Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Applause of God

    How do I adequately share the feelings towards my children as I watch them step into a calling? There are really no adequate words to explain the emotions.  There’s this place in my heart of sheer delight as I watch them rise up into who they are.  It all started several years ago when my firstborn did her first worship dance.  I couldn't hold back the tears as I watched her step onto that stage.  

     It's happened with each child.  Whether stepping into a role in a play, raising their hands in worship, boarding an airplane to go on overseas missions trips, or watching them play in the youth worship band, I delight in watching my children be who they are.  I take great pleasure in seeing them bask in the giftings of God on their lives.

     I don’t want to miss one event.  I don’t want to miss one moment watching them step into who they are.  My eye is always on them. In fact I can’t take my eyes off of them.  

     I've come to understand something I've never known before.  As I step into the desires of my heart, living out the gifts inside me, my Papa God can't take His eyes off of me.  He stands up, applauding me, cheering me on.  I can hear Him say, "that's my girl". Why has it taken me so long to see that?


     Why have I looked to others for approval or disapproval so easily?   He’s the proud Papa who is watching me at all times.  His eyes are captivated with what I am doing, yet I haven't seen Him there watching, nodding, cheering, affirming.  

      I have spent too many years looking for the acknowledgment of man.  I wanted to be known by what I could do.  It was easy for me to talk of the Bible studies I had led or taught.  It gave me some type of value when people noticed my abilities.   I looked for affirmation from man because I could not see the applause of God.

     What must it do to His heart to watch me struggle to embrace who He made me to be?  Why is it that when I desire something and He gives it to me, I back away from it, thinking it couldn’t possibly be true?  For example, I struggle to call myself a writer.  There’s something about the title that throws me. Why haven’t I seen that it was He who placed those desires within me.   I love writing because He put that love in me.

     His invitation into the desert has opened up so many areas that have been distorted to me.  I can now see more clearly what is really true.  He delights in me.  In the intimacy of the desert experience, He has uncovered misconceptions about me that I have carried for so long.  His truth breathes life into those places.  Man’s approval and affirmations, though nice, will never fill me up.  Neither should man’s disapproval take from me.   I was made with a cavern in my soul that was made by Him, for Him.  He is the depths that reaches into my depths.  HE is my affirmation.

      As I step up to offer what's inside me I acknowledge the breath of God flowing through me.  I am a writer who writes because He breathes the words into me. It's not about me.  It's about Him in me.  My Papa God, with eyes glued to me, stands up to applaud as I step into who He made me to be.  I have captivated His heart.  I can be me.  I have the approval of the one who matters.  I am His daughter, the one He made for Himself.  He has poured His heart into me, for I am loved.

     What about you?  Do you see Him applauding YOU?

     Fifty one years ago today my first breath of life was breathed into me.   Today I celebrate my birth.  For the first time in my life I feel free to celebrate who I am.  I love who He has made me to be.  Thank you Papa God for the revealing your heart towards me.  Thank you for breathing the breath of life in me.  Thank you for delighting in me.  You are my life.

©copyright:  2008 Julie L. Todd


Denise said... Reply to comment

Happy Birthday dear one. On the day you were born, the angels danced for joy, they are still dancing. Enjoy your day. Praying for your dad.

Anonymous said... Reply to comment

And I, your birth mother, take delight in seeing you be who God made you to be. I am smiling right now. I love you, honey, and I applaud you as well. Mom

God's Girl said... Reply to comment

What an awesome place to be. To see the faithfulness of God in the lives of your children.

I look forward to see what God does in my daughter's life.

May your heart be blessed today!

All for Jesus,

God's Girl said... Reply to comment
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Joyful said... Reply to comment

Julie, what a beautiful post. I too delight in seeing my son following hard after Jesus - there is no greater joy than seeing our children walk in truth (3 John 1:4).

I loved how you related that to our Heavenly Father taking delight in us as we pursue Him with passion and follow where He leads. Oh to do everything for an audience of One.

I struggle with calling myself a 'writer' as well, although I love to write and have had many confirmations that God is using my writing. You wrote, "I love writing because He put that love in me." He put that love in me as well. Thank you for helping me see that today.

And now....HAPPY BIRTHDAY my friend. May this be a year of unwrapping all the wonderful gifts He has placed inside you and using them for His glory.


Shanda said... Reply to comment

I love your heart and your ability to express your journey in a way that reaches my heart, too. My greatest concern, is knowing the Lord so well that I will be able to usher my girls into more than a knowledge of Him, but a relationship that can free them and allow them to fly. Your post encourages me through the desert and fills me with hope! You are a gift to me!

Gretchen said... Reply to comment

"I have spent too many years looking for the acknowledgment of man. I wanted to be known by what I could do. It was easy for me to talk of the Bible studies I had led or taught. It gave me some type of value when people noticed my abilities. I looked for affirmation from man because I could not see the applause of God."

Oh, yeah. This is good, hard stuff. Julie, I feel like, once again, the Father gave you the words to write from my heart.

Bless you, dear one, on your b'day and always. (((hugs)))

sister sheri said... Reply to comment

What a wonderful post... considering it is your birthday...

Yes, how I celebrate the day of my son's birth... I think about my pregnancy, the birth and the subsequent joys and tears. Always, with a heart of love and tenderness... thanking God for the gift of my son. And how He must celebrate you today... How His eyes tear up when He thinks of you His precious daughter.

Happy Birthday!

2nd Cup of Coffee said... Reply to comment

I celebrate with you and thank God for the day you were born.

Laura said... Reply to comment

Oh, dear friend, I missed your birthday! I celebrate with you. How glad my heart is that you were born! You have been such a blessing to me, and I know, to many others.You are a special, special lady. Papa is so proud.
I hear the applause...

Amy said... Reply to comment


I am laughing and crying at the same time after reading this post. My heart is rejoicing over what the Lord has done for you! My heart is dancing for you!

Yes, I feel the applause of God...there is nothing else in this life that compares to it!

Happy Birthday, Julie! May you bask in God's great love and applause.

Love you so much,

Kimberly said... Reply to comment

Happy, Happy Birthday, sweet friend!

Sometimes, I think we are listening so intently for the applause of others, that we miss His. I need to start listening for His! Thanks for always reminding us of His love!


Sarah said... Reply to comment

Powerful. The applause of God. To stop and consider that every key my fingertips press is simply an extension of my conversation with him where He says to my spirit, "yes, yes, Sarah...that's it. That's what I'm talking about...or No, that's not quite what I mean." and that every word and phrase that fall from my lips need only his affirmation. Very powerful. Thanks for writing. This is my favorite.
See you Tuesday.

Angie said... Reply to comment

I love that Julie. Even more so having met you and hugged your neck! I felt the presence of the Holy God in our gathering this weekend! You were a big part of His blessing in my life these past couple of days!

YOU ARE A WRITER...doing exactly what you have been called to do for the days in which we live!

This was good! Have a blessed week!

Tiffany Stuart said... Reply to comment

I love you, sweet Julie. I celebrate the one God created you to be today. A mom. A wife. A writer. A friend. A sister in the Lord. A daughter of the King of kings. Planned for such a time as this!

SO thankful for your birthday! 51 years on earth and a future that's secure--because of Christ's love in your heart.

You share Him well. Thank you!

Jensmere said... Reply to comment

Hi Julie! So nice to have met you! Hope you are dancing for Papa God as He looks at you will love!

Cindy said... Reply to comment

Hi Julie,

First ~ Happy Belated Birthday ~ I have been away from visiting blogs for a few days ~ sorry I missed it.

You are always a few steps ahead of me. When I read you words I see were I am headed. I'm just a year behind. I want to much to live in the freedom you speak about.

I would love to honestly get to know you ~ the person ~ not just the blogger.

Bless you for sharing your heart and your life with others.

Laura said... Reply to comment

Hello, friend! Just popping to say hello, and I am thinking of you!
Love you,

Stonefox (otherwise known as Heidi) said... Reply to comment

I am so glad you left a comment on my blog, because I have been so blessed in reading yours. You are a beloved child of God and your journey with Him is so precious. I see a beloved child, holding to the Father's hand, and the Father delighting in you. Thank you for sharing yourself and for sharing HIM with you.