We got back from our travels only but two days ago and already I am missing the peace and the utter stillness of Creeslough, the sound of the sheep in my ears and the mountain views behind the curtains first thing in the morning and the regrouping of us as the Mitchells was water to my soul. We are all home with a few more freckles, a few more bruises, a lot more sand in our shoes and a good couple of books read of our lists – oh and a whole series of Nashville watched!
It has been one crazy ass year and we were so thankful for this holiday but still I had fears before leaving Bangor, the last time it was ‘just us’ on holiday was 4yrs ago and being a bit of an extrovert married to an introvert this kind of holiday can make me tremble. I never had to worry, it took me exactly 24hrs to realise this is what my soul, my mind and my heart was waiting for. I went for a walk every night no matter how I felt or how tired I was. I find I communicate with God (or anyone) when I am walking. This time, on the hills of Creeslough it was great to sort out some of the mess that was in my head and my heart. Somewhere along those hills, God or I (or both) named it my ‘rehab’ week. No doubt about it God is good. Of course by Wednesday I was already sad about leaving this space and quietness. However, that story isn’t for today, perhaps another time another blog.
I wanted to tell you about the first night. We arrived with 5 over excited kids and a car squeezed so tightly with stuff that when the door opened something always ended up on the ground! You all know the kind of packing I am talking about.
Bedtime was a breeze, no problems getting the 4 older ones into their new rooms. They love this. This meant adventure time, sharing a room with a different sibling time. They were all messing and loving their rooms without a complaint or worry.
Baby Seth, not so much. All was the same for him yet all was different. Routine was the same, family all there but new room, travel cot and no Noah. I knew by his eyes as I laid him down he wasn’t loving the holiday arrangements. I was right. He screamed. After 40 minutes of leaving him and going in every 5 minutes I realised he needed more than that. He was scared; he was feeling insecure, vulnerable and uncertain. I get it, these feelings are familiar. So what did I do? I did what I knew my baby needed me to do at that time. I climbed into a 3ft travel cot and lay beside him. I didn’t say one thing; I didn’t utter one soothing noise. I just lay down and held his hand.
He held my hand back, he kept his eyes opened and eventually the little sobs became shorter and his eyes became heavier. Every now again he would open his eyes just to check I was still there but his little sweaty forehead began to unfurl and his sobs eventually went so quiet and stopped altogether. He fell asleep without a word from me.
All he needed in his storm and his uncertainty was to know I was there beside him, not going anywhere. He didn’t need words or my voice to assure him of my love he just needed to know I was there. As I lay there curled up and beginning I may add to get a cramp in my legs I realised how much moments like this teach me. They teach me that my Father in Heaven, the Creator of Heaven and earth wants to be there for me in my storms, in my uncertainty. He doesn’t always want to speak but He wants to lay down beside me, take my hand and with His very presence still my fears.
I am thankful for moments like these, teachable precious moments.