Big, beaming, sparkling eyes looking straight up at mine, piercing my heart without even knowing she’s doing it, her hand in mine, her heart jolly, her smile radiant… and out of nowhere that feeling of immense, overwhelming, breathtaking, eyes-welling-up-with-tears, soul-deep love floods over me.
I love her so much.
And as I do countless times every day, day after day, I once again let the words escape my lips, “I love you!”
Maybe if I tell her over and over again she’ll realize that I love her so much that I can literally feel it sometimes.
The same thing happens with my son. The profound love I have for my children is one that I never knew was humanly possible. I never get tired of loving them. They never drive me crazy enough for me to stop. And instead of my love growing old and dull, it multiplies, exponentially, with each passing day.
When they go to sleep every night, my heart is full as I go into their bedrooms one last time to tuck them in, and pull the blanket up nice and snug as they sleep peacefully in their beds. When I realize that they want to be in my space at every moment of the day, not because they want to annoy me, but because they enjoy being with me, I become full of gratefulness. When they excitedly call my name, “mommy!” for the millionth time because everything is more fun when mommy is watching, I gently smile. I like that they like to include me in their lives.
There are literally no words that I could possibly write on this page to ever come close to describing the love that I have for my children. They don’t even fully comprehend it. They’ll start to, one day when they have children of their own. But there is nothing that could accurately describe the depth of the love I have for them.
I pondered this one morning while sitting in a mom’s group with the most amazing women on the planet (fellow moms of littles); my eyes welled up with tears. Big tears. Crocodile ones. The ones that no matter how hard you try not to let them actually leak out of your eyes and fall down your cheeks, they still do – those kind of tears. I tried to hold it together, but when I realized that this same love I have for my children is an incredible parallel for the love that my heavenly Father has for me, I was overwhelmed.
In a short video, Alexandra Kuykendall, author of Enjoying My Actual Christmas, described one of these love-filled moments she had one day as she was walking hand-in-hand with her daughter. Immediately I could relate.
I tried to choke back the tears as she went on, but I was unsuccessful. The tears just kept coming.
Christmas comes every single year. We celebrate it on the very same day, every December. Year after year.
Over and over again we go through the process of planning, shopping, making and keeping traditions, and enjoying our families. We take time away from work. We travel hundreds or thousands of miles. We put thought and money into getting gifts for people we love. We make these efforts every single year, as we celebrate this wonderful time of the year. Some years, the “Christmas spirit” comes easy. Other years, things can feel stressful and mundane.
But there’s one truth that I’m focused on this year.
This year, I am overwhelmed by one pivotal thing.
That one thing: LOVE.
This year, I’m choosing to relish in love. This year instead of redundancy, I’m choosing to be amazed by the love that God has for me; a love that it far surpasses the love that I have for my own children. A love that I can’t even imagine being any deeper, wider, or greater than it already is. And instead of being lost in the repetitive nature of Christmas, I’m taking solace in the fact that God loves me enough to send me reminders. Over and over and over again.
Reminders of His love. Reminders like seeing my children’s excitement at the smallest of surprises. Reminders like being wrapped in the arms of my hubby, who continually amazes me in every way. I’m choosing to pause, and be attentive to the things that really matter, and as I do, my heart is filling up once again.
This year, if things feel mundane. If you’re missing someone who isn’t with you. If things are stressful. If there’s so much to do, you can’t see straight. If you can’t put presents under the tree. If your family isn’t getting along. If you’re trying to get into that “Christmas spirit” and it’s just not happening. If you’re feeling a little Bah Humbug… Remember that the number one thing to enjoy during this season, is love. The love of God. As the beautiful song describes it, the overwhelming, neverending, reckless love of God. Know that He knows exactly where you find yourself this season and he’s right here, holding your hand with an immense love overflowing for you.
Allow His love to wash over you, just as you hope it washes over you children when you tell them yet again how much you love them. Love the people around you. And know how incredibly loved you are by the Father.
After all, love is the absolute, most beautiful gift of all.