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The Stormy Night

Today’s blog is brought to you by guest writer “hubby of mopsy.”

A desperate howling rushed through the house. The roof rattled. Windows shook. Determined to rain its wreckage on the shaky foundation below, the mad storm willed one last gasping scream—then fell to silence.

I unclenched my fists, and unset my jaw. I used a quick sip of coke to wash away the toothy powder gained from an hour’s tense grinding, and tried to relax. My ears were still ringing, but I forced myself to listen for any creaking—any sign the storm would come again. All I could hear was the pounding wind outside.

“Please Lord,” I said silently. “Please give him peace. Grant him sleep.” I was afraid even my silent prayer would wake him despite the wind. But I continued, “Help him get through this.”

Joel lay asleep.

Yesterday was Joel’s first birthday. He’ll see a new year of firsts. First steps, first sentences, first friends. New experiences will bring frustration and triumph to his little heart. Last night was one of frustration. It was his first away from “Mama”—her warm bed and suckling comfort.

Gretchen was laying in comfort at the Brown Palace Hotel. (She’s at a woman’s retreat sponsored by our church) But I knew she wouldn’t be resting. She’d be worried about her sweet baby Joel. As I thought of her, I crept into the bedroom. Joel was wrapped into a still little ball. I put a blanket on him and slipped quietly back downstairs.

It’s not easy helping these little ones grow up. Joel is our fifth child—the third I’ve tried to train to sleep through the night. (I’m 3 for 4). I’ll miss holding him each night as I sit in front of the TV. I’m sick of the TV, but I love rocking him. He brings me as much peace as I try to give him each night. I’m glad for the time with him. I love his sleepy smiles, and those dream laughs. I often try to imagine what unconscious theatrics are playing in his mind to make him so happy.

In another year he’ll be a springy, squirmy toddler—too restless to sit in my lap for the night. I’ll get to hold him during story time, but soon he’ll be too big for even that. He’ll have dates and nights out with friends, and a family of his own; and I’ll be the one defiantly set to bed. I’ll be the one worrying he’s not coming back. I’ll be screaming inside for my little baby boy, and I’ll say a prayer.

“Please Lord,” I’ll say silently. “Please give me peace. Grant me sleep.” I’ll be afraid my silent prayer will reach my grown son despite the distance, and the howling wind. But I’ll continue, “Help me get through this.”

And I’ll finally sleep, knowing he’s in the Lord’s hands because I was willing to let my baby boy become a man.

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