Grace on Repeat
Friday, October 30, 2015
At least once a night, I'll go into Lucy's bedroom and rock her back to sleep.
She has always gone to bed easily (something we do NOT take for granted), but recently Lucy has been struggling. Bedtime has become somewhat of a battle. She'll be two next month and now she's interested in what the grown-ups are doing after her bedtime (which is really none of her business). She'll fuss and cry and make generally unpleasant sounds until one of us comes in to rock her, and it usually takes just a few minutes until she's settled enough to put back in her crib. Usually. But there are some nights when this is not the case. Monday was one of those nights.
Another milestone we've reached in parenting is the dreaded removal of the paci. That thing has been a dream, you guys. From day one, Lucy has loved her paci and it has saved us from all sorts of tantrums and sleepless nights. But it's time to say goodbye and Lucy is having NONE of it. We didn't exactly intend to let her keep the paci this long; it just sort of happened. Our first couple of tries putting her down without it quickly transitioned from cries that sounded like "I want to be around the grown-ups" to ones that sounded like "I MUST BE DYING WHERE IS MY PACI YOU SADISTS?"
On Monday, we had an accidental no-paci night because...well...we just couldn't find one. Lucy hadn't been feeling super awesome that day (we'd discover exactly how not-awesome 24 hours later when she started throwing up) and so Pierce left the house on a mission to purchase another one. I sat in Lucy's room holding her in my lap, trying to get her back to sleep. She wanted to play games instead because TODDLER. So we spent a few minutes identifying noses and arms and fingers in between my repeated attempts to get her settled. Every thirty seconds or so Lucy would lay her head on my chest and then pop back up suddenly to ask, "Nom nah?" Which, of course, is her word for paci. I would brush her little curls back from her face and say, "Yes, baby, Daddy is getting you a paci right now. He'll be here in just a minute." She would reply, "Uh huh" and lay her head back down.
Over the course of a half-hour, we repeated this scenario at least fifty times.
I haven't mentioned my anxiety much recently, but I still deal with it. Thankfully, over the last year it has become more of a minor annoyance in my life than a hurdle to overcome each day. Still, on Monday night it was starting to creep up again, which it is wont to do when things are not going as planned. So I started saying little prayers over Lucy as she fought sleep. And when she sat up again and asked for her paci, I heard that still, small voice whisper to me just as I was about to lose my patience.
"She knows she's taken care of. She just forgets easily. Like you."
Over and over, in otherwise completely unremarkable moments, motherhood is teaching me what grace looks like. I had never experienced a relationship that so practically defines who God is until I became a parent. Through Lucy, God is every day revealing more of His heart to me. That night in Lucy's room, I kept telling her that we would take care of it, that her paci was on its way. And for a moment she would be satisfied. But then she'd ask for it again.
Because I am her mother, and she's only two years old, I understood that Lucy wasn't trying to hurt me or say that she didn't trust us. She was simply being what she is: a flawed human being. Still, I wanted so desperately for her to hear my words once and relax. I imagine God feels the same way about me.
But how incredible is it to know we are loved by Someone who understands our brokenness and uses it to teach us? He could easily step away and leave us on our own, and He would have every right to...but that's not God. That's not our Father.
No, our God is filled with grace for His children.
Grace on repeat.