There is always that one child who sends you tossing and turning all night long.
Look up at the ceiling, pray for a small miracle. Maybe a big one. I don’t even know what to pray sometimes.
There’s always that child who gets your feet on the floor at 4 a.m. You can’t sleep so you might as well get up and make the coffee. You worry it’ll be like mud for your husband when he wakes up at 6:30.
Every morning you think about that guy your friend told you about who bought an $800 coffee pot. How have I made it all these years with my plain, old Mr. Coffee? In 1976, my father taught me how to measure the grounds. It was in the kitchen on London Lane. Maybe everything was yellow or avocado green. I can still smell coffee on his breath.
I search for my favorite mug, but can’t find it anywhere. Not even in the dishwasher. I bought it at a thrift store in 2004, and now it’s one of the great mysteries of my life. Who made that mug? Some lonely housewife or empty-nester taking a Monday night pottery class? Someday that will be me. But, today, right now, where is my mug? I probably left it in the car. No way I’m going outside to get it. It’s cold. I might run into a random shooter stealing our basketballs and bikes. After all, it’s 4 a.m. and these things happen in America. Sometimes.
But, I’m not alone. In this hour are many mothers watching.
Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? (Book of Matthew)
For five days this January it was spring in Oklahoma. Temperatures nearing 80. Blue, blue skies that created a stunning backdrop for white birch trees. You know what this means don’t you? We’ll have snow and ice for Easter. That’s the great thing about Oklahoma. Everything here is so predictable, except the weather. It’s downright predictably unpredictable. Like the year the redbud and wisteria froze over in April.
Life is so unpredictable. They’ve started packaging C & H in this gorgeous, hot pink container. It’s like Maxwell House’s girlfriend or something.
Some of my earliest memories are the old C & H commercials. Hawaiian children running through rows of sugar cane. I wanted to be one of them and sing that song:
Growin’ in the sun, growin’ in the sun…
There is always that one child who gets you up at 4 a.m. It’s not always the same child. Sometimes, it’s one of my girls, and sometimes, it’s my son. And, I drink my coffee and I take it all in. We are only here for a little while. Childhood is that faint breath of steam rising from my coffee. Stir twice and it’s gone.
I pray for my children, my babies – not babies anymore – who know so little of life and how cruel the world can be. Am I equipping them to face it all?
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests… (Letter to the Ephesians, Paul the Apostle of Christ)
Here is an excerpt from a poem by Edgar A. Guest about a mother who worries about her children. Click here to read all of it.
The Mother Watch
…Why, sometimes when we’d stayed away till one or two or three,
It seemed to us that mother heard the turning of the key;
For always when we stepped inside she’d call and we’d reply,
But we were all too young back then to understand just why.
Until the last one had returned she always kept a light,
For mother couldn’t sleep until she’d kissed us all good night.
She had to know that we were safe before she went to rest;
She seemed to fear the world might harm the ones she loved the best.
And once she said: “When you are grown to women and to men,
Perhaps I’ll sleep the whole night through; I may be different then.”
And so it seemed that night and day we knew a mother’s care–
That always when we got back home we’d find her waiting there….