In the back yard there’s a frozen pond, small, and murky the rest of the year, but when it’s snow-covered it doesn’t matter. Five birch trees stand proud at its edge, somehow regal, striking, in their bare winter state. The other trees around the birch family are thick, brown, leaves clinging for dear life.
Beyond the pond’s edge and through the trees is another neighborhood. In the spring and summer the leaves are a thick green veil between our homes, but in these cold Minnesota months, only the birch stands between us. One house is a Christmas holdout, strings of colored lights lining their deck railing.
I love these lights. In the middle of the cold dark nights, they glow. Pacing and swaying with a sleepless baby, they glow. Struck with insomnia, my mind racing and heart beating fast, they glow. Putting dinner on the table again, bathing the babies, picking up the days toy destruction, those lights glow.
In the moments when I feel forgotten, those lights feel like a warm thought, reminding me that I’m always on Someone’s mind.
How precious are your thoughts about me, O God.
They cannot be numbered!
I can’t even count them;
they outnumber the grains of sand!
When credit is given to another, He thinks of me.
When a milestone passes unrecognized, He thinks of me.
When another day of mothering flies by fast, full of diapers and dishes and thankless love, He thinks of me.
When I am hurting, lonely, feeling left out, He thinks of me.
When all seems lost and my soul wanders, He thinks of me.
The leftover Christmas lights on my neighbor’s porch remind me of the posted watchmen in Isaiah 62. As the town slumbered, the watchmen prayed for one another and worshiped the Lord. They took no rest, and neither does He:
I look up to the mountains—
does my help come from there?
My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth!
He will not let you stumble;
the one who watches over you will not slumber.
Indeed, he who watches over Israel
never slumbers or sleeps.
The Lord himself watches over you!
Those words are as comforting to my heart as the lights softly glowing beyond the frozen February trees. He doesn’t sleep. He thinks of me. The Maker not only knows me, He thinks of me.
One evening, my husband smiled soft and said he’d figured out my love language. It was “being thought of.” Gifts, time, acts of service — the title doesn’t matter to me; as long it came from his own thoughtfulness. As long as I feel thought of, remembered, I feel loved.
God is really good at making me feel thought of. Small things throughout my everyday, reminding me that He who never slumbers is thinking of me.
Things as small as leftover Christmas lights, twinkling in the deep night.