Saturday, October 4, 2014

See God: {Day 4: The God who Welcomes us Home}

I am plopped on the top bunk trying not to bang my head or completely lose myself in the wad of covers.  It is the second born's domain and it is messy.  I peer down the ladder at Eli and ask which stuffed animal he wants to take to the sleepover.  The blankets are a given.  He has slept with them for 9 years and a week; I know they are going into the overnight bag.  

 But, the growing boy surprises me.  He shows me his desire for autonomy, perhaps even a taste of manhood.

"I am not taking any animals.  Or my blankets."  I almost laugh out loud and tell him the absurdity of not taking his blankets.  I make it clear we would not be bringing him blankets in the middle of the night and that it really is OK to hide them deep in his sleeping bag for insomnia-induced-emergencies. 

 But, the boy, now small man, looks at me with fierce eyes.  "No.  They are all staying here.  They can have their own bunking party." 

 I feel in my spirit this isn't the right choice, but I also feel in my spirit that it is time to allow this boy-man to make decisions.  Eli gets dropped off.  The animals and blankets are left to themselves with the mess called his bed. 

 Things are going so smoothly.  The back of my eyelids greet me and I feel a deep sleep coming on.  The sleep is perhaps deeper than I thought, for I barely hear the ringing of my phone.  I catch the end of the voicemail:  Eli can't sleep.  We are bringing him home. 

 I greet my sweet boy-man at the door and put him to bed.  Eric awakens the next morning a little shocked that we have more children at home than we did the previous night.  In his wise style, he pulls Eli aside and takes a reading of his heart.  He fathers with grace and mercy and understanding.  I am overwhelmed at God's goodness of giving me him to be their Daddy.   

"You know, when I was a little boy...."  And off comes another story of his childhood.  It cuts straight to the point.  Eric wants the boys to know that he was them once.  He wants them to know that he knows their hearts.  He wants them to know that they are accepted and cherished.  He sprinkles their hearts with grace instead of condemnation.  I have so much to learn from the leader of our home. 

 It is why I will always point all four of our boys to their father.  For one, Eric was a boy and gets boys.  Second, he is the authority of our home.  Third, he scoops out mercy and grace as if he were putting sugar on plain Cheerios.  {And those boys know how to lick up the sugary leftovers once the milk is gone.}  Fourth, he can discern reality faster than I can.  He knows how to cut to the chase and deal with the underlying matter before the emotional drama ever rears its ugly head. 

Eric often reminds me of the father of the prodigal son.  He stands by, allowing his sons to start to choose their own way, but is always in the background with arms wide open when they simply need to come home.
No matter the circumstances, our God is always ready to welcome us home.

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