So after a little debate we decided that yesterday would be the official "big boy bed" day. It was strange as we took apart Deacon's crib and spent some time putting up the bed rails to convert it to a full-sized bed... I was trying to pump him up and remind him of how big he's getting and yet, I think I was actually convincing myself of it as well. Now don't get me wrong, it was my idea... I think he might have stayed in his crib until he was 5... but it was a feeling of anticipation, of preparation, of change, and of letting go.

While Dusty and I discussed doing this yesterday and made a short-list of pros & cons, all I could think of was that if Maddox were here, if he had been whole and made to live with us, Deacon would have already been in his bed for 6 months. Yet, as my firstborn child took his first nap in the "big boy bed" I felt a twinge of sadness. I honestly can't believe that he's old enough to be out of a crib. I can't believe that as he continues to grow, slowly we are being called to begin loosening the reins. I certainly know that he won't be little forever, but somehow in my mind the crib symbolizes protection. Somehow, for 2 years and 9 months I have felt certain of where he would be when I walked into that room each morning. Now I realize things are different.

Just before midnight last night I heard a loud thud. I couldn't get there fast enough as I already knew what had happened... Lying in a little pile on the floor, crying, was my sweet Deacon. I scooped him up in my arms and sitting on the floor began to rock him back and forth. Through his tears he said "I rolled... too far... and then I fall." It was only a matter of minutes before he was settled back in the bed, positioned up against the wall, and already back to asleep. I am grateful that by morning his little mind didn't even remember the fall. He didn't remember... but I sure did! And somehow in these moments, I think I always will. God has again taught me something in my own little world.

The sights and sounds from last night- the sound of falling, the tearful sobs, the little body crumpled up on the floor- reminded me of how the Lord loves us. That crib was the symbol of safety, the symbol of protection... But just as Deacon couldn't stay there forever, neither can we. Slowly we have to move out into this imperfect world. Slowly, just like little children, our rails must be removed as we attain more freedom. Yet, with that freedom comes the possibility of getting hurt... maybe due to no fault of our own or maybe because we rolled too far and then fell. Just as I knew it was possible for my 29-lb boy to fall from that bed, God also knows ahead of time what "possibilities" lie ahead of us. Sometimes those possibilities are realized as a consequence of our own actions... sometimes they come through God removing the rails and allowing us to fall... and sometimes they come because God knows that without a doubt we will stumble and fall, but His perfect protection can be demonstrated through allowing us to cry out from the ground to be picked up in His loving arms.

I have realized firsthand this year that my meager efforts to protect my own children aren't enough. I don't have power over most things and though as a mother I am constantly concerned about the safety of my children, I know that it is something I can't ever fully own. I can't protect Deacon from falling out of a bed, I can't protect Maddox from the realities of this world and that it doesn't sustain his life, and I can't protect Faith Clare from the many unknowns, even as she resides within my body. As much as I desperately want to cling to my children, to never let them out of my sight, to want to wrap them up and keep them in constant protection... I know that it isn't my place. I know that I am not capable of protecting them from the things of this world and that is not what God has placed solely on my shoulders. However, what I can do is pray~ constantly~ over them. I can pray for their safety, pray for their protection, and pray for my heart to be prepared for the falls.

Undoubtedly, I know that my children will stumble ("For we all stumble in many ways..." James 3:2), that they will fall, and that there will be several more moments of little ones lying on the floor in tears needing to be picked back up. For the most part while they are little, I hope they are my arms that can do the scooping... But I also pray that through my loving them, through picking them back up, they will see the love of their Lord. I pray that as they continue to grow, they too will feel the arms of the Only One who can pick us back up and place our feet on solid ground, settling us back in, comforting us and beckoning us to continue forward. Thankfully, His protection is eternal.

"But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you."- Psalm 5:11


l e a h said…
Lovely story and great analogies.
Rebecca said…
What a cool big boy bed. Seriously!

And "rolling too far" happens so often in life. I'm glad he was able to pick himself up and brush himself off pretty easily, with a few hugs and kisses from Mom. :)
Stacy said…
Kenzie-I remember the day we moved each of our children into their "big beds" and that feeling of yes, removing the protection from around them. I love your analogy to God and His protection for us.

What struck me so beautifully, was how he didn't remember it in the coming in and rescuing him, your protection...but you did it nonetheless because of your love.

And that is how God loves us...and sometimes we don't remember how He picked us up...each and every stumble, but how He is there, every moment, every the background, and the foreground. Thank you for sharing that with us. Thank you for the reminder that He is the ultimate protector of all things!

For Deacon's sake, I hope he stays secure in the middle of his bed and doesn't fall out again!:)

In His love-Stacy
Christine said…
I love his bed!! What a big boy. :)

love, Christine
Alex has the same Zanzibar theme in his room.
How are you???? Ive missed you!
Judy said…
The part about praying for your heart to be prepared for your child's falls is so good. I hadn't thought of praying that for myself before, but it's definitely something I'm going to start doing!! I have a three yr old and a 6 month old and sometimes our days are rather challenging, but I know that the hardest days of parenting are ahead when I have to start letting go. I was just reading "Don't Make me Count to Three" a great Christian book about discipline and in the back of the book is a great list of things to pray for your children! It's great!
Emily said…
What beautiful truths you have written here, my sweet friend! God speaks so loudly through parenting these little ones, doesn't He?

It bugs me when people miss the point and offer unsolicited advice, but I can't resist here (and I really did take your point to heart)... body pillows work wonders beside little ones. :)
Jennifer said…
A friend of mine puts a swimming 'noodle' under the sheet on the edge of the bed to keep her little one in during the night. It is a low border but provides enough of an edge to keep them from falling out.
Darlene said…
Thank you for sharing this. I will never forget the first night we moved Caleb into his big boy bed. It really was hard for me.
I love your analogy to God's protection. Being a parent allows us just another glimpse into His tremendous love and care for us.
I am about to send Caleb to preschool for the first time this fall. Just 2 mornings, but it is killing this mommy. It seems as though every day, I am not raising a child... I am releasing one. What do mommies do who do not know Him who protects?? I CANNOT protect my boys. I can not. But I can point them toward Him who does!
I hear you, friend!
Angie said…
Man, I remember how hard that transition is! It is so hard to see them go from happy and content in the crib to scared and alone in the big bed!! I love the picture you painted about God's love for us.

Hope the next few nights will be good ones!

Love you!
Devin said…
Oh, I remember moving my babies too....and it was tough! It was like one of the first official steps of my babies turning into big boys, and I was excited yet sad at the same time.

I love how you compared the crib to God's protection of His children. What a beautiful analogy, as usual Kenzie. Thank you for sharing your insight with us! :-)
Christa Mc said…
his room is so cute! what a big boy!! and as always you see God's love in every situation..I always look forward to your posts..
see you soon!
much love, christa -
p.s. looking forward to seeing faith clare's room soon too!!
Iric said…
The bed is cool!!Deacon will be great when he sleeps.Deacon is a big boy now and he doesn't need baby bed...

-This is Iric.It's my first time to get there.!!!
Anonymous said…
What a wonderful analogy Kenzie! I so look forward to your posts as I am always learning from you how to be more faithful.
God Bless,
Betsy Levenson

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