One of my earliest and fondest childhood memories is getting up early and finding my Mom alone in the kitchen having her morning coffee. A rare event for two reasons:
1. As a kid, I loved sleep more than I do now, if that is even possible. Thus, “early” was not something I saw all too often.
2. Being the youngest of seven children, Mom was never “alone.”
But every once in a while, I would crawl out of bed at the crack of nine, sneak downstairs in my floral nightgown and find my Mom sitting in the kitchen with a cup of coffee, quietly looking out the back door. As a little girl, I remember feeling like I just struck gold: having Mom all to myself for a little while. And certain my Mom wanted nothing more than to hang out with me first thing in the morning, I would quietly lay my head on her lap and feel her hand gently rub my back. And we’d look out the back door together in silence.
Then, treat of all treats…Mom would get out the Sanka Decaffeinated Instant Coffee, the Carnation Non-Dairy Creamer and a generous dose sugar and make me my very own cup of coffee to drink. The humble beginnings of Fitness Friday Girl. I know it wasn’t the typical childhood beverage. But my Mom wasn’t a typical Mom. And somehow through her blurry eyes and busy days, she discerned the value of a few stolen moments with her baby girl. It was “our thing.”
Coffee with Mom.
A few days ago I got up early, but not quite early enough. Just as I started to brew my morning coffee, I heard the pitter patter of little feet.
“Grrrrr….Lord, you know I’m trying to make sure I spend time alone with you each day BEFORE anyone talks to me. You know I NEED my time alone, God. And though they don’t know it, my children need me to spend time alone with you, too. I need to do my Beth Moore study, I need to pray about personal stuff, I need to journal, I need… “
As I muttered my frustrations to Jesus, I turned to see my sweet Rebekah standing next to me. I said “good morning,” squeezed her tightly, kissed the top of her head, and explained that I was just about to head out to the deck for my prayer time. (Read: Please go watch TV or read a book or something) With excitement in her eyes, she exclaimed, “Oh goodie! I’ll go get my Bible and my journal and go out there with you!” And off she went.
I took a deep breath and resolved myself to the fact that my prayer time was ruined. Oh well, better luck next time.
And then I remembered Coffee with Mom. And felt a nudge from God, not only to invite Rebekah into my precious prayer time, but also to make her a cup of coffee.
So I whipped up a Junior Latte (eight parts milk, one part sugar, one part coffee) and headed out to the deck. Me and my sweet, sweet Rebekah.
What occurred in the next ninety minutes was, what I can only describe as the culmination of ten years of Mommy prayers. All Rebekah’s life, I prayed that she would fall in love with Jesus, crave His word and long to spend time in His presence. And there she was: reading and interpreting scripture, interceding for her friends and family, and expressing her love for her Creator.
It was the beginning of a new era in Rebekah’s walk with God. I sat in amazement as I sensed spiritual maturity and discernment. She expressed her desire to spread the gospel around the world, to help orphans and to extend her hand to the needy. She explained to me how material things are so insignificant to her and how she’d much rather give to the poor…live with the poor. I marveled how her heart beats in perfect cadence with the Father’s.
It was a milestone moment in our relationship as mother/daughter/friends. We talked about the struggles and joys of being female. We made vows of loyalty to one another. We giggled. We sipped coffee.
I looked at this little girl, now growing older and wiser, and realized that she would someday become my very best friend. And I became excited for who she is and who she is becoming.
At the end of our time, we embraced and we prayed for each other. And she asked with more expectancy than I had ever seen in her eyes if we could do this again. Like every day.
In a microsecond, I mentally weighed out my options. I thought of my need for alone time and my desire to work through my Beth Moore study. I thought of my precious daughter, who just a few minutes prior, looked me in the eyes and said, “Mom, I want to be just like you.”
I thought of all the years, in my alone time, I prayed for this very thing—
I thought of my own busy Mom. A Mom who had a thousand things to do and seven little reasons to deserve a few minutes of complete solitude. A Mom, who rather than shooing me away, welcomed me into her precious alone time so she could create a memory and lay a relational foundation. A Mom who would later become my best friend and my hero.
Yes, it only took me a microsecond to weigh all that out. For while I most certainly value my alone time, I have no greater joy than to see my children walk in Truth.
So I held her sweet face in my hands and I said, “Meet you here tomorrow at 8.”