Saturday, January 21, 2006

My family is a "hugging" family. I have always been given hugs, and I enjoy giving them. I am thankful for a wife and children who are receptive to this. Each is different in their need and approach to giving and receiving them.

Deanna and I frequently embrace. Sometimes it includes more, sometimes not. Our children grew up watching this, and sometimes getting embarassed by it. Beej especially would do so... for some reason, so did our dog. They both reacted similarly. Although, I believe Dakota (the dog) was jealous, both he and BJ were vocal when they saw it.

At times, Beej would come and try to get between us. On other occassions, he would fold his hands up under his chin, flash a "not in front of me" embarassed grin, and groan. We enjoyed doing this just to evoke his reaction.

Lauren grew up desiring to have hugs once in a while. When she needs one, she wants a secure, "make me feel better," long, tight embrace. She usually accompanies it with an "I love you."

Whitney has always sought them frequently. There is safety, and shared compassion in her need. For that moment, the world is shielded from her heart, and cannot penetrate her weakness. I often lift her off of the floor.

BJ's hugs were always stronger and longer than most guys are comfortable with. He, like his sisters, was very loving. The breadth of his heart was enormous for such small stature. He would often snug up close to me during the most mundane of activities.

Unfortunately, one of the struggles I now have, is the memory of how many times I "pushed him away," during one of those moments. He learned to be "physical" by example, and yet I sent him a mixed message. I always had a reason. "It's too hot, and we're sticking together," or "I am trying to do something, and you're impeding my progress."

As much as I loved him, too many times I did not embrace his embrace.

I regretted it in the moment, and I regret it now. I ache to be able to hold him again, and tell him how much I love him. I wish I could understand my reaction. I wish I could justify my reaction. I wish I could go back and do it all over again.

I know he knew I loved him. I know he felt many embraces from me. I just long for one more. One more time to say "I love you" without using words.

I often find myself asking my Heavenly Father to close him in His grasp for me. Oh how I hope He does so.

I am thankful for the grace I have in Christ for past, present, and future failures.
I am so appreciative of His embrace each and every moment of my need.

If you have never made a decision, while under His conviction, to make Him Lord of your life, I do not know how you would ever endure pain, suffering or loss. Our God of compassion draws us near in our hurt. Don't reject His embrace if you sense it. Receive it, and be changed.


Christal M. we want very much to see the finished product!
Laura O. what a blessing your writing is. We love it over the picture! We would like to have that picture by itself as well, if you can e-mail it!


At 11:15 AM, Blogger Ashley Darnold said...

Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us today!...I have always been a person to love to get hugs too!... May God bless you today and give you the strength to carry on and seek his face daily! I love you and miss you so much family!

-Ashley Darnold

At 11:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love getting hugs and giving them too, and I have also done as you, Brent, been too busy, or way too hot. Thank you for opening my eyes and seeing that nothing else is more important, to the giver and receiver, than a loving hug.

God bless you and may He continue to fill you with peace and joy.

Linda Anderson
Willows, California

At 11:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing this - I too find myself pushing my children away sometimes and regretting it moments later but still doing it. I will push past whatever resistance (what is this?) and hold them a little longer, cherish the moment. Your blogs have been so valuable to me in my relationship with my children, and I thank you for sharing so openly time and time again. God bless you and your entire family!

At 3:35 PM, Blogger . said...


Thanks for sharing about hugs today! It was very timely for me.

I was NOT a hugger growning up. I'm not sure why, but as a child, hugs made me uncomfortable. How blessed I have been to have a "huggy" husband and "huggy" kids!

My 10 year old especially enjoys what we call "magnet hearts." He and I are absolutely convinced that when we hug, we can feel our hearts physically pull toward each other like two powerful magnets!

He also gives what he calls "healthy hugs"--a therapy he reserves for people he sees are not feeling well, physically or emotionally. There does seem to be some kind of God-given healing power you can feel in his "healthy hugs!"

Thanks again for reminding me to cherish every one of these sweaty, sticky, "intruding" hugs for what they from God!

At 3:36 PM, Blogger . said...

P.S. I'm still praying....

At 4:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We all have times, especially as parents, that we wish we would have handled a situation differently -- It is when you share that we realize we need to stop what we are doing and let the children have our undivided attention and unconditional love (whether hot, sticky or just tired). Thank you for bringing it to the forefront again how important it is to love our children and stop when it really matters!!

At 6:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

as u have brought me to tears once again, i want u to know i pray for u everynight before i fall asleep. thank you for your encoraging words everyday.
lizzy-KC MO

At 8:39 PM, Blogger Nic and Jen said...

Dear Higgins,
Thank you for sharing this story. I know how hard this must be to share. You are truly strengthened by Christ. I read your posts every day. I don't always post a response though. Today's post particularly "spoke" to me, and I believe the Lord is teaching me a lesson through your post. My son is a "hugger" and "snuggler" and I find myself sometimes pushing him away. I also do this with my husband sometimes. I know how my husband longs to just be close like that. I seem to be the type of person who is always "doing something." I believe the Lord is showing me that I need to be more responsive to my family, as well as Him. How much our God wants us to embrace Him and know He is holding us.

Thank you for sharing your story. You are so honest and true to life, and I love it. Your posts truly inspire me. I see the Lord being your "shield and very great reward" in every post. How glorified He is every time you write something.

Someday perhaps I will get to meet you, but living in WA.... kinda hard.

My son is to go on a Mission Trip to Mexico in June. They are doing a Vacation Bible School for "The Children of the Dump" in Peurto Vallarta. He has his hesitations. He is only going to be 11 when he goes. Reading all your posts have truly convicted me, and shown me that I can only soley rely on Christ and His will is what needs to be done. However scary it might be for me to let him go.... I need to let him.

Anyhow, thanks for listening and thanks for all your posts, through your tears and moments of happiness. I truly look forward to reading every day. You have blessed me in more ways, through Christ. It is amazing how He uses His children.

In Christ,
Jennifer WA

At 9:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your last two posts have spoken volumes to our family. We have a son who has a mental illness and although we pray that he will come to live a normal life, we also pray for the people he will come into contact with as he grows older. One of the outcomes of this whole "disability" is that he doesn't "get" social cues. So, this big 13 year old will desire to have a hug, or sit on a lap at any time. It has made us uncomfortable at times, or we have found ourselves rushing through the hug or getting up to get something. Now, as he's putting his 150 lb body in my lap or wrapping his arms around me a prayer of thanks to God for this child's life and for his future will be my way of "dealing with it".

We pray for you often. Can you be specific for how we can be praying for your trip this summer?
Katie and Lucy's mom

At 12:03 AM, Blogger Praying in Pink said...

I grew up in a family that loved me but didn't give hugs except on rare occasions. I can remember crying about something and just LONGING for someone to hold me when I was about 7--and somehow, no one did.

Thankfully, God has overflowed that childhood gap with lots of huggers among the Pieper7--including one little girl, almost my twin in personality, who seems to need extra hugs and skin contact more than her siblings. The hardest part of long car trips for this one is that she cannot touch us as easily as she can at home--she will lean forward to reach whatever part of Mommy and Daddy she can grasp, and always makes certain that she hugs us soundly when we stop for a break!

It's obvious from BJ's heart and life that he loved much because he had BEEN loved much. As always, use your words will remind us to listen and watch for the small things, Brent--but please know that BJ knew love from both his parents regardless of what you did on a particular day or at a particular time. I know that your family's love was used of the Father to allow BJ to receive and give HIS love with such depth and passion.

Interestingly enough, today I was dropping my husband off to pick up something from a friend who had done us a favor. This is a man almost old enough to be my father, and he has been especially kind to us--but this favor was specifically for my husband, not me. I was about to drive away and let Tom do the "thanks" when God spoke to me: "go give Jimmie a hug." Now, I'm great at hugs within my family--but hugging Mr. Jimmie? Okay, Lord (yeah, yeah, vertical flexion). . . you should have seen the smile on Mr. Jimmie's face and heard the "that's what I'M talkin' about!"

I think I've managed to bring us back to the LISTENING theme here as Sunday begins. . .blessed worship day to all, and may you listen for His still, small voice as you worship today!

At 1:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just wanted you to know that I continue to read your postings. I'm still praying for you all, and I love you all very very much.

At 4:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your family continues to be in my thoughts and prayers. I often get chills thinking about how God has used this site in so many lives, including my own. It has brought conviction at times and at others has been a source of spiritual encouragement. I praise the Lord for seeing fit to use a blog site to bring together believers for prayer. Thank you Higgins family for maintaining this ministry the Lord has given you.
with much love,

At 6:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

my cat loved to jump on thhe dryer when i did lauundry. the last time i pushed her down ( i needed room/was busy). she woke up the next morning dying of cancer-we had to put her to sleep immediately-she had not shown signs of sickness.thank bj for teaching you a lesson. you'll never miss opportunities again with family,friends,strangers. life is about learning lessons. if we didn't need anymore lessons, we could be in heaven. don't be hard on yourself-but i know it hurts-i remember that moment with "garcia"so vividly.

At 9:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I often find myself asking my Heavenly Father to close him in His grasp for me. Oh how I hope He does so."

Of course, He is. . .

In Christ,
Zionsville, IN

At 12:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How ya doing Pray for BJ, Hope you are having a good day. Your this post site is most interesting. I was looking for prayer for life related information when I came across it. Thanks for the read. I have a site that may interest you come and visit sometime, prayer for life thanks again, take care.


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