Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Letters to Eliana

Oh, little one.

For the third time tonight you cried out from your bed, and I swooped in and pulled you from the pink cloud of bedding; your nose was running everywhere, and your hair, still damp from your bath, curled around your face, framing tired, teary eyes.

I sang these words softly into your ear...

Your tender sadness, it touches the heart of me
Howling and scowling just make you more dear
With all this commotion now what could the trouble be?
For Love's sake my darling I'll always be here


This dreadful cold is taking its toll on you, precious. Two molars are sloooowly pushing their way through, causing you to grip your head with both hands while imploring me with your eyes. Mama wishes she could take the pain away.

Countless times today, as we shared the fogginess of this cold, I sank to the floor for respite, and you walked to me, falling on my shoulder, a little arm encircling my neck. We read, and sang, and held. You resisted all forms of discipline, dumping bookshelves that are off limits (and you know it!) just for attention. And because you felt so contrary.

Mama feels contrary, too. And as I bent to swat your hand, I paused. For today, when I hit my head on the corner of the cupboard in my haste to put breakfast on the table, I'm afraid my anger got the best of me. And I growled. You do not like my growling; you cling to my leg and bury your face until I kneel and comfort you. Mama's okay, sweetheart. I'm okay now.

So when my little one expresses her discomfort in such tangible ways, with fits and disobedience, I am mindful of the way I handle my discomfort. And we are not so dissimilar, you and I.

You made me breathe deeply today. As the irritation of a drippy nose and the cloudiness in my own head made me slow and clumsy, I was carefully mindful of the way I acted out. I looked around, taking in the comforts surrounding me. A roll of soft toilet paper in every room, available for a quick wipe, for you and I. An inviting afghan spread across the couch, saving my place for a rest. A husband who took the day slowly so as to care for the older children, working with them out in the yard. A quiet house with open windows, letting in fragrant, fresh air, and still-cool weather delaying the need for our window unit air-conditioner.

There is no need for me to lose my temper. I am contrary, yes, and uncomfortable. But I have a little one who is learning how to walk through the same discomfort, and I am so thankful you reminded me of my place today, Eliana. I hope that the times I laughed instead of sighing fell on learning ears. I hope that the times I held you instead of pushing you away from another mess were taken in by a tender heart.

I hope you learn from me.

And I hope I learn from Him.

As your eyes grew heavy, I continued singing softly...

Today was so full and so busy for both of us
But for tonight all those burdens can keep
Come let sweet Jesus be the Light in your darkness
And open the door to the Paradise of sleep

For He grants sleep to the ones that He loves
And I live to love you as well
The last words you'll hear tonight will be "I love you"
For love takes us all of a lifetime to tell.*


Sleep, now. Sleep on your pink cloud. Mama goes to her bed with a thankful heart, to be sung a lullaby by her Father as well.

I love you, precious.

Love,
Mama



*song from the lullaby album "Sleep Sound In Jesus", by Michael Card. Our favorite nightime listening with each of our children as babies.

29 fellow travelers shared:

Kendra said...

Thank you for this beautiful post, and reminder to be sympathetic with our little ones. I listened to the same lullabies in my own home growing up, and have played them for my children as well. Most of the time, I can't help crying when I listen.

Mindy said...

I was reading this post with tears in my eyes when I got an email from you commenting on my blog! crazy! My baby is sick right now too. Thanks for always reminding me to cherish my family. I need to get that album.

Jen said...

a lovely post they do learn from us dont they
I hope and pray you both get better real soon

QueenHeroical said...

We are just rousing ourselves out of a terrible flu around this house and your words are timely and as always beautiful.

Prayers for all the bodies in your home, and gratefulness for such tender reminders from Elise.

( I am also typing in a whisper so as to not wake you while you rest :)

--Blessings, Krina

Me said...

My youngest has a bad cold too. Here ears are bothering her as well but she doesn't have an ear infection. She too wants nothing more than to be held but is more contrary than the dickens.

I know how little ones make one so much more aware of our responses to little trials and big trials in our lives. You express it beautifully here.

Beka said...

Such a beautiful "letter" to your precious daughter. I just LOVE Sleep Sound in Jesus... I already have the CD and book on our "hopeful" bookshelf, and long for the day I can play it for my little one.
The picture of your little girl sleeping is so darling.
Hope you're both feeling much better today!

Tracy said...

Her children rise up and call her blessed. This is the verse that comes to mind when I read about your children, and your dealings with them. Thank you for reminding all of us what mommies are meant to be like!

Andrea said...

I hope you learn from me. And I hope I learn from Him.
This is the prayer of the mother, right? It is my prayer, too.
Thank you for your gentle reminders to choose smiles over frowns, and laughter over sighs. I am so prone to do that, especially in sickness and tiredness.

What a sweet little one. :)

Holly said...

So sorry about your illnesses! :( Spring colds are no good!

Much love -

Lizard Princess said...

Great post! Reminds me of when my son was little (he's 11 now). It's such a blessing to watch them grow up- and grow in the Lord! He says the most profound things sometimes.
Have you ever read the book called, "To Train Up A Child" by Micheal and Debi Pearl? It's a small book, but don't let that fool you! It is so packed with Biblical child training truth I wouldn't know where to begin. The authors are Amish, so there's a lot of horse analagies in it, but to me, that just makes it all the more endearing!

BTW- I'm not recommending this book because it "sounds like you need it"- quite the contrary- it sounds like this book would likely only confirm that what you've been doing is the right thing, but sometimes it's nice to read about that, too!

Stacy said...

Mm hmm.

Often I pray that the love I have given to my children through a difficult day would cover the multitude of sins I surely revealed, as well- in my own growlings of anger or impatience.

Love to you, Elise. And prayers that you and Eliana will be better soon!

~Stacy

Beverly said...

Elise ... (tears are in my throat)

I was up too between the hours of 3 -4:30 am with a sniffling, teething baby. If I had known you were up too, I would have whispered a prayer for you. I had to repent, because I was feeling so selfish about the sleep I wasn't getting. I eventually ended up pulling my exhausted, hurting baby from her crib and snuggling both of us into the rocker, kissing her back to sleep.

What beautiful words to your Eliana, and I love Sleep Sound in Jesus. Thank you for reminding me of this song. How fitting, and how touching.

Staci said...

Just found your blog again...it seems we have so much in common.

Thank you for reminder that I too, need to work on my patience with my little ones.

Have a blessed day!

Julie said...

Your letters to Eliana are so beautiful and thought provoking... prayers that you are both feeling better soon!

Munchkin Land said...

Oh yes... I can so relate to this post. Both Devyn and I are struggling through colds and I, too, find myself impatient with her. And on the other hand, I want so much to take the pain away.

Thank for the reminder to stop and breathe. All too soon, I'll wish for these days back. (Colds and all!)

The Preacher's Wife said...

That is my favorite lullaby cd...What a beautiful note to your wee one!

bluemountainmama said...

oh my, elise...i need to have tissue on hand everytime i come over and see 'letters to eliana' as the header.....

i'm at a loss for words..... all i can say is 'beautiful'.....and what blessed children you have....

Audrey said...

Praying for you as you get better. We too have had a fussy little one, as she pulls on her ears and chews on her fingers. Just wanting to be held.

Her older sister must be feeling left out as she has been getting into everything. I only wish I would have handled her as gracefully as you with little Eliana.

Christine said...

Oh, I'm so sorry for the discomfort both of you feel! But thank you for sharing your wisdom with us. Here's praying for a better day tomorrow!

Wendy WaterBirde said...

Awwwwww...Elise, your daughter is probably going to cry her eyes out and hug you till you burst when she sees these letters when she's older : )

Hope you both feel better soon, and can continue to comfort each other.

And thank you so much for the nice things you said on my blog today, it really brightened my spirit!

Hope your week is a healing one...

Paix,

Wendy

EEEEMommy said...

Your daughter will cherish these posts when she cuddles her own sweet sick baby in her arms someday!
I hope you are both feeling better soon!

Denise said...

Elise, thank you for sharing such personal glimpses into your heart - the tenderness, the pain and your faith as well.
Not only are you speaking to your precious daughter, but you are reminding each of us of the tender care that our LORD gives to us, and to see our own children in a different way.
From one mother's heart to another -- Bless You.

Alycia said...

Thank you so much for such an encouraging blog! I have been reading for awhile, but wanted to leave a post for two reasons. I was up last night with my son for three hours, and continually thought of your post, which encouraged me greatly in my sleepy state. And, second, I wanted to tell you that I linked your blog site under my Favorites on my own blog. I hope that is okay. I am new to blogging and enjoying it so far! Have a Blessed evening!

Lindsey @ Enjoythejourney said...

Beautiful as always sweet Elise.

TaunaLen said...

I am always so encouraged by reading your blog. This lullaby really spoke to my heart. I don't have grandchildren, yet - but I ordered this CD today to tuck away for the lullaby opportunities in my future. Thank you for sharing such beauty and love in your posts. They remind me of how extravagantly I am loved by my Father.

~TaunaLen

henryteachers said...

That is such a precious letter and photo of Eliana. My little girl is sick too and it sure makes you appreciate the times when they are well. Hope you are better soon.

Maxine said...

The Lord's blessings to you both, sweet mama and daughter. Very sweet, Elise. And what a precious photo.

TaunaLen said...

Just wanted to let you know I linked this post on my site today. Thanks for writing it!

Notwise said...

This is so beautiful. The Holy Spirit was really speaking to you here. I love Michael Card's lullabies--they calmed my heart when my Sarah was colicky. Thank you!

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