They both found their way into my bed and under my covers. I’d say we were snuggling but Owen and Tess were mostly just poking each other, kicking me and asking me to get up and make cinnamon rolls and turn on cartoons.
I tried pretending to be asleep.
They didn’t fall for it.
I tried stealing my covers back.
They decided to be on the same team for once and pulled harder.
And I knew it was time to get up and get breakfast and shower and all of those other things I needed to do before church.
But first. I squished Tessie and told her I loved her.
She gave me a slobbery kiss on the cheek, told me she “lubbed” me. Looked at me sweetly and asked for a cookie with about a 10 syllable please tacked on to the end.
Becuase she knows I am sucker for that kind of cuteness.
I gave him a good squeeze and told him quietly that I loved him the best
(and yes, I tell Tess that too).
And he just shrugged and said, “I know.”
Before pulling my covers tighter.
And maybe that could be my favorite response.
And I’ve written about this before. But I struggle a little with those words.
Not with Shaun or my kids but almost everyone else.
I have a hard time spitting them out and even writing them down (and yes, I occasionally do anyways, but not enough). But I have an even harder time letting them sink in. Knowing.
And it is easy enough to respond. To say I love you back.
But hard to believe.
To really know.
That I am loved and picked and chosen and worthy.
And not to have to question or analyze or try and earn it.
From my family, from my friends and even my God.
My kids have both sung their share of “Jesus loves me” at church.
And I’m sure I did too when I was their age.
And it is easy to hear and sing. At 2 and 32.
But I rarely hear “me” at the end.
I have kind of replaced that kind of me with “everyone” under which I collectively fall.
Because of course Jesus loves everyone. And I am part of everyone. So logically I belong in their somewhere. And a lot of good people try to love like that. So they will love me. Because we are supposed to love everyone.
Which is kind of an easier story to buy.
Than someone just loving me.
But that isn’t the story being told.
Christmas is about God showing up in the flesh for me.
My name is engraved on the palm of His hand (Isaiah 49:16).
He knows exactly how many hairs are on my head (Matthew 10:30).
He saves my tears in a bottle (Psalm 56:8).
He knit me together in my mother’s womb (Psalm 139).
And that is personal.
Not a big collective love.
But the kind that knows my innermost being.
And a kind that loves me the best.
And I hope that next time I hear it.
In a silly kid’s song. Or from my husband. Or my kids. Or a friend. Or whispered quietly in the wind and into my heart.
That I will shrug securely like my son did this morning.
And just say, “I know”.
And mean it.