“Oh Let Me Live in a Wholly Holy Way”

Last week was the first day in a new session of clay class after spring break. Riley had a hard time again. The start of anything new is a trigger for her. The clay was wet, and it stuck to her rolling pin. She didn’t want help, because she didn’t want to be treated “like a baby.”  She ran from the room, screaming.

Jingle was with us. Riley would pet her and start to calm down, only to escalate again over fear of “falling behind” due to being out in the hall, dealing with her strong feelings.  

It went around and around. 

Today at Girls on the Run (yes we’re in week eight of a new session) Riley had a hard time. In a lesson about body image, the girls drew outlines of each other on the blacktop with chalk, but her chalk didn’t show up because it was too dark. And she was uncomfortable because it was too hot, and the sun was too bright, and then she knelt in a wad of gum, and imagine the germs! She ran away from the group screaming several times. Then she became upset because she hadn’t done as many laps as everyone else, and you know the drill.

Around and around.

Both times, last week and today, when she was melting, I sat with my daughter, not close enough to hover, and let her be. I didn’t try to persuade her to go back.

She was baffled by my silence. In between her fretting and sobs she asked, 

“Mom are you mad at me?”

“No Dolly, I’m not,”  I assured her.   

Both times, last week and today, as she was going around and around with herself, a song was going around and around in my head like a mantra.  

It’s a Rickie Byars song we sing at church, led by our music director, Kathleen.  

Ricky Byars Beckwith, is the musician leading the Great Lakes Unity Music Conference next month here in Cleveland(see my blog roll to the right for info on that).  

Oh let me love in a wholly holy way.

Oh let me learn, from all the ways I fail.

Oh let me walk, each day a little kinder.

Oh let me walk, each day a little wiser.

Oh let me live in a wholly holy way.

Oh let me love in a wholly holy way.

Fill in the verb.

Walk, listen, love, live, soothe, speak,write,sing.

Let me do it in a wholly holy way.

Oh let me mother in a wholly holy way.

And I did.

I’m happy to report both times, last week and today,

I did.

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10 Responses to “Oh Let Me Live in a Wholly Holy Way”

  1. Kim says:

    Brought a couple tears to my eyes. It’s hard, this kind of mothering. Sometimes it’s so dang hard, and on the days when you get it right (and right as in right for YOUR kid) the world seems to settle under your feet a bit. (until the next time!)

  2. You are an amazing mother, Michelle. Love.

  3. Amanda says:

    YAY! Hanging out with her while she rides the storm – sometimes the simplest things are the best. Good for you and Riley. :D

  4. Jess says:

    Sometimes there’s nothing to do but be there.

  5. Jess says:

    Damn phone – hit ‘done’ instead of enter – meant to add –

    And love them.

  6. Deb says:

    The love and strength glow from your words.

  7. Lolly says:

    Great song!

    Isn’t it wonderful to be in that space?

  8. Carrie Link says:

    Damn right you did.

  9. Shusuaste says:

    Are you a professional journalist? You write very well.