy in my direction?

NOPE, still loved him.

How about the time he barked, “I want my daddy and not you because he’s awesome!” and then ran for his room?

Nope, still loved him.

But what about the time he squeezed my neck in a fit of rage and yelled, “You’re a great, big meanie!!” ?

Nope, still loved him. 

Okay, but if I’m being REALLY honest, maybe after the most recent “meanie” comment last week, a teenie, weenie, very little part of me wanted to channel my inner three year-old monster and scream back the following words in response to all of his unkind assaults:

“Oh yeah!?! Well…well, this house is stinkin’ awesome, and I’m just as stinkin’ awesome as your dad! Oh, and trust me…there are days like today that I would love to take my awesome self somewhere else where they would recognize just how awesome I am! Oh, and another thing… if you don’t like to live here with me, even though I’m super awesome, well you can just go live in another house with less than awesome people! Oh, and one last thing…if you think I’m mean because I’m trying to prevent your kidneys from exploding by asking you to go to the bathroom, well you don’t even know mean!!”

And though an itty bitty part of me wanted to utter those words in addition to the consequences he received,I still loved him. 

As I chewed on this conversation and contemplated my love  for our little boy (even though it’s riddled with imperfections as noted above in the mind-rant I wanted to give my son and probably will someday when I have completely lost my mind and part of my self-control), my mind slowly drifted to the place where love began.

God.

Even though I know in my mind that God’s love has no stipulations and that’s it’s a bajillion percent perfect (unless of course there’s a giant clause that’s been penned in tiny subscript somewhere in the book of Obadiah that I have overlooked), I, too, can doubt God’s love…way down deep in my heart.

And sometimes I have my own set of questions.

“God, do you still love me even though I don’t always like you?”

“God, do you still love me even though I don’t always want to be in your presence?”

“God, do you still love me even though I sometimes find other things more awesome than you?”

“God, do you still love me even though I sometimes throw a fit, grumble, and hurl huffy prayers at you?”

In essence, I guess my question to God isn’t a whole lot different from Caden’s question to me.

“Do you still love me even though I’m little ‘ol, sinful me?”

And His resounding answer is always, “YES, YES, OF COURSE I DO!”

Why? Well, because His love isn’t based on me and what I do or do not do. In actuality, it doesn’t really have anything to do with me (thank goodness). No, God’s love for me is contingent on something I could not be (perfect) and could not do (die for myself). Simply put, His love is about Jesus (perfection) and what He did for me (died on the cross). So when He looks upon me (a little sinful soul who has simply accepted Jesus’  GREAT, BIG gift of grace) and hears my doubting questions, He can only have one answer to my question, “YES, YES, OF COURSE I LOVE YOU! I sent my Son to die for you.”

One thought on ““Do you love me little?”

  1. What a good reminder this post offers, sweet friend… I especially resonated with “God, do you still love me even though I sometimes find other things more awesome than you?” I read that and felt both ashamed (because I am in that mental place more often than I want to be) and encouraged (because it’s a relief to know I’m apparently not the only one who goes there). It’s a gift of grace when someone speaks for us what we are too ashamed to speak for ourselves, gives us a “me, too!” moment, and directs the meditations of our heart back to the Holy Hope that tells us we are securely loved, no matter how much we doubt, question, or chase after other things beside Him. Good words – thank you for sharing!

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