She might have been grown, but that didn't stop her mother from fiddling with her long, blonde hair during the service on Sunday.
Mom reached over with such ease and love, and ran her fingers softly through her daughter's waves. The daughter didn't push her away, even though she was sixteen and someone might could see. No, they sat; saying no words at all, mother and daughter, woman and girl.
I watched from a few rows back and silently prayed for moments like those thirteen years from now. When my little girls aren't so little anymore I pray that they still won't mind their mothers' affection. Because, now at three, that is all they want.
When sad, they want to crawl in my lap. When sleepy, they still ask to "rock, rock." When scared, they hide behind my legs. And, when it is just us, I tenderly tuck their whispy curls behind their ears and stroke their hair, still so baby fine.
With my growing tummy, the girls are growing up. Babies have grown into toddlers and toddlers into "big girls." Yet, with all this growing, they still remain little to me.
How do you let them grow and go while yearning that a piece of them will always be yours to hold?
This mothering gig feels like a ticking clock at times. When they are babes, we hurry them on to the next developmental stage. Crawl, walk, talk. Potty, panties. We wish away time wanting them to be more independent but before we know it they know what they want. When did that happen?
It amazes me to listen to my girls talk. How their voices have developed compassion, sass, and frustration. Just a few short years ago, all that came out was babble and cries. Now they tell me quite matter-of-fact that purple is no longer their favorite color but now they really like yellow, blue, and red. And, mom, we don't want cereal, we want oatmeal.
My mothering has slowly changed yet stayed remarkably the same. They might be growing girls, but they still need my love, affection, and confidence in them. They are constantly learning the consequences of their choices and that we don't always get what we want. They might show it differently now, but they still need my guidance, my wisdom... me.
I think one of the great joys that women find in motherhood is that we feel needed. But, it's also one of the greatest hardships as we watch our children grow into young men and women who have to have the ability to think for themselves and live on their own.
We want to be wanted, even when they are grown. But, we also want them to want to do it on their own.
Funny, I guess that's how God feels about us.
God wants to be wanted by you and me. But, he also allows us to make our own choices so in a lot of ways, he is giving us permission to live independently of him if that's what we choose. But, God desperately wants us to choose him. Because we are his children and he wants to have a loving relationship with us, just like we want to have with our own babes.
When you think of God, you might see him like a wise old man sitting in a leather chair in a room filled with books of knowledge. Or, you might see him as a weathered traveler who gives you courage to do the impossible. He could be the guy who walks the path in the park and then sits on the bench next to you. Or, he could be like that mother in church, who reaches effortlessly to twirl her child's hair between her fingers.
God, the great I AM, is the maker of you and I. No matter how far we've strayed, he's always willing to come alongside us and twirl our hair. It's remarkable that the maker of all things allows you and I to make our own decisions. God wants us to grow and go and it burdens him when we grow and go in the opposite direction of his love and affection.
If I'm to be honest, I haven't always wanted God to twirl my hair. I've wanted him to leave me alone and for my life to not be all about him. But, as soon as I think that, I have instant regret. Because I truly can't imagine not having him in my life.
Today, embrace your maker's embrace. Rest in him, knowing that he is safe. Don't push away or give him the annoyed "Mom?!" Sit, and let him love on you.
Till next time, let your light shine!