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As we become parents, we begin to see a tiny glimpse of the true love the Father God has for us. Our children made me aware of this truth because I realized they completely accepted me just as I was. I don't have to perform for them—they love me anyway.

Our children have a way of making us feel loved no matter who we are or what we do or don't do. The love from our children is irreplaceable, yet the love of the Father God is greater still.

God brought me to a beautiful understanding of His unconditional love during the pregnancy of our third child.

When I was pregnant with Gabrielle, our daughter, I was confined to bed rest for seven months because of complications. For the first time in my life, I couldn't travel and minister (or do housework either!) so I was forced to "rest."

You see to me, just sitting still before the Lord seemed so unproductive. I couldn't imagine God ever being happy with me just lying there not producing—much less wanting me to just be still and know that He is God (Ps. 46:10).

I had lived my life trying to be productive to please everyone around me, including God. I had not grasped the truth that God loves me regardless of what I can or cannot do for Him.

I had planned constructive tasks to do as I lay confined in bed such as writing a book on our children. Yet as I tried to accomplish those things, nothing would happen. I couldn't get started. My creative juices just wouldn't flow. I couldn't seem to get it together.

Finally, I went to God and He began to talk to me (He would have talked to me earlier, if I had gone before Him instead of trying to make things happen on my own.)

He told me He wanted me to rest before Him. He was not impressed with my schedule, nor was He moved by my "busyness."

The Father began to impress upon me that His love for me was not measured by how much I did for Him. He loved me if I never did another thing for Him. God loved me if I couldn't do anything!

You must be thinking that any idiot should know this. But for some reason, I had lived for God and loved Him all these years, teaching everyone else that God's love is unconditional—yet it never dawned on me that I really didn't believe God's love was unconditional for me.

I thought I had to do all that was humanly possible for Him to continue to love me and use me for His kingdom. What a revelation to finally comprehend God's love for me. The Father God loves me. He loves me!

From then on, I spent many hours every day alone with my Father God. All I wanted to do all day was read His Word, talk to Him, be quiet before Him, and just simply rest in Him.

Oh, how good it felt to lie in His arms and know He loves me and likes to be with me, even more than I like to be with Him.

Source: The Mommy Book by Cheryl Salem
Excerpt permission granted by Harrison House Publishers

Author Biography

Cheryl Salem
Web site: Salem Family Ministries
Cheryl Salem walked the runway to become Miss America 1980, despite what appeared to be all odds stacked against her. Poverty, sexual abuse, a horrific car crash that resulted in a physical handicap and over 100 stitches in her face were no match for what God had planned for her life. Through simple, childlike faith in Him, she overcame these insurmountable obstacles and eventually took the crown in Atlantic City! She has used this distinction as a springboard to launch the Gospel of Jesus Christ into churches, schools, women's retreats, television appearances, etc. Prison ministries, women's shelters, inner-city outreaches, and disaster relief programs have made use of Cheryl's books and CDs to offer hope and help to those in need. According to Cheryl, "None of these things would be possible, if not for my Jesus."

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