Let me tell you about children.
They are loud noises from small bodies. “Sooo big” but still so small. They are busy and clumsy and silly and serious. They are working and trying and growing and failing and struggling and falling and getting up again. They are exploring and questioning and searching and terrifying and then… suddenly accomplished. They are always on the go, always on the hunt, always changing and asking and seeking and knocking and complaining and starting over and doing it again. They swell you with joy and pride, and deflate you with discouragement.
They are the tiny selves that wake you in the night and curl up beside you. They are the voice that wails you into the bathroom at 4am. They are the doctor’s appointment for illness when you “should” be working. They are the warm saggy form in pjs that you carried into the office with a half-full bag of (ahem) tossed cookies in tow – and you didn’t even care what people thought. You just needed to make sure they were well. And that there were no, er, cookies on the floor when you left. (But there were.)
They are the wake up, the go to sleep, the mid-day, the evening, and the morning…again. They are “Mom, I need you.”
They are children and they can’t help it.
They are a lot of work, but they make the work worth the while. They are a HUGE pain, but the pain is a small price.
Because, they are yours. For this moment. And they need you now. Someday, they’ll need you less. But for now, you hold the hair and stroke the sweaty back and strip the sheets and run to the store at all hours. Only to wake and sign the forms and taxi that one and teach the other one and feed everyone by eight and noon and six. It seems to never end.
But really, we all know it will. In fact, we’re working hard to that end. Lord willing, they will be healthy, kind, God-honoring adults who in turn serve those around them in their homes and offices and churches and neighborhoods.
“I love you Mom,” she giggled and whispered to me after I had told her, “THAT loud of a scream is only for when bears are in the house and about to eat you. I don’t want to hear it otherwise. Instead, let's use words.” She planted a kiss on my nose. Did she hear me? Who knows. She’s my little child. I’ll tell her again tomorrow.
Let me tell you about children. You’re one too. God’s child.
Momma, (and all those mommas at heart that step into loving shoes to mother the hurting), we’re His children. Sometimes, we (I) need the soft reminder that we’re not His help, advisor, counselor, right hand, account holder, or any number of other roles we (I) try to fill. A child. Known, loved, patiently learning, guided, comforted, and taught.
Sure, we’ll grow up. And someday, we’ll be perfect, complete, lacking nothing. But in the meantime, we’re in the in between. And in-between phases are messy. (Just ask your preteen). And that’s ok. We’ll grow up, but we’ll always be His child. And that means we simply don’t have to get it all right.
And the grace we give our little ones, we can give ourselves. And oh, how I need it. And so do you.
Let me tell you about children. Sometimes you need arms around you. Sometimes you’re the limp saggy form in pjs with a half-full bag of broken dreams that just needs carrying. Sometimes you’re the beggar in the night, the voice of alarm, the hungry, the needy, the messing up and trying again one. Sometimes you simply didn’t hear Him. And that’s ok.
You’re His child. He’ll tell you again tomorrow.
“But as many as received him, to them gave He the right to become children of God, even to them that believe on His name” (John 1:12).
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 19:14).
“See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are” (1 John 3:1).
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