Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.
It's time for bed and there are boys at the sink, mouths frothy and white. Then there are minty kisses, arms twined around our necks, hands held, and prayers offered.
And then the question comes.
"Mom, will you rest with me? For just a minute?" Zay asks.
I look at Lonny and he smiles. He settles onto the trundle bed and curls around one son. I hold another one tight, pat his back, then watch him climb the ladder to the top bunk. Then I bend and curl and settle around Isaiah on the bed underneath.
Lonny and I can't say no. We want to wrap around these boys, and for a few minutes in time, feel their bodies, their wonderful frames, in the safety of our arms. Their breath is warm on our necks, soft as a whisper. Their chests rise and fall as they drift off to where the edges are smudged and sweet.
Then I hear Zay's voice. It's a breath. His heart is beating close to mine. "I love you Mom," he says. "But not with my whole heart."
"Oh?" I ask.
His lids are heavy and his words are slow. "The top part, where the bumps are. Where it goes schloop. Schloop. That part is for you."
I pull him closer. He smells like soap and all things fresh.
"What about the rest?" I ask. "The rest of your heart?"
"Not the rest," he says. "The whole heart. The whole part. My whole heart is for God."
His eyelids flutter and he's almost asleep. His breath takes on the even, peaceful pattern of rest.
I think about what he's said. I'm not sure it makes sense, the part and then the whole. But I understand what he means.
His heart, his whole heart, belongs to God. It belongs to God first.
It's my desire hat he will always love God first. That he will indeed always love family, but his love for God would be first.
I run my fingers through angel hair and pray that this love, in his heart, will keep.
I believe it will.
And the beauty of this precious thing allows me to rest, too.
Lord, may we love you with all of our hearts. Amen.