The last month has been a blur. Lesson plans, teaching through the day with the kids and shuffling off to sports practices in the evenings. This has been our life for the last year, yet for some reason this last month it has felt more demanding.
I find that I am just a step behind the laundry and the dishes and the to-do-list. There is always more to be done than there is energy and time.
And yet, I find that the words from my last point carry with me, and there is still an underlying contentment. Is it possible to be content and want change at the same time? To be content and yet to hope for things to expand and for growth to happen? I think so. I think it is okay to say that we hope for, and work for and look forward to change even while we are fully aware of the blessings we enjoy.
Still. There are days where I am just flat-out tired. There are days where I wake up tired. My blood pressure has been up and the allergies are flying. The kids are together almost all the time, and they get on each other’s nerves. And mine.
The house gets messy.
I get irritable.
I forget the blessings. I forget the hope for a moment. I forget how incredibly rich this life is. And then….suddenly I realize there is this one constant that has begun to happen. This makes everything stop. Maybe just for a few seconds. Maybe for a minute or two.
This forces me to stop. Physically forces me. Looks me in the eye and says I love you.
Every morning, and after every nap…
I wake Maddie up, I carry her downstairs and she lays down on the floor.
She grabs hold of my neck and bear hugs me.
She grabs on and will not let go. I will pull back and tell her I need to go do whatever…and she will look at me with a gleam in her eye and say:
“No. I hug you. I love you.”
And then she will pull me back in to a hug.
The first time I thought it was cute. The second time I giggled and laughed and told her she was silly.
The fifth time I started to think God was trying to get my attention. This little one is deeper than she lets on.
Now I don’t fight it. Or giggle.
I expect it. I know one of these days she won’t hold on, and I’ll miss it terribly. This littlest one was sent to stop me in my tracks from time to time.
She was sent to remind me…to look me in the eye, to hold on tight and to make sure I was listening.
“I love you.”
Boy, it changes the tone of the moment. If we could all hear that. When we are stressed. When we are tired. When we are hopeless. When we are weary.
Sometimes, honestly, she hugs so tight that it hurts.
Sometimes we need that. We need someone who is willing to stop and look us in the eye and make sure we are paying attention and truly listening…and someone willing to make us stop and hear.
We are loved.
Man, it changes the tone of everything when we truly hear it, though. Then we want to hear it again every morning. We look forward to it and we are eager to hear it. There is something incredibly pure in hearing it from a child.
God knew what He was doing when He plopped this little one in my midst…and yet I know that there are so many around me that need to hear that as well. I know that there are so many who need to simply know that they are loved, who need to know that they matter. They need to have someone look them in the eye and speak truth to them.
Someone to simply care.
I know that I spend much of my time lately distracted. Much of my time half-listening. And in these moments when Maddie grabs me and looks at me and speaks I have this larger sense of what it is to be seen. I want to learn to be like that…to listen and to see and to love like a child. What kind of impact could we have?