Almost three years ago I found myself in the glider in our first son’s nursery, in the dark, in the endless back and forth, back and forth motion of trying to get him to go to sleep. As I looked down at his face, it occurred to me how enormous of a task I had ahead. Not only to parent him well, but to share with him the meaning of life, to the best of my ability.
I had a flood of emotions rise up around me in that very moment. The question bore down on me, “How, and when, and in what way can I share this love with him?”
If you are a mother, you know what kind of love I am speaking of. The love that knows no bounds, is true, deep, rich. It’s the reason why we dedicate our every waking (and non-waking) moment to them and them alone.
But there’s something about that love, isn’t there? Something that can’t be explained in words. A love that is bigger than us.
We know, deep down that we are not able to perfectly demonstrate this love to them on our own. The reality is, we never will, because when it comes down to it we are still human. We can use every ounce of our motherly effort to try, but we will still fall short from time to time.
So what then? Do we just accept the fact that we will do our best and hope that they feel loved and grow and prosper in the end regardless of our flaws? We can, but there is an even better way. We can point them to something, someone who is greater than us, who can demonstrate this love to them in a perfect, flawless way. His love has gone before our children, and it’s all around them. It’s all around us, as we love them, teach them, and nurture them. It’s in nature, it’s in the way we’ve been created as mothers to fulfill their daily needs, and it’s in their eyes as they look in wonder at each new discovery in their little worlds.
We, then, have the immense privilege of lifting up the edge of their blanket, as a wise friend of mine often says, and hauling them to the feet of Jesus.
In that moment in our son’s nursery, all of these thoughts made their way onto paper in the form of a poem, which became an idea for a children’s book.
I sent what I had written to a few trusted friends, one of whom was Julia Anne Adams, a fine artist and gem of a human. I dared to dream that she would create art to go along with my words, and almost didn’t include her, thinking that it would be too good to be true. She shared that she had also dreamt of creating a children’s book, decided to partner with me, and then after a stretch of time (which included three more babies between the two of our families), we now have a completed book.
“It’s Always Been You” is a picture book that will assist you in conveying the most grand love of all time to your child, before bed, or even while you rock them in their nursery while they are still small enough to fit swaddled up in your arms.
May you discover that you, dear mother, are also loved in the very same way by your own Father.
And may you relish the sweet moments with your babies as long as you possibly can.
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