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Storyteller. Grace Dweller.

I’m Jennifer — wife of an Iowa farmer, mom to two girls, new book author. I believe in you, because I believe in Jesus. You matter to Him, and you matter to me. more »

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30

Monday 6th February 2012

The God of “Immeasurably More”

hoarfrost on branches

She’s still tiny enough to fit on my lap, so I embrace her, warm and snug against me, on a cool Iowa morning. We look out the window, the window with the word PRAY on the sill.  Overnight, our trees played dress up; they’re all wearing lacy-white robes and pearls.

pray on windowsill

The winter air is still. Not a single branch moves. I slow to the hushed rhythms of the world, and inside, I hold this one beautiful moment in my arms. I wrap a single tendril of her hair around my finger. And she’s got all of me wrapped around hers.

“I thank God for you, Anna,” I tell her. “You know that? I thank God for you every day.”

“I thank God for you, too, Mommy,” she says in a hoarse morning whisper. Her legs dangle over the arm rest, and I hope she’ll never outgrow my embrace.

“I wonder why God would give me someone as wonderful as you,” I tell her. I shake my head over astonishing grace.  Stilled by beauty, I cannot get over the God of our “immeasurably mores.”

She cups my chin in her hand, blinks her eyes and preaches a mini-sermon from a living-room pulpit.

“I know, Mommy,” she says. “I know why God gave me to you.”

I raise my eyebrows, listening to the seven-year-old preacher.

“It’s because you asked.”

immeasurably more

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,  to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”

– Ephesians 3:20-12

Linking with Laura and Michelle today …

 

  • Dave

    Jennifer, this touches my heart more than my head wants it to.

    May your cup over flow.

    • http://www.GettingDownWithJesus.com dukeslee

      They grow up fast, yes?

      As Anna said those words, “because you asked,” I thought about the times where I never asked, but God gave anyway. He is in the habit of giving good gifts, not because we deserve them but because He delights in us.

      Even when we don’t ask, His gifts abound.

      They aren’t always the things we’ve asked for. And sometimes, we ache because of what appears to be unanswered prayer. But for me, this moment stalled me in my hurried tracks, long enough to turn this one grace in my hands and see it for what it is: Gift.

      Thanks for your continuing witness of grace and truth, Dave. I thought about your definition of grace, even as I wrote this.

      God bless!

  • http://www.createdforajourney.blogspot.com Nancy

    Wonderful words to start a new week….remembering that He gives us so many gifts if only we will take the time to look….

    • http://www.jenniferdukeslee.com Jennifer@GDWJ

      May your week be filled with the Immeasurably More, Nancy. God bless you.

  • http://threepartsblessed.com Krista

    Beautiful! I love those sweet moments! Your words make me feel nostalgic.

    I look forward to more as Chloe grows, and I remind Samuel daily that he will never be too old to snuggle with me on the couch. He’s 9 now and still cuddles every morning with Dan or me as he wakes for the day. I love our Abba Daddy! He is so good to us.

    • http://www.jenniferdukeslee.com Jennifer@GDWJ

      Oh Krista … That’s so wonderful that you still get those cuddle-moments with Samuel. And little Chloe, too. She’s so sweet. God bless you, today and every day, my friend.

  • http://www.justfollowingjesus.com Elizabeth

    I love this, living in the moment with your little one. I’ve been reading Brennan Manning’s Ruthless Trust and his premise is that we are only truly trusting God when we live in the now, not worrying about tomorrow or fretting over the past.

  • http://www.jenniferdukeslee.com Jennifer@GDWJ

    Elizabeth,

    I’ve been reading a lot of Manning lately. Maybe he’s rubbing off. :) I have not yet read “Ruthless Trust.” Nor have I read his new one, “All is Grace.” Have you read the new book?

    Thanks for being here today.

  • http://lisanotes.blogspot.com Lisa notes

    My girls are too big to sit in my lap these days. But they still sit heavy in my heart. My 17-yr-old was sick this weekend and it was nice to still be needed to put a cold washcloth on her forehead.

    More than we can think to ask. God is amazing!

    • http://www.GettingDownWithJesus.com dukeslee

      Oh good, Lisa! This means I can keep bringing out the washclothes as they grow older? … In fact, I know it’s true. I still wish for my own mama when I get sick. :)

  • http://lauraboggess.com laura

    Oh, Jennifer. Just look at that face…still round with baby, isn’t it? My littlest is tall as me these days. And Teddy looks down at me now. It takes my breath how quickly the time goes. Takes my breath like a cold winter morning.

    • http://www.GettingDownWithJesus.com dukeslee

      Yes. Round with baby … The oldest is edging closer, closer in height. It frightens me! How can this happen? These babies we held just … yesterday?

  • Marla

    Jennifer
    You know my kids are to big for laps. But this weekend my one and only granddaughter gave me the biggest hug, even after I gave her a little grief about a post on facebook, and said “Gramma I love you.” And last week one of the littlest grandsons said “Gamma you are my snuggle bug” Just doesnt’ get much better than that and those are the gifts I need to remember and thank my heavenly father for each and every day!!!

    • http://www.GettingDownWithJesus.com dukeslee

      Oh Marla … That is wonderful. You’ve got such a beautiful family. You done good, Grandma. :)

  • http://www.deborahjoy-hopesprings.blogspot.com Deborahjoy

    We will never outgrow God’s embrace.
    Amen

    • http://www.GettingDownWithJesus.com dukeslee

      Mmm … I love how you say it, Deborahjoy. Beautiful.

  • http://www.jeannedamoff.com Jeanne Damoff

    Love.

  • http://www.redemptionsbeauty.com Shelly Miller

    Beautiful moment with your girl. And she just continues to shed wisdom, doesn’t she? Mine don’t sit on my lap anymore but they still say cute and profound things that touch the deepest places.

  • http://susan-moment.blogspot.com/ S. Etole

    Such a simple trusting answer. You captured her essence well in your photo.

  • http://monicasharman.wordpress.com Monica Sharman

    May I be the kind of listener you are.

    Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a lot of asking to do. :)

  • http://adifferentstory.net Lyla Lindquist

    What takes me here isn’t even so much that she said it. (Though that takes me in a way all its own.) But she knew it enough to say it, Jennifer. She knew enough to say it.

    She knows how she is cherished in your home. To grasp, if even a tiny bit, that you are the very thing that someone asked for?

    Can you hear me exhale?

    • http://www.GettingDownWithJesus.com dukeslee

      Lyla … You always manage to find something I’ve missed. Thank you for this. Really. I read your comment earlier, just a few minutes before I kissed Anna good-night. And it stuck with me, right in that moment.

  • http://togetherforgood.wordpress.com Erin

    This is a beautiful, beautiful thing.

  • Sharon O

    HOW precious… enjoy your moments while you can.

  • http://soulstops.com Dolly

    so heartwarming…your girls are so wise, each of them, like their mom :)

  • http://thoughtsofgrace.wordpress.com Leslie

    27 years ago, I asked for a baby girl, my fifth child. She has been nothing but a comfort and joy and my friend. You have so much to enjoy in the coming years from your gift. . .

  • http://www.heathermarsten.wordpress.com Heather Marsten

    Awww, she sounds sweet and they do grow up fast. I’m glad you’re spending this kind of loving time with her.

  • http://www.nebraskagraceful.blogspot.com Michelle DeRusha

    I love, love her answer. Sometimes I forget to ask God for what I really need. Or maybe I am afraid to ask, for some reason?

    Beautiful post, Jennifer — and beautiful picture!!

  • http://www.josephjpote.com Joe Pote

    How precious!

    I never cease to be amazed by what we can learn from our children and grandchildren.

    God has much to teach us thru their eyes!

    Thanks for sharing!

  • http://drgtjustwondering.blogspot.com Diana Trautwein

    Do you see how God is gifting this girl of yours? She knows she is wanted, she is loved. That is the greatest gift we can give to our children, I think. How better to see God as a God of love and embrace than to experience it in our homes. Just lovely, Jennifer. Thank you.

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