She’s two and already she asks to spend the night.
But when it gets time for the actual sleep part, she grimaces and gives a little shoulder shrug when I mention going to read a book on the antique iron bed that we pulled, rusted and ignored, from a shed beside my great-grandmother’s house just months before we got married. It’s dressed up waiting on her across the house.
“I want to sleep in Dandy’s bed.”
Her grandfather is an old-fashioned pediatrician. He instructs moms all the time on sleeping. He believes the first act of independence is putting oneself to sleep. Little ones, who are given the opportunity to do that, sleep all night and have rested parents.
She wanted to sleep in the middle and we let her do it (again). We told on ourselves to our friends and they teased and laughed about how the doc would have never done that with our kids.
His reply, “She is not our kid.”
She smiled with clenched teeth as I scrubbed them with the chubby pink toothbrush. We pulled the stool over from the vanity and up to the sink so she could spit. Spitting is a practiced skill that she hasn’t quite gotten down. It is more of a sputter but she gives it a lot of effort. I handed her a spoon and turned the faucet handle to a tiny stream of water. She plays and sips little spoonfuls of water as I finish my own bedtime routine.
Doo-dah had shut down the house and was waiting for us when we crawled in beside him and with Golden Book in tow, The Three Little Pigs. We read and sang the “Whose afraid of the big bad wolf…” parts and were once again relieved that the three brothers made it through their traumatic day of being chased by a huffing and puffing wolf who has an appetite for pigs that build houses.
Lights out. We say our “thank you God for…” prayers. The list was short but she didn’t forget Maggie, the dog curled up in the chair next to the bed.
She squirmed until she found her place in the middle, arranging herself on the orange pillow with her blanket and the tiny stuffed puppy she calls Drake, her sleeping buddy.
The room fell quiet and still for a few minutes. I thought she’d shut it down for the night when a tiny right arm fell across my chest. Her hand searched the covers until she found my face. Then the sweetest words interrupted the stillness. Words tumble out with unbridled confidence through lips smiling at the corners, “I make you so happy.”
“Yes, you do.”
Oh, if she only knew how much her declaration rings true. Joy.
I think about that night and those words, Naomi’s desire to be present with us. And I have thought how sweet it would be to say these words when I am in the presence of my Father who never leaves me, who keeps the night watches for me, who gives me the blessings of presence and rest---who loves me no matter if I have made a thousand messes all day long and sputtered while learning to grow up in Him.
So often I come to him with heaviness, with prayers of petition for myself, for others. I heave onto Him my burdens. I know He said to give them to Him and I do. But what if I changed it up now and again, said my “thank you-s” instead of my “I need you to fix these…?” What if I laid back and remembered his presence and his great joy towards me?
What if I said these words and believed without a doubt that they are true?
“I make you so happy.”
Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
“Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, (Matthew 18:4-5, ESV) --Jesus
You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
(Psalm 16:11, ESV) --David
I had an unusually heavy weak last week with burdens that weighed on my heart. But I have been reminded that heaviness and joy can share the same space. It is a holy mystery that I don’t understand but want to embrace.
Do you have the unbridled confidence that you make your Father happy? Join me today and slip into mindfulness of his Presence near and say with joy, “I make you so happy.” I think you’ll hear in the stillness, “Oh, yes, you do.”
Linking today with Laura. So thankful for her encouragement to tell our stories.