“I gave Rhema some chapstick, and she didn’t eat it! She carefully swiped it across her lips and casually handed it to me like she’s been doing it all her life. I think that girl secretly enjoys seeing my jaw hit the floor.”
“Hope asked me today how it is possible that she looks like Mommy and Daddy when she came out of MOMMY’S belly.”
“Rhema’s tearing her sheets to shreds at night and eating the pieces. She’s destroyed two sets of sheets already… and working on the mattress cover. What do we do?”
“How can we motivate Hope to do her best? How do we nurture her fun, full, carefree spirit?”
When the husband and I finally get a chance to talk, the conversations largely center around our little girls and we can go on and on long into the night. There’s always something to laugh about, a story to tell of what Hope said that morning, what Rhema did that day. We have our frustrations and concerns, too. We wonder about the future. We shake our heads, try to figure it out, grad school didn’t have a class on this. Never could we have imagined this struggle, this joy, this all-consuming-ness, this parenting journey.
One night last year I had a nightmare about one of my girls. I was so upset and shaken by it that I got up and paced in the bathroom, I was afraid to go back to sleep. I told B I’d had a bad dream about one of the children. He didn’t need to know the details, and I couldn’t speak them anyway. He just cried. He understood. Then he got her from her room, still sleeping, put her in bed between us and we held her.
Love so much it hurts. I almost asked God why He made us love them so much.
That night I remembered a devotional I once read by Charles Spurgeon and I often think of it during our evening talks. Spurgeon was highlighting the story in Mark 9 of a desperate and despairing father who brings his son to Jesus’ disciples for healing. The disciples try, but they are unable to heal the boy. Jesus says, “Bring him unto me.”
Those four simple words have stayed with me — good instructions and great comfort to a mother’s heart. When they’re sick, when they’re well, when they’re young and old, graduating kindergarten or graduating high school, when they go out the door, when they come back in, when they sleep, when they rise, day after day, all of this life, I hear Him say, Bring them to me.
Even now, I do.