Friday, March 2, 2012

The Only Thing

Fifteen Minute Friday:  Writing a post start to finish in fifteen minutes, for the love of writing.

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I woke up to a fresh blanket of snow, deeper than expected.  School is on a delay start and somehow we’re still late.  Our normal morning rush is just on delay too. 

“Get dressed. Brush your hair. Brush your teeth. Where are your shoes?  Do you have P.E. today?”  An extra set of shoes to find. I bark the orders while I’m packing lunch. 

A text message tells me our morning ride is calling her own snow day and we’re on our own.  I bark the same orders to the little brother who doesn’t normally participate in this mad dash as I fly up the stairs to get myself dressed, brush my hair, brush my teeth.  Where are my shoes?  Thank goodness I don’t have P.E. today. 

Find our three jackets, put two on, zip one up.  Gloves, mittens, hats, snow boots.  We scramble to the car, get in and get buckled and I’m not sure I once stopped to look at their little faces and I’m certain I don’t know where that extra ninety minutes went.  So focused on our task of getting to school, did I even say one nice thing yet? Whisper I love you?  Hope you have a good day?  Did we surrender our hours to God?  I say a silent prayer.  Forgive me, Lord. I am your lowly, humble servant.  Today is Yours. All Yours. 

I exhale once we are in the car, scraped and warmed by the Chef and ready to go.  {He's always ready.} I toss words in back, “Good job getting ready, guys!”  Silence.  Baby Girl wants to sit in the way back with no booster, alone.  I let her.  It’s a few blocks and she deserves a retreat after our morning scurry. 

We pull out of our driveway and start our ascent up the snowy hill to school.  A seven minute journey through the winter landscape, tops.  I look in the rearview mirror and see her gazing out her window.  She is processing what just happened, no doubt.  Replaying the morning, the words, the tones, the actions.  I don’t want to know her verdict of my role in this replay. 

The car is quiet.  We are all absorbing the morning shock.   She is the first to speak up as we climb the hill. 

“Mom.”  Her voice is innocent, observant.

I brace myself for what she might say, preparing to embrace what she says.  I don’t want to send her off in the world without knowing I completely and fully love her even when she can’t find her shoes.  So I listen, determined not to argue, rebuke, retort.  Just accept.  Offer grace.

Instead, she pours out the grace.  “The only thing God can’t do is love us less.”

I digest her words.  In awe and a split second, I cycle through my big adult thoughts. I think He could even do that but He chooses not to.  But, He would never choose that… no he couldn’t, he can’t.  She’s right.  He just can’t love us less.  It’s against His very nature.  

And right there in the car, driving my first grader to school, she schools me.  Her timing impeccable, dissolving my guilt. I immediately affirm her thought.

“You’re right, Baby Girl.  I never thought about that.  But that is the only thing He can’t do.”  

And I rest in this statement for the remainder of the trip, the day. I marvel at how well she knows this Almighty God already and how much He teaches me through her.  I wonder if I teach her nearly this well.

As we descend the hill home, I chuckle to myself for holding the thought that she might possibly go out in the world not feeling fully and completely loved.  She already knows... she is fearfully and wonderfully made. 

Thank you Lord.  Can you protect her little heart so she always believes that.  Don't let the world erode that truth, any Truth she holds. 

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