Gail's Book Nook

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Looking Out the Window: Watch Me by Christa Allan


Christa reminds us in a poignant, touching way that parenting is forever, and we need God's help.

She will be giving away a copy of her debut novel,Walking on Broken Glass.

Look for her new book, Edge of Grace, in August.

              WATCH ME
You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb." Psalm 139:15 NLT

When my children were young, we lived in an area with a community pool. The kids and I would schlep there, the car a container of wiggling bodies, pool toys, and over-sized towels. Sometimes Penny, our saved from the dog pound pooch, would trot behind the car and follow us for the three blocks it took to arrive.

The older kids would peel themselves off the car seats and dash in. Shannon and John would do the barefoot-on-the-hot-concrete-alternating-foot-high-step while I totted Sarah. Eventually, we'd locate a spot to accommodate us--generally, the people who were already there were happy to clear out--and we were ready for splash down.

While I'd be crouching in the baby pool digging wet leaves out of John's mouth or trying to stop Sarah from drinking the pool water, a chorus of "Watch me, Mommy! No, watch ME, mommy!" Watch this, MOM!" would rise from the shallow end of the big pool.

It was like being at a tennis match, with three balls in play at one time. I'd glance at the two kids hovering around my ankles (which looked three times their normal puffy size through the water, my ankles--not the kids), then I'd quickly look up and start counting heads. If I could not find Head #3, I'd be sliced open by a bolt of panic. Which one? There's Michael. There's Erin. Okay, where is Shannon? I'd scream at her siblings to look for her. After their eye rolls, they'd point to the steps. And there she'd be. Her pink "babing" suit clinging to her wiry little body, her blonde hair looking pre-punk rocker in its just surfaced from the water wetness. She'd smile at me, and I'd be drenched with relief.

Reading that passage in Psalms reminds me of those days of being the watcher. Sometimes I miss that. They're older now. But I wonder how many times, in their adult lives, their hearts have called out, "Watch me, Mommy."

Watch me as I struggle with friendships and dating, as I graduate from high school, as I pretend to be happy when my dream is crushed. Watch me, mommy, as I start college and face challenges of independence and working; watch me as I begin to learn who I am. Watch me mommy as I go to Italy with the Navy, as I get married, as I move to another home. Watch me, mommy, when my son dies, when my daughter is born. Watch me, mommy, take the steps you'd knew I'd have to take all along--those steps to self-reliance and trust and hope and faith.

Watch. To keep vigil. To guard. To protect.

Watch me, God. Watch them.


A true Southern woman who knows that any cook worth her gumbo always starts with a roux and who never wears white after Labor Day, Christa Allan’s novel Edge of Grace will release in August. Her debut women’s fiction, Walking on Broken Glass, was published by Abingdon Press in 2010. Her next three novels are scheduled for 2013 and 2014,

Her essays have been published in The Ultimate Teacher, Cup of Comfort, Chicken Soup for the Coffee Lover’s Soul and Chicken Soup for the Divorced Soul. Christa is the mother of five, a grandmother of three, and a teacher of high school English. She and her husband Ken live in Abita Springs.

To learn more about Christa visit her blog at
To enter to win the copy of Walking on Broken Glass leave a comment and your email address.


Anne Payne said...

First off, there is NO WAY Christa is a grandmother! Way too young looking :)

Secondly, I teared up reading this. I can totally relate to all of those 'Watch Me Mommy' moments. I have 4 to watch, only 2 still at home, but 2 grandsons to watch as well!

Sounds like a lovely book. Thank you for the opportunity to win a copy.


Lisa Lickel said...

Yes...those moments go by and by and launch them and hope they come back for visits. Poignant, beautiful. Thanks for continuing to share yourself, and blessings with your next project, Christa.

Cynthia Ruchti said...

What a beautiful expression of deep truth in the shallow end of the pool! Thanks, Christa. Your insights continue to turn our gazes upward.

Linda Weaver Clarke said...

Very nice devotional. I love this part: "Watch me, mommy, take the steps you knew I'd have to take." That is so true with me because my mother passed away at a young age and I missed her as I gave birth to each of my children, wishing she were there to help. This was a nice devotional.

Miss Mae said...

Oh, I loved this. So true. And how much today I miss those cries of, "Watch me, Mommy!"

Great post, thank you for re-firing those memories of long ago when my now married daughter used to be a little girl relying on my, and her Daddy's, love and protection. :)

*Since I don't enter contests, please don't enter my name*


Gail Pallotta said...

Hi Christa,
Thanks so much for sharing this poignant devotional with us. I'll carry it in my heart.

Julie Garmon said...

Beautiful words, Christa. Went straight to my heart.

I understand.

Laurean Brooks said...

Sweet, touching, heartwarming, and simply beautiful! I hope these adjectives are sufficient to describe "Looking Out The Window."

Christa, you look so young and cute. I can't believe your children could be adults.

Gail, thank you for hosting Christa. I'd love to have to read this wonderful book.

Stephanie Morrill said...

Loved this, Christa. My daughter is 3 1/2 and my son will be a year old this summer. It's such a comfort to know that God's gaze never leaves them. Or me :)

carla stewart said...

Christa, you gave me goose-bumps, esp. the sudden panic when coming up one short on the head count. Such universal mom feelings in this and a great spiritual truth! I have your lovely book - can hardly wait for the next one.

June Foster said...

Lovely description of the joys and challenges of motherhood. June Foster

christa said...

Bless all of you for your kind, generous responses. And, for the record,always use a photographer with exceptional photoshopping skills!

Thanks Gail for this opportunity.

Danielle Thorne said...

What a beautiful blog post--and spot on. We all need to be seen. Thanks for sharing.

Connie Walsh Brown said...

This was a beautifully written devotional. I can relate.

Thanks for offering this contest.

Gina said...

Thank you for sharing this touching post, Christa and Gail. Such a beautiful view of a tender, fleeting experience. Blessings to both of you.
Could you please post where you found the Fountain of Youth, Christa? I'd love to tap into it! :-)

Anne Patrick said...

Wonderful post, Christa. Very touching!

christa said...

I appreciate your sharings so very much. And as for that fountain of youth...find a great photographer! I'll probably use these head shots when I'm 80, so if you don't recognize me in'll know why!