Lightning rips through the night, turning the dark sky a pinkish hue. Flashes are lighting up every second, millisecond, and thundering booms shake the house.

With his big brown eyes, my eight-year-old pleads to crawl into bed with me. I am already waiting for him; his fear of thunderstorms is an established fact of the house. What surprises me is the ten-year old, who also wants to come. He is a big-boy-turning-into-man ten-year old, and he usually doesn’t run from thunder. But today is different. The two boys share a room, and now the older one is saying he doesn’t want to be alone if the younger one leaves.

The two boys crawl into mama’s bed (I’m thankful it’s king-sized). The youngest is in the middle.

There’s plenty of giggling (I didn’t think boys giggle– but they do). Soon, though, there’s contention over blankets and sheets and who’s got the most. There’s elbowing and kicking and hair ruffling.  There’s eventually crying as someone gets accidentally poked in the eye. There’s “I need a kleenex” , “I need a drink of water” , “why is the hall light on?”  and “stop looking at me!” kinds of distractions. Maybe those of you with kids will find some of these statements a bit familiar. At least, I sure hope you do.

I’m really not sure what time any of us got to sleep. I recall waking  up at 11:45 pm and realize we all succumbed at some point, exact time unknown.

I find that instances like these with children is one of the ways God teaches me. Heaven only knows how many lessons I have missed. But this night, I have much on my mind, and this unexpected slumber party with my boys makes me think of Laura’s post   When Letting Go is Hard. I realize right now, these children are still {somewhat} under my wing. They are growing up, taking bigger steps away from mom, but still young enough to want to find me in the storm. Next year could be different; at some point, it will be different. They won’t need to look for me. They will move away. Calls may be infrequent. Geographic distance may widen the gap. They will grow up and learn to fly, and won’t need to find cover with me.

So many questions stir me. Am I teaching them who to run to in the midst of the storm? Will they fall on their knees? Will they choose to do what’s right? Will they still seeJesus in me in spite of my failings and mistakes and yelling at them?

Well, the answers scare me, because I don’t really know for sure. Taking all of this to God for help, answers….

For now, though, I am trying to live in the grace of the moment. I say “try” because sometimes the scuffling threatens to zap the joy. I did raise my voice (is it ok to be honest?) over some commotion that kept on and on during the slumber party. Yet even so, it was sweet to have two boys, giggling as well as scuffling, who wanted to be with me, their mom.

Just as my kids sought shelter with me, God reminds me to continue to find shelter in Him, like David did. David’s pours out his heart to God, his anguish evident, but eventually professes trust in the Almighty God. This verse came to mind during the storm, of God’s cover and protection:

He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.

Psalm 91:4

Today, I read the rest of Psalm 91, beautiful words of safety, protection, provision from God. Here are a few selected words:

1 Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”

14 “Because he loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
15 He will call on me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”

I think my ten-year old really wasn’t afraid. I think he just wanted to belong, to know that he was welcome, and to participate.  And he was welcome. He always will be; all {3} of my kids are.

Just like I am always welcome to come to my Father’s feet, and find shelter in Him, in the midst of any storm.


Sharing with Laura at Playdates with God:

Sharing with L.L. Barkat at In, On and Around Mondays:

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