I decide to bring him into my lap and instead of reading him a story, I tell him his story. "Mommy always wanted you. You were in my thoughts even when I was a young girl and I prayed for you to be mine. Then Jesus gave you to me, and you grew in my tummy. The doctor cut me open and took you out and put you in my arms and I will always have you and I will always love you." My nose nudges his ear and I breathe deeply the smell of him and lavender in his hair. I can feel his smile. His chest rises with the knowledge of love and security and the truth that he is precious to me. And his behavior changes. The one who is quick to push waves of curiosity into the tide of danger, the one who stands tall in his strength and has his own opinions, he softens into one who sees his Mama as someone he will choose to obey-his own way of showing me love. It reminds me to be the mother who breathes life into his heart with my words more often. An obedient heart is much easier to have when you want to obey out of love. May it always be so, that my training of my sons is not instilling in them that “it’s because I said so” but because they know my fierce love, and safe in the protection of it, they yield.

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