In Case You Need Reminding, You Matter Most

by | Feb 20, 2015 | Encouragement, Sabbath


Across the table, I listen to her talk; this daughter of mine who has grown into a beautiful rendering of God’s lovingkindness.  Laurel green eyes shining through porcelain skin and hair cascading over one shoulder; she captivates my mother’s heart, not because she is bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh, but because she illustrates what it means to be fearfully and wonderfully made by the Creator.

And sometimes I need reminding that this is how Jesus looks at you and me across the kitchen table.

After pancakes and coffee, our stomachs are satiated and hearts full of meaningful connection. At the kitchen sink, I scrape plates while she stands opposite, continuing our grown up conversation. When I suggest a shopping excursion, she replies with typical thoughtfulness toward others.

“I don’t want to mess up your plans today.”

“There isn’t anything more important to me today than being with you,” I tell her with hands soaking in dishwater.

This is how Jesus feels about you and me when we are hesitant to ask Him for what we want.

While I prep her favorite meal for dinner so we can be free of work by sundown, I think about how she expresses longings for my cooking when distance separates us. A gift every parent hopes for in her children, a taste for what Mother dishes out. My faith waned in realizing that when she was a picky eater as an adolescent.

“I should have asked you to make cauliflower for me,” she admits an hour after walking through the door from college.

Unaware that moments earlier, I was flipping through the pages of an old journal among a stack of books; reading her first year of life in my handwriting. In 1998, I marveled about the way she ate cauliflower like it was chocolate.

Of course I’d forgotten about that little fact. God knew the detail would matter to me almost two decades later.

This is how Jesus knows you and me better than we know ourselves. He accounts for every detail in the Book of Life.

The moment H and I have been waiting for, for eight long months, came in an email this morning from the diocese of London. We should be on our computers applying for visas but instead we are spending the day with the girl who made us parents nearly nineteen years ago.

The sacrament of presence is more valuable and fulfilling than anything else we can hope for. This is how Jesus loves you and I wholeheartedly.  Rest in the truth of that.


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  1. Lynn D. Morrissey

    Shelly, I treasure every word here about you and your laurel-eyed (love that!) beauty. (Parenthetically, I taught Sheridan, when she was very young, to tell people, when they asked, that her eyes were sapphire blue). I feel the love you have for Murielle in every word, and I love how you’ve compared that with the Father’s for us. Of course, He loves us even more (if that’s possible! I know you adore your daughter). I’m so glad that you have these sacred moments to linger with her–Sabbath moments–before you cross the Pond. These are times that no body of water or time-span can erase.
    Love you so much.

    • Shelly Miller

      We had the best 36 hours. I tried not to cry when she left this morning but I was a terrible failure at not crying. I’m one proud mama.

      • Lynn Morrissey

        Shelly, I would have been surprised if you hadn’t cried. These are poignant times–beautiful, but poignant.

  2. Mary Gemmill

    Precious times Shelly, memories made,and God glorified…..a lovely post indeed. I too am rejoicing in where my daughter has got to in the Lord….very precious indeed. xx

    • Shelly Miller

      I keep telling God how much He is asking me to give up like I am needing reassurance it will be worth it. I’m sure he is smiling.

  3. Linda@Creekside

    Yes, Shelly, to these words – ‘The sacrament of presence is more valuable and fulfilling than anything else we can hope for.’
    This gift I take with me today. To be fully present to whoever, to whatever sits right in front of me.
    And to do that, I need to unplug.
    Sabbath blessings to you …

    • Shelly Miller

      Linda, I actually first learned that term “sacrament of presence” from my friend who is a Rwandan Archbishop. When Americans want to know what to DO, Africans respond BE present.

  4. Natalie

    Wholeheartedly. Such a good reminder of the kind of love that’s been bestowed and is our to return and to share, presence, a blessed sacrament indeed. Thanks for the many reminders here.

    • Shelly Miller

      You’ve been on my heart today Natalie, glad to see you here.

  5. Caryn Jenkins Christensen

    What a beautiful reminder of how much the Lord desires to spend time with us, and how he delights in us. I too value time with my daughter whose countenance emanates Jesus ~ it just makes me wholly happy 🙂

    • Shelly Miller

      I never expected motherhood to be this fulfilling when my kids were toddlers Caryn. Witnessing what is pouring out of her astounds me, every time.

      • Caryn Jenkins Christensen

        I know what you mean Shelly. While I experience such fulfillment with one of my daughters, I wait in hopeful expectation for my other daughter to come to the reality of who Christ is and how that will enrich our relationship. <3

  6. Nancy Ruegg

    I had to smile when I read your words, “This is how Jesus looks at you and me across the kitchen table.” Often I have sat at my kitchen table, closed my eyes, stretched out my hands toward the chair across from me, and imagined Jesus sitting there, listening as I prayed, even holding hands with me to express his loving care and comfort. How incredible that he WANTS to spend time with us! Thank you for precious reminders, Shelly.

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