Tales from the Crib...

It never ceases to amaze me how God speaks to my heart through the kids I'm watching. The twins I help with just turned one and are all about movement now. They are learning more and more what they can do and enjoy the freedom of independence. They are happy just to explore the living room, toy room, and kitchen, hoping the fridge gets left open and they can explore there too.

They have found the doorstop that makes a fun noise when you hit it... They have discovered the air vents in the floors and even have managed to remove one... They have also discovered the joy of bringing a toy under the dining room table, until they get stuck. Then the moment the realize they can move no more, I hear the cry that brings me to their rescue because whatever independence they have is merely a pseudo independence. Watching these precious babies discover the world, I know part of their confidence in their adventures comes from knowing they are never really on their own. There is a big picture window between the kitchen and the toy room, so we can play peek-a-boo while I'm doing dishes and they are conquering the mass of brightly colored toys. They also know if they start to talk to me in their jibber-jabber way, I will respond from where ever I am. They are free to go about their business because they are so sure of their safety knowing they're never really alone. There are also times when knowing I'm close isn't enough. They want to see me in the room with them. This usually occurs on days they are teething or when it's close to nap time. I will hear their "I'm done being alone" cry (usually when they are in the toy room), and see a sweet little face, or two, standing at the baby gate. This doesn't necessarily mean they want out. Often, all they need is for me to make my way over the gate, careful not to knock down the now smiling baby, sit down and join them. Once I'm in the room with them, I love how all I have to do is sit on the floor and these two sweet little babies find their way to where I'm at. They have no concern for my personal space. I am just another jungle gym. If they are tired, they know they can rest their head on me. They know I will sing with them, talk to them, lift them in the air and zurbert their bellies. Because they know I love them, they feel free to stand on & crawl over me, and show off all their new talents. There have been days when I haven't felt well, but that doesn't matter to them. They are actually oblivious to the fact my laughter is forced and my movements are sluggish. All they know is I'm with them and it's fun to use my legs as an obstacle course. And I wouldn't want it any other way... While playing with these two little miracles, there is often a conversation with God occurring in my heart. Just like the comfort they find in knowing I am close by, I too can live my life exploring whatever comes my way with a confidence knowing I'm not doing it alone. Knowing The One Who Loves Me Most is never far away allows me to enjoy life with a sense of security no matter what the immediate circumstances are... But just like the babies, there are times when knowing He is close isn't enough; I want to "see" Him. Times when my heart is so aching and fear is crouching in so closely that knowing He is close isn't going to cut it. I need something deeper and more tangible. I love the song Small Enough by Nichole Nordeman and often think of it during these times because is so captures my need to experience the closeness and love of God; I need to know I'm not alone.. There is something also so sweet about how the babies find their way to me whenever I go into the toy room. Even how they are so comfortable with me they crawl over me and bring their toys to me; how they just want to be where I am is so precious. It speaks to how I am with God. I know I just want to be where He is. And honestly, like the babies are unaware when I don't feel well, I am so often unaware of God's feelings. I don't mean to be narcissistic, but often that's where my heart is. And while years ago the realization how unaware of God's heart I am sometimes would have brought shame and condemnation, in light of seeing how I feel when the babies are oblivious to my feelings, I know there is nothing to feel guilty about. It's just where I am at that moment. I am so thankful that God doesn't expect me to be anything that I'm not. In some areas I know I'm mature, but in others, my heart still responds like an infant. And God wouldn't have it any other way because He knows that in time, like the twins, I will mature in that area. With each day I am more aware of the heart of God...

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