My girl climbed into our bed this morning and she wrapped her arms around my waist, pressed her little legs against mine. She brushed the bottoms of her feet up and down along my shin and calf, patted the small of my back with her teeny palm. Connecting with every limb.
She whispered "good morning" and "I just love you, mama." Then she flip-flopped to her other side- scooched backward even closer and right into my curve. And it doesn't seem so long ago that I cradled her here every second ... all wrapped and growing in multiplying mother-love. This morning she whispered like a little pal while she inched closer, her spine meeting my chest.
Determined for togetherness.
Then she reached behind her, grabbed my dangling arm, and pulled it right over her waist. Enveloped.
My girl wore me like a blanket.
And just the night before I asked her a "would you rather ...?" It's their silly question-asking game and it's our way to get a pulse from time to time. She replied, "Oh, a hug. A hug. I would rather have a hug!" Because I'm always wondering how to best fill these little folks. And this one? She is a time and touch girl. Even more, she knows when her "love-tank" is running low.
We haven't done the communal sleep thing here, not in all six of our kid years. "This is our special place," we have always said. Sometimes, though, this wee one finds her way into our warm, close space. She seeks out proximity, the filling up that comes from contact.
We are under sheets and her wispy hair mingles on my pillow. Her back rises and falls with my belly. She is all wrapped up and hidden and when she comes in close this way? I can practically hear her little heart filling up to the brim.
'Cause I am a touch girl too, and when my Todd hugs me tight I giggle and make the same sound every time: "bloop, bloop, bloop" like a bubble rising to the surface ... it's my tank filling to the top. And he knows when I'm out of steam and when to embrace well.
My girl sat up with new purpose this morning, flung off the sheets and spun to meet me. She kissed my nose the Eskimo way and said it plain: "Now that is the best way to start the day."
She hopped out and she was off. Dressed-up in mom love and ready to go. I didn't rise as quickly and I wondered ... how do I keep inviting her, all of them, into this space? Not our bed, per se, but into closeness, into safety for the filling.
How do I stay filled up, invite them into the overflow? Because there are days when I just don't got it. There are days when even my husband doesn't come in for a hug. No ... these days it looks more like a backing away slowly.
But really? We weren't meant to fill. We were meant to spill.
And when the tank is on empty ... we don't invite in. We repel.
So how do I give good mother-love when I've simply got nothing at all? And how, in these school days coming, these growing years passing ... how in the world do I (we) stay filled?
How do I teach them to put on God? To wear Him like a blanket. How do we all wrap up, live in, a Father embrace? How do we find him at the start of a day and then hold on, tucked inside and under?
Isn't it the closeness that fills us up and isn't it in the together-space that we grow? Secure, sure, safe.
Isn't He always inviting us into an embrace? Waiting to fill us right up and over?
I'm thinking on curriculum and a school year, what can feel like chronic fatigue, small groups, and how to go out into the world right here in my town. I'm wondering how to serve three children and a man and how to keep heart tanks brimming. I get tired.
And I've got to have something to spill. I've got to have some togetherness.
This morning I started with a fresh reminder from a girl of four who whispered it right and well-- right into my morning rising:
Just come in close and put on God.
Wear Him like a blanket today, right now, every moment. Wrap up in His sure covering.
And in the quiet space of sure love, get filled up.
Then ... go and spill over.
Yes, I am certain. This is the best way, the only way, to start a day.
"But as for me, it is good to be near God." Psalm 73:28
We do a lot of love-tank assessing around here. You can read more about Gary Chapman's Five Love Languages here. And perhaps we can begin chatting again, you and me? I know it's been a while.(I've missed you!!) Want to talk about how to put on God? How do you start your day, friends?