through the open window...

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

i paused from cleaning my kitchen counter the other morning.  it's my favorite part in my kitchen.  it's where i knead my bread, where i roll out my cookie dough, where i place things to cool in front of the open window.

it's where i can glance outside to make sure my girls are safe (when they deem the backyard is "bug and giant free").  where i stop first thing in the morning to open the blinds and allow the sun to greet me in all its glory.

it's where i feel most at home in my home.

i paused the other morning because i heard laughter.  it peeked my interest and i couldn't resist seeing the source of it.

because nothing and no one can laugh with such abandon like a child.

and my heart hoped it was my child.

my eyes searched to find her sweet little face amidst the whirlwind of little preschool faces that were enjoying their few moments in the sunshine...their first taste of how glorious recess will be.

but i couldn't find her.

at first i thought she was on the slide, but it quickly became apparent that it was another little girl with a similar jacket and haircut.  bless her.  she was having a ball.

but still, no lyla.

and then, i saw her.

slowly and with her classic, hesitant posture, she carefully followed her teacher out in to the play area.

at first i thought she was going towards the swings with the other little girls, but instead, she quietly went to stand by the fence.

by herself.

my heart broke.

come on, baby... i found myself whispering, thinking that i could will her into joining the other little ones, will confidence into her.

instead, she walked over to her teacher and sat down next to her, snuggling into her side.

and i saw myself.

never comfortable around my peers, i always gravitated towards my teachers.  always.

i still struggle.  except, now there are no teachers to hide behind.  there's just me, and i find myself waffling between easy conversation and wanting to find the closest closet and hide until it's time to go home.

except, i can't.  because i have to be brave for my unbrave firstborn.

she has already experienced rejection, the first tastes of being brushed off when she has something exciting to share.  she has already been passed over for someone (her little sister) who is more exciting.  she has already been told that she is boring.

and my mama heart breaks to even think about it.  my precious girl who retreats further and further into herself with each cruel word, with each dismissal. who was born with a sensitive heart and will discover that with that sweet heart comes both a blessing and a curse.

and i want to protect her in every way.

but i can't.

because it's a part of growing up.

as i thought about that moment at the window the other day, i wondered if that is how my Heavenly Father feels about each one of His children.  does He watch us step out of what feels safe and familiar, with a heart swelling with love and pain, knowing what we've faced, knowing what we have overcome?  does His voice come near and whisper "come on, baby..." willing His strength into our hesitant steps.  does He long to wrap His arms around us and hold us close, speaking love into our bruised and pain filled hearts?

does He, like lyla's teacher, lean close and after allowing us a few moments of closeness, stand us up and lead us to where we are too scared to go, all the while gathering some sweet souls to surround us?

i watched, through my open window, as lyla climbed up onto a double swing with another little girl and began to figure out how to work in tandem so they could fly.

pretty soon, i heard the sounds of laughter.

and this time, it was her laughter, mixed in with the happy sounds around her.

and i felt Him say to my heart that He doesn't leave me alone either.  i'm not abandoned to wade through moments that i find horribly intimidating.  He's there.  right there.  He isn't just standing at an open window, He's as close as my very breath.  and in the moments where i feel lost, where i feel awkward and insignificant, He gathers some sweet souls around me.

and in those moments, in complete trust and security, He lets me fly...

1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
       will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. [a]
 2 I will say [b] of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress,
       my God, in whom I trust." 
4 He will cover you with his feathers,
       and under his wings you will find refuge;
       his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart... 
14 "Because he loves me," says the LORD, "I will rescue him;
       I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
 15 He will call upon me, and I will answer him;
       I will be with him in trouble,
       I will deliver him and honor him. 
psalm 91:1-2, 4, 14-15 (niv)