Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Sleep of a Child

Each night before I go to bed, I tiptoe into my children's rooms. Their peaceful demeanor, quiet baby faces, and slow steady breathing gives me a serenity and calm before closing my eyes for the night. If they wake in the middle of the night, all they need do is call, and I will come to help, offering what relief I can. I'm not saying I run up the stairs with a joyful heart, because frankly that big bad duck trying to bite them in their dream seems a ludicrous reason to interrupt my sleep. But I do actively listen to them, pray with them, and try to silent their fears. I'm thankful that I can give them this, because I know it is not a constant for children the world over.

A novel I read made a reference to children of America appearing to be utterly at peace in their sleep. They don't twist themselves into a ball or stuff themselves beneath a cabinet. They do not sleep with open eyes the way other children are forced to learn. Our children stretch out long and wide, dreaming of sugarplums while waiting for handouts from the tooth fairy. The thought has stuck with me, as I see mine all sprawled out on their beds in various positions. I'm thankful they have a feeling of safety and security.

Nights are intended to be a time of rest and quiet. Yet often mine are filled with wrestling and stirrings of the heart--- counting the tasks needing completion, planning a strategy to accomplish, evaluating and reviewing the day's events and how I handled them. I'm certain these concerns I ponder are petty in the grand scheme of things, but still in those quiet dark hours they loom over me. There is a comfort offered to me though, if only I would call out and trust, lay down those burdens and fall back into the sleep of a child. What a gift to be loved and be safe!

"You, O Lord, are a shield about me...I cried aloud to the Lord, and He answered me....I lay down and slept; I woke again, for the Lord sustained me." (taken from Psalms 3)

"Ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent...and put your trust in the Lord...In peace, I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety." (taken from Psm. 4)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


So, I'm driving from San Antonio, TX back to Abilene, TX. It's dark. I'm tired. There are NO cars on these long deserted miles and miles of interstate. I listen to my tunes, but after seeing those dashes of paint on the road for hours, my thoughts are gonna go. You know my mind can't ever go blank for long.

Who on earth dedicated their lives to putting down this asphalt? Who spent countless hours measuring, sweating, and paving this road just to leave it there for someone else to use? They don't even get to sit on the sidelines, waving, and taking credit for all of the use it gets from complete strangers. They poured themselves into it, then vanished, never to be thanked, never to be acknowledged. Hopefully, they know that it was a very good deed they did, and that they changed lives.

How many other silent heroes have gone on before us? Making sacrifices, pouring their lives into us, without us even realizing? I'm sure we cannot even begin to count. Some did it with their money, some with their power and prestige, and some with their bare hands and hearts.

Christ came to this earth for such a short time. He poured Himself into His mission. Look at the influence He had. Look at the constant change in millions and millions of lives even after He left centuries ago. He wasn't rich, He didn't change the world with His money. He changed it with His behavior, His words, and His love.

As a mom, I'd like to think that's what I'm doing (No, not being Jesus:-). I'm pouring myself, my time, my sweat, my tears and joys into these kids. Many souls will run into my children throughout their lives and not know the efforts I have poured into them. Often they themselves will not even remember the times it broke me to stick with a punishment I'd given, or the millions of "Ew's" and "Ah's" I'd gasped at their stories, or even the relentless serving of meals and laundry. But I'm not doing it for the thank you's. I'm not doing it for acknowledgement. I'm hoping they'll grow up to influence others for good, that they will change lives for the better, that through them I will have left a legacy that stretches out there like that highway, always of use to others, always a constant, always a light in this world.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Hands, Feet, and Hearts

Each night our routine includes family prayers. As all of us do, our kids have regular phrases they include in their prayers. For example, there is the infamous, "Please help us not to get the stomach BUG" which led to Eben's fears of "Big Bugs" getting him at night. But Thessy's prayers are always an enigma to me; she fills them with such random comments. I never know where she is going with hers, what she will include, or how long it will carry on. Every night it is a surprise and beautiful treat. She prays for her Great Papa, who misses her Great Grandma. She prays for her aunt who misses her frog who died over a year ago. The other night, she thanked God, with long pauses between, "Thank you for our hands....our feet....and our hearts." At first, it seemed so random and even unusual of a mix. But it's played over and over again in my head. In those three simple things, she covered our what, where, why, who, and how.
Hands are the what we do, our actions. Feet are the where we go, where we choose to be and surround ourselves with. Hearts are why we do what we do, what we feel, what we think, who we are!
As I sit there nightly wondering if I should limit the length of her prayers, counting the minutes ticking by, may my hands fold in respect, my feet calm in letting her talk, and may my heart look inward and praise the One who has blessed me so richly with precious hidden messages.