Surround a Child with Love

043The other morning after my Lenten devotion, I wandered into Sienna’s bedroom, cup of tea in hand, to wake her up.  I felt incredibly present.  My mind was quiet and I felt a little sleepy and cozy with my cup of tea.  The thankfulness I’d just been cultivating by contemplating the passion of Jesus lead me to feel intense gratitude for this precious daughter.  The joy of all joys to be her mother!

Looking at my sweet daughter, I remembered her sleeping face as a baby, toddler, and younger child.  It amazes me that I’ve watched her grow through all these stages; all the while she maintains a wonderfully constant “Sienna-ness”.


She had two paw stickers on her face from the Jog-a-thon the day before.  Sienna didn’t want to take them off the night before; I smiled knowing she’d be happy they remained intact overnight.

Gazing around her bedroom, I truly saw the objects and messages in her little world.  She’s wrapped in blankets made by her Gaga, and hearts – lots of hearts.  On her walls are lots of pictures and signs with constant themes of love.  Love from God, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  Love from her parents and extended family.

There’s the “Jesus Loves You” sign her Aunt Sarah made her.  There’s a cross she received for her First Holy Communion with the verse: The Lord your God will be with you wherever you go (Joshua 1:9), right next to her bed.  Photos of her with her parents as a newborn adorn one wall, while a picture of Sienna and Mateo with huge frozen treats above a “Be Still” sign hang on the opposite wall.


Then, I noticed the diagram she’d drawn on her chalkboard.  The one we bought for organization, but has only been used as a creative outlet.  The middle heart says “Gaga” – that’s my mom.  Around the outside are words Sienna used to describe her Gaga: loved, sweet, cute, kind, and nothing bad.

Surround a child with love and they will have love to give the world.

I hated to end this moment of peace and quiet gratitude, but we had to start getting ready for school and work.  Slowly I started to wake Sienna up.  She has always woken up so cheerfully – ever since she was a baby.  She reached for my arm and pulled it towards her chest.  After she’d opened her eyes, I asked her to look around her room.


“I was just looking at all your things, all the signs and messages in your room.  Do you see a consistent theme?” I asked her.

“Jesus? God?” she replied.

“Yes, true. What else?” I prompted.

Pausing to look around, Sienna replied, “Love.”



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