Merry Christmas 2018

“Mom, I’ve lost my wallet.” The heartbreak, fear, sadness, regret, and disappointment emit through the message.

Oh no. A mixture of emotion swirls around me. Sadness mostly, sadness for my baby. She’s in an unfamiliar location. I’d seen it tucked away in her coat pocket the previous night. “I’m afraid you’ll lose it,” I’d said.

And then the thought inevitably set in–I should have ….

But more inevitably came–She should have ….

O Soul Within, wasn’t it just yesterday when you peered up those same old stairs? It was.

DSC_7824 (6)I climb those stairs in the early morning hours, darkness hovering through the hallway and a kitty evaluating my every move. Reaching the top, I move into the dim light. I inch toward her in the quiet … those beautiful eyes are closed. Those once tiny fingers have grown inches. Those once tiny feet nearly reach the bed’s end. Her hair drapes over the pillow.

I touch her and softly call her name.

DSC_8605 (4).JPGShe startles awake, gasping in terror.

She’s never startled awake before. My other baby never startles awake. But it’s been so long since I’ve climbed those stairs in the early morning hours. Every excuse in the world comes to mind. It’s easier to stand at the bottom and call her name. But I’ve been absent from her morning routine, the one we’ve had most all her life–the brushing back of her hair, the soft touch, the softest kiss on her face, the soft calling of her name in the early morning–that she startles in her sleep at my touch, at my waking her.

O Soul Within, how many years have you missed touching her cheek for a new morning? How many years have you missed the calmness of her morning waking?

Five years in this home.

And my heart knows … my heart hears …

Guilt is wiped away, and grace for tomorrow hugs my heart.

Silent Night, Holy Night … All is calm …

My phone brightens with a voicemail before me. “This is your daughter’s university. Your daughter’s wallet has been found by the TCU police department, and you just need to call this number …”

I don’t need to say and she doesn’t need to hear one wise word. Because so often the lesson is in the losing.

And in the finding.

Hold on to the things you love.

DSC_8586 (4)Merry Christmas, everyone.

How has God been speaking to your heart lately?

5 thoughts on “Merry Christmas 2018

    1. Andrew, I’ve missed you. Life has been so crazy around here that I feel I’m missing out on everything, all my routine things. I hope you and Barbara and all the dogs–and oh, my goodness one cat!–have a wonderful, wonderful Christmas. You’re always on my mind and in a prayer. I think of you every single day. I love you, brother.


  1. Shelli, such a poignant post. This thing of our children growing older, more independent, of them learning through the losing . . . and the finding, sometimes it just twists a mama’s heart. I hope you guys had a beautiful Christmas and beginning to your new year.


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