My son has started fighting my kisses. I guess I should have seen this day coming. Now that he’s seven years old, those days of snuggling his squishy baby cheeks are long gone.
But that doesn’t lessen the ache in this mama’s heart, doesn’t reduce my longing to show him how much I love him … how much I always will.
I’ve had to get sneakier when it comes to physical affection. I’ve discovered the one time I can press a kiss to his cheek unhindered is after he’s fallen asleep. When I tiptoe into his room to turn off his closet light, I study that cherub face that reminds me of days long gone. His face is slack, muscles relaxed, no fight to be found.
I slip over to the edge of his bed, press a feather-light kiss to his cheek, and linger to take in all the details God carved just for him.
My son may not be aware of my kiss, but I like to think his subsconscious warms, telling him he’s loved.
How often does God do this with me?
How often does He try to draw me close, but I push Him away out of embarrassment or self-sufficiency or even guilt, crushing His Big-Papa heart?
My pastor has taken several trips to Israel and talks about seeing the Hebrew word “Abba” in action. He paints a picture of little children running from their houses, jumping into their dads’ arms, and yelling “Abba! Abba!”
I know this scene all too well, because it has happened in my own home. When my kids were younger, they would greet my husband at the end of the work day with smiles and squeals, jumping and clamoring for his attention. “Daddy! Daddy!” Arms were raised high overhead, stretching toward Daddy, begging him to lift them toward the sky and tickle their bellies.
To children, everything in that moment seems right. They’re safe in Daddy’s arms. He’s strong; he won’t drop them. And the joy on his face says how much he loves them, delights in them.
Just like my Heavenly Father delights in me … if I’ll let Him.
So often I’m too busy to give Him a warm greeting. Supper needs to be cooked. Homework needs to be supervised. Emails need to be addressed.
Or sometimes it’s inconvenient or embarrassing. If I pray in the restaurant before lunch, what will my coworkers think? Or if I take ten minutes to read my Bible, I might not have time to fix my hair the way I wanted.
Or what about guilt? God doesn’t want anything to do with me. Not after what I did last week.
I justify these things as necessary for survival. But really, they’re a form of stiff-arming God, telling Him to stay away, because now isn’t a good time to love me.
And each of these moments adds a splinter to His heart.
The amazing thing is He carved me in His own image. He picked each of my features — all the details that make me click. When He looks at me, He sees that little seed of a baby He formed, and His heart swells with love.
Even though I’ve grown, He still longs to spend time with me, to draw me close and share His presence and love.
But as long as I push Him away, I’ll miss out.
I’ll miss out on the guidance He gives. I’ll miss out on the joyous freedom of being held high in His arms. I’ll miss out on the warmth of His love.
Only when I let go of the fight — when I slacken my muscles, unclench my jaw — can I feel the divine kiss of God’s presence.
A gift He longs to give.
Welcome to Ungrind!
Do you want to be inspired, motivated, and equipped to live the everyday story of your life well?
If so, you’re in the right place. Whether you need encouragement in your relationships or in your faith, I hope you’ll find the transparent voices of mentors and friends here at Ungrind.
So, grab a cup of coffee and keep reading. We're so glad you're here!
Ashleigh Slater, Founder & Managing Editor
Get Our Free Ebook!
To Those Who Want To Be Truly Happy: Stop Chasing Happiness
Chasing happiness isn't all it's cracked up to be. Here are a few reasons why.
How the Psalms Speak to Our Emotions
The Psalms is a book that's rich with the reality of what life's like in this fallen world. Here are...
3 Ways to Navigate Personality Differences
Sometimes personality differences can wear on us. Here are three ways we can navigate them in a loving manner.
Surprised By ‘A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood’
If you haven't seen this film, God may speak to your heart through it in ways you weren't expecting.
The Wedding Ring
Are you struggling in your marriage? Here's how a wedding ring helped one wife fight for her marriage.
5 Ways to Live an Out-of-Control Life
Here are 5 ways to let go of control and trust your present and your future to God.
5 Creative Places to Find Prayer Accountability
Do you want to pray more, but are easily distracted? Here are some practical ways to stay focused.
What Women Are Saying
--Rachel Starr Thomson, author of Heart to Heart: Meeting With God in the Lord's Prayer
"Real life is not always pleasant. Every marriage experiences disappointments, misunderstandings, sickness and financial crisis. Ashleigh doesn’t camouflage the pain in her own marriage, and offers practical ideas on how to walk through the difficulties and find intimacy on the journey. If you are anything like me, I predict that as you read, you too will find yourself laughing, wiping tears, and saying 'Oh, yes.'"
-- Gary Chapman, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The 5 Love Languages
We are a member of the Amazon affiliate program and regularly use affiliate links. If you purchase an item from an Amazon link we provide, we will receive a small referral commission. This doesn’t cost you anything additional. We only share books, music, and products that our writers personally have used and highly recommend.
Faith4 years ago
When Doing Justly, Loving Mercy, and Walking Humbly Stand at Odds
Motherhood4 years ago
Surviving a Strong-Willed Child
Faith5 years ago
7 Ways to Create A Family Altar
Friendship6 years ago
Beyond the Registry: The Ultimate Gift Guide for Expectant Parents
Relationships8 months ago
5 Ways to Teach Your Child to Hear God
Marriage6 years ago
4 Reasons I’m Not Facebook Friends With My Husband
Everyday Faith5 years ago
6 Simple Ways to Give Thanks in the Thick of It
Articles6 years ago
10 Ways Life is Like a Box of Chocolates
Articles7 years ago
How to Lift Up the One You Love
Articles5 years ago
Relationships1 year ago
Facing Our Motherhood Fears
Digging Into Scripture5 months ago
How the Psalms Speak to Our Emotions