Snuggled together on the couch, her little limbs tangle with mine like January branches. She touches her nose to my cheek and asks for a story with a smirk. I check the time and nod— stifle a sigh and find a smile. The bedtime runway is in sight. This plane will soon land and I am air traffic control.
She hands me the pumpkin book, the sweet one with the farmer who scrapes the messy, seedy slop out and then fills it with light. This book, an October rite of passage, is frayed from how often we read it but she burrows in and we begin.
We move through together, taking turns reading until the last page is turned and I move to get up.
“I think I might want to do that soon.” She says in a soft voice.
“Carve a Jack-o-lantern? That sounds fun.” I reply as I gently untangle my limbs from hers.
“No. I mean let God do that with me. Let Him fill me with light and take out all the yucky stuff.”
I freeze right where I sit and her eyes are wide but not nearly as wide as mine, because this is one of those moments that I want to get right. She stares at me with peaceful sleepy eyes and we chat a little bit about what it means to choose Jesus and to let Him make us brand new and why we are so full of sin and in need of cleaning in the first place and… does she have any more questions?
She stops and smiles and says, “Umm, Mommy? You have a poppyseed in your teeth.”
The moment is over as quickly as it came and I go to bed laughing and breathing heavy questions. Was this the moment? Should I have pressed her a little more? Rushing right behind the questions comes the reminder that God brought this up in the first place. There is time to wait… on Him and on her.
Sighs and prayers are streaming tonight—because I never saw that coming and isn’t that just the way it is with parenting little people?
Days full to the edge with the trail mix of everydayness. Then like the first Roman Candle on the 4th of July, boom. Heart talk.
It happens when we are watching the clock. When we’re barely awake and surviving on coffee and Pb&J crust. Right when God tugs at their tender hearts and jolts us back. Back to the business of being always ready. Ready to point them back to Him.
Being that question-fielder is daunting, isn’t it? Harrowing and humbling and full of wonder. And just— hard. But here we are, in these shoes— for a sacred reason. The job of raising these little ones fills our insides with awe and fear, just as those first tiny kicks did.
More than ever before I recognize that He is in it all. Both in the talk of hearts and heaven and in the hilarious chats about why we have belly buttons & which Disney Princess reigns supreme.
On these days when I go to bed laughing and grateful that He was watching her heart while I was watching the clock, I know.
I know that He is in it all. Even then, I still feel painfully inadequate when green eyes are staring back at me with the fruit of my midnight prayers.
I need Him. With every new stage and unforeseen question.
I need His wisdom.
I need His mercy when I mess things up big time.
This mama needs more than a “Good Job!”
I need so much more than a pat on the back. I need Immanuel, God WITH us.
Immanuel, God With Us is so much more than a heading on a Christmas card.
It is what gets me out of bed some days.
It is my victory chant.
It is my tired-mama mantra.
The knowledge that He is always with us, and watching over them? It is enough. He is ALWAYS ENOUGH.
Need a musical reminder of this very thing? This song, “God With Us” by All Sons & Daughters is beautiful and a favorite for sure.