Mommy Confessions – All The Possibilities

A warm summer breeze fluttered the curtain that evening providing much needed relief to this overheated momma and red-cheeked wonder. Nursing in the summer heat is a hot mess of it and, as he’s squirming for escape, it often feels like the little guy is running a marathon rather than filling his tummy. This day though, with that breeze, I couldn’t manage to peel my eyes from his precious little self as he miraculously and peacefully rested there.

The day had been normal, fluctuating between the “I-love-you-so-deeply” and “you’re-driving-me-bonkers” moments, and I was ready for bedtime and me-time. Yet there he was so perfect and peaceful. And I began to trace my finger along his delicate features and, as I often do, I began to pray for his little life, the eighty or ninety years of it he has ahead of him.

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His toes caught my eyes first, so tiny and a touch ticklish. I began to wonder… Where will your feet take you little one? What soil will they touch in this big world? I thought of my own feet stained with red African soil at only eighteen and wondering if my own mother had prayed for the soil mine would touch never dreaming it would be across the sea someday. Will they be lovely as you bring Good News, child? And I ask for trust and peace to release him to the places God must take him.

Then his legs… They are so shaky now as he is just learning to bear weight on them. It won’t be long and he will stand on them. I wonder… What will you stand for, child? Will you stand for Truth and faith, even at a cost? Will you stand for the broken, the outcast, and the hurting? Will you bear the weight of their need? And I ask for God’s power and the boldness that comes through the Sprit for him.

His fingers wiggle and I watch his hands unfold against the warmth of my skin. They are so tiny, just learning to touch and discover the world and it’s textures and tactile wonder. Oh child, I wonder what precious lives your tiny hands will touch with love and hope? Will your hands become dirty with the mess of living grace for others? Will you touch the heart of God and know His power? Will you hold on to those things which we teach you are of worth and substance? And I pray that these little hands will become the hands of Jesus in this broken world.

His arms, just learning to embrace and to reach for the things that catch his eye. The perfect little rolls of flesh growing stronger with each day as he changes and strengthens. And I wonder… Where will these arms reach and to whom? Who will you reach out to and embrace for the Kingdom? What helpmate will you lovingly embrace for a lifetime? Will you reach for the stars, and if so, which ones – the ones that shine brightest to your earthly eyes or the ones that God has designed just for you that mark a life of profound faith and obedience? And I pray, as I must, for my own arms, the ones that carry him, hold him, and lead him. Give me wisdom, Lord, and strength to train him to reach for God and His best.

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The time stands still and I’m honestly just lost in him and the infinite possibility of all he can be. His tummy – will he stomach injustice in the world or be an advocate for change? His lips – will they speak words of life? His eyes – will be see the beauty in the broken? Will he see the potential in himself and the hand of God working in his life? His heart – will it break for what breaks the heart of God?

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His ears – will they hear the voice of God leading and directing his path and future? His mind – will he grasp how wide and deep and great is the love of God?

And although he’s been dedicated to The Lord, I consecrate him again in the simplicity of this space, this quiet nursery, this tired rocking chair, his eyes fluttering to sleep nestled close to my heart. Even when the beautiful suit and the solemnity of the ceremony are a memory, God hears my quiet momma prayers and He’s holding my whole world, this tiny bundle, in His hands. Incredibly, while I can only dream and pray for his future, God knows his days and their details before the sun rises on them. I can trust Him for all of it and I’m learning that so desperately.

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So if you’re praying for your babies, growing and grown-up, if you’re looking down into their twinkling eyes of wonder or gazing up at their tired eyes weary with living, if you’re holding their hand to cross the street or finding them slipping through your fingers, can you just rest today in knowing God still hears your momma prayers? He knows their days and you’ll always find He’s never too far from wherever they are.

Mommy Confessions: Breath Prayers

I’m so very grateful He’s the God of the big and the little – and I’m not talking about my waist size pre and post baby’s arrival. I’m talking about the prayers I’m firing out between changing diapers and pulling out my hair at 3am, and the ones that have me crying salty tears into a hot cup of coffee.

You see, there are days when at that ungodly hour I’m just barely hanging on to my very own sense of sanity – and, if I’m honest, to the baby that’s slowly drooping in my arms as my eyelids do the same to the soft sound of a lullaby and the steady rocking of this chair. I’m just sending out these little breath prayers

Help me, Lord.

I’m so tired God, please help him sleep.

I just can’t do this, Lord.

Are you still there?

Protect his little heart, Father.

Help him to grow to love you.

The list goes on with little more to them than that.

Just a breath prayer – the amount of words that slip through the mind with a single breath.

And I’m wondering all the while if God above is catching them while He’s keeping this whole spinning world in motion. Because, truthfully, that’s all the mind, all the space, all the thought I have to offer some days. I’m sitting more, stopping more, to feed, to rock, to hold. And yet with all the giving in those stopping moments, my mind is full and empty simultaneously and I’m not sure if much more can live there beyond the breath prayers that seem to form and fall out with the tired sighs.

Then there are the days of the big prayers – when the big stuff that’s brewing under the surface – the stuff I’ve forgotten or buried or haven’t had the space to process –  comes bubbling to the top. Worries and fears about his future and my present, questions about my purpose and value, hopes and dreams for his little life, and uncertainties about the new shape of my heart, home and relationships.

I say oh so many words to Him, hundreds of words, trying to articulate the jumble of thoughts and emotions, swirling inside my heart, my mind, every part of me.

But they all end…

Please God understand more about me than I understand about myself.
Make sense of the mess I’m feeling inside.

I know that from my journey to healthy discipleship and following Christ requires more than that. I confess I’ve thought often that I haven’t given Him enough, I’m not doing enough, I’m not enough. There are many days I scold myself that I know better and I must be better than the barely “breath” prayers or the overwhelmingly big messy prayers that comprise the bulk of my spiritual practice these sleep deprived early days of mommy-hood. I want more for me, more for the Lord and more for my son who will learn what it means to love and serve Christ by watching my example.

And then my own momma’s words, the spoken word of the Spirit, the words of a been-there-before friend remind me…

Have grace for yourself – God has grace for you.

God hears your prayers – the breath prayers – and the big prayers – the ones whispered in private, too messy to share with anyone else.

You’ll get through this.

He’s as close as He’s ever been.

So I breathe a sigh of relief. I brew another cup of joe – decaf this time. I pick up the cooing little bundle from the swing. I sing a little about the sunshine. I whisper, “I love you”. And while I mean it all for this beautiful baby boy I’ve been entrusted with, He whispers it back in the deep and quiet place in me…

You never know, dear how much I love you.

And I wonder if God the Father sings us lullabies…or if I need an extra hour of sleep tonight.

Either way, I think I’ll make it.