Why do people heat up when they sleep? I’m sure there’s some very scientific explanation, but all I know is that my boys are all little space-heaters. On a cold night, you can warm up to them like you would a fire. But Sam, in particular, is a nocturnal furnace, and since he loves touch, he’s like an organic heating pad. In fact, my husband observed when Sam was three months old that he was extremely “tactile.” Not a word I frequently use, but it is actually the perfect word for Sam. He loves to be held and to touch. He started giving hugs and kisses when he was about five months old. He used to put his little arms around my neck and just squeeze and release, squeeze and release. He’d pull his darling head back to smile at me and then back to squeeze, release, squeeze, release. Then a few months later he added the back pat. Seriously. Now, when he is falling asleep or just waking up he tries to maximize contact. He hugs my head with both arms like some kind of stuffed animal and puts his hot little feet on my legs. Or he cups his steaming little paws around my face. It is divine, absolutely divine.
Yet in those moments, when I am getting Sam’s equivalent of a hot stone massage, I am sometimes prone to think about what I need to do — laundry to fold, emails to respond to, calls to return, activities to coordinate. But by God’s grace, most of the time, I am able to just remind myself how fleeting these moments are. These years of mothering young ones are going by so quickly, and it is such a joyful time. They say the funniest things and are thrilled by the most simple gifts.
Just this morning, Sam located a pair of winter gloves. As many of you know, he has somewhat of a fixation with gloves. So Sam just grinned from ear to ear at the sight of them, “My gloves!” he exclaimed, “You found them!” Actually I’d hid them, but I couldn’t take them away when he was so overjoyed. So he wore them to his “brudder’s” swim practice and we played ping pong in the rain. His skill level was pretty impressive for a gloved, three-year-old playing on a puddled table.
In Matthew 18: 3 Jesus warns that “unless [we] change and become like little children, [we] will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Certainly we need the willing and simple faith of a child, but as I look at this verse today, I am struck that Jesus’ statement is not explicitly limited to faith. He just says that children are prized in heaven and that we need to be like them — willing to humble ourselves.
In Luke 16:10 Jesus says that “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much.” Although this passage is primarily about handling money, it’s also a principle with wider application. Whoever can be trusted with small blessings — like finding one’s gloves –can be trusted with more. It makes sense, doesn’t it? If we are thankful for small things we are preparing our hearts for bigger blessings.
We can learn so much about humility and simplicity from our children. We should lovingly study them because Jesus told us to be like them. So what’s one tangible way you can carry out this command?
As for me, I’m determined to appreciate every second of cuddle time with Sammy and to grin from ear to ear over some small gift every day.