Thursday, August 28, 2008
Stay For a While
I can't remember when I stopped singing lullabies to the boys. It had to of happened sometime since our move to Georgia, but I can't place the point in time. It never would have been a conscious decision, of that I am sure. I would sing them lullabies for the remainder of their days of they would permit me. Was it when I took that job at the preschool and came home so exhausted that I could barely keep my eyes open much less manage a stanza of some sweet melody? Maybe it was during the summer when they were staying up so late that sleep just seemed to drift over all of us at various intervals without a great deal of forethought? But the other night the realization washed over me like the rain that has poured over us the last few days after long drought--I haven't been singing to the boys. I wondered if they would even want me to sing again. After all, I am the mother of the very child who poked his 9 month old chubby pointing fingers into the holes of his ears when I got a little carried away with O Danny Boy one evening. Maybe they'd outgrown the pitchy scratches of my karaoke quality voice. I risked it. Beginning with my youngest seemed the best choice given that he still likes to be coddled and nuzzled at bedtime in particular. Before I knew it he was making requests and by the time I left the bed of my eldest, I'd sung six songs and both were resting peacefully. How is it possible to forget to sing your own precious little ones a lullaby at bedtime? I'm not guilting over it--they're 8 and almost 6--it isn't that they've been deprived of anything or that they even really still need me to sing to them. But it is such a sweet ritual, a tradition that cushions the ending of a day filled with triumphs and struggles, with hurts and happiness. Last night my husband had a few things to do after giving the kids their Bible time and so I lingered there with nothing else on my agenda. I ended up reading to them for over an hour. We are a reading family and do that quite a bit throughout our day, but generally at night time, I leave them to read by themselves if they wish. Corton, my youngest said, "This is unusual for you, mommy." "What?" I asked him knowing what he was going to say. "You don't usually stay for a very long time and keep reading and reading. I like it." Again, I'm not saying I should read every night for an hour and sing them thirty songs--but somehow we had been missing something and neither the boys nor myself had ever noticed. Somehow in the middle of building a house, managing homeschool, family gatherings, sports and summer holidays I had stopped lingering in my sweet little boys' presence--even if only for a few moments. And they had missed it. And as any momma knows, so had I. I can't help but think about God--how wonderful it is to linger with Him. To sit, to stay, to remain longer than what seems "enough" and just bask in one another's presence is like hot cocoa after shoveling a driveway filled with snow in Ontario. Sometimes I play a worship song that is very meaningful to me on repeat and listen over and over again, allowing it to soak into the dry places in my heart. Other days I take a verse and write it on a sheet of paper. I leave it in a location that I will be in and out of on that particular day. On errand day it goes in my purse or wallet. On a standard day of home school it goes near the computer we use for some of our schooling. If I'm reading a really good book that I am dying to finish, I'll use the verse as my bookmark. I came across one of those slips of paper just the other day and was reminded again of a full month of basking that I did. "The one true God acts in a faithful manner, the Lord's promise is reliable; he is a shield to all who take refuge in him." (II Samuel 22:31) That passage is so packed with power and truth that I am convinced I could live on it for an inconceivable amount of time. The first four words are enough to cause me to pause and ask myself the question: am I living like I believe God is the one true God? Do I believe that He is Supreme over everyone and everything else? Do I treat Him like He is the source of supply for all of our needs? When I need parenting wisdom who is my one true God? When we aren't sure about financial decisions, who is my one true God? When I struggle with some relationship who is my one true God? Where do I run? Lingering doesn't have to mean that I stay still before my Bible for endless hours while the laundry piles high and the children school themselves. Lingering before God is remaining still before Him in my heart. Will you linger with me today? My prayer is that my heavenly Father will never whisper, "This is unusual for you, Sarah." He's so worthy of our time--He is indeed faithful in the midst of every single detail of our lives. He is indeed reliable. When others falter, He remains steady. And He is indeed a shield to all who take refuge--who linger--with Him. Stay a while today.