The little five year old girl was flopping and flipping all over the floor during story time and oh-so-tired momma threatened if she didn’t settle, she’d get a place next to mom’s bed for the night instead of sleeping near newly arrived, beloved big sisters. Little girl quieted. But newly arrived 9 year old sister, big-eyed, said, “I be bad, I sleep with you?”
And oh-so-tired momma envisions TWO little girls flopping and flipping on the floor near her bed all night, everyone sleeping only winks all the blessed night. And the momma, coveting sleep miser-like, says to that newly-home precious child, voice slow and soft from the weight of guilt, “No…..you get to sleep with your big sister.”
And that little 9 year old looks disappointed and in spite of that look, in spite of her guilt, the momma feels relief. She’s staked her claim to sleep this night at least.
But long years later she remembers that night and wishes she could have spoken generous, hugged that child tight, and welcomed her into a snug little space next to her bed. Oh, if she could go back and tell herself to choose to love big despite her exhaustion, she would.
But it’s done and she can’t, and besides, none of those children remember that night anyway. So finally the momma realizes she needs to show love to someone else in memory of that night: her (tired, over-stretched very human) self.
Let it go. Forgive that tired momma for not doing everything perfectly. She did the best she could that night. And by the grace and power of our multiplying-loaves-and-fishes God, her tiny offering will become enough.
Grace. I need it every hour.
Do you need to offer some to yourself too?