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Be the Bow

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The days are sometimes hard. Like really hard. The chaotic mix of stress stemming from work, home responsibilities, and schlepping three young kiddos is enough to drive anyone to the brink of insanity. I’ve been there many times. To that brink. I know what it looks likes and how it feels all too well. But every time before I tumble – before I give up and let go – a moment is strategically placed as if it were a rope God is offering for me to grasp, wrap around my waist, and let Him pull me through one tug at a time. Until He strips away all of the Earthly mess I’ve found myself in so I can see Him as plain as day in the eyes of another.

These moments aren’t angelic in the expected traditional sense including bright lights and time stops. They don’t include burning bushes or thunderous echoes from the sky. Many times I actually pray for those very vivid moments, but just when I think my prayers may be falling on deaf ears, I have one. Except my moments are much more minuscule, even at the tiniest of levels that may be overseen if I weren’t looking for them.

I’m fidgety, always having to do something with my hands so as to not be idle or fill any blank space with some sort of chatter. Quiet time can unnerve me and quiet time in front of someone is even worse. In fact, a long stare will elicit my world-renowned and yet uncontrollable eye wink – my way of connecting with another. I don’t always know I do it and many times I do it before I can catch myself. It’s not one of those creepy winks that comes with string attached, I promise. Just one that means I see you, like I really see you, and that for that brief second, all is good in the world. For the simple fact that we just shared a moment.

I don’t know when it started but I’m glad that it did. My winks with her. It’s become a ritual of sorts, especially when we are in the van together. It doesn’t matter how many seats are filled or how disordered the noise is, she sits in the back typically very quiet and always patiently watching. As the van takes on every bump and turn the road presents, I frequently glance at the rear-view mirror to look at the past and prepare for the future in a way. And each time our eyes meet. She’s looking at the mirror too, but not for the same reasons. She’s looking for our moment.

When we connect, I don’t hear the baby screams and the temper tantrums that surround us. I don’t remember the worry on my mind or how I’m planning for the next thing on our to do list. I just see her and smile. Our moments consist of a simple gesture, a simple wink blink. My nervous tick became a treasured experience with her. While she hasn’t perfected the one-eye wink, her purposeful returned eye blink confirms that even though her words may still be broken and difficult to understand at times, no words are necessary to know that we see each other for who we are, at that moment, and nothing else matters but our love.

I’ll take kisses from my kids when and how I can get them, not caring that some leave a residue, because I know I can probably count the days until when this act of love will only be done in the confines of our home, hidden from potential friends. I keep a rag nearby at all times so that I can rub in my babies’ kisses, not wipe away all of the slobber. While they are still willing to give, I’m ecstatic to receive no matter what variety they come in. I welcome any kiss and with Eli, the list is endless and the love is abundant.

Eli is a super creative and inquisitive kiddo, always thinking about everything to such a degree that I can’t predict. He is always challenging me to think outside of the proverbial box… wait, what box? We don’t even have a box that we live within in our house with him. Let’s be honest. If we did it would be unrecognizable I’m sure after he’s played with it! So after reading a book one night, I upped the ante on our nighttime ritual and integrated some new kisses into the bedtime routine. When our eyelashes touch, we share an angel kiss. And our noses, an Eskimo kiss. We touch ears and laugh, imagining that’s how elephants kiss and puff out our cheeks only to pop them as they touch making for fun fish kisses.

When we are together, our creative juices never cease. We laugh belly laughs as we have feet kisses when our toes tickle each other and if we’ve had a bad day, all you need it to put your finger out for a finger kiss. No one has to know what weird sign language we say to one another, because no matter the type, each kiss fills me to the brim and hopefully does the same for him. Each touch proves that God knows just the right moment when we need a little love from above through someone here and now. Many times, my here and now comes in a three-foot masculine replica of myself.

Many of us find it nearly impossible to not tap our foot to the sound of a catchy tune or hum the chorus of our favorite ditty. But my youngest can’t hold back at all. When he hears something that resembles music, his whole body becomes uncontrollable. Something deep within him stirs and from the tip of his head to his sweet little toes he starts moving, swaying and bouncing to the rhythm with a smile that could turn anyone’s upside down day right-side up. Heck, let’s be honest… sometimes the music is only audible to him I guess, because his body feels called to dance even when there isn’t any sound around.

He can’t help it. He can be so mad at a toy for not working or at a sibling for not sharing. He can be so hungry that even I can hear the little grumble in his belly. He can be on the verge of slumber, his eyes so heavy that you’d never think he could be drawn back to reality. And a sweet little musical number can change him. He can do a 360. It starts with a smile, a bounce and the rest is history. His body is all over the place as he lights up not only himself, but everyone in his vicinity.

I must add air quotes to the word “resembles” when I say that all he has to hear is something that resembles music to start dancing because it’s really just anything with a repetitive noise. In fact, his favorite is a bouncing ball. He brings it to me often, this brightly colored ball, with one clear intention. For me to bounce. As I start, he begins the dance. He bounces with the beat. He smiles, and by the end of my dribbles, which aren’t long because sports were not in my deck of cards, I’m smiling too. Our moment together, albeit brief, shows me how simple it is to smile, when you feel the calling deep within.

We don’t always see Him. Well, at least not the old man in a white beard or his Son in ways that we would expect. But He sees us.

Many times His eyes come adorned with long, thick black eye lashes surrounding deep eyes that glisten even when the sun has set for the day. He’s staring at us in the mirror, waiting for us to connect and wink blink back.

Many times His kisses come in a variety of sorts – the Luke soggy or Eli creative. He’s waiting to slap a big juicy kiss on our cheeks and while we may want one of those that we get in public, sometimes it’s more of the “Mom-not-in-front-of-my-friends” kind of ones that are unexpected.

Many times He is ready to dance even when there is no music. Deep in our soul He plants the tune, but it’s our choice on if we are listening for it. He doesn’t care how silly it makes us look or whether we have a lick of rhythm. He wants to hand us a ball to dribble and dance together.

He’s all around us. He’s in every moment, but sometimes He shares special ones with us just to let us know that He sees us. And He loves us. For who we are today. For teetering on the brink of doubt. For forgetting how to trust. He loves us the same. It’s through these moments with those around us that He takes away the white flag we are waving and lets us know that he’s got it covered. One-hundred percent.

In true honesty, we are all vessels for Him and He works through us in ways unimaginable. As much as these moments with my kids are critical to my life, the same is true for them. As much as I feel loved, connected, joyous… they too feel that. That’s what’s so awesome about these moments – they are free-flowing and touch us all equally.

Cherish these moments you’re given. Winks, kisses, dances… these are gifts from Him that don’t come in packaged box. But they do have a beautiful bow, the vessel that they are shipped here through. You can be that vessel. Be the bow and share your present with others. A wink, a touch, a smile can make all the difference.

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Stephanie Feger

Stephanie Feger

Throughout her life, she’s been in the business of empowering people. She’s empowered her teams to collective success. She’s empowered individuals, groups and organizations to embrace perspective as a tool for deeper satisfaction and personal and professional accomplishments. And she’s empowered authors, small business owners and entrepreneurs with communications and marketing strategies to help them reach their goals.
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Stephanie Feger

Through her life, she’s been in the business of empopwering people. She’s empowered her teams to collective success. She’s empowered individuals, groups and organizations to embrace perspective as a tool for deeper satisfaction and personal and professional accomplishments. And she’s empowered authors, small business owners and entrepreneurs with communications and marketing strategies to help them reach their goals.

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