The Littlest screams and throws herself back in a tantrum, smacking her head uncomfortably hard on the concrete floor, which incites higher decibels of screaming. The Middle is wandering around and wailing about something lost I can't discern from her description, much less help her find. The oldest, oblivious, would like permission to ask a friend over to play. Right now.
I pray desperate, needy prayers to not join them in the shrieking mayhem.
It would be comical if it wasn't so exhausting.
I've lost things I can't begin to accurately describe, either.
Sunday morning we are late, again, as usual, and as we pile in the car I grip the warm mug of coffee and try to be still to keep it all from spilling out hot and messy. I exhale another pleading prayer.
I lean back and close my eyes and just let the husband drive and I wonder how will I even have the ability to focus on praise and worship and scripture and church family?
We're going over the bridge when the song I walked down the aisle to begins playing on the radio. Encouraging steps to lead me closer to the One who chose to give me His name anyway, knowing all. I don't open my eyes but just let the lyrics of "In Christ Alone" sink in and wash me clean and fill me up. After a few sentences that shift my focus the tightness in my chest and throat loosens and I can breathe. I find I can sing.
It's such a gift to sing.
We arrive and shuffle to our places and I want to worship. Loudly. And with hands raised and with messy, joyful tears but our church is small and I don't want to distract and I feel it would so I pour out everything and wash His feet with grateful tears in my spirit.
And my prayers are all worship. Just this vulnerable, desperate, needy worship.
You are too wonderful for words. I have nothing, without You, Lord. Nothing. I am no good on my own. You are so good. I need You to fill me up so I have good things to give. I need You to give me love so I even have love for my husband, my children, my family, friends, my enemies. You are so loving. I need You to give me Your perspective so I won't be selfish and shortsighted... I need... I need...
I don't always feel, I'm not always aware, of my neediness. Today, I am.
And I'm that kind of needy where I don't even care that I'm needy. I don't try to hide it or sugar coat it. I'm just asking, asking, asking for what I need. Which is everything God-like. Everything I'm not.
But I am also filled with so much love for Him. I wish I could bring Him something lovely, instead of this mess that I am. The songs unfolds and I'm glad I get the chance to sing what I'm thinking.
"I see Your face, You're beautiful...
I see Your face, You're beautiful...
And it's not until we sing it probably a dozen times that it pierces me, how He feels about my telling Him He is beautiful.
He brought it to my mind, how the Middle cups my face with her chubby child hands and looks right into my eyes with her bright grin and asks it in her normal, cheeky fashion: "And what do I think about you?"
I play along with a deep, thoughtful sigh and long hmmmmmm-ing until I finally "guess" correctly: "you think I'm beautiful."
She nods approval with a grown-up air, all this an exact copy of what, and how, I tell her she's beautiful over and over. She nods and nods with eyebrows raised "yes, I do think you are."
It's one of my favorite things. I never ask for it. She just does right back to me when I've spoken it over her. She's just a child, echoing me, but it melts my heart.
And even though she throws fits, and pushes the limits, and fights most of the healthy boundaries and habits I'm enforcing in her life... I can tell she means it. She thinks I'm beautiful.
She'll tap my chest "the inside kind of beautiful... like Jesus."
My momma's heart soaks it up.
...And here I am, this child. His child.
A needy mess that throws fits, pushes limits, and stiff-arms all those annoying, healthy things He keeps bringing me. But I mean it.
I think He is beautiful.
And I can feel Him smiling back as I sing it "You're beautiful... You're beautiful..."
My love-offering isn't worthless. He tells me my love is treasured by Him.
And no, I can't give to Him like He gives to me, I can't serve Him like He serves me.
But my love isn't rejected.
He isn't far away or annoyed by my needy state and childlike expression of love.
He is close. He lets me cup His face. His heart soaks it up.
And the tears brim hot at this crazy truth that "we love because He first loved us..."
He's singing to me, too.
He's singing over you.
"you're beautiful... you're beautiful..."