"For the LORD your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs." Zephaniah 3:17 (NLT)         

Startled by the silence, I shot up in bed so I could see the neon red lights that told me it was three in the morning, time to feed the baby. But Andrew hadn't made a sound. Was something wrong? Or was he sleeping through the night?

Wavering between panic and joy, I felt my way down the hall to the nursery and leaned over Andrew's crib. I listened for the sound of his breathing and carefully rested my hand on his tiny chest to feel the gentle rhythm of its rising and falling.

Moonlight slipped through the blinds helping me see that he was perfectly fine. Most sane mothers would have gone back to bed. But not me, I stood there for a while watching my child sleep. The love and joy I felt at that moment was almost overwhelming. How could I love someone so much? My heart longed just to be near this little guy who set my days in motion with his cries and smiles.

Andrew developed a routine of sleeping through the night soon after, yet I would listen for his cries hoping for a good excuse to check on him. While he was sleeping, I'd sneak into his room just because I wanted to be with him. Then I'd tiptoe into my older son Joshua's room, and watch him slumber.

Looking at their faces, I'd imagine the boys God was shaping them into. I'd whisper prayers for them to know Jesus and love Him with all their hearts. I'd ask God to calm their fears, fulfill their dreams, and establish their steps to walk in His ways.

My sons are teenagers now, but I still sometimes go into their rooms to pray over them and watch them while they're sleeping. My heart feels just as full as it did when they were little guys. They aren't doing anything to make me feel proud or happy. In fact, they may have even driven me to my wits end that day, but I find so much delight in them because they are mine.

You know, God feels the exact same way about you and me. He loves to be with us and watch over us, even while we're sleeping. It's not because we are doing anything for Him, but simply because we are His. We might have even disappointed Him that day, but it doesn't change how He feels about us.

I sense God wants you to know today that He delights greatly in you my friend. And with His love, He is there today to quiet your fears, concerns, insecurities and doubts. I have a feeling the joy-filled songs He sings over you are written just for you, describing the beautiful woman He's created you to be, while gently leading your heart to know and rely on His love more and more each day.

What a great reminder for times when nothing's going right; when we feel like the whole world is against us and nobody understands what we're going through. I hope the next time you have one of those days you'll imagine the love of a mother watching her child sleeping and remember that Your Heavenly Father loves and delights in you even more than that!

Dear Lord, thank You for the reminder that You are always with me and that You love to watch over me, every minute of every day - even while I am sleeping. Help me to completely believe this truth about Your love for me. In Jesus' Name, Amen.