Daddy has been gone for a week and I've only spoken to him once. And it was loud, and little hands kept reaching for the phone, and I couldn't hear or think... and so when he said, "I gotta go..."
I just let him go.
Little Elmer hasn't been sleeping, and so i'm sloppy with sleep deprivation - the little boys are getting away with more and there is mess and disorder and all that, and it's covered in the glaze of, "oh, but if I weren't so very, very tired... I would certainly do better..."
Last night, Elmer started his night wakings at 11:30pm. I had only shut my eyes at 10pm, and I couldn't believe my eyes as I looked at the glowing clock and realized that this was all I was gonna get.
And so we began what has become our nightly routine... my tiny son calls, and I go to him... I pull him into bed with me - because my bed is too big without daddy anyway. We nurse and doze, nurse and doze, nurse and doze... hours pass... i'm not sure how much I've slept and how much I've been awake... I pull his little body close. At three months he's several pounds smaller than any of his big brothers were at his age. He's still so little.
In a dopey haze, I feel little lips rooting at my nose. We must have fallen asleep again. Now it's 4am. I pull my face away from his pink mouth. It's dark in my room, but the light of the street lamp leaks through my window blinds and in the dim orangey glow, we make eye contact.
His smile lights up the entire galaxy.
My stomach flip flops and I want to laugh... loud.
He's three months old and he thinks it's funny that he was trying to latch onto my face... and I think it's funny too.
He coos and talks. And in my froggy voice... I talk back.
i'm glad in that moment that Neil's gone.... that we're not disturbing him... that he's sleeping peacefully in some hotel room on the other side of the country...
i'm really happy.
i'm not all, "praise you in this storm" happy... but i'm genuinely happy... like "things are laugh out loud funny" happy.
And I know why - and I know how - and the first word in my mind is (I kid you not) - a little, "Hallelujah"...
Because He's speaking so loudly - and so profoundly - and it feels like one of those shifts that are so big that they permanently change you... like down at the very core of who you are.
He's calling me into the season of the hallelujah.
A season of praise.
It's as if He were in the room and the arrows are flying and fear is chasing me with his horrible throaty growl - and my Father flings a thick protective cloak over my shoulders...
What's this? I wonder - fingering the fabric and breathing in the fresh scent of it and recognizing the aroma of Spring that brings Life...
And it's praise... He's letting me be covered by praise... calling me to it... inviting me to live on it like bread and water... like air and the sleep that I lack in this temporal realm...
It's deeper than gratitude. It's lighter than obligation because it's fueled by love.
I do love Him.
And it's funny... there are parts of me that feel like a crickety old woman. Is this what it feels like to be 80 years old, and to be called to fling wide your arms and dance for your King? What will it do to my wrinkled old brow to be called to laugh and cry and praise in what looks like an ugly howl to the world, but what my Father treasures because in it He recognizes my very heart? And it's like a morning stretch - and bones crack and muscles ache and it feels so good... to praise Him.
You are who you said You were... and that's who You'll always be.
It's worth a Hallelujah.