My daughter is a wonderful handful.
She's beautiful and smart and happy, but she is full of challenges.
RadDad and I are learning more and more every day about how to help her overcome these challenges, and she has done swimmingly and come a long way. I often have long stretches of time that are wonderful and fabulous, without incident or meltdown. Today was one of those days; until it wasn't.
Ruby's bedtime/naptime routine requires singing, REQUIRES it. Ruby's playlist is made up of jams such as God is so Good, God Loves me Dearly, Jesus loves me Jesus loves me, Glory Glory Hallelujah, numerous verses of Amazing Grace, and Leonard Cohen’s famous Hallelujah.
One of these things is not like the other, I know.
Regardless, Ruby loves these songs and can often be heard singing the word "Hallelujah" in the tune of any one of them throughout her day. I love it.
But today, oh today, when things went bad; it went bad real hard. Ruby was a mess. And I felt for her because at one point she ran around her room looking for a place to land her tired and confused little body, and I wasn't what she wanted. She went on like this for a while, desperately searching for comfort, solace, and safety; not understanding that all 3 were readily available to her in my arms.
She finally fell on her bed with a gasp and looked at me with a red tear stained face. Through her little paci filled lips came a request for Hallelujah. Undone, I crawled into bed with my little ball of fury and laid her vibrating body under the safety of her covers.
How many times do I run around, tired and confused and broken and tear-stained, looking desperately for a place to land? How many times has He quietly sat, waiting for me to take a breath or stop crying out so that I might hear His voice, beckoning me to put aside this bleeding world, full to the brim with sin and hatred and anger and death. It's confusing and overwhelming, and sometimes all I want is to land somewhere soft and get a little hallelujah.
When I'm fevered and bombarded, I forget that I do in fact have a soft place to land; in the palm of the Father, on the breast of Christ, and swaddled in the Spirit. And every hallelujah, even the ones I can only manage in a whisper, even the ones I croak out into the ear of my sweet daughter, are heard.
I laid in bed with Ruby, singing through my repertoire, and running my fingers through her golden curls, caked in sunscreen and sweat from the day, and I prayed a little prayer. That when she ran about looking for a place to land, she'd always remember that His palm is soft.
And that even if she can only whisper it or croak it out, that hallelujah matters.
And then, I prayed that for myself too.
Just a soft and subtle hallelujah, nothing fancy.
This sleepyhead upon my arm
I cannot keep her from all harm
This soul is full and brave and proud
This soul is big and wild and loud
So I lay, reclined and tense
And whisper hallelujah
This curly hair all big and gold
Will serve her well when she is old
Will clear the way for her to be
It sets the stage for person, big
Who craves sweet hallelujahs
This wild girl, I'll try and tame
This girl who has one big claim
For being rough and loud and wild
Never meek and never mild
So my prayer is always this
That she'll sing to Him, Hallelujah
Maybe days will come pass
That He holds reigns of our great lass
And make her meek and tame her strength
Oh, that for Him she'd bend and break
And learn the relentless power of control
And teach us all, her Hallelujah
Until such a time as this
I'll bend my knee and stoop to kiss
The hot cheeks of a girl I strive to tame
The girl I love, who has earned her name
Fiery, brilliant gem
You were made to do great things for Him
Sweet girl, I know that if I stay true
Someday I'll look up at you
And I'll cry out