Love Loans

I sat beside the tub and poured water over Ivy’s belly, wishing I could make the noise and chaos behind me disappear.

It was me they needed. More of my time, more of my energy, more of me.

“Can you come?” Josh asked. “They’re all asking for you. Let me do this.”

He took the cup from my hand and took my place beside the tub. I sighed heavily and walked out of the bathroom. What I wanted to do was head right down the stairs, out the front door and into my car. I had nowhere to go, but that hardly mattered. Just going would be enough for a while. A while long enough for my frazzled nerves to relax again, my skin to stop crawling with the constancy of sticky hands pulling, tugging, needing. Instead, I took a deep breath and went into Henry’s room, where he lay on his bed in tears.

“What’s the matter, Henry?” I asked, my words hollow, my stony heart crusted with weariness. Mechanically, I climbed onto his bed beside him, and lay my head just inches from his.

“I’m sad,” he hiccuped. “I don’t want to go to bed.”

There wasn’t an ounce, sliver, tiny shred of patience left in me. But sometimes being a Mommy means Mommy-ing even when you don’t want to, when you feel like you have nothing left. So I wiped the tears from Henry’s cheeks and said, “We have to sleep so our bodies feel good and our minds can be happy.”

Sweet mercy of miracles, Henry looked at me with tired eyes, and softly whispered, “Okay.” He pulled my arm around him like a blanket and quickly fell asleep. I lay there a few more minutes, feeling the soft warmth of his breath, inhale, exhale, across the top of my arm.

And there it was.

The love came unbidden, bubbling up and over, into the cracks of my consciousness. It isn’t about you, the love said. It’s about them. There is a time for quiet, but now, they need you. I kissed Henry’s forehead and moved from his bed, going to spend a few minutes with each of the other children.

It was God-given, that extra love; a reserve bursting forth when my own well turned up dry.

An hour later, when big kids and baby were all asleep, I sat. The quiet pooled around me, soothing my skin, calming my nerves. And I prayed a prayer of gratitude that I have a partner in this mothering that I do, that God is with me, helping, lifting, loaning love.

I wrote this post on Monday, but in retrospect, I think it’s a good fit for Tuesdays Unwrapped, hosted by Chatting at the Sky. Click the button to read posts about finding joy in the everyday.

tuesdays unwrapped at cats


41 thoughts on “Love Loans

  1. JaelCustomDesigns says:

    That was beautiful! I love moments like that. I can still get away with it with the toddler(2 yo), my three older children are 10, 12, and 14 so they are going through their tween into teenage period that I'm still trying to feel my way through! Lol! They grow up so fast.

  2. Momza says:

    whew…you didn't warn that this post came with tears.The moments like you've described are truly heaven sent.And yes, I know about being too touched, too needed, too demanded, and yes it makes one wish there was a zipper that you could tug on and be released from your own skin.It fades…and then you have to remember to purposefully hug your teenagers too!

  3. Cindy says:

    Just lovely–both the writing and moment described.What I find interesting is that the gift of extra love doesn't come until after we make the decision to step way out of our (selfish natural man) comfort zone…

  4. Kimberly says:

    Oh the beauty of this, not just this post and the way you've written it (but that too), but the love behind it. I've had that experience of Him filling my empty well – oh how we need it some days (I needed it yesterday, so desperately, but I forgot to ask, forgot to make room for it).

  5. Laree says:

    Thank you. I had a moment similar to this a few weeks ago. Remembering that my loved ones give me love the only way they know how . . . . It is actually all worth it somehow, isn't it.

  6. T says:

    THIS, this is exactly why I love to come by you blog. thanks for restoring my faith in mothering moments :)beautifully said.

  7. DeNae says:

    First, I completely agree with Sister Proctor. Exquisite writing, and your voice just RINGS through here.And second, I depend on those 'love loans' every day of my life. It reminds me of the story Corrie Ten Boom tells about having to tap into the love that Christ had for her prison guard, when he approached her, extended his hand, and thanked her for teaching him about forgiveness.In many ways, I believe that our relationships are meant to stretch us to the point where the only way we can keep them healthy is to feed them with pure charity.

  8. Heather (wife to Dave, mom to Jenna and Adam) says:

    Beautiful. I love it when I read words that I've thought, but never been eloquent enough to write. It brought tears to my eyes and a smile to my face because I love those moments. I love being a mom and am so grateful for my Big Brother and Heavenly Father to offer up that love when I'm just about up.

  9. ANGIE says:

    I found your blog today through Tuesdays Unwrapped and I have to tell you, this post was swet and beautiful. I can actually feel the love pouring out of it. Be blessed that you have that. I dont have any kids but I've been told that it is like falling in love over and over again, everytime you look into their eyes, and remember the fact that you brought this little person into the world. And I am getting sappy, I know.

  10. MT says:

    Oh it's good to catch up on your blog! I need one of those love loans every once in a while too. And I love the pics of your little ones. It's not very often I see a baby with such a headful of hair. Also, I saw that forgiveness video and was very touched. I thought I might put it on my own blog too.Have a great week!

  11. Kathleen@so much to say, so little time says:

    Wow…what a gorgeous post.I had lunch this week with a woman I greatly admire and respect, but who simply doesn't "get" motherhood… considers it limiting…and the idea of self-sacrifice doesn't register. I suppose if a person isn't wired to recognize moments such as the ones you just shared, there's nothing anyone can do to make them understand.

  12. Cevallos Family says:

    I have felt that way so many times! Just found your blog over at Chatting at the Sky, and wanted to let you know that God has surprised me so many times when I am just going through the motions, trying to get some peace and quiet… is always then when the kids need me, and I am most reluctant…but most revived afterwards!

  13. Jo says:

    Oh my. My oldest daughter and I have been talking about this lately. It is beautifully written, this piece of truth. All of us mothers have felt this, but you have managed to put our soul's experience into words. Thank you.

  14. Charlotte says:

    Great thoughts! It is at these times that I most feel my divine nature, because I know I was empty and yet there was something else in me that had just enough left to make those moments happen and fill me back up.

  15. Brittany says:

    I came across your blog yesterday evening, and I think this post is why. It is so often that I find myself wishing everything would go away so I can have "Me time". Yesterday was one of those moments, and reading your post re-lit the Mommy-fire within me. I NEEDED this post yesterday! I am a better mom today because of it. Thank you SO much!

  16. Laura@livingabigstory says:

    Thank you for linking this post to your other one about you just wrote. I wish I could be who I want to be … I worry so often that my heart is not soft enough.Thank you for this … something to think about during this Easter weekend.

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