I want you with me," said the little princess.

  Polish Princess  by artist Peeter Danckers de Rij  Dressing up seemed to be her favorite thing to do. A perfect satin  dress all be-speckled with rhinestones and a swirly layer of ruffle at the bottom swayed as she danced backwards and forwards. "I want to be a real princess when I grow up and have a handsome man who loves me dearly all the time."

The mother heard the depth of longing in her little 6 year old's voice and wondered at her intense interest in romance that had seemed to develop over the past months as her little one talked of it often.

"Why do you dream of this so much?" she asked her little one as she sat upon her lap.

"I want to feel really, really loved and not be lonely any more."

"What do you mean?" was the confused question.

"You are never really with me and I want someone to be with me."

"I am with you all the time. I stay here all day with you and homeschool you and your brother. What do you mean I am never with you? I am with you all the time," was the frustrated reply. "How could I be more with you?"

"You are here in the house and you are always busy with housework and the computer and we are always doing the serious work of school, but you don't sit with me to play, or pretend in my imaginary world, or sit next to me--really with me,  and do nothing else, and eat popcorn when we watch a movie, or just talk to me like a friend. I wish you could really be my friend and like me, cause lots of time I feel lonely." was the innocent reply.

This story was related to me by a sweet young mom who realized she was getting the work done, but she was missing the heart of her little one and had taken for granted that her little girl longed for her companionship.

And so it goes, all children want to be loved and cherished and to have close companionship. If it is not "felt' in the home, the child (or adult) will search for it wherever he or she can find it. 

I see that many teens long for the same kind of affirmation. If it is not met with family, godly friends and community at church, many begin to look for love in all the wrong places.

Often, without meaning to, we are busy straightening the pictures on the wall of a house that is burning down. If we are to win the heart of our children or husbands or neighbors or friends with our messages, we must first woo the heart with our focussed time and attention and personally felt love. I have been so often of late with teens and youth who have this vacuum of love from parents who are busy, or critical, but not sympathetically engaged or  involved. And so they look for love in all the wrong places and go from one scarring relationship to the other.

So, though I am busy, busy these days, God used this story and reminder as an admonition to come home and seek the heart of my own growing princess, who has wanted to stay up and talk until midnight every night this week. What I would have missed if I had not enjoyed this week of heart talks and fun. Sleepy though I walk through my days, it has been greatly rewarded. These are the thoughts rolling around in my head as I go into the weekend. grace and peace.