He nibbles graham crackers on the couch, sticky crumbs and a slice of lunch meat cut into “pizza shapes” because that’s the only way he’ll eat it. Five hairs stick straight at his crown and there is dirty black beneath his fingernails. Frayed socks, chapped lips, a bruise on his forehead from enthusiastic little boy exploits—sticks and stones and shields and spiders.

He is a mess and I am in love.

I tousle the blonde and stare long and tell him over and over and over because I don’t ever want him to forget. I want everything he is to be built on love, fashioned by love, sustained by love. I tickle his feet and nuzzle in his neck space to smell soap on his skin, and there is nothing I wouldn’t do that he would know my love.

Her pants are streaked with paint, purple and blue because those are the shades of her spirit this week, tender and bruised. When the difficulty of school stings her confidence and friends turn out not to be, she finds sanctuary in the art room. We’re going through skinny jeans faster than I’d like to pay for them with the paint damage, but I’ve been there and sometimes acrylic navy is a port in the storm. She is a mess and I am in love.

So I hang the cloudy paintings on the walls and replace denim and run my fingers over purple fingerprints while I pray that this season passes quickly for my girl’s tender heart. She cries and I cry with her because there is nothing I wouldn’t do that she would know my love.

My laundry isn’t folded and I’m wearing a ponytail and yoga pants again. We’re having leftovers for dinner because I put off a deadline and now I’m in the thick of it. I am tiny and too much at once today, painfully aware of the ways I just don’t measure up. I am slow and loud and I talk too much.

I am a mess.

But He is in love.

He whispers without words, through eyelashes and tree branches, to my weary body and wary heart. My fingerpainted prayers hang on heavenly walls, and He tousles my ponytailed head. His heart spills open and consumes the world, sacrificed with wood and nails, because there is nothing He wouldn’t do that I would know His love.

when you are a mess and He is in love

by Cara Sexton time to read: 2 min