It was a sweet few moments being able to delight her little heart.
We worked on some exercises on her bed before nap and she laughed as she did them. I couldn't help but think about what a joyful little girl she is and how many times I've taken away her joy.
How many times have I squelched that joyful spirit with my words and attitude too harsh? How many days has she avoided making eye contact because I was impatient and angry yet again with her sensitive soul? How many times have I torn her down instead of building her up with words of encouragement when we are working on making her body stronger? How many times have I forgotten that everything is harder for her and assumed the worst of her? How many days have I demanded, demanded, demanded her to work and neglected to snuggle and play?
Photo credit: Jenn Keener
Each day asking forgiveness again and again. It's midnight and she's curled up in my lap, nestled in close, as I rock her to sleep after another screaming fit, the calm after the storm, and I seek her forgiveness and the Lord's for my angry response. I kiss the top of her head and whisper the truth both of our hearts need to hear, as her eyelids are heavy and she falls asleep...I will always love you. Always, always, always. There is nothing you can do to make me stop loving you. There will never be a time when I don't love you. No matter what you do. No matter how mad you get at me. No matter how much you push me away. No matter how mad I get at you. I will always love you. Always, always, always.
Grace. What our hearts need to hear. I can't stop loving her the way He can't stop loving me. I won't stop loving her because He won't stop loving me. He forgives me again and again, and so I need to forgive her again and again, to show her grace. I need to ask her forgiveness again and again, and I find grace there waiting.
And when she smiles at me the next morning, I know that I am drinking more deeply of grace in these moments than she is. Jesus, Grace Himself, tangible in the smile of this little one, who says with her smile yes, Mama, I forgive you, yes, Mama, I still love you.