The movie was almost over when my sweet little girl fell asleep in my arms.
I looked at my other children and gave them the “shhh…” lips as I attempted to gently lift myself and carry my girl to her bed. As I tugged gently on the blankets and pillows surrounding me, her eyes opened. I picked her up and carried her up the steps heading toward her room.
“No mama, I’m not tired, I don’t want to go to bed.”
“Yes, honey, it’s bedtime. I’m going to carry you to bed and lie down with you.”
The wriggling began.
The screaming, the crying, the desperation in her body for me to let her go…she started acted crazy.
But I know this, and I’ve seen it before, and I know she is just so tired. She is not being bad, or disobedient; her body is acting out. Her little self is a mess as she is between sleep and awake, and her brain is fumbling to figure out which it wants to be in.
I put her in her bed and sit next to her. She yells at me, tells me go, tells me she wants to get up. She is sweating, and kicking.
I close her blinds, turn on her fan, and close the door with me inside her room.
I lay my head down close to hers, and I just say, “I’m here. I’m not going anywhere. It’s okay.”
More kicking, arms flailing, more shouts.
“It’s okay, honey.” I rub her head.
And just when I think she will never settle down, I decide to start singing.
“Amazing grace, how sweet the sound…”
Five seconds doesn’t go by and her mouth closes with her eyes. She leans into me, tucks her head in between the pillow and my cheek, and wraps her arm around me.
I keep singing.
Her breathing slows, and she is going deep.
I wait a few minutes, rubbing her head, nuzzling into her hair, and then I say quietly, “I’m going to go tuck in your brother and sister.” She nods, and sinks into a final sleep.
I get up, go out, and thank God for the delight that is my little girl. That precious one who just needs her mama when she feels out of control.
That girl, she’s a lot like me.
There are days I feel out of control, anxious, frozen by the day ahead of me. I start to panic. Can I make it through my day?
And then, as soft as a breeze on my face, I feel it. I feel the Spirit inside me calming my anxious heart, reminding me that I am not alone, that He is with me, keeping me tucked in close as He sings over me.
I can make it, I’m okay. And my little girl, she’s okay, too. We’re going to make it.
No matter how out-of-control we feel, or how desperate, or how overwhelming life feels sometimes, we have a Father who is close, and kind, and gentle, and who will never leave us.
In fact, He delights over us.
Today, in the midst of whatever anxiety surrounds you, meditate on these words…
The Lord your God is in your midst,
a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing.
Zephaniah 3:17, ESV
And if you time, take a few minutes and let your soul worship: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dMYReIv1ax4
Sarah Mae, author of Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breath
Bev Duncan @ Walking Well With God says
So many times I feel like that anxious little girl…flailing and spinning out of control and being overwhelmed by life. What a soothing reminder, that like a mother, God holds us close and stays with us until we finally relax into Him and calm down. Zephaniah 3:17 is one of my favorite verses. Sometimes it is hard to grasp that the Creator of the universe delights over little old me…and not only if I am a perfect child, but in all my sin and failure. Thank you for a beautiful word picture and for the encouraging reminder!
Like you, evidently, reading these posts is part of my morning routine….sitting here with my coffee. Usually, at this time there are very few, if any comments. Since you are usually at least one of the first, and I like your compassion and honesty, I’m always glad when I see that you have left a comment before I got here! And I’ve learned to check your blog. I kind of think of you as an older aunt. Sorry!
Just know that your comments are appreciated.
I have a problem of having God more in my head than in my heart. We always talk, as Jesus did, of God as our Father, but visualizing God as that loving mother that we can relax into really helped me. Thanks.
Sarah G says
thank You So Much For your Words Here, they Were so Prefect For Me in ways Only God Really Knows.
Wow, this is what I needed yo read today, Sarah Mae:). I’ve had a few rough days with my own ‘wild one’, and have been feeling pretty overwhelmed and desperate and under qualified!! Thanks for your encouragement!
I’ve also been thinking about watching the on-demand webinar that I missed, and I think after reading this post I definitely need to watch it!
I had a moment yesterday that a friend calls a “God Breeze.” My daughter, who is three, was having a tantrum of the most epic proportions because she didn’t want to leave a friend’s house. Rather than getting upset like I usually do I felt the God Breeze and hugged her, whispered in her ear that we had to leave and would come again another time. Then I carried her to the car. She was asleep in five minutes. It was incredible to be calm and know that she was just tired than to get nervous and anxious because she was acting out. What a great verse, I don’t think I’ve read it before.
Kathy Cheek @ In Quiet Places says
Thank you for a beautiful word picture of what God desires most with us and that is relationship – close – Father and child – because He loves us!
Beautifully put together in the words of the Spirit. I have boys and these words even applied to me in this season of motherhood I now am in. Thank you! I will also share the first verse with my sweet boys. God is good! I really needed this today.
O, I live in Asia and we, as Asians, actually sleep with our young until they fall asleep. Most of the time we fall asleep as well, right next to them, then wake up and get on with it. Or even have someone always sleeping with our young. Till ten. Why. Dunno, it’s our custom. So, we are cuddled and bundled altogether people. Think we are all like this. Really. Young and old. It’s warming. Hang in there.
Thank you for sharing this story from your life, Sarah Mae! It was just so heart touching … I was thinking just today morning, what can I do with the little inner child I am/was, who was so unwilling today.
Thank you to remind me that we have our havenly Mother, Mary, to whom I can turn to in situations like this, for peace and understanding.
I loved this. There’s a child in all of us that needs the comfort of Daddy God.
Thank you for using this to touch my heart today.
God bless you!
You’re such a good mama. I hope you know that.
Patty Muich says
Thank you for this post and the verse. I am going to copy it and really study it today. Your post took me back in time to when my little girl was young. Such sweet memories.
Zephaniah 3:17 is my favorite verse. Thank you for the reminder of how much God loves us and He loves us even when we’re at our worst.
This post really touched my heart. I just sang my little 3 year old to sleep with Amazing Grace last night. Then today she had a tantrum from just being overly tired from playing with her older cousins. We took a ride in the car..sang worship music..ate lunch and she was sound asleep. Thank you so much for this post! You inspire me and help me to be a better mom. God is so Good 🙂
Beth Williams says
Wow! This post summed up my week–no my month. Work has been super busy–almost non-stop some days. Add to that visiting my aging father once a week for about 30 minutes or so and the next night going to Bible Study right after work. Whew! I’m usually tired by Wednesday and have 3 more days to work.
“No matter how out-of-control we feel, or how desperate, or how overwhelming life feels sometimes, we have a Father who is close, and kind, and gentle, and who will never leave us.”
In fact, He delights over us. That is hard for me to envision. I pray often, but don’t usually think of God as a loving mother figure who can sweetly calm you.
what does one do if her little girl is 31 yrs old with children of her own and is out of control?
Christine N. says
I’m not old enough to tell you if this works. I’m about the same age as your daughter. However, I do know that prayer is always always a good idea. Prayer really can change things. Also, when I’m at my most out of control feeling (which is happening a lot in my circumstances lately) just the thought of my Mom coming over and cleaning my toilet, praying in person, or even just holding me in a tight hug, is very calming. If she actually did it, I know it would help even more.
Your daughters problems could be a lot different than mine. Her out of control could be a lot more serious than mine, her faith level is likely different, etc. But I really believe everyone needs their Mom, always.
Yep, just need arms around me telling me it will all be okay when I am crying and feel like screaming. Just need the calming presence of God to wrap me in close and calm me down, because there is no one else to hold me tonight and tell me it will all be okay.
I have an Olivia Grace, and when she gets out of control I sing her special song, using her name to the tune of Amazing Grace, works almost every time! 🙂
I wish I would have read this before my little girls bedtime last night. It’s extremely difficult for your wild one to be your first one. We are making it but somedays I wonder if I can be who she needs me to be.
linda @ bushel and a pickle says
I sang to all my kids just about every night. Amazing Grace was one of the group. When we first had our adopted girls with us, the song we sang Blessed Assurance. Always ours; always His.
Thank you for your story.
Debi Schuhow says
Beautiful! Colors, smells, feelings, and pictures swirled in my mind as I read this.
Amy @ A Journey of Purpose says
Love this! Amazing Grace is also my go-to song for helping bring the calm…
oh Sarah Mae – so needed to read this. so have a wild one. so am a wild one… thank you.
Thank you for this post. The Lord guided me directly to it. Quite a while back a friend of mine had shared one of your post on her facebook page and I remembered being blessed by what you said. After a miserable, exhausting and overwhelming bed time experience with my “wild one” last night I was spent and felt the very life had been zapped from my body. I have been blessed with three children, the oldest and youngest are wild ones and the middle has forced herself to be one just to survive. The Lord has graciously guided us with the oldest and he has matured into an amazing young man who loves the Lord and exhibits self control beyond what I ever imagined he would be able to do. So now the youngest is 2. As deja vu sets in, I question whether I am capable of doing this all over again. Will I have enough in me to give her what she needs? Then my loving Father reminds me it’s His ability, not mine. I have to trust. I have to lean. I have to give up my own control. I was desperate for a word from God last night and He spoke your name into my heart. I googled and landed right on this post. What an amazing Daddy He is! He knew exactly what I needed; a reminder that He loves me just as much as I love her. He loves her more than I love her. He is right here with us both and will see us through this storm of toddlerhood. He has His hand on her precious little heart and will give me wisdom with her everyday. Thank you for posting this. Thank you for your obedience. Thank you for your encouragment.
Good Job Mom!
alina y says
Oh how many hard times I have had with my little girl. I don’t always cope well with her little tantrums. Thank you for showing me how patient love looks.
Traci Michele says
so good friend. (tear rolling down cheek) ;-)!