Well, after reading The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning, I have come to realize that Haven is not the only Ragamuffin running around the house! This was a wonderful book that dug deeper into the meaning of GRACE. I recommend this book and wanted to share a few of my favorite quotes:
"My deepest awareness of myself is that I am deeply loved by Jesus Christ and I have done nothing to earn it or deserve it."
"Jesus comes not for the super-spiritual but for the wobbly and the weak-kneed who know they don't have it all together, and who are not too proud to accept the handout of amazin' grace."
"The saved sinner is prostrate in adoration, lost in wonder and praise. He knows repentance is not what we do in order to earn forgiveness; it is what we do because we have been forgiven. It serves as an expression of gratitude rather than an effort to earn forgiveness. Thus the sequence of forgiveness and then repentance, rather than repentance and then forgiveness, is crucial for understanding the gospel of grace."
"Lord Jesus, we are silly sheep who have dared to stand before You and try to bribe You with our preposterous portfolios. Suddenly we have come to our senses. We are sorry and ask You to forgive us. Give us the grace to admit we are ragamuffins, to embrace our brokenness, to celebrate Your mercy when we are at our weakest, to rely on Your mercy no matter what we do. Dear Jesus, gift us to stop grandstanding display, to let the dishonesties in our lives fade away, to accept our limitations, to cling to the gospel of grace, and to delight in Your love. Amen."
As I think about how much I love my little Ragamuffin, Haven Annabelle, I am in awe of the fact that God loves me in the same way. Regardless of how disheveled, out of control, and "dirty" I may be, how much more does the Lord love me? In the same way that my little Haven can do nothing to make me love her any less, it is crazy to think that the Lord loves me in spite of what I do. I cannot even grasp this! Furthermore, no matter what Haven does eventually she wants the warmth and support of her mother and will come running to me, even when she knows she did something wrong. How much more does the Lord wait for us to run to him despite where we are in life, what we have done, or how "good" we are? We get so caught up in what we think we need to do in order to be loved by God that we forget that he is just waiting for us to accept the unending and unconditional love that he has for us!
"He called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said: 'I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.'" Matthew 18:2-4