Unwrapping Her Laughter

The day has been long.

Grievances pile up, worries crowd corners, frustrations needle sore spots.

In the morning I sing of His love, but in the evening I despair of it.

I wonder where He is, where is the grace promised, the mercies new, the strength and the bright hope?

Boys wrestle on carpet and I grapple with faith.

We gather round scuffed table, pull up to plates of hot food and glasses of cool drink.

Hands linked, we give thanks for the day, thanks for the sustenance provided.

I struggle to find reasons for thanksgiving.

I alternate bringing food to my mouth and offering food to her. She squeals with displeasure when I linger too long over a mouthful. I remind her to say “please” and her hand finds her tummy again.

I praise her simple act and, grinning mouth full of peaches, she claps chubby hands together.

It is her newest crowd-pleaser, and our enthusiastic reaction does not disappoint her expectations.

Someone says something silly, and the boys collapse into heaps of laughter. She is sure they are laughing at something she has done, and she squinches up her face and laughs along, quite pleased with herself.

She raises her hands above her head, so big!

She smears graham cracker in her hair, behind her ear, on her cheeks and smiles proudly.

She bangs silver on tray and sings a tuneless song to her own percussion.

Over and over she makes her mama, heart full of fear and hurt and irritation, come back to this now, and laugh.

Later we bring out the notebook, record each evening of blessings received throughout the day. When it is my turn I do not hesitate. She has been my blessing tonight, pulling me to her young and joyful side, making faces, smiling, laughing, clapping hands, showing off newly discovered skills.

She is amazing.

The doubt and fear, they still linger. No bundle of chubby girl can take them away– only the One who cares for us can do that.

But in this moment, I am reminded that there are always reasons to give thanks– to consider myself blessed.

And this I unwrap.


15 thoughts on “Unwrapping Her Laughter

  1. You have written the truth beautifully. On those hard days…they alway do something to remind us of how blessed we are!

    I love the idea of keeping a notebook of blessings! I may steal that one.


  2. Oh, how sweet! My little girl is 3 today, and starting Early Childhood Special Ed. She rode off on a bus an hour ago, leaving the house impossibly still. She’s a lot like your baby. It made me smile to read about your dinner.

  3. I love your writing. I’m always so glad that I have swung by here.

    I’m sorry for whatever it is you are struggling with. I’m glad you have some sweeties to love on and bring a smile to your face amid the anxiety. (Babies are so nice to have around, aren’t they?) 🙂

    Take care,

  4. so big. hmmm… another thing i miss about my girl. she is… but i recall her smiling face as she declared it. way back when. i can just picture the love that resides around your table. the clanging and the squealing fun. a blessing… yes.

  5. i am this. it’s ridiculous what sleep derivation can do to a person. my family sat at the table in tears tonight because today i didn’t make it till after dinner, till after daddy was home, to fall apart. we held hands and prayed and i feel no thanks, just anger at God for my despair, and lack of self control.

    because of the lack of sleep, anxiety and fear (old friends i thought i’d gotten rid of) have shown up. i hate them, but they won’t disappear, and i ask, beg, flat out tell them in the name of jesus to leave… but they seem to think they are staying for a while. i suppose i should have never let them unpack a few things in the first place.

    what a lot to say in a comment.

    “i will enter his gates with thanksgiving in my heart”… i really need in there (his gates).

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