Monday, August 24, 2009

A Resting Place

During church recently, 3-year-old Emma snuggled up between 10-year-old Carson and me. Emma loves to cuddle with the two of us, stretching out between our laps. This Sunday seemed like any other to me until Carson's eyes grew wide with delight. He turned to me, eyes twinkling, and whispered, "This time I get the head and you get the feet!"

I looked down with surprise, realizing that Carson was right. I had never really registered that during this sweet worship-time ritual, I got the best end of the deal. Emma would rest her head softly in my lap, looking up at me with big blue eyes, her little mouth drawn up in a sweet smile. I would rub her back gently or stroke her soft golden hair.

A little further down the pew, Carson would get Emma's feet, her white dress shoes landing in his lap with a thud. And each time she rolled over or shifted in the pew, Carson braced against the movement of her restless feet.

Because he adores his baby sister, Carson was willing to accept this arrangement. But what a thrill it was for him when finally Emma deemed his the lap of luxury. He wore a contented smile through the rest of the worship service, so happy to snuggle with Emma.

From my spot on the pew, I considered my spiritual life as I looked down at Emma's feet in my lap. And I wondered how often I stretch myself between heaven and earth. Just like Emma, who wants to snuggle with both Carson and me, I know I value both the physical and the spiritual. But I am afraid that too often I lay my head in the lap of the world, giving the best of my time and energy to earthly concerns and devoting only the scraps to my relationship with God.

But when I rest my head in the world, my thoughts become ensnared by temporal things. And how easy it is for materialism, cynicism or worry to take hold!

Matthew 6:24 reminds me, "No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon." Contentment is ours when instead of trying to stretch ourselves between heaven and earth, we simply climb into our Father's lap. As Matthew 6:33 explains, when we seek Him first, other priorities just fall into their proper place.

As much as Carson and I enjoy our shared snuggle time with Emma, I'm sure we would both agree that this worship-time ritual falls a distant second to actually holding her. When little Emma climbs into your lap, wrapping her dimpled hands around your neck and nuzzling her soft cheek against your shoulder, you feel so blessed to be the chosen one.

How truly blessed we are that our Father invites us into His lap, imploring, "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28). Clasped in prayer, we wrap weathered hands around His neck. And as we snuggle up to read His Word, He whispers expressions of love and faithfulness, each tender scripture reminding us that He loves us from the top of our numbered-hair heads to the bottom of our washed feet (Matthew 10:30; John 13:5). At last, our restless spirits have found a resting place, nestled snugly in our Father's lap.


22 comments:

Cheri said...

Wow. You inspire me. Thanks so much for sharing that. If I have a granddaughter some day....... My youngest just turned 17 and I was fired as chauffeur. lol Now just more of a prayer warrior than ever before.

Hope you are feeling well!

Jennifer P. said...

so beautiful Melissa. I loved the lesson you took from a simple act. Thank you for sharing!

Rose said...

What a beautiful post. Thank you for sharing it.

Belle (from Life of a...) said...

What a wonderful post to wake up to this morning. Thanks!

Kathryn said...

That's beautiful! Thank you for sharing your heart.

Michelle said...

I needed that!

Marla said...

Melissa, what a beautiful analogy. Your message is very heart felt and timely. I appreciate your blog so much and love seeing your little ones and hearing about their little personalities. Thanks again and I hope you will visit my blog sometime too. Although I am still very new at this blogging stuff. Marla

Anonymous said...

Melissa, Yesterday I Pastor's sermon was on finding lasting "contentment" with only God and not with things of the world. I was surprised to find you writing about the same thing this AM. I guess God is trying to get the point across to me one way or another.

Thanks for sharing. Debbi

Rach said...

Very powerful. Thanks.

P.S. You inspired me to have a Tea Party. I hosted one for my birthday. You should check out my page for pictures!

Judy said...

I could picture your sweet darlings...beautiful words, thanks for sharing.

Livin' the Yeh Life! said...

Wow... you are an incredible mom! Thanks for sharing. I absolutely love your blog; one of my favorites!!!

kelli said...

Thanks for the wisdom-- you have such a gift of your way with words!

Saralee said...

What a beautiful share Melissa! You so touched my heart! I truly believe God put this beautiful message in your heart to share with others. thank you so much for sharing it. I believe it would be the perfect piece to send to Guidepost Magazine. I'm sure they would love to put this in print.
You, my sweet lady, are blessed to be a blessing!
hugs~ Saralee

Kathryn @ Bonafide Southern said...

Thank you for sharing this. You have no idea how much I needed to read this today.

Susie from Bienvenue said...

What a beautiful post....makes you think a bit. My little ones are too big now to lay in church but I do miss those sweet days where they would cuddle and could get away with it...smiles!

Susie from Bienvenue said...

Ps....my lil cottage door is always open! I would love to have you over~

Nancy said...

I love the way you always find a 'lesson' for us in those everyday moments :) You are a really neat person, Melissa Lester, and I'm so thankful to have you in my life.

Kristen said...

I love that you wrote this. One of my favorite things about church these days is my little ones letting me rub their heads while they lay in the pew. Your son is too cute for noticing he got the better end of the deal that time!

Valorie said...

As I enjoyed your post, I could feel the tension ease and my breath slow. Thank you for a lovely, gentle reminder of what our lives can be truly about.

Jan's Blog said...

I want to thank you and Carson for this lovely lesson. It's simple, but my it is powerful.

I want to acknowledge the beauty of this darling 3 year old girl who has an open invitation to climb up and snuggle. I didn't experience that at all. But my heart melts with appreciation when I hear of little girls who are loved like Emma is loved. You are leading a blessed life.

Personalized Sketches and Sentiments said...

wonderful analogy...

and how sweet of Carson to notice and be filled with how special those moments are to him.

Blessings & Aloha!

Leanne Helums said...

What a great thought.

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