We started this conversation by asking Lisa her favorite part of being a mom. And of course, she responded with, "There's nothing I don't love, except my schedule, and that I'm tired every. single. day." (Amen, mamas? No one warned me about the funk you live in of happy exhaustion as a mama. I wouldn't change it for the world, but I would love a little bit of sleep every now and then.)
Lisa also said: "My little girl loves life and sees it as a gift, and everyday she is grateful. When we get older, it’s easier to see life as the glass as half empty. Missy reminds me to look at life through the eyes of gratitude – to be grateful about every good thing that God gives us."
Is God Happy? Is He Happy with Me?
The word "happy" is in the Bible 85 times in both the Old Testament and New Testament. Over and over again He says that He is happy and that He is happy with us.
Zephaniah 3:17 says Our God is might to save. He sings song of delight over us.
The word there “delight” in Hebrew, really depicts God smiling and laughing.
Absolutely He is happy with us. We are His beloved, clothed in the robes of righteousness through Jesus. We are justified through faith in Christ, who took on God's wrath so that we might be able to have a right relationship with Him.
And now, He sings over us!
Lisa Harper grew up thinking God was part librarian, part roaring lion.
She said, "The idea that God smiles when He sees me coming and that He sings songs over me undoes me. Sometimes, I’m so aware of my depravity, the idea of my own belovedness is a lot harder for me to hold on to (like wet soap.) In meaning for good things, we focus so much on our downfalls. We are so aware of our failures, but forget about God’s goodness and grace when we focus only on our sin.
Having a high opinion of God does not mean that we have a low view of ourselves. He says we are beautiful and wonderfully made.
When we focus on how low we are, it’s actually narcissistic.
To have a higher view of God equates with having a higher view of ourselves because we see ourselves the way that God sees us.
Overall, we want our kids to see God as smiling toward them, and for them to see themselves the way that God sees them: as His dearly beloved.
Lisa, how do you continue to learn?
I’m to the point in my life where I can’t live without Jesus. (I'm there, too. Are you?)
I’m always listening to podcasts and reading books. I read veraciously. Sometimes I revisit seminary notes to get fresh reminders of how He has revealed Himself. I think the best teachers are better students. And my child is constantly pointing me back to study Scripture as she asks questions I don’t know the answer to.
We hope that you are constantly being pointed back to Scripture by your kids as they ask questions, and we hope that you know that you are dearly loved and can communicate God's happiness and love for His children to the sweet kiddos in your home today!
If you want a deeper answer to today's big question, make sure to grab Lisa's newest book, The Sacrament of Happy. So often, we forget that God is indeed a smiling God who sings over us, and this book discovers the theology behind this concept with storytelling, Bible truths, and a lot of laughs. It's available anywhere books are sold.
We'd love for you to leave us a review so other parents might find this podcast and join us on Facebook and tell us what questions your kids are asking and how we can better help you answer the questions that they have. We're cheering you on!