The Overflow! where souls are filled and faith is spilled

The “LIKE” that Matters Most

Welcome to the Overflow!  Whether you’re an old friend or a new one, I hope you’ll linger here where faith is spilled and souls are filled. If you like what you find, feel free to sign up on the sidebar to receive my blog in your inbox now and then. Or, if you’d rather, we can stay connected on Facebook or Twitter.  Better yet, I’d love to meet you face to face. I’m still scheduling speaking engagements for 2017/2018, and I’d be delighted to bring a message of encouragement to a ministry event near you. 

Speaking of encouragement, I’m over at Proverbs 31  today sharing about a life-changing truth once spoken to me through the peanut-butter-laced lips of a four-year-old:  Not only does Jesus love us; but (gasp!) He likes us, too. Keep reading and discover why He delights in little old you and me. And don’t forget to sign up for the give-away at the end of this post. It just might help you to delight in Him, too!

“Mommy, tell me what you were thinking the first time you saw me…” My eight-year-old turns her head to look at me with an expectant smile, already anticipating the answer she knows so well.

This “baby” of mine is no longer a baby; but she still loves to climb on my lap. So, on this evening not so long ago she’s stretched out across me,  her sun-kissed legs tangled in mine as we end our day together in the big leather chair by the window.

The book we’ve reading before bedtime rests on my knees, but tonight, my youngest daughter needs to hear those treasured lines of her own story. Again.

I close my eyes as if a mosaic of her birth is painted on the back of my drooping lids. And I recount the details of that bitter cold January day when this fifth child of mine moved from womb to world.

She already knows every detail of this familiar narrative, but I tell the tale again–The routine 38 week appointment that raised unexpected concerns, the doctor who decided we needed to get the baby out as soon as possible, the flurry that ensued and the fears that rushed in.

I recount how I hurried home to grab my suitcase and tucked her “big brother” in for a nap; how Grandma came to the door so I could slip out and gave me a hug that squeezed those tears from my throat to my eyes.

I remember aloud how I drove back to the hospital all alone and talked to God  every mile of the way.

And how right as those little feet tucked just beneath my stretched-out skin gave a mighty kick, God whispered assurance to my anxious soul.

“What did He say?” she asks, not because she’s curious, but because she loves to hear this part of the story we share.

“He reminded me that He’d already scripted every moment of your birth,” I whisper with a smile. “Every second of your whole life,” I marvel, my voice dropping to a holy hush.  “And He told me that however you came- healthy and whole or broken and sick- you were exactly the gift my heart needed.”

I bend my head a bit to kiss my daughter’s crown of tangled hair and she lifts her chin to look at me.”And then your heart stopped beating so fast, right Mommy?” this girl on my lap asks with pleasure.

“Yep,” I say as I recall once again the supernatural peace that rushed my trembling soul as I pulled my suitcase down that long sterile hallway to the OB ward.

I tell of how her daddy dressed in blue scrubs met me in that hospital room, his strong and gentle confidence buoying mine.

I recount how we prayed before the C-section began, how quiet tears of anticipation baptized my cheeks when we lifted our pleas to Heaven and asked God to guide the surgeon’s hands.

“And then FINALLY, you saw me!” my daughter exclaims.

I remember the moment shrouded in wonder and nod my head with a happy sigh. “Yes,” I tell my giddy girl, “That’s when I knew God’s words were true. You were the gift my heart had always needed.  You were my Magdalene Hope.”

Maggie wraps her slender fingers around mine and presses her chin against my chest. Then she voices the question that sits quiet on her heart. “And did you like me right away…Even though I couldn’t do anything like jump rope or tell you jokes or color you pictures?”

“I liked you the minute we met,” I answer. “And I loved you long before that…”

My girl exhales a satisfied sigh and the woods beyond the window alight with the golden glow of sunset. And as we sit there in silence I marvel that my daughter’s pressing question is simply this– “Did you like me even though…?” 

She’s not surprised by my love, this “baby” of mine. It’s my like that astounds her.

And then I realize that we’re more alike than different.

After all, I rarely doubt my Savior’s love.

He proved it once and for all when He took my place on Calvary’s cross—There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends (John 15:3)

His love does not surprise me anymore. It’s His like that leaves me speechless.

Jesus likes me this I know…

And it’s not because of anything I’ve done or anything I will ever accomplish; it’s not because of who I am or what I have to offer. Jesus likes me simply and solely because I’m His.

It doesn’t make sense, but it’s gospel truth. The One who names the stars and paints the sunrise not only loves us–the weary and the weak, the flailing and the flawed-but He delights in us, too.

He set me free and rescued me, for I was his delight (2 Samuel 22:20)

And what’s more is that God doesn’t just offer us the gift of His lavish love; He sees us as a gift because of His lavish love.

…because of what Christ has done, we have become gifts to God that he delights in, for as part of God’s sovereign plan we were chosen from the beginning to be his, and all things happen just as he decided long ago. (Ephesians 1:11)

That’s our story, friends. Those are treasured lines from our tell-again tale.

We are liked by the King of Heaven. We are cherished by the Author of Life.

The sinking sun is melting into a pool of darkness beyond the window, and bedtime hovers near.

But before we move out of that big leather chair, Maggie voices one final request, “Will you sing me that song you used to sing when I was a baby?”

I wrap my arms around her middle and  try to remember the words I once made up on a lonely night when my arms are filled with the pink bundle of her wiggles and wails.

I begin to hum, the tune off-key and awkward, but suddenly those long-ago lyrics spill from somewhere deep inside me and I sing…

“Maggie Hope, Maggie Hope, whatever road you trod, don’t forget, my little girl, that you’re mommy’s gift from God…”

Maggie giggles and nuzzles even closer to my heart, as if somehow she might wrap herself in that whimsical prayer. The stars in the velvet sky dance to our simple song, and I pray that my growing girl will continue to find comfort in my love and confidence in my like.

And when that homespun lullaby is done, this forty-four-year-old daughter closes her eyes and asks her Father to sing over her, too.

The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing. (Zephaniah 3:17)

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As we remember that God delights in us, we just might find ourselves seeking new ways to delight in Him, too.

When I watch my daughters engage with their Savior, I’m reminded that spending time with Jesus doesn’t always mean curling up in a chair with my Bible and a window of quiet or going to church on Sunday. Sometimes, it means grabbing the crayons and coloring or singing at the top of your lungs or hiking through the woods in hunt of wildflowers or watching a sunset with breathless wonder.

So today, I’m giving away this beautiful coloring book in hopes that it will encourage one of you, dear friends, to Savor the Savior who likes you sooooooo much.

Just leave us a comment telling one thing you “like” about Jesus and you’ll be entered to win.

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59 thoughts on “The “LIKE” that Matters Most

  1. Whitney Eziechina

    One thing I like about Jesus is that He always gives me reason to sing. I don’t know how He does it, but whenever I remember Him nothing else matters.

    June 2, 2017 at 2:17 am
  2. Kate

    I like it when I know Jesus likes what I like and laughs with me…

    June 2, 2017 at 3:23 am
  3. Sheila Mathews

    I like the peace Jesus gives when I am just still and listen.

    June 2, 2017 at 3:52 am
  4. Carneth Anderson

    The comfort I get when I remembered that Jesus loves me.

    June 2, 2017 at 4:31 am
  5. Erika

    I like that Jesus likes me for me. He likes me exactly as I am.

    June 2, 2017 at 4:40 am
  6. Karen

    I like that Jesus is not only my Savior but my dearest heart friend. He knows all my secrets.

    June 2, 2017 at 4:48 am
  7. Debbie Rolko

    I like key the tender words Jesus speaks to my heart when Im frazzled.

    June 2, 2017 at 4:52 am
  8. Sarah

    I love the Lord with all my heart. I like His grace that accepts me just the way I am.

    June 2, 2017 at 5:12 am
  9. SallyAnn

    I like knowing that I can talk to Jesus anytime and know that he hears me and loves me.

    June 2, 2017 at 5:16 am
  10. Pam Cooksey

    I like that God has a sense of humor. He reaches out and taps me on the shoulder in the most unusual ways. Once, when I was typing a heated response to an email concerning a very emotional situation, He took over the keyboard and hit backspace to erase every word I had written. I had never had that happen before! I knew it was the Lord erasing my words because they were not nice words. And once words are written or spoken, they can’t be unspoken, right? I’m thankful He likes me enough to stop me from making an emotional situational even worse.

    June 2, 2017 at 5:21 am
    1. Alicia Bruxvoort

      This story makes me laugh, Pam. YES God likes us enough to protect us in our frustration and our frailty. So thankful.

      June 5, 2017 at 12:25 pm
  11. Debbie

    I like how when I am needing a friend the most, He shows up in the most incredible ways!!

    June 2, 2017 at 5:43 am
  12. Shirley

    I like that God made His creation beautiful and that we get to enjoy it.

    June 2, 2017 at 6:07 am
  13. diane jentas

    I like that no matter how sunny the day nor how dark the day Jesus loves us. He likes us and will never leave nor foresake us!

    June 2, 2017 at 6:28 am
  14. Marisha

    that He will never leave me (and is always by my side) despite what’s going on in my life or even my behavior- unlike people who may be here today and are gone the next if it is no longer convenient for them to be a part of one’s life. Knowing this trait of God really gives me comfort and peace 🙂

    June 2, 2017 at 6:36 am
  15. Emily Fleener

    I like it that God made the sun and I could explain that to my boys just a moment ago when the sun began peeking through the curtains 🙂

    June 2, 2017 at 6:39 am
  16. Andrea

    I like that Jesus gives me encouragement day to day through devotions that most of the time are just what my heart needs to hear that day. He makes me feel like I’m His only child.

    June 2, 2017 at 6:56 am
  17. Lynda

    I like that I can turn to Him in the moments that I feel unlikeable.

    June 2, 2017 at 7:19 am
  18. Pam N

    I like that he never gives up on me and that he finds creative ways to keep my faith and heart growing!

    June 2, 2017 at 7:20 am
  19. Beverly Carroll

    I like that Jesus sings over me. I love to sing to and about Jesus but it blows my mind that He would sing about me!!! Zephaniah 3:17

    June 2, 2017 at 7:22 am
  20. Robyn

    I like that He finds delight in me, no matter what state I am in! What a comfort!

    June 2, 2017 at 7:39 am
  21. Ondrea

    I like that rush of peace that fills me when I know that everything will be just as He prescribed, even if it’s not how I imagined.

    June 2, 2017 at 8:02 am
    1. Alicia Bruxvoort

      Oh, Ondrea, these are powerful words- “everything will be just as He prescribed, even if it’s not how I imagined.” Such a reminder for me to trust and relinquish the script I have. The Author of Life writes a better story!

      June 5, 2017 at 12:23 pm
  22. Patti

    I love the Lord because he is so patient.

    June 2, 2017 at 8:12 am
  23. Janice

    I love the Lord because he is my best friend!

    June 2, 2017 at 8:37 am
  24. Diana

    Wow! How amazing that HE likes me, even when so often I am not acting likeable. I really like that.

    June 2, 2017 at 8:53 am
  25. Linda T Detrick

    I like Jesus because no matter how dark the day of grieving is I know that He is with me and will never leave me.

    June 2, 2017 at 9:07 am
  26. Ali

    I like that He is always walking beside me.

    June 2, 2017 at 9:08 am
  27. The thing I like most about Jesus is his sacrifice while I was STILL a sinner! What an amazing thing while we had our backs turned and he knew some would never accept him; he had mercy and compassion on us. My soul leaps in joy each time I think of that and what our world would be like if each of us were able to love one another even before it’s fair, just because its righteous!

    June 2, 2017 at 9:31 am
    1. Alicia Bruxvoort
  28. Sarah

    I like the calm and peaceJesus brings to my days. 🙂

    June 2, 2017 at 9:32 am
  29. Megan Lakner

    The thing I like most about Jesus is, He knows everything about me, everything I’ve ever done or will ever do and He still died for me and loves me no matter what. How awesome is that?

    June 2, 2017 at 9:33 am
  30. Helen

    I like that Jesus is always here for us no matter what

    June 2, 2017 at 10:12 am
  31. BILLIE JO PUCKETT

    As I sit and struggle to to think of anything about Jesus that lacks to exceed far beyond what I ‘like’ and into a deep sea of love that only He could ever grasp; the least I guess would have to be the learning curves; which I am now learning to lean into Him, where I am able to find my joy and peace as I endure and learn through them.

    June 2, 2017 at 11:16 am
  32. Karyn

    I like that Jesus hears me when I pray, no matter what I have to say.

    June 2, 2017 at 12:35 pm
  33. Holly

    I like that I can talk to Jesus even when no one else is around. He is always there. What a great concept that Jesus not only loves me but He likes me!

    June 2, 2017 at 1:36 pm
  34. Rebecca Sorrell

    I love Jesus, just because who he is.
    The comforter
    The healer
    The savior
    The redeemer
    The provider
    The prince of peace
    He is everything I need

    June 2, 2017 at 6:31 pm
  35. I love Jesus because he is my rock, my hope and my fortress. He is my confidence! He lifts me up on eagles wings and carries me when I am weak and afraid. He loves me no matter what!

    June 2, 2017 at 7:06 pm
  36. Martha Troxel

    That He is so very gentle!

    June 2, 2017 at 8:03 pm
    1. Alicia Bruxvoort

      Martha, I don’t often think of His gentleness, but I love that you’ve prompted me to… and I agree. The tenderness of our Savior is amazing. So thankful for that, too.

      June 5, 2017 at 12:21 pm
  37. Debra

    I “like” Jesus indescribable love for me and all of the human race

    June 2, 2017 at 8:12 pm
  38. Julie

    I like that he meets me in the quiet of my yellow chair!

    June 2, 2017 at 10:14 pm
    1. Alicia Bruxvoort

      Ahhhh, yes! Love the way He joins us in the “secret place” like a treasured friend.

      June 5, 2017 at 12:18 pm
  39. Sharon

    The thing I ‘like’ about Jesus is that He’s not only God, but also my best friend!!

    June 2, 2017 at 10:47 pm
  40. Amy Dowty

    I like that Jesus always listens

    June 2, 2017 at 10:50 pm
  41. Elsie

    I like it because Jesus never gives up on you. He is always with you even if He is the “footprints in the sand”. Even if you feel you can’t endure one of life’s many challenges Jesus miraculously makes it more possible for you to get through it. He also provides you with His joy to make the challenge you face even more bearable. Also He forgives you of your sins. Isaiah 46: 4 b “I made you and I will carry you along and save you.” Thank You, Jesus.

    June 3, 2017 at 4:45 am
  42. Sharon Torkelson

    I like that Jesus woke me up this morning at 4:55 and gently nudged me to get out of bed, spend some quiet time with Him and read this message. “psstt! Hey, are you awake? I’ve got something to say to you!” And like that, He led me to the words I needed to read and the verse I needed to absorb. Thank you!

    June 3, 2017 at 4:58 am
    1. Alicia Bruxvoort

      Sharon, I’m giggling as I read this– I’ve had that “psst get up” moment with God, too:) Oh, how I love the way He relentlessly pursues us:) Thanks for taking a moment to share your “nudge”

      June 5, 2017 at 12:16 pm
  43. Sharon Torkelson

    I like that Jesus woke me up this morning at 4:55 and gently nudged me to get out of bed, spend some quiet time with Him and read this message. “psstt! Hey, are you awake? I’ve got something to say to you!” And like that, He led me to the words I needed to read and the verse I needed to absorb.

    June 3, 2017 at 4:59 am
  44. Cathy Thrasher

    When the noise of the world is the loudest, I like how His song is always there. The sweet assurance that His His voice is all I need to hear.

    June 3, 2017 at 5:59 am
  45. Valerie

    Thank you for this devotion. I have never read one on this topic. It was a real eye opener for me. I never realized that I had projected the message I got growing up that I was loved but not liked when I misbehaved onto God. Thank you so much for this message. God is not like human beings. He does not dislike me, even though he “loves” me when I misbehave/sin. Thank you Lord for the kindness you have shown in authoring this devotion for us.

    June 3, 2017 at 12:39 pm
    1. Alicia Bruxvoort

      Valerie, SO GLAD you spent some time here today!

      June 5, 2017 at 12:14 pm
  46. One thing that I like about Jesus is that He takes me just as I am warts and all. I grew up in an emotionally abusive home, so my self image has never been the greatest. So, it hasn’t always been easy to like myself, but to know that Jesus likes me just because I am me, and to know and feel this over my own self perception , makes me love and trust Him all the more. He’s beautiful!!!

    June 3, 2017 at 1:47 pm
  47. It’s so wonderful to think that Jesus not only loves me but likes me. Is this really true, even though I do many unlike-able things & am not as committed to Him as I should be? I guess it would help if I spend more time in His Word. I feel so guilty some of the time. As you said, “Jesus loves me, this I know. For the Bible tells me so.

    June 3, 2017 at 4:15 pm
    1. Alicia Bruxvoort

      Debi, It IS WONDERFUL, isn’t it? I love that God’s word assures us that He saved us for His delight. So, if we’ve said YES to Jesus and to being His child, we are not only loved but LIKED by His Father. Crazy, but true! I’m glad our feelings don’t dictate God’s feelings. There are plenty of days I feel unlikeable! But, I agree with your idea of spending time in the Word. I DO think that the more I linger with the truth of scripture, the more I feel His delight. The Psalms are a great place to start if you want to hear Him whisper His joy over you. So glad you stopped by the Overflow!

      June 5, 2017 at 12:12 pm
  48. Jamie Wellman

    I like that Jesus is okay when I’m silly with Him. I can see Him smiling and laughing with me and it makes me smile even more. Jesus made me who I am and I like that Jesus takes delight in that.

    June 3, 2017 at 10:25 pm
  49. Mandi

    He likes me for me. No other reason and that is great comfort when I have days when I don’t even like myself!

    June 4, 2017 at 6:34 am
    1. Alicia Bruxvoort

      I totally agree, Mandi 🙂

      June 5, 2017 at 12:08 pm
  50. Jaelen

    I like that Jesus knows me intimately; my likes, dislikes; what makes me smile or feel sad and He brightens my day with those things that give me joy.

    June 4, 2017 at 6:54 pm

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