Monday, March 8, 2010

An Acceptable Jealousy

Earlier today, I was giving Sadie a washcloth bath on the bed in my room. She hates these (as I'm assuming most babies do in the beginning), and was screaming through the entire tormenting process. Abigail was in the room with us, on standby to help out in the role of Big grab a diaper, to hold Sadie's hands and say in her best big girl voice, "It's okay, Honey, don't cry."

I got out the baby lotion and began to rub Sadie's tiny limbs.

"Dear God, bless Sadie's feet. Let her feet be beautiful ones that carry the good news of Jesus to people who don't know Him. Thank you for Sadie's hands. Let her hands be ones that serve others. Bless Sadie's arms. Let them be outstretched to hug people who need love. Thank you for Sadie's (screaming) mouth. Let this mouth speak words of love and encouragement to the people she meets. Let it tell others that God loves them. Bless Sadie's eyes. Protect them, Lord, from looking at anything that would be harmful to her. Let her look at things that show beauty. Thank you for Sadie's mind. Protect it from anyone that would want to hurt her. Help her mind to learn new things, to have wisdom and discernment between right and wrong."

Over my prayers and Sadie's cries, I heard the unmistakable sound of Abigail starting to cry.

"Abigail, what's the matter? Why are you crying?"

"You don't pray for me. You only pray for me at naptime and bedtime. Not like that."

"Oh, honey. I do pray for you, all the time. You're right, I don't pray for you at bath time any more, because you are so big and you take baths by yourself. And then you get ready for bed by yourself. Sometimes you just don't hear the prayers I pray for you. I pray for you when I spend time talking to God and reading my Bible. I pray for you at church."

"At church? Like when you are in big church and I'm in my class?" (still crying)

"Yes. Abigail, why are you still crying?"

"I don't know! I can't stop."

I realized that, as wonderful as she has been adjusting to her new sister these last couple of weeks, we were dealing with our first case of jealousy. And this kind of jealousy, somehow seemed okay to me. She's right....she doesn't hear my prayers except for naptime and bedtime. I have always felt that we exemplified a prayerful lifestyle to Abigail...praying for our meals, praying in the car before we go somewhere, praying for friends who are sick and hurting. But today, maybe in her little bit of insecurity over this new baby, maybe in my own, I realized that she needed to hear me pray for her. Not just to sleep well. Not just to thank God for the people in our lives. Not even just to know Jesus better. But to pray God's blessing over her.

"Honey, do you want me to pray for you now?"

(Still crying) "No."

"What if I rubbed lotion on you and prayed, like I just did for Sadie. Do you want me to do that?"


She climbed up on the bed, still rubbing away tears in her eyes. I put the baby lotion in my hands and began to massage it onto her skin like I used to do when she was a baby.

"Dear God, thank you for my precious Abigail. Bless her feet to spread the good news about Jesus to people who don't know Him (Abigail, do you know that the Bible calls those Beautiful Feet?). Thank you for her legs. Help them to carry her to places she should be, and carry her away from places she shouldn't. Thank you for her tummy. Help it to always be full of food that is healthy and makes her grow. Thank you for her heart. Let it be a heart that is turned toward you, that is sensitive to the needs of others. Bless her hands to serve you and those around her. Help her hands to swim, clap, climb, cook, share her toys, hold good books to read. Thank you for her mouth. Help it to speak kind words to others, to speak words of obedience to Mommy and Daddy, to praise You. Lord, bless her eyes to look on things that are good and beautiful. (Honey, I'm not going to put lotion in your hair like I did Sadie's, or you'll get all greasy) Thank you for Abigail's mind. Help it to learn and grow. Help it to remember the Bible verses that she hears. Help her to be able to discern between good choices and bad ones.
Thank you, God, for Abigail. Amen."

"Mommy, you prayed a longer prayer for me than you did for Sadie."

"Well, I've known you longer. I know what to pray for you better. Mmmm, you smell good."

It can be tough adjusting to being a big sister. She has done beautifully so far. But she's right...I hope she never feels left out of her Mommy's prayers. A mommy can pray for her kids, but sometimes, they just need to hear it.


Heather Kay said...

Thank you! This really spoke to me today!

Debra said...

Love this. Sounds like we both had some sweet moments with our big kids yesterday. Those big 4 year olds still need us more than they want to let on, don't they? ;) Love you friend.

amypfan said...


Lindsay said...

Isn't it amazing that, somehow, our children know that prayer holds power? Ruby has asked for my prayers since she was little little little. I think she craves the knowledge that someone is interceding on her behalf, even though she's far too young to even know that's what she's craving.

I think it's wonderful that Abigail feels the security and comfort to voice her insecurities with you. And I think it's wonderful that you're sensitive to her needs. :)

Thanks for the post! I think I'm gonna go pray over my kids for a bit. :)