Green Sweater 08.04.21
Hello, Little Beautiful.
This morning the world was so quiet and warm. When I slipped into your bedroom, I tried to be as silent as I could. You were a mess, your hair all tossed and your face all wrinkled up in the sheets. I laid down next to you as gently as I could, wrapping my arm over you just as lightly. Your breathing was so deep and you were so warm, I almost fell asleep right there beside you, even with my socked feet hanging off your bed.
But the best part of my morning was brushing my fingertips so carefully across your face. You took your first intentional breath of the day, and I got to see it. Then you opened those beautiful doe eyes of yours. You smiled at me.
Today, it’s a toothy grin full of both baby and big-kid teeth, but its the grin I love most in the world.
We ate breakfast together, watching your favorite cartoon. Afterward, you told me you wanted to choose your own clothes and get dressed all on your own. You had me sit in my chair and wait till you came down the stairs all dressed and ready for the day.
I fully expected to see the green sweater you’ve worn everyday for years. Even when more and more of your arms grew out of the small sleeves, you’ve continued to wear it as if it still fit. But, today, you wandered back down the stairs, your face half-covered by too-small sweater. No matter what we tried, your head was just too big to fit through.
So we sat down together on the couch and carefully unraveled your sweater. When it was all wound up as green yarn, I got out my first crocheting needle and showed you how to make something brand new from something well-loved. You worked on it all afternoon, and you’ve got nearly half a scarf done.
As of right now, my little industrious beautiful, you’re asleep on the couch. You’re tuckered out, and you deserve to be. Growing isn’t easy work.
That’s what I’ll record for you today. I’m recording to remind you of the day you grew out of your favorite green sweater. I’m recording to comfort you, my beautiful…who might not be so little when you hear this.
To live is to grow. Whether we like to admit it or not, we humans are a lot like the world we live in. Like the year, we have seasons. Like the moon, we wax and wane. Like the tide, we ebb and flow. And that’s okay.
You don’t have to be one person for your entire life. You can be a million people all threaded together through millions of consecutive seconds. There can be days when your heart is bursting with things to say, and there can be days when you feel no words at all. There can be days when you give the world all of yourself, and there can be days when you feel like you have nothing to give at all.
Just like a little seed growing up into a sprout, you’ll change. You’re always in that state of growth, whether you know it or not. And on those days when you feel as if you’ll never move forward or press on, remember how your little arms pressed their way out of your little green sweater without your approval.
Given enough time and enough faith, everything can change.
And with that change, discomfort may come. There will be moments when you feel out-of-place and unsure. There will be times when you feel unqualified and lonely. Those moments are okay too—they can be special. Just like how when you lost your front two teeth, you could whistle through the gap. Now that they’ve almost grown back, you can’t whistle the same way anymore. That’s because that whistle was a little gift meant only for that little time. So when you feel out-of-place and awkward, sit with yourself and look for all those special blessings.
Let the change happen.
And remember that it’s not just you.
Just like the moon and the tide, other things around you will change as you grow. Relationships, interests, even dreams change with time. That’s okay too. Hold everything with a loose enough grip, Little Beautiful. Hold it with a grip loose enough that it can continue to grow and change with you. Like a vine, let things diverge from you if they must. Like autumn leaves, let circumstances fall away if they will.
But when you get the chance, remember to do what I taught you this morning. Take all those things you loved from your past, like your little green sweater, and find a way to carry them with you into the future. That friend, that opportunity, that dream—let them stay in your heart as good things. Let them stay there as fodder for new growth.
Everything will change, Little Beautiful—even our home, even me. Everything except Him. For as long as you live, you’ll always have that one thing that will never leave you. You’ll always have the unfailing love of your God, the mercy of the Almighty.
Fuller than sunlight, God’s love filters through this world and touches every part of you. There is no where you can go that it won’t keep you. And there’s no way you can grow that it won’t lead you. Oh, Little Beautiful, never forget what He told us: “The LORD delights in those who fear Him, who put their hope in His unfailing love.”
His unfailing love, something you never have to grow into. You’ve already got it. You always have had it, and you always will.
Oh, you just rolled over and mumbled something in your sleep. I best wake you up anyway. You’ll want to be up to see the fireflies come out.
Just remember, you can change; you will change.
And that’s okay. Because even if you’re not little anymore, you’ll always be beautiful.
Love Ever Always.