While on maternity leave I have been reading like my heart really desires. I’ve found that a book is the perfect companion during 4am feedings (along with the occasional Pinterest gazing), and I recently finished Love Does by Bob Goff. I loved this book and was inspired by Bob’s stories of showing love and embracing whimsy (as he describes it) in life.
As I read story after story in this book and thought of my own stories, I realized that the stories that I recount to this day are those that in deed have a whimsical feel to them - you know - they are the stories of jumping with abandon into the Indian ocean or dodging bombs with a 75 year-old woman hanging onto my arms (I’ll have to write these out later)...they are the stories of my husband’s audacious love and the way he stalked me until I loved him back.
As I read Bob’s words at 4am I couldn’t help but ask God for some whimsy in my life. I felt dry and tired and old and I wondered if whimsy was something of the past (the before Paige became a mom stage of life).
The next night as Josh was telling Selah a bedtime story back in her room, I heard giggles and squeals and then they both ran out to tell me of the plan they had just devised. My sweet 2-year old loves the idea of a party - birthday parties, going away parties...really any type of party is right up her alley!
So she came racing out of her room to tell me that she and her father had just planned a party during their nightly bedtime story. As her words came out jumbled and I looked to him for explanation, he said with a sparkle in his eye that Selah wanted to throw a Thank You party for her Papa & Gigi (my parents).
It would be a party to thank them for being such wonderful grandparents and for making her feel special as she has recently become a big sister. I looked into Selah’s dancing eyes and asked her what we would be needing to make this party happen. And without hesitation she began to make a list:
And a Dancing Song
Josh informed me that he would set up a time later in the week to have my parents over for dinner if I could help Selah get her list together.
At first I laughed it off assuming that all would be forgotten by the morning, but I quickly realized I was mistaken as she ran into my room at 7am the following morning and exclaimed that it was time to decorate for the party!
The party was on her lips for the next 48 hours. We went over her list of supplies countless times & she always did a little dance as we talked about what fun the party would be. My heart wasn’t really into it at first, but the next time I picked up Love Does I remembered my 4am prayer for more whimsy in my life.
And I had to wonder - how often were moments of whimsy & real love in front of me - literally within the reach of my finger tips but I just didn’t reach out? How often do I ignore the imagination of my child...of my husband? How often do I ignore the longings of my heart because it’s not sensible or I presume I don’t have the time?
How often are my prayers heard & answers sent almost immediately but I refuse to see the answers because they look like a child’s party rather than what I assume is a proper response to my plea?
I realized that if I was going to add whimsy to my tired life...if I was going to try to do love rather than just write theology about it...perhaps the best way to begin was in following the footsteps of my child. After all, doesn’t the Kingdom of God belong to ones like her?
So Selah and I headed to the nearest party store & went down every aisle looking for the perfect streamers and party hats. To my amazement she didn’t ask for anything else that lined those shelves - she was on a mission - she had a party to throw.
She looked at the large selection of streamers and chose purple, hot pink, and baby blue. She pointed with determination and held onto the streamers as if they were a new toy. We came home from the store & immediately decorated the house (even though the party was still 36 hours away).
She directed me on where to place the streamers & then she methodically placed all of the party hats on the table. All was set for our party!
The next night my parents came over & Selah screamed surprise & thank you and proudly showed them how she had arranged all of the candles in our brownies. Party hats were donned, grilled chicken and fresh corn on the cob was eaten, and her song was played so that we could dance at this party!
It was a grand night - definitely a night of whimsy, and as I went to bed that night I realized that this tired momma of a 2-year old and month old baby had a smile on her face. Yes, I was tired and secretly wished I could have a full night’s sleep ahead of me, but my heart was full. I had watched my 2-year old show love to her grandparents that night. I had watched her skip and dance and giggle at candles. I had lived out the power of whimsy just as I had secretly prayed...and I experienced first hand the power that comes when love isn’t just an idea or a constant note on my to-do list. On this night love was active and silly and joyous and real.