I love cuddle time. In our house the best cuddles are almost always spontaneous. But life is busy, so more often than not, cuddle time has to be intentional. We have to, as a family, intentionally decide to stop everything and make time for a cuddle. So sometimes my kids will hear me say to them ‘it’s cuddle time!’. And even though these cuddle times are planned, they are no less precious than the spontaneous ones.
Cuddle time is definitely my favourite time of day. Sometimes it is only a few moments stolen in between others as we pass each other by, but other times, we sit and cuddle for lengthy periods of time, while we watch a movie or simply just be, tucked safely under the covers, doing absolutely nothing at all. These moments are very precious to me. Even though sometimes, these moments come at the expense of something else. So today’s cuddle time was sponsored by my wonderful husband, who stepped in to make dinner when I suddenly decided that cuddle time would coincide with make dinner time.
But as I sat with my beautiful son on the sofa, Martharing while my husband Mary-ed- (actual, Biblical terms, look them up here) but not complaining about it, I really felt a heavy presence of the Holy Spirit in that moment. In the last few days, I have been challenged to action in so many ways, and I am a doer so action I get, action I understand. Sign me up, please, YES! but I am not so good at resting. I struggle to rest. So much so that I have to have a ‘cuddle time’. But as I sat with my son in my arms, I realised anew the importance of rest. Of literally taking moments out just to breathe, and just to be. As I sat with my son, I wasn’t doing anything extraordinary, but my heart was being filled with fresh love for him that I literally felt like my heart could burst.
A few moments before our spontaneous cuddle time, my son was tired – and I mean, shattered. You know the type? When they are so unbelievably beyond tired that nothing, not even ice cream can comfort? yeah, that kind of tired. But it was 4:30pm – and too early for him to go to bed; but he was exhausted. And his way for coping with this type of tiredness is to lash out, at the end of which he lifts up his arms and says, ‘I want mummy’. I, of course, always lift him up into me and he calms instantly. But today, as I did so, he said to me ‘I want a big hug, mummy’. Awww…
And then I knew why God invites us to sit with Him like this. Because when I make time to sit with God in whatever state of mind I’m in, whether I am tired or weary or ready for action, he gives me rest – real rest. Rest, from which I can really feel his heart. Rest that comes from a position of his arms lifting mine and placing me right back on his chest. Rest that comes from a place of connectedness, closeness and peace.
I loved what happened today when my tired son sat on me for 30 minutes. I was so sure that he was going to fall asleep on me, which is getting rarer as he’s growing older. But instead he used that time to draw strength from our chill time. And when that time was done, I put him back down and off he ran, ready to play again. Ready for the rest of his evening. And like him, I must learn to draw my strength first from my father’s heart. To learn to sit and hear his heart beat as He restores my soul. To know when it is time to come to Him so he can give me rest. And to know that when he sets me back on my feet again I will be fully ready to run. And run, I will. But first, cuddle time.