Last Saturday, I bravely went where I as a mom had never gone before.
We hosted our very first sleepover.
My girls struggled with sleeping days ahead of time. One of my daughters complained that it was so hard to pay attention in school when all she could think about was having a friend over to stay the night. After all, how can you sit still for math timed tests and spelling questions when a friend is coming over to your house?
They had plans. Big plans.
All this remains a mystery to me. I was never a fan of sleepovers and still struggle when I have to stay in a hotel away from home for even one night. I like my space, my bed, my pillow, my routine. I’m a homebody and an introvert. Even as a girl, sleepovers were more nerve-racking than fun.
But I yielded to my friend-focused daughters and their pleading blue eyes and allowed them to invite over their friend.
Then we did the sleepover thing. We made cookies, played dress-up, ate pizza, watched a movie, and painted fingers and toes. The girls whispered and giggled in their room after the lights went out and squealed a bit at the thunderstorm booming outside.
And when it was over, I sank into the sofa in satisfaction. I did it. I, Mom to Three Daughters, had survived a sleepover.
That, I felt, should cover me for a while. Maybe at least I would be free of pestering for three or four months. A season of peace. It sounded heavenly and was worth the effort.
I was wrong, of course.
On the way home from church the very next day, the girls started begging for another play date and sleepover. Every day this week, I’ve been nagged and whined at. They exchanged phone numbers with friends at school. At Back to School Night, the girls spent 50% of the time showing me their classrooms and 50% of the time telling me that they had invited various friends to come home with them the next day.
One child snuck a note into her backpack to the school office: “Olivia will be riding home with Lauren King after school today.”
When I went to have lunch with my daughters at school, I had to ban conversation about play dates after ten minutes of being bombarded with, “When can she come over?” questions.
Now, having friends over really is fun and truly I love giving my daughters the opportunity to build into friendship and develop gifts of hospitality and people-focused lives. They are continually teaching me the value of relationship over tasks and to-do lists.
But surely, I felt, I deserved one week of “thanks, Mom!” before hearing “Please, Mom, can I have some more?”
Maybe God feels that same disappointment with us at times. He saves us, redeems us, calls us His own, draws us in close to Him in companionship and friendship—in adoption! He meets our needs and delivers us from circumstances and the Enemy.
And if we’re really holy perhaps we’ll toss a hurried “thanks” over our shoulders before running full speed ahead to the next crisis of need.
Of course, He’s so gracious to deliver us time after time and invites us into the kind of open and honest relationship where we can always tell Him how we really feel, what we lack, and what has us frightened and worried.
But perhaps we could learn to pause longer in gratitude and settle down in joy at His deliverance, knowing He takes care of us, knowing that He has it all under control and that we don’t need to run fretting back to the throne hour after anxious hour.
This week, I’ll be meditating on one verse every day that reminds me that God has already delivered me and for that I linger in thanks and praise:
Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust”
Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer and worship leader. Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness. Her upcoming book, Ask Me Anything, Lord: Opening Our Hearts to God’s Questions, will be released in the Fall of 2013! To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.
Copyright © 2012 Heather King