Gentle (and not so gentle) Reminders

I’ll be holding Phin and suddenly I’ll hear this sweet whispered “Momma, Momma” while a two little fingers ever-so-gently tap my cheek. I feel a tap on my hip and hear Tyus say patiently, “Mom, I don’t mean to be mean, but you forgot to play dominoes with me.” My children are quick to gently remind me to pay attention to them.

They are also quick to not-so-gently remind me of their requests, demands and presence. Phin switches instantly from gentle toddler to angsty teenager who yells “MMOOOOOMMM” at the top of his lungs. Eli can quickly snap, saying, “I asked you four times and you still haven’t gotten my yogurt.”

While I receive the former much better than the latter, goodness knows I need to be reminded. In the midst of trying to maintain sanity and some level of functionality in our house, I need to be reminded to delight in them, to sit eye-to-eye and listen to them. I need help to put my book down or the broom away and “waste” time with them on the front porch swing talking about penguins or soccer or school drama or whatever topic holds their heart these days.

I love how shamelessly they beg, with or without words, “Delight in me. Notice me. Know me. Enjoy me.”

The Lord reminded me yesterday that I cannot delight in them unless I have delighted in and been delighted in by Him.

I wish the Lord would tangibly beg in the same way. He is so much more patient than my children. His whispers are hard to hear above the tyranny of the urgent and the white noise of the world and my own heart. I have to sit still for quite some time before I can hear His tender voice, urging me “Delight in me. Notice me. Know Me. Enjoy me.”

Time delighting in Him, enjoying His presence, noticing His recent handiwork leaves me full and still. In His presence in those stolen quiet seconds, I feel His great delight in me. I remember that He notices my scribbled attempts at work and receives them proudly. I remember that He knows my particular needs and desires and delights to uniquely meet them. I remember that He has storehouses of beauty and power and wisdom for those who will stop and ask.

Those exchanges between He and I free me to be just a little quicker to notice my children’s feeble attempts at obedience and excellence. The peace that pervades me allows me to pass by dirty bedrooms and leave chores undone for the greater work of being present with my children.

A Gentle Reminder to Self

Happy the Home with legions of Legos strewn madly about the floor,

Playful the Place where dragons and kin are free to roam and roar.

Happy the Home with trails of dirt spontaneously spread from the door

Peaceful the Place where one piece of art magically multiplies to four. 

Happy the Mother who chooses to embrace the toys, the mess, the noise.

Many the Memories of laughter from the early years or three wild boys.

So, Crazy Lady, put down the broom and let sleeping dust bunnies lie;

Sit and stay and play and pray for these days are speeding by!

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