This morning I had a wrestling match with God.
It started when she crept into my bed in the night and her body burned. Perhaps she is overheated, I thought, feeling the baking heat of our upstairs. She slept, but her body only warmed more, and she turned into me at 3:00 a.m. “Mommy, my head hurts, and I’m sweaty and cold.”
After a frantic search for the thermometer (it never is where it should be when I need it!), I discovered that her fever raged high, and her glassy eyes bored deep into mine as I poured her tylenol and pulled her into me. When she was asleep again, I went down onto the couch where it was cooler to sleep, but it eluded me.
“Mommy?” her whisper came from the hallway as she peered into the den. “I just need to be with you.” So we snuggled on the couch, and she finally fell deeply asleep. I did not.
I wrestled with how disappointed she would be to miss school.
I wrestled with today being her last day to come home half day as a kindergartner, just her, my afternoon buddy.
I wrestled with no pedicures and ice cream today for our last time of her coming home without the boys.
I wrestled with not being able to shop today for the “summer baskets” I’m putting together for them.
I wrestled with not being able to go hear my Ash give his Wilbur Wright presentation this morning.
I wrestled with Bear’s last baseball game being tonight, and how am I going to be able to see him play?
I wrestled with timing.
I wrestled with not being in control and life not going the way I wanted it to.
I wrestled with my idealism.
I wrestled because I knew I could do special things next week, I could reschedule, it would all work out, but it wasn’t going my way TODAY.
I wrestled with the very fact that I was wrestling.
Then as I was fixing breakfast, my Bear wandered through searching for his belt. “Mommy, you look sad.” he said, and my eyes teared up. He wrapped his arms around my waist, which made me blubber even more. “Is it because of Bella being sick? And all that you’ll miss?” I nodded and sighed, “I’m just sad. But I’ll be okay.” I ruffled his hair and his dimpled grin peered up at me. “God will still give you a good day, Mommy, because He’s God and He’s good.”
My Ash came trotting down the stairs, pulling his cabbie hat on his hair, looking for tools so he could looks like he was building a plane. “Mom?” he had heard Micah and me talking. He saw my face. “Oh.” he knew my heart even before I said anything. “It’ll be okay, Mom. It always is.”
We sat on the front porch, my Bella girl and I, tears still staining her cheeks because she couldn’t go to school. As the boys and Bri pulled out of the driveway and we waved our good-byes and called our “I love you’s”, she snuggled into me. “It’s been a long time since I’ve gotten to do this with you, Mommy. I’ve missed it. I’m glad I get to spend today with you.”
Oh, these dear children.
Yes, I weep because they speak truth to me…because they give me perspective. But mostly I weep because God uses them to gently pry open my hands that grip my own agendas. He could have broken my fisted unbelief with a rude awakening like a teacher cracking knuckles with a ruler, but instead He lovingly spoke to me through the very gifts that I want to control.
I have many plans, many ideas, many longings. They are not bad ones; in fact, they are good ones. But God is the One Who directs my steps, and I bow my head in surrender (as I must every day). He is guiding my steps toward Him…not toward my plans. But, oh how good of Him to include my plans in the steps He gives me!
Truly, His loving kindness is better than life! (Psalm 63:3)
Now, if you’ll excuse me… I have a little redhead to snuggle, and some nails to paint, and some popsicles to make, and some thank you notes to finish with her, and a whole day (not a half!) with my baby girl.