Lap Dwelling

We had been home for less than an hour when my boy (blankie in hand and thumb in mouth) came to the kitchen table with what I call a “melt-your-heart-hard-to-resist” request.

“Mommy, can I just get a bunch of books and read with you?”

“Well, sure, buddy. But why do you want to read right now?”

“Because I missed you.”

“But I was with you all weekend.”

“Yea, but I didn’t really get to spend time with just you at the cabin. I want to cuddle on your lap.”

I still had bags to unpack and clothes to hang, and we were already behind our typical bedtime schedule, but how could I pass up a request like that?

I couldn’t, and so I didn’t.

Crawling up on the couch with four, really-long books (you know…the ones you try and bypass at the end of a long and tiring day…the ones you read and try to inconspicuously skip words pages without them noticing…yeah, those ones), he settled himself and his blankie right in the middle of my lap.

And for the next half hour, we read, and we cuddled, and we reconnected…and it was sweet.

Because though we had spent a long weekend around and near each other, we hadn’t spent any concentrated, focused time together.

Sure, I had watched him wave his sparklers and puddle-jump in the hot tub. Sure, I had cheered him on during mini golf and giggle-screamed with him on his very first roller coaster ride. Sure, I had eaten every meal with him, blown bubbles with him, driven Go-Karts with him, and even sat in a car for 13.5 hours with him, but I hadn’t spent any quality time with just him, and he was really needing it and really wanting it.

So after four, really-long books that didn’t feel so long, my boy crawled off my lap and said, “Mommy, I love you.”

My boy was filled and satisfied, but he wasn’t the only one who left with a full and happy heart; my heart was kinda bursting, too.

My boy had desired time with me, and so he pursued it. Not because he felt obligated to, or because he wanted to earn my love, or because I was demanding it or forcing it, but simply because he loved me and wanted to be near me.

And when my boy climbed off my lap, I couldn’t help but feel a similar longing in my heart.

Sure, my God had went with us to the cabin and followed us every step and mile of our trip. And sure, He had been present with us every minute of every day during our get-a-way-vacation, but I hadn’t spent any quality time with just him, and I was really needing it and really wanting it. Not because I felt obligated to, or because I wanted to earn His love, or because He was demanding it or forcing it, but simply because I love Him and wanted to be near Him.

I desired quiet time in His Word;

I desired alone time in His presence; and 

I desired quality time in His lap.

Why?

Because like my son, I feel filled and satisfied when I intentionally pursue His presence. And when I’m not, I miss it; I miss Him. 

How lovely is Your dwelling place,
Oh Lord Almighty
My soul longs and even faints for You
For here my heart is satisfied,
within Your presence
I sing beneath the shadow of Your wings

Better is one day in Your courts
Better is one day in Your house
Better is one day in Your courts
Than thousands elsewhere

One thing I ask and I would seek,
to see Your beauty
To find You in the place Your glory dwells

My heart and flesh cry out,
For You the living God
Your spirit’s water for my soul
I’ve tasted and I’ve seen,
Come once again to me
I will draw near to You
I will draw near to You

-Matt Redman, Better is One Day

“A single day in your courts is better than a thousand anywhere else!” Psalm 84:10

And guess what?

Though God doesn’t need us to sit in His laps and pursue His presence, He delights in it…in us.

“For the Lord delights in his people.” Psalm 149:4

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