Sunday, October 19, 2008

Night Blessings

Psalm 91:4-6
He shall cover thee with His feathers,
and under His wings shalt thou trust:
His truth shall be thy shield and buckler.
Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night;
nor for the arrow that flieth by day;
Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness;
nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.

When I was a child, I had a picture hanging in my room. It was a little doggie talking on the phone, and the picture was one of those black velour 70's types- do you know what I'm speaking of? I've seen ones done of Elvis and wolves :) Maybe that will help you imagine what my picture was like :)

That picture scared me so much. My fear was genuine and bone-shaking. I remember it as if it was yesterday (and as the years go by and by, believe me, it wasn't yesterday!).

I remember honestly needing my Mom or Dad. I just needed to know they were there, as my fears engulfed me.

Perhaps its vivid memories like that which makes me pretty sensitive to my children's fears. A few years ago, something like tonight's happenings would have irritated me so badly, that I would have missed the beautiful night blessings I now don't take for granted.

You see, a few years ago, any "Mama! I'm scared!" would have been either ignored (they need to learn to go to sleep on their own afterall!), or I would have stomped up the stairs thinking my child was manipulating me rather than truly needing me. I wonder how many night blessings I missed during that time :(

Well tonight, just that happened. "Mama! Daddy! We're scared!" came screaming out of our boys' room. I admit, my first reaction was to ignore it (I'm tired! I stayed home for the second week in a row from church with a sick child, and all I want is a little time by myself.) However, I took a breath, and chose to go up to see if in fact they were scared. I'm not certain my oldest was, but my little guy, the one pictured here on this post, was truly scared and just needed to know we were there. He needed to see me and he needed my touch. I said a little prayer for patience as I walked up the stairs, and by the time I reached their room, I was more than happy to oblige. Do you know after literally 30 seconds, he and his brother fell fast asleep.

After 30 seconds of just lying next to my son, he fell asleep like this:
Over the last few years, as I've prayed to understand God more, and as I've prayed to Him about how to be a better mother and wife, He's showing me more and more that His love for us - His care for us - is how we should try to be to our children. God is always there for me. He is never too busy, or too tired, or ....

He is my Father. He is your Father.

There are certainly times in my life, where I am scared, and I really need to know God is there, and still in control. Having a son with asthma struggling to breathe, is scary. Getting a call late in the evening that your Mother suffered from a stroke, is scary. Being rushed by ambulance to a city hospital with your 5 week old son on your lap (the same one pictured here), just after you and your husband were told he may not make it through the night because of pneumonia, is scary.

Whenever I cry out to my Father when I'm scared (which I admit I don't always do), He is faithful to comfort me.

It may not be immediate, or at least I don't see it immediately. Often I don't see His comfort until after everything has calmed down a bit, and I look back and see how my Father carried me safely through that frightening time.

But He is faithful. Faithful to love me. Faithful to comfort me.

Always faithful.

The more I try to be a Mama to my children the way my Father is to me - loving me unconditionally and sacrificially - the more my children draw close to me, and the more it all just clicks. Of course, I'm sinful and therefore imperfect, so I will never come close to loving and caring for my children the way my Father so perfectly loves and cares for me. But when I lean on Him and remember His love, I am given the help and hope I so desperately need. Without Him, I can do nothing.

(The beautiful lacy curtains in our bedroom as it looks at night.
We have a candle in the window that illuminates it so beautifully!)

Proverbs 3:24
When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid:
yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet.

As I lay down my head tonight, I will not be afraid, because I know, I know, my Father loves me.

And may your sleep be sweet tonight, and may you not be afraid of tomorrow, knowing that as our Father tells us in His Word, He will take care of you.

Have a wonderful week.


Stay, stay at home, my heart, and rest;
Home-keeping hearts are happiest,
For those that wander they know not where
Are full of trouble and full of care;
To stay at home is best.

Weary and homesick and distressed,
They wander east, they wander west,
And are baffled and beaten and blown about
By the winds of the wilderness of doubt;
To stay at home is best.

Then stay at home, my heart, and rest;
The bird is safest in its nest;
O'er all that flutter their wings and fly
A hawk is hovering in the sky;
To stay at home is best.
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow