Saturday, November 14, 2015

For Madeline's Paris

Hey Pretty Girl,

Last night you walked into our kitchen to find me crying.  I tried quickly to wipe the heavy drops with the sleeves of my sweater but you saw them anyways.  You begged me to tell you what was wrong. 

"Please just tell me why you are crying momma. I really want to know how to help." In that moment I snapped at you and I told you to leave.  I felt guilt welling up because you didn't deserve that type of response.

The truth is, I didn't know what to tell you.  The truth is, I was scared. 

Did you know that even mommas get scared?  It's true.  We do. 

I was scared because I have this big job of raising you in a world that isn't safe.  It's a world where every day people are being hurt and hate seems to be winning. 

Your favorite book right now is the story of Madeline.  Several times a week lately we squish into your little twin bed and we snuggle together -- you, your brother and me. 

We read about the twelve little girls in two straight lines.  We giggle each time Madeline tells the Tiger in the zoo, "Pooh Pooh", as if it's the funniest thing in the world.  We trace the lines of the Eiffel Tower with our fingers over the bright colors and pages and we talk about Paris and how someday we will go together.

Here's the hardest part for me, baby girl.  The hardest thing for me right now is that you are old enough that I can no longer hide the bad from you.  It's time to introduce you to the world we live in.  And it's not always going to look like the stories we read you each night. A lot that goes on doesn't always look like there's a happy ending. 

Last night in Paris, something really terrible happened.  Last night, in Madeline's Paris, hate got the best of a lot of people. Today, a lot of mommas and daddies are very sad and a lot of children are scared.

And, I know you.  I know your big heart.  You're going to ask, "Momma, what can we do?  How do we help them?"

So tonight, when we read Madeline, we will sit on your little twin bed.  We will snuggle under your covers and I will protect you as best as I can.  We will link hands and we will pray big, bold prayers for Madeline's Paris. 

What I will tell you tonight is this:  I love you.  I love you with a love so fierce and so strong.  I will protect you with everything in me because I am your momma and that's what mommas do.  Do you know how Ms. Clavel cared for Madeline?  That's how I care for you.  And I always will.

I will tell you this:  As much as I love you and want to protect you.  I can't protect you from all of bad in this world.  And it breaks my big momma heart.  That's where those tears last night in the kitchen came from.

There's real evil out there baby girl.  And it's evil you will see and you will want to run from.  It's evil that even I want to run from.  I will tell you this: You know that evil?  The bad that will make you so scared? 

You fight it. 

You put on your bravest face and you dig deep and you fight back against that evil. 

You fight back with love

You love the little girl in your class who is being bullied.  You stand up for her. 

You see something in the world you don't like?  Something that seems like it just isn't right?  You go change it. 

You know your buddy O who was adopted from Africa?  Daddy and I tell you that there are still kids like O who need forever homes.  Who need clean water and food.

You fight for those kids. Just like you did with your lemonade stand this summer.  You fought back against evil the moment you handed over your hard earned money. 

You keep doing that baby girl. 

You change the world with your love and your big heart. 

You fight with everything that you have in you

You love with everything you have in you. 

And here's the thing -- there are going to be days when you just feel heavy and when you want to just give up hope.

Don't you give up hope. 

That's what evil wants.  That's what the enemy wants.  He wants us to quit fighting.  To quit loving.  The enemy wants us to be afraid and to feel like the bad is taking over.  He wants us to cower and back down from fighting for good.

Tonight I will snuggle you as you fall asleep and I will whisper to you.

I will tell you this: We win.  There is a rescuer.  His name is Jesus and He is so much bigger than all of the hate.  He is coming for us.  HE wins. There is hope pretty girl. There is hope for all of us. Even Madeline's Paris.  Because Love wins.
Love, Momma


  1. This is so beautiful. Thank you for writing this. I wish we could protect them forever. Now that I'm a mom I think a lot about what happened in the world when I was growing up and the stupid things I did and I have a new appreciation for my mother. She did everything she could to keep me safe. Just knowing that makes me feel safer tonight :) snuggle your babies extra tight. All will be alright.

  2. This is beautiful and precious and hard. I fear the world that I brought my little guy into. But if we teach of love and Jesus, we give them a fighting chance. Thanks for sharing!

  3. I'v now re read the archives of your blog as I completely love it. But this. This filled me with tears, it is so beautiful and expresses how I feel for my daughter so beautiful. It also inspires me a little to be stronger too. Thank you for these words. And this blog! I have enjoyed reading old posts so much tonight, and can not wait to see more in the new year.