Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A Cup Overflowing.

I made it my goal at the start of this year to spend more of myself on loving my girls. I purposed in my heart to do this; a quasi "resolution" you could say. I needed a practical way to make this habit real, not just a hope. So, I resolved to take one night a week and have "lie down time" with each one of my girls individually. I'm happy to say, that for the last 3 months I have not missed one time!

It goes like this:

On Monday nights I endeavor to get each girl into bed by 7:30, this giving me about 30 minutes to spend with each one and still time to spend with hubby. Then, in no particular order, I will lie with them and sing, talk, pray, tickle, or do whatever their little hearts desire. When I first started, I decided 15 minutes would be do-able, but I found that this small amount of time would fly too quickly by.

Each girl favors a different action. The youngest always wants me to tell her a story about herself, but promptly butts in and commandeers the story. In her story, she usually ends up wearing a pink swimsuit and eating elaborate feasts featuring cotton candy and peanut butter pretzels. My middle girl would be perfectly content if I just tickled and rubbed her back the.whole.time. And sang to her. And prayed for her to not have any bad dreams. My oldest daughter prefers for me to tell her stories about my childhood or family or, best of all, daddy and mommy's courtship days! She is a true romantic.

I have made some very important realizations in the last 3 months.
The main one is this: My girls desperately need my love.
And not just for 30 minutes, once a week.

The second realization is this: The more I practice giving love, the more natural it feels.
This may sound silly to some, but for me, this has been a real struggle. Especially giving physical love and affirmation. If you'll remember with me to a post long ago, I wrote about the cup that our children bring to us each day to fill... What am I filling their cups with? I do not always take the time that I need to, to purposefully love. But, this is one struggle that I will overcome. I will not allow myself to stay this way! Thankfully, I have a Helper.

Monday night has become the favourite night of the week. In fact, it is always on their minds. It is actually quite comical with the younger girls, who ask me every night if it is Monday night.

What I have especially loved about these times is that I am getting a deeper understanding of how each of them best receives love. I am getting a glimpse into their hearts. I can see more clearly now that my oldest daughter really thrives on touch, affirmation, and time. My middle girlie also needs touch, morning, noon, and night. My baby girl just wants me... she says that to me daily, "Mommy, I want you!" Okay, you've got me!

Sometimes, you just go through the day living in the same house, but not really living together. It was obvious to me this Monday night that this was the case and my girls really needed me. I lay with each girl for a long time. I needed to re-connect with each one and tie some heart strings again. I saved my oldest for last, and when I finally got to her, my heart almost broke. She was bawling for fear that I had forgotten her. I affirmed my love for her. We snuggled. I sang her song to her. She cried some more. I asked her if she knew I loved her? She said "yes", but I still felt compelled to say that I know I don't always show it well.
I told a funny story, then I asked her what some of her dreams were. I meant 'hopes for the future' but she proceeded to recount to me a handful of dreams that she'd had, all very detailed and interesting. I clarified what I meant by "dreams" and what she said humbled me so. She said she wanted to be a great and loving mommy like I was, have four children like I had, and marry a good husband like I did {in that order ;-D}. I just about cried. It was so touching.

She also said she wanted her husband to have blue eyes and that she was going to write down in her notebook everything she wanted her husband to be like.
People, she's seven!
I don't say that because I'm upset that she's thinking about marriage so soon, I am actually thrilled that already she can see the blessing of love and peace within a marriage kissed by God. She desires it too!

I decided that I would ask her one last thing, though I hesitated for fear of the answer. I asked her if she had any bad memories that involved me... she answered that she couldn't remember anything. Relief and gratitude welled up within. I have prayed that prayer as much as I have worried about it ~ that my daughters would not remember me in my "mean mom" days. Instead, the "kind mom" days would cancel out the past.

A nagging voice tries to tell me that she's only saying that or that she'll remember it all when she's older... but I will not accept the shame that comes from that voice.
I am so deeply grateful for grace.
"There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus..." {Romans 8:1}
"Behold, the old has passed away, all things are made new."



Youthful One said...

I'm weeping and weeping for the ache in my heart that this has stirred.

So much to say, but really...

Thank you for sharing the depth and reality of your heart and life. It certainly blesses me.

mommajomma said...

Can you raise my kids too?

The Everett Family said...

I love this! Good job!

Rachel May said...

Thank you for posting this Christa! We can never underestimate the power of time spent with our children and we definitely need the reminder to continue making it a priority! You are a wonderful mother!