Monday, December 19, 2011

learning lessons through a child

I stand in the nursery, my heart pounding.  It's less than a week before Christmas, and I'm already feeling the frantic energy that can sometimes overshadow the Christmas spirit with a humbug.  Coming back from a restful vacation week is both wonderful and exhausting.  It's familiar and peaceful to be back in our own home, but there is tons to do in preparation for Christmas.  I feel as though I've been placed on the ground just to start sprinting towards the finish line.

My daughter's cry has drawn me back into the small, darkened room.  She needs sleep, and right now she needs me to help her drift off into sleep.  Although my spirit feels pulled in every other direction, right now she needs me here.

I offer her quiet verses of Silent Night, allowing them to swirl and dance around the room before slowly bringing my head to meet her furrowed brow.  I whisper the verses in her ear as we rest cheek-upon-cheek, and I soak up her tears as her breathing becomes more patterned.  My hand lies to rest on top of her chest and I feel the pumpumpum of a little heart underneath my palm, oh-so-different from the ratatapapapum of my own distracted heart.  I know there are things to do -- my checklist only growing longer by the minute -- but I stay here a moment longer than she needs me to, and I drink in her stillness.

I thank God for the ways He teaches me about rest through my baby.  

Gwendolyn's middle name is Shiloh, which means peace.  When we were ruminating over names, God led me to this verse:

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.
I do not give as the world gives, 
so do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid."
John 14:27

We have prayed from the beginning (even before she was born) that our little Shiloh would have the peace of the Holy Spirit in her heart and life.  God is already answering that prayer.  Just a mere six months, Gwenny is living out her name, providing peace even to her mother, who can often get lost in the frantic sway of doing.  Through her, God reminds me to Be, especially during the crazy holiday times.

When I seek God and ask Him how I will stay still and keep His peace amidst the Christmas confusion -- how I will keep my eyes on eternity when the immediate is so pressing -- He answers me in an unlikely way:  through a child.  He has given me a small baby to teach me what is really important in life.

I pray you learn this lesson as well, even in the most unlikely of ways.

"For to us a child is born."
Isaiah 9:6

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