Monday, March 18, 2013

Going Back in Time

Recently I was mourning to a friend how children's "lasts" often come unannounced.  One day you're feeding them each spoonful; the next day they learn to use a spoon and only want to do it themselves.  One day you're holding their hands to help them walk around the house; the next day they've found their strength and courage and can do it on their own. 

The biggest "last" that I've mourned is our naptime routine.  We've had various naptime routines over the last year, but the sweetest ones have been when I would rock Feven to sleep.  There was a stretch of a few months this winter where all she would need in order to fall asleep was to be in my arms.  It was beautiful.  I treasured those days holding her, both of us nodding off as we rocked back and forth in her dimly-lit room.  I remember gazing down at her after she fell asleep.  In my opinion, her sleeping face rivals any great work of art.  The peace and beauty there simply floor me. 

So we rocked together.  And then one day it was done. 

I wish I had known when the last day would be.  I would have treasured it.  I would have held that sleeping little girl longer and stared into that beautiful face.  I would have stored up that memory for all time.  I long to have one more day to rock her to sleep.  Just one more chance so I could have a good "last."

Yesterday when I tried to get her to take a nap she was a mess!  She was hysterically crying and everything I offered her only made her more upset.  She was WAY overtired from a huge weekend and just needed to go to bed.  I gave her one last hug while she cried, closed the door and breathed. 

I walked into the kitchen and an unsettling feeling swept over me.  My daughter, no longer an orphan, was left to cry herself to sleep.  It seemed so foolish.  She has parents now!  Why in the world with all the love I have to give was I not in there loving her?!?

I followed the quiet prompting in my spirit, gently opened her door, and amidst her tears I said, "Oh, honey.  It's okay.  I'm going to pick you up.  I want to hold you." 

I wrapped her in the blanket I made for her and held her close in the rocking chair.  I wanted to help her calm down.  And you known what?  Within minutes her eyes were heavy and she was quiet.  Then she was asleep.


As soon as I realized what happened, my eyes went heavenward and I burst into tears.  God gave me another "last" to treasure.  I got my wish of going back for just a day to again hold her in my arms as she drifted off to sleep.  I tried to pull myself together so my crying wouldn't wake her, but I was incredibly overwhelmed by the love God had for me to allow me that special time.  I dabbed my eyes with a corner of her blanket and looked at that beautiful sleeping face.  I studied the almond eyes, brushed with long lashes.  I watched the long, slender fingers curl around my hand as I held hers.   I felt the weight of her sleeping body in my arms.  My heart was as close to bursting as it has ever been.

As much as I wanted to hold her for her entire nap, I also knew she needed some good sleep.  But you better believe that I took my sweet time in putting her back in her bed!  What an incredible gift to go back in time.  Thank you, Lord, that you saw fit to bless me this way.  I am deeply grateful. 

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