lent 2010: a mother’s conversation with God

Nick: “Mom, I think I’m 4 and a penny.”

(Pause…trying to figure out what he’s talking about….until suddenly, the Aha! moment…)

Me: “Um, no, you were 4 and a quarter, but now you’re actually closer to 4 and three quarters." 

Nick: "Oh."

March 21, 2010

Dear God,

I just wanted you to know…I’m listening. I’m sure it doesn’t seem like it at times, but I am. More often than not, in my busy life as a wife and mother, I forget to make this dialogue more obvious. That’s one of the reasons I’ve decided to bring my thoughts here. Perhaps when I see them written out, our conversation will become more real somehow, and maybe they’ll even help someone else. Lord knows (you know, that is) that you really don’t need to see all of this in black and white. You know every thought in my head before it is uttered, and even if it never is. But maybe I need to see it. After all, I can’t see you, so maybe having something tangible before me will help our connection stay vital – for my sake. You gave me the gift and love of writing, after all. So, thanks for understanding, and for always listening, even when I’m unaware or not listening as attentively back.

Lent has been so good for me. I’m so thankful for the quiet that has resulted. The turn inward has brought fruits that could not have happened otherwise. What would we do without this season of pulling back, of inner reflection? I’m so appreciative of this, especially given how we are so often lured in so many different directions. The chance to focus has been so helpful to me, and I don’t know that I would have taken the time on my own accord.

I just have to say, you always amaze me by your diligence in reaching me. Your voice comes through so many different channels, not the least of them my conversations with friends. For example, a few days back, when my friend C. talked about her daughter turning 5, and how she was going to miss their morning mommy-daughter ritual come fall, I couldn’t help but think of my time with Nick and how quickly it is dissipating. In fact, we’re just months away from the Big Change. Until now, I’ve been so focused on how things will transition in August when he enters kindergarten, but I think you’ve been nudging me to see that it’s going to happen much more quickly. In just a few short months, school will be done for the year, and my special time with him will come to an abrupt end. I will never again have this time with him in quite this same way. You’ve probably been trying to tell me this for a while now: Slow down. Appreciate this time. Don’t forget to play, to enjoy this time with your youngest, to appreciate what a gift it is.

So, I’ve finally heard, and in the next couple months I’m going to try hard to remember what you’ve been trying to tell me. I’m going to play a little more and spend less time worrying about what’s ahead and just live in the present, as Nick himself does. I can’t completely let go of all that is on my mind, things I must do that are necessary in the coming weeks, but…I do think I’m up to bringing some balance to it all, of being more mindful of the preciousness of my relationship with my youngest, and how quickly our time together is drawing to an end. He has no awareness of the bigger picture. He’s just plugging along on the course of his young life. I know this slow-down is a little for his benefit, but much more for mine. And I believe that within those moments I hope to carve out with him, I will have more chances to hear your wise voice. It seem a win-win, doesn’t it God?

I’d better close for now, but before I go, I just wanted to say thanks for the sun, and for the change in momentum of the Red River. I know that some in our area are still concerned, or have had to deal with the adverse affects of high waters, but for the most part, it seems, we’re going to be spared another widespread catastrophe. I appreciate the chance to take a breath and not worry about whether we need to fight or take flight. I’ll try to make good on this chance to not have our lives so up in the air.

Alright…enough for now. Troy’s talking about taking the kids on a drive to peek at the river. I think it’s a good idea – they need to get out of the house anyway. And I know you won’t mind if I sign off now. It’s never goodbye with you anyway, is it God? Come to think of it, that’s a profound thought. You’re so amazing God, just for the simple fact that you would leave me with that.

So, I’ll see you around, ok? Sooner rather than later, thanks be to you.

With love,


P.S. As you know, it’s Camille’s birthday. Thanks for dropping us into each others’ lives all those years ago. I can’t imagine my life without my big sister.


Our River Walk, March 21, 2010