A Hug From God

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. —2 Corinthians 1:3-4

The morning routine was in full swing when he made his appearance at the breakfast table later than the rest of us.  I greeted him the way I do every morning.  “Well, good morning, sunshine!”

Moving ever so slowly, his head hung low, his eyes remained focused on the floor.  “Hi.”

The mood around the table instantly changed.  Breakfast was quieter than what is normal for a house of 3 boys.

Breakfast wrapped up, dishes were cleared, and chores were under way.  He continued moving among us, quietly, slowly.  So uncharacteristic for this spunky, lively child.  As I switched over the laundry and wiped the bathroom sink of the evidence of teeth brushing, I hollered to him, “Hey, Zachary, everything ok?”

Without raising his eyes to look at me, he continued walking down the hall, those shoulders lower than I’ve seen in a while.  His voice so low, I had to strain to hear him over the other boys lost in their own worlds of getting dressed and making beds.  “Yes, I’m fine.”

I put down the washcloth, knelt down in front of him, grabbed hold of his shoulders, and raised his chin so my eyes could see his beautiful blues.  “Hey, do you just need a hug?”


As I wrapped my arms tightly around his 6-year-old body, I felt his rigid arms soften as he leaned into me allowing me to hug him and fill him with what he needed.  He just needed a hug.  He couldn’t even identify why he felt sad or what was plaguing him.  He just knew he needed to feel loving arms around him.

We need to feel the arms of our Heavenly Father.  God desires to wrap His arms around us.  He is always waiting.  He will never fail us.  He is forever faithful.  His arms give the best hugs because He is the creator of hugging arms.  He is our Comforter.

Receive God’s hug today.  Then give your child, grandchild, or other loved one a hug.  The bigger they are, the more they need a hug.  Share the love of God with them today.

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Blackberry Moments

“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.” Robert Brault

As I embark on this journey to create more moments and memories with my family, I’ve realized that without complete intentionality, the moments have the propensity to slip away completely.  Time never slows down.  It moves at a consistent pace.  However, our pace determines the outcome of the moment.  Our pace determines the extent to which we can fully engage in the fleeting moments of life with our family.  Moments are all around us.  Experiences are available for the taking.  Memories are waiting to be created.  Traditions are waiting to be developed and claimed.

To grab the moments, we must be available.   Life needs to be a little less complicated, a little less distracted, a little less busy.  Buffers of time must exist in order to capture the moments that sometimes crop up unexpectedly, without warning.

We have one chance to paint a beautiful life.  Lord willing, the day will come when we have more time on our hands than we know how to fill.  Our houses will be quieted.  Our homes will look the same way at 7 am, 12 pm, 5 pm, and 8 pm.  Because there will be no block towers built, no army scenes created, no pillow forts constructed, and no sword fights fought.

A couple of weeks ago, Jacob and I went for a run.  For me, the actual run was not a good one.  My foot was hurting, and I couldn’t quit cramping.  Our pace had to change.  Our “run” turned into a walk.  I continued to apologize to Jacob for slowing him down as I urged him to go ahead, to leave me behind.  He wouldn’t do it.  He is loyal like that, and he wanted to be with me.  He wasn’t running to exercise, he was running so that he could enter my time and space, and he didn’t want to lose that.  My “bad” run was a blessing in disguise.  God is good like that.  Lord, help me see the lemonade through the lemons. 

As we neared our house at the end of our walk, I noticed a small patch of wild blackberry bushes.  “Jacob, look over there!  It’s blackberries!”  Always cautious, he asked, “Can we eat them?”  I replied, “Yes, we can.  And we will be picking and eating them for weeks!”  I watched his eyes light up immediately at the thought of spending days together picking blackberries, watching for the red ones to turn to deep purple, spending time together making yummy blackberry treats.  For him our blackberry discovery equaled precious moments and memories with me.

Jacob, so wise beyond his young years, said as we walked back home, “You know, Mom, it’s a good thing we weren’t running today and we were walking instead.  If we were running, we would have missed the blackberries completely.”

Right you are, my sweet boy, right you are.  If we walk rather than run through life, we will reap the rewards of countless blackberry moments.

Thank you, Lord, for using my children to speak to my heart.

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