A Scratch on the Face and a Full Heart

Mark and I always rock in the glider for a few minutes before he goes down for his naps. Sometimes, when he is really tired, he will nuzzle up into my arm, immediately close his eyes and then reach his chubby hand up to scratch my face. I think that he just wants to confirm that I am still there when he closes his eyes.

This never fails to make me smile.

I know that it is a bad habit, but sometimes I just let him drift off to sleep when he does that. Slowly, his hand stops scratching my face and his little arm falls to his side and rests gently on my arm.

There are few things in life more beautiful than holding your child as he drifts off to sleep.

After a while, I place Mark into his crib. Usually he wiggles around a bit until he gets comfortable, and then continues to sleep peacefully.

I have realized recently, that moments like that have provided me with a new way of thinking about God. I was taught growing up that God is a father-figure. I can remember being told that He holds us closely whenever we need Him. I didn’t really understand what that meant as a child.

However, when I hold Mark in my arms, and he feels so safe and content that he immediately drifts off to sleep, I feel like I am getting a glimpse of the love God has for us. We should feel so at peace with the knowledge that we are deeply and intensely loved by the Creator of heaven and earth, that it doesn’t allow the craziness of the world to rattle us.

No storm can shake my inmost calm,

while to that rock I’m clinging.

Since love is Lord of heaven and earth,

How can I keep from singing?

(How Can I Keep From Singing By: Robert Wadsworth Lowry)

But sometimes we just want to make sure that God is still there, so we reach our arm up and scratch heaven with prayers. Whether they are words of praise, a list of petitions, a plea for forgiveness, or prayers of thanksgiving, God always hears them. Sometimes we just need the reassurance that he is still holding us tightly, even when we are drifting off to sleep.

Eventually, he may let go and allow us to walk on our own for a while. But like a diligent parent, He is never far away and is always watching. We may even stumble or squirm a bit, but as long as we remember that He is close, this should strengthen us to continue on our journey.

Each time that I rock in the glider with Mark is now a beautiful reminder of the love our God has for us. My heart is so incredibly full of love for Mark, so I can only imagine how much our Heavenly Father loves us.

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Mark Update:

This little cutie will be 8 months old on June 6!  Where does time go?  He has eight (!!) teeth, pulls up like a champ often using only one hand for support, loves to giggle and smile at anyone who looks his way, adores our daily walks through the neighborhood, and sleeps through the night (when he isn’t teething).  He has enjoyed almost every food that he tried and has even acquired a taste for peas, which he initially despised.  The most recent new food he has sampled is cauliflower.  Next up: rutabaga, and then on to chicken!  Mark is also really looking forward to seeing his extended family in the coming months.  He can’t wait to play with both sets of grandparents, all of his aunts and uncles, and his three cousins from California.  It is going to be a great summer!  

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