Pausing for a moment as I brushed my teeth, I heard Tom came in with Sawyer, our 4-year-old grandson. Sleeping in a tent with his cousins and Grandpa wasn’t Sawyer’s idea of a good night’s sleep at his first Camp Grandma.
He’d played hard all day—swimming, games, snacks, crafts, a campfire time—and now exhaustion had settled over his tired body.
Tom looked at me… also exhausted. And headed back to the tent. He’d done everything he could to comfort his grandson.
Sawyer would get to sleep with Grandma in her big bed.
I tucked him in amid his tears and sniffled mumbles of wanting his mommy. Then I headed back to the bathroom to finish brushing my teeth. I was only 10 feet away, but I could hear his cries for “Mommy” getting louder and more dramatic.
As I stepped back into the bedroom I saw Sawyer with his body and arms stretched out toward the wedding picture of his parents on my bedside table. In a classic 1920’s silent-movie-style position he was crying … “Mommy, Mommy, Mommy.”
Maybe I should have grabbed my camera and filmed the moment—it was that theatrical.
But instead I moved the picture out of his sight, curled up next to him in bed, and gently put my hand on his shoulder and said, “It’s okay, Sawyer, Grandma’s here.”
Before I could even get my other arm around him to cuddle, Sawyer was out. Sound asleep. Bonk! Done.
He slept the night, turning around and around like a helicopter, which is his sleep habit. At different times throughout the night I awakened with feet in my face, arms around my feet, and a face in my tummy.
I didn’t sleep much.
Sawyer may not remember this adventure, though he might.
We tend to remember times of comfort, even at an early age.
One of my earliest memories is when I was probably 18 months old or a little older. I was in a crib at my grandmother’s house and crying because I was scared.
I don’t know why my mother didn’t come to check on me. Pretty soon my aunt was standing over the crib and soothing me with her words. I have a very vivid picture in my memory of her soft, smiling face looking down at me.
One of the questions I often ask my counseling clients is, “What is the earliest memory you have of being comforted.”
Many have no memory of this basic need, which can reveal a lot about a person’s relationships. Those who do remember being comforted are more likely to have emotionally healthy relationships.
God thinks comforting is so important that one of His names is Comforter.
Through being comforted we learn to express our troubled thoughts and emotions. We learn reflection. We learn soul talk, so to speak.
Isn’t that something you want to pass on to those you love?
Here’s this week’s legacy challenge for you:
Think of your earliest memory of being comforted.
- What upset you? How did you feel?
- Who comforted you?
- How did they sooth you? Did they touch you, speak kind words, listen to you, or help you express your distress?
- Did you feel valued and safe?
Now, take the information you just gleaned from the questions I asked and tell your comfort story to someone. This will help seal it in your memory. Plus, it’s a way to share an important part of your life story—the comfort aspect of your legacy of faith.
It will help those who hear it learn the language of soul talk.
To growing, shaping, and sharing your legacy,
P.S. If you know someone who would benefit from this post, please pass it on.