She pulls her bike up off the ground with all her 5 year old determination can manage. It’s her third fall of the day. Pink streamers cascade off her handlebars reflecting the sweet condition of her heart.
She gets up and tries again, pedaling with no destination, just to be here. Her brother rides confidently far ahead, almost out of sight. Still, she sets her gaze on this goal, undaunted. Ready.
I’m pushing our 2 year old in the baby jogger and I have sped up so she can follow me. I’m enjoying the faster pace. The breeze feels warm, refreshing against our salty faces.
Behind me, she loses her balance again. She skids and falls into the tall grass off the trail and the bike topples over her.
I slow down and glance back. As she wiggles out from under her bike I can see in her courage deflated, her soul bruised.
She fights back tears, discouragement beginning to take over. I can see her resigning herself to “I can’t do it.” I leave the stroller and quickly walk back to her.
“Mommy,” she cries out, tears now flowing, “why aren’t you here?”
I think back to all those times I’ve not been there. When she’s asked me, “Can we play dolls?” “No, not right now sweetie, I’m cooking dinner.” “Mommy, can we do an art project?” “No, not right now honey, I’m helping your brother.” And I’ll she’s really needed is me to be present with her. To be here.
How many times do I let the time pass and moments fade before I realize what I’ve missed, to risk that when these short years are over I would look back and be a dollar short and a day late.
No, this pain in her is more than one fall. She needs me to be here, not just to meet physical needs but to nurture her soul, to show her Jesus, to show her imperfect is perfectly perfect. Grace is always enough. He’s all we need.
“I am here,” I said softly and picked her up off the grass and hugged her discouraged shoulders. The frustration in me was only pain. Not just the scrape on her leg, but one on her heart.
I stand up and lift that bike up with all my mama determination to be all she needs right now from me.
I know this is more than a season. It’s a calling. To spend myself on her, to pour my own life out to fill her. This is not a second rate calling. This is not a second best ministry. She and her brothers are my ministry, my front lines, my heart outside my body bleeding love, bleeding joy and pain.
And He bled His heart for me, His daughter. Always here, always present, always loving.
And this imperfect love wrapped in grace is a reflection of the perfect love of the father. A parent’s love is powerful, enough to stunt or nurture a child out from our womb and into the world in eighteen short years. We need grace.
It feels like all the time in the world, yet never enough. Just one more moment, one more hug, one more nighttime story.
One more chance to grab hold of grace, to spend it well, to be here, present with her.
Five Minute Friday is a feature over at Lisa-Jo Bakers TALES FROM A GYPSY MAMA blog.
So, let’s do this thing. Let’s write.
Set your timer, clear your head, for five minutes of free writing without worrying about getting it right.
1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..