Tuesday, June 19, 2012

When I Rise

These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.
Deuteronomy 6:6-7

When I sit in my house…
There are little mouths to feed. The kitchen that was spotless before I went to bed last night is now cluttered with pots and bowls and spoons, fruit peels and vegetable ends, and random baby dolls and dominoes. We sit at the table…or, let’s face it, more often the kitchen floor…and eat our breakfast or our first, second, or third morning snack, or lunch, always followed by “Mommy? Well, I’m still hungry, so…”

When I sit in my house, it is not for long. I check my email and then jump up to turn the light on in the bathroom for a potty emergency. I look up a recipe and then run into the living room to rescue a baby who has rolled over onto her stomach and forgotten how to get back to the starting position.

When I sit in my house, it is to build a mouse house out of treasure rocks. It is to make train tracks out of dominoes. It is to color with magical markers that only write on magical paper. It is to change dirty diapers. To fold laundry. To wipe up spills. And change more diapers.

When I sit in my house, it is to nurse my sweet baby. I sit on the couch and send my 2 year old to the book basket to pick out some books to read together while I feed her sister. 

Oh God, will they see You in me? Let Your truth be in my heart and on my tongue and on my mind, when I sit in my house.

When I walk by the way…

There are little hands to hold. And when did Claire get so big that I had to force that issue, anyway? Wasn’t it yesterday that she couldn’t even walk without clinging to my hand for balance and strength?

There is a huge stroller to push. I strap my girls in and run. I’m going to have man-size forearms by the time they outgrow the double jogger. Along the way we always point out every squirrel we see and make sure to speak to other walkers, joggers, bikers, and dogs.

When I walk by the way, the destination cannot be the goal or else I will live in frustration, because wherever we go there are countless stops to make. “Mom! A flower!” “Mom! An ant!” “Mom! Look at that rock!” The smallest pieces of creation come alive for my girl.

Will they see You in me? Let Your truth be in my heart and on my tongue and on my mind, when I walk by the way.

When I lie down…

I never know how the night will go. Will I be getting up multiple times this night? For feeding a hungry baby, for comfort after a nightmare, for a drink of water for a thirsty child? And if they sleep through the night, surely I won’t. I will wake up and wonder why I haven’t been called out of my bed yet. 

Will they see You in me? Let Your truth be in my heart and on my tongue and on my mind, when I lie down.

When I rise

When I rise, there are libraries, parks, and fountains to visit. There are groceries to buy, bills to pay, deposits to make, packages to mail.

When I rise, there is breakfast to make. There are songs to sing and stories to read and little hearts to teach. There are tantrums to handle but there is also laughter to enjoy.  There are so many sweet moments to absorb and remember and treasure. There are so many hard moments to teach me grace and humility and dependence. 

When I rise, I wonder if I will make it to the shower today. I try my best to savor my hot cup of tea before any of the littles begin to stir. I think about all the things I want to accomplish and sometimes remember that only a few of those things really matter.

Sweet Lord, will they see You in me? Let Your truth be in my heart and on my tongue and on my mind, when I rise.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Safe in His Love

My baby girl laughed for the first time last night.

Music to my ears.

I probably scared her to death with my reaction – my ridiculous yell of delight, thunderous clapping of hands, and my earnest attempts to get her to repeat that sweet sound for the next half hour.

Yesterday in the grocery store my 2 year old tried to boop me. What??? You don’t know what that means??? Well, I don’t completely understand it either but it involves poking and then a cry of “I booped you!!!” followed by hysterical laughter. I had to make a rule that no booping is allowed in the grocery store. Yes, I can actually keep a stern face and say, “You know you are not supposed to boop mommy in the grocery store.” I had to deliver this firm instruction yesterday, to which Little replied, “I’m not trying to boop you, I’m just trying to hug you.”

Melt my heart.

So we walked around the produce section with Little in the cart and me hunched over so she could reach her arms around me. I would walk around all day like that if I could.

The thing that I’m realizing in parenthood, is that my children do not have to go to great lengths to delight my heart. They don’t have to earn my favor. I bask in the simple, spontaneous actions that show that they know me, and that they know that I love them.

Hebrews 11:6 states that “Without faith it is impossible to please God, for anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.”

Could it be that the same things in my children that delight my heart, also please my heavenly Father?

My baby laughs at me because she knows me and on some level, she feels safe in my love.

My daughter hugs me because she knows that I love her and that her affections are safe with me.

They know me. They know who I am. They trust in me. And their actions flow out of their beliefs.

My dear Father doesn’t require me to earn His favor. He is most pleased with me when I believe. When I believe that He exists…when I trust that He is good…when I know that He will meet me and satisfy me and welcome me when I seek Him…

And if I fill my mind and my heart with these truths of His presence and His character, then the things that I do will flow out of that and reflect it.

And when I laugh, it will be because I am safe in His love.

And when I worship Him, it will be because I am safe in His love

And when I make sacrifices in my roles as wife and mother, it will be because I am safe in His love

And when I reach out to others, it will be because I am safe in His love.

And when I fail, and sin, and make a mess of things, I will run to the cross because I know that I am safe in His love.

And He will be pleased, not because of what I do, but because I know that I am safe in His love.