Friday, May 14, 2010

Shelter in the Storm

The other night, rumbling thunder and the strobe-flash of lightning filled our bed with midnight visitors. First, Princess, complete with her blankey and stuffed bear, tucked herself between DH and me. An hour later, BigBro slipped in, snuggling close to DH.

The storm ramped up. No one could sleep, so we cuddled together, talking quietly. The wind blew. Hail tinged against the windows. I slipped quietly down the hall to check on LilBro, who slept deeply and calmly, folded in among a menagerie of stuffed friends.

Twenty minutes later, as Princess and I started to doze off, I heard LilBro's cries. Opening the door, I scooped him into a hug, whispering that it was just a storm, that he was safe. Then, I squeezed him in next to me.

As the storm thundered on, still flashing, but less dramatically now, the whispering slowed into steady, rhythmic breaths. Princess snored softly in my right ear. LilBro sighed deeply as he settled on my left side.

I shifted slightly, listening to the now-distant rumble. I thought of the shelter we'd created in our bed that night. Each of our children had awakened, alone and scared, startled by loud noises and flashing lights. They knew exactly where to go for comfort, security, peace.

I breathed deeply, contented. My entire family, the people I loved most in this world, were all together under the same sheets, squeezed into the same small space. I offered a prayer of thanksgiving for this precious gift, for the middle-of-the-night awareness of this moment.

As I lay there listening to the sounds of my sleeping family, I thought of how precious and fleeting this time in our lives is. It is going by so quickly. A few years ago, a bed full of nursing babies and frightened toddlers was the norm. These days, we rarely have a midnight visitor.

And three midnight visitors? That's practically unheard of in our home.

For just over an hour, I laid still, listening to their sleeping sounds, praying in gratitude for this moment, where DH and I are enough, where just our presence brings comfort, peace and security.

Abba, Father, thank You for being my shelter in the storm.

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