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Today You Are Here: Naptime

I’m standing at the door listening to her wail. We’ve already read two stories and gathered a collection of stuffed animals. It is time, I told her, to rest your body and have a quiet time. Her baby brother is asleep in the next room over and I’m worried he’ll be woken by her vehement battle against nap time. I’m standing at her closed door debating with myself what to have her do. Cry it out? Time out downstairs? I want her to know how to quietly cooperate with the things I ask her to do. I want to prove to her that she’s not in charge and she has rules to follow. I want her to listen to my stern demand that she stops crying and takes her quiet time. She’s still crying. I choose option C.

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I open the door and climb up on her bed with her and wrap my arms around her. Her cries persist. I lay down beside her and she sobs into my arms. I am singing now. Her favorite song from Tarzan. Some Mary Poppins songs. She’s still crying, but it is sounding more like a moan than a wail. I brush her hair off her sweaty forehead. Amazing grace, all four verses. And it’s then she calms and I hear her breathing shift to a calmer rhythm. Lord I need you, I sing. Every hour I need you. Soft and low. She’s asleep now.

We lie there in stillness for a minute. Her body rising and falling, inhale, exhale. I breathe next to her. Inhale, exhale. Thankful she is asleep, thankful she didn’t wake the baby, thankful we have a God who is interested in meeting us where we’re at, coming to our aide and providing comfort and rest every hour of the day.

I wanted to make her listen. I wanted her to obey and do what I asked her to do willingly. But what she needed more than a lesson in immediate compliance was a midday rest. It wasn’t about proving a point, it was about helping her find a few moments of stillness in her busy world that she desperately needed but fiercely resisted.

I tiptoe out of her room and take one last glance to make sure she’s still asleep. I see myself in her exhausted body. Overreacting and whining about silly things. Stressed out and worked up over small problems. Disgruntled to the point of tears when minor upsets happen to my plan. And I sigh a breath of gratitude that in these moments I’m not told to suck it up and grow up. No one tells me to obey or else. I’m simply gathered into gentle arms and told it’s going to be ok and I am still loved.

At my lowest moments, in my childish outburst and immature complaints, God meets me there. He gently scoops me toward his heart and pours out grace. Grace upon grace. I am not punished, I am not left alone to cry it out. I am in his embrace. And at last I am able to rest.

For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.

~Zepheniah 3:17

{This is a part of my Today You Are Here series. Join me over here for the 31 days of October as we practice being present together. Or enter your email address below to have updates sent directly to your inbox!}

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5 Comments

  • Reply
    Bee
    October 5, 2016 at 3:07 pm

    I love the way you write. It’s powerful. While I was reading, it made me hug my toddler who was sitting on my lap. I wish I can write well, too. Haha.

    • Reply
      greeroharah
      October 17, 2016 at 9:54 am

      Thank you! Yes – hug that toddler!

  • Reply
    Sheila
    October 6, 2016 at 12:37 am

    Beautiful post. It’s so wonderful that the Lord helped you to see through to the core problem. I didn’t always have that kind of wisdom or insight in child- rearing. But I’m glad he’s helping you, and will pray he give you more and more wisdom. Love your blog name, and this lesson on remembering that we need to pour out as much grace as we receive. So helpful, thanks!

  • Reply
    Kirstin
    October 7, 2016 at 7:56 pm

    Beautiful encouragment. Thank you

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