All There


Today after lunch, he needed to let it all out.  So, I left chicken salad out on the counter far too long and I listened longer.

And then, I saw that I scratched out this post this very day 3 years ago.

Such a simple message, but one I very much longed to read again.  Maybe we all just need to remember it’s not about just being there.  But being A L L there.  Because they feel the difference.


My heart…from 3 years ago today~

Last night, Noah and I scooted out the door after dark for our long awaited date to Sprinkles, the local ice cream shop.  He knew Savannah and Daddy would be gone tonight for Daddy-Daughter date night at Chic-fil-A, and I just wanted him to feel special. Because he really gets to my heart.  It was those green fleece pj’s and toy story top that had been washed 72 times at least, and the tennis shoes that smell so bad because his little feet get so very hot.  And that face, that face with the eyes that reveal these treasures hidden in his heart.

Do you have a portion of your heart that is especially soft?  A corner where there is a spillover of grace?  And you can’t help it?  For me, Noah lives there.  He didn’t ask to be.  He just happened to be born in between my oldest and youngest.  He’s chief, a playmate, protector, roomie and sidekick for the brother who trails only 15 months behind.  And he’s conformist, follower, rubber stamp, admirer, shadow to the sister who leads him by 2 years.  He lives to please. “Mommy, do you wuv it?” is how he shows me what he’s chosen to wear for the day.  And I need to wuv that black alligator shirt because it’s his favorite right now.  And if I say no, he’d skip breakfast to find a new one.  (I’ll never say no).  

He thrives with every ounce of regard.  As we watch the little boy grow, we watch that confidence grow.  With every ounce of interest we take in him.

We bundled tight, and I with purse and he with night light (because mama might get scared), we drove 2 miles down the road.  It was the owners and us.  Because we didn’t care about that ballgame. It was all about that redhead and a cone of goodness.  He wondered what I wanted him to get.  He asked and asked and asked.  What do you want me to get, mommy? 

Confidence.  Building that confidence!  Which one looks good to you, buddy?  There’s Superman.  Chocolate.  Peach.  Mint chip…

I’m holding him up to give him full view of all those tubs.  He chooses the green mint chip.  And I think it’s because he knows it’s one of my favorites.  To pass by Superman? At 3 years old?  This boy.

I asked for a cup of water.  Only because I wanted to buy  right before leaving and enjoy it and Downton Abbey simultaneously.  We sat high on those stools, his smelly sneakers propped on the black bar.  And it was too quiet. Something wasn’t right.  I felt it.  I knew he felt it.  Then he said it,

“Where’s yours, mommy?  I thought you were gonna eat too.”   Those words touched me so.  It wasn’t just a question from a 3 year old.  But a plea for me to really be with him.  To enjoy this moment together.  To experience it, mommy and son.  My heart filled to the top with emotion.  Because I am really emotional sometimes.  Over silly questions and statements and facial expressions.  And I cried when I told Dolan how it all went down.  I don’t know if it’s an answer to my prayers to really see their heart?  I fumbled to find my wallet and couldn’t get my mint chip fast enough. Scared to miss anymore of this sweet night.

You are more important than Downton, Noah.  I’d sit on this barstool all night talking with you.  Even with your awful sneakers.

We tasted and talked, smiled and wiped melted cream off green pants and tabletops.   And I learned a most valuable thing.  Because, when you ask Him to see their hearts, he might show you a thing or 2 about yourself.  I’m thanking Him for this.  For showing me the incomparable value to really be this.


Be there, mama!  Nothing is more important than being all there.  He needed all of me.  His joy came when I proved I was there.

Thank you, Noah, for grace when I forgot something so very vital to your heart.


I wait with the greatest anticipation of our next “BE THERE” date.  And I’ll practice a lot in between.


  1. Kristen, this was beautiful. I cried reading it. Thanks for sharing and challenging me to Be There!

  2. Love this. How cute is that little red head!? ?

  3. Kristen , your writing brings a quickening to my heart. You make me want to go back and reclaim the times I wasn’t ALL there for you. I hope you know how proud I am of you. You have the most precious heart and soul. Savanna, Noah, and Levi are so blessed to have you as their Mom. I love you…with ALL my heart.

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