“Do you know how much I love you?” I ask my youngest son Abe one night as I tuck him in to bed.

“How much, mommy?” he replies.

And I have to think for a minute about my rhetorical question, not actually expecting to need to explain how much, not sure where even to begin.

How do I tell this child of the hopes and dreams that his dad and I had while dating of having a large family with lots of kids, chaos, and love?

How do I tell him how we struggled to get pregnant? How God opened the doors for us to adopt? How every child that is now a part of our family is a child we’ve prayed for years to arrive?

How much do I love this boy? This long-awaited gift?

“Oh buddy, I love you more than this bed, more than our house, more than even food,” I say.

And he laughs — not a giggle, but a full-belly, throw-your-head-back laugh.

I smile.

“How much do you love me, honey?” I ask.

Grinning, he tells me, “I love you more than my bed, my toys, and my clothes.”

“Wow, that’s a lot,” I say.

“Uh huh,” he responds.

This has now become our thing. He asks me if I know how much he loves me and when I ask how much, he responds by telling me all the things he loves me more than, and I in turn do the same.

This fall while on vacation, as my son once again asked me during our walk to our cabin from the pool, I responded to him, and then heard God speak softly to my heart: Do you know how much I love you?

“How much?” I whispered.

I love you more than this creation, more than you love your children, as much as my own son.

And my thoughts stopped, just for a moment. I’m in awe of just how much God loves me, how often he refers to himself in scripture as our father, loving me, just as I do my own children. Loving me enough to sacrifice his own son.

It’s humbling, really. And comforting. The realization strikes me fresh, anew. That even though my life may take unexpected turns and things don’t always work out the way I had planned, the one thing I can always depend on is God’s love for me.

1 John 3:1 says, “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!”

Do you know how much God loves you today?

“For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him.” Psalm 103:11

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