there are a few of them, our children. not so many as in some families, but way more than in others. sometimes, it seems, too many, when my brain is tired from conversation and my heart is tired from mentoring.
there’s a rhythm, too, both parents and children, by times, closer to one than the other.
there’s a season, with each, it seems, when it’s easier or harder to connect, parent-to-child, and i may feel i like one more than another. no mistaking, my love is deep and not from my own strength, but liking is another story. (i admit it.)
some days or weeks this one is pursuing friendship with me, second to a proper respect and obedience. this one is in the trying-to-be-funny-but-really-isn’t stage and unintentionally annoys. this one is demanding autonomy and independence rather than earning it, using rude tones with me and the rest of us. this one is kind to the group and easy to enjoy.
the thing is, it’s my calling to love, and actually, i believe, to like each of my children in each season.
i remember a parent who said to me time and again, “i love you, but i don’t like you very much.” i heard myself say that same thing more than once. and it pains me now because really, in a child’s mind, they’re the same. (i know, because they sting just as much in my grown-up-heart-of-memories.) be careful your words, mama. they are not soon forgotten.
so i ask my Papa, “how do you love me? do you like me?” and i think He says, through the example of history, “you’re my favorite.”
somehow, we’re all his favorite. countless numbers of us, by our knowledge, but each, individual, to Him, down to the very number of hairs on our head.
my firstborn, who pushes my buttons and demands your own way, you will, if you submit your passions and drive to Him, rock your world. you’re my favorite.
my second, who won’t be moved unless you desire it, who fiercely protects and on your time, makes us all laugh, your voice of “different, deeper,” tinged with Grace, must be heard in this world. you’re my favorite.
girl-child, princess-warrior who’s fought hardship and is still ruled by His tender-heart in your chest, you stand apart in a sex that often finds value in others, not Truth, as you believe Him for who you are. you are my favorite.
tender-heart boy, the one who rarely demands attention yet longs for quality time and gives our home peaceful gentleness, you will bring the world a taste of His patience and quiet strength. you are my favorite.
little blue, easy-to-please and ever lavishing affection with your ready smile, you bring laughter and show off His generous love for/with us. you are my favorite.
i’m in awe how when i struggle to love-like one of the arrow-gifts, i ask and i receive that love and like to lavish back as a gift from Papa. and it’s in moving beyond broken me that it multiplies, so that it can be divided amongst them all.