Tonight I've been thinking about insecurities... we all have them, the challenge is to not let them define you. So I took a lesson from Moana tonight and drew up this little picture to share!
She dances in glee around the garden
The sun shining off her golden hair
She counts our new sprouts with eagerness
While I enjoy her sweet presence there.
Inspiration guides her as we head inside
Where she pulls out her crayons and creates.
Dirt and seed and vegetables
With Pictures and words she elaborates.
Creation inspires more creation
and my creation inspires me.
I look into her sparkling eyes
As she hands me her book so excitedly.
A sweet little story, the life of a garden
Planting, watering, growing our seeds
Her masterpiece on sheets of paper
Mine standing in front of me.
Her likeness of me, a gift from Heaven
His wondrous Creation in my care.
I marvel at her creative spirit
And whisper praises into the air.
I water, nurture, and attend,
Cultivating this beautiful sprite
And up she grows, from seed to sprout
And I must pull out my pen and write.
Two weeks ago, my husband and I traveled from our home in Fairfield, Connecticut to Williamsburg, Virginia in order to attend the wedding of a lovely young woman who stayed with us through Airbnb. She stayed with us all last summer, and every day after work, we would spend time together as she told us about her day. As we took our seats at her wedding, we both had tears in our eyes thinking of the blessings God has given us in getting to know this lovely woman and now, her husband. As I told her, she will always be remembered in our prayers.
Who would have thought when we started AirBnb that we would form such precious relationships with our guests? And that we would be invited to share in their families' momentous occasions? And that we would be able to share our faith with people from all over the world, without ever leaving our home? But that's just a small part of the joys of hosting through Airbnb.
And what an amazing time we had this past weekend! Again, through Airbnb, we have been honored to host two separate Chinese families over the past several years. They now consider our home their home-away-from-home. These two families had never met in China, but became friends when they were staying in our house at the same time. Both of these families had children in private schools in Connecticut. Both of these young people were the valedictorians of the respective classes and now will be attending the same university in the United States. Imagine our joy when they proudly invited us to the two separate graduations and then two graduation parties afterwards. We felt so honored and privileged to be included in such an intimate gathering. And again, as we said good-bye, we told them they would always be in our hearts and prayers.
For many years we have been giving to missions but never felt led to go ourselves. At times, we even felt guilty as family members and friends left their homes to be missionaries around the world. Then the Lord brought us to a period of financial instability, so we decided to open our home to Airbnb. What a surprise to find that God used a time of uncertainty in our lives to bring the mission field right to us!
We put Bibles in different languages in all the rooms. We pray for opportunities to share Christ with our guests. We simply become friends and join in their lives, and through this, we have our own little mission field. We pray that we can be a blessing to our guests. And we find great joy in the blessing that they have been to us.
I cried all the way through Cars 3. And then I came home and cried some more. My husband looked at me like I was crazy, so I decided to try to put all the feelings into words.
I'm sure I'm not the only one whose son is a Lightning McQueen fanatic. We've been fans of his for over two years now, and frankly, I couldn't be happier. In fact, I'd say they were the happiest few years of my life. Now I am not saying it is because of Lightning McQueen, but I don't think I'll ever be able to separate my fondness for these years from Lightning McQueen. And that's the reason Cars 3 hit me right in the gut: he represents something to me.
My husband and I frequently discuss our favorite Pixar movies. His are Wall-E, Up, and Ratatouille (the worst ones, in my opinion, but by that I don't mean bad!) Mine had been Brave and The Incredibles. But then my son, David, made me watch Cars over and over and over again. And something changed. After watching it the tenth time, I really enjoyed it. After the fiftieth time, I loved it. And after the one hundredth time, it became my favorite Pixar (and probably kids' movie) of all time! How often do you hear of that happening?
The themes of Cars and Cars 3 are both very poignant and moving. The ends of both are sweet and surprising. Not perhaps how you want them to end upon first watch, but better when you realize the message that is being sent. (And I'm not a hater of Cars 2 like most people. It's a fun side-story.)
Cars 3, though, has Lightning McQueen getting older, slower, and considering retirement. And he's not particularly happy about it. (Who is?) I found myself identifying with Lightning McQueen, as newer, younger cars began to replace him and become more relevant. And not only that, but in saying goodbye to Lightning McQueen's racing career, I found myself recognizing an end of an era: David's toddlerhood. Days I will never get back that have been so happy for me and him, as I watch him line up his Cars characters, call them his "guys", and give them all kisses. Soon, I was picturing myself an old women, seeing an old Lightning McQueen die cast toy car, and remembering all those sweet days with my little boy!
But that's why I cried through Cars 3.
"Oh, you're real, you're real! Oh, Aslan!" cried Lucy and both girls flung themselves upon him and covered him with kisses.
"But what does it all mean?" asked Susan when they were somewhat calmer.
"It means," said Aslan, "that thought the Witch knew the Deep Magic, there is a magic deeper still which she did not know. Her knowledge goes back only to the dawn of Time. But if she could have looked a little further back, into the stillness and the darkness before Time dawned, she would have read there a different incantation. She would have known that when a willing victim who had committed no treachery was killed in a traitor's stead, the Table would crack and Death itself would start working backwards." (emphasis added)
C.S. Lewis, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe
Last week I wrote about my sometimes bad attitude. I've been thinking a lot about it and I wish I could say I've conquered it forever and absolutely! But instead, it will probably continue in those hard days. So for now, I will work to contemplate God's grace.
If I think of my obligations as just that - obligations - then that's what they always will be. But instead, I am trying to remember that God has a plan that will be accomplished, whether I am a part of it or not! But because of His love and grace to me, he gently invites me to be a part of accomplishing His perfect plan. He uses my flawed attitude, my faithless hands, to carry out his Perfect Plan.
And what a beautiful gift!
I don't have to do anything to earn His love.
I get to do His work because of His love.
Yesterday I spent some time looking at my hands and I offer them to Him. They are His hands, to use on this earth, to accomplish His Will. "Not my will but yours," Jesus says in the garden before His death, and I try to echo that in my fallen, imperfect way.
I hesitate to even write these thoughts, because it sound so pious, so put-together. But in fact, it is the exact opposite. These are the thoughts in my head as I feel worn down and just trying to keep my head above water.
And my bad attitude will come and go as the days roll in and out. But His love for me will continue, and His plan will continue, and I get to be a part of it.
I have a confession to make.
Many, many times throughout the day, I have a bad attitude. I'm working on it, I really am. But seriously, I'm a mom. I'm tired. I have more to do than I can get done, and none of it is what I want to be doing. Hence the bad attitude.
But recently I've noticed an amazing phenomenon:
God uses me despite my bad attitude.
It has happened time and time again in the past months (and probably years, if I really look back far enough). Here is the common situation:
An obligation is approaching, usually one that I myself signed up for many weeks earlier. But as the day approaches that I need to fulfill the obligation, I start to whine. Then the day arrives, and I get on my phone and complain to my friends about the obligation. I wonder why I signed up for the obligation in the first place!
Then comes the amazing part. Once the obligation is done, I realize that God used me and my bad attitude and made something beautiful come out of it. I look back on the obligation and realize it was an act of beauty, it was received with love, and my life was blessed by it. And in looking back on what was once thought of as an obligation, but now I realize was a blessing, I am humbled.
What kind of God uses me to bless others when I am a whiner, complainer, and a bad-attitude haver? And not only uses me, but blesses me through it? It is a God of love, kindness, mercy, and forgiveness. The kind of God who wants to pour out his blessings, if we would only open our eyes and see them.
And it makes me think.
What kind of blessing would I be (and therefore receive) if I could just knock-off that bad attitude? Would the blessings to others be multiplied if I truly did these things out of love instead of obligation?
Am I as bad as Joseph's brothers? "You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good." (Genesis 50:20)
(To be fair, I never intend harm! A bad attitude can't be as bad as that, right?)
Only an all-powerful and gracious God can make all these things come out for the good.
So I continue to work on it. Those busy days come and go and so do the bad attitudes (a lot of times it depends on the amount of sleep I get, to which I think most mothers can attest!).
And even in those times, in all times, God is faithful and I am blessed.
So everyone knows I love October. I would say up there with chocolate and Harry Potter, October is one of the things I mention most on this blog! I love the leaves in the streets, the cool weather, the pumpkins and scarecrows. But something I haven't thought about much are October nights. I love them just as much as October days! The chill in the air when we crack the window, the lights on the porches as the days grow shorter, the warm pjs and slippers (to be fair , that's an all day thing in my house...). And the stars. With the earlier nights, it's easier to step outside and look up before you would normally tumble into bed. And maybe I should start taking the time to notice.
Because for some reason, a stars theme keeps popping up in my life.
A few nights ago,I received a beautiful voice message of my niece singing "Consider the Stars" (by Keith and Kristyn Getty) and I just started crying. Hearing her sing "Consider the stars in the sky; When it is darkest they shine out the brightest, Consider the stars in the sky, In every anguish, Oh, child take courage." Something about the juxtaposition of her sweet childish voice and the great truths of Heaven spoke to me at the very heart of my being.
Then in my small group, we talked about Abraham. In Genesis 15:5, God says, "Look up at the sky and count the stars" and Abraham will be reminded of God's amazing - and seemingly impossible! - promise to him. But whenever Abraham doubts or forgets, all he has to do is look up and be reminded!
Even in the Mops theme for the year: We are the Starry Eyed! I love this picture of motherhood, because too often I feel like my eyes just look tired. But there's more to life than that, even a stay-at-home mom's life! Their website says, "Starry Eyed means looking for the light even when darkness is enveloping. It is an opportunity to hope recklessly and to witness God’s presence guiding things seen and unseen, comfortable and uncomfortable." Looking up at the sky and sensing the wonder, even in the ordinary. I love this theme because it reminds me that life is never just ordinary, never just mundane, never just hard. There is beauty and wonder and hope amidst it all!
Finally, I have been memorizing Psalm 8, "When I consider the heavens, the moon and the stars that you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him?" God is so majestic and beautiful and magnificent, why does He even bother with me? But he does. He sees me. Truly sees me, more than anyone ever has.
And isn't that what we all really want? Just to be truly seen. As an introvert and a person who will always choose being home over going out, sometimes I don't feel seen. People notice the fun people, the outgoing people, the beautiful people (or at least it feels that way to me). And I feel invisible.
But I can look at the stars and know the the Creator is actually looking back at me. And as I gaze out, I can remember these beautiful messages from Him: that He keeps His promises, that He has given me life and wants me to live it in wonder and awe, that He sees me.
So this October, don't just enjoy the days. Enjoy the nights. Look up and remember:
Do not be afraid
He who made all of this,
says “You're worth more than this,”
And holds you in his hands.*
*If you haven't listened to this song, go listen now! So sweet and poignant. Then teach a nearby child, because hearing a child sing it makes it all the more powerful. Consider the Stars, by Keith and Kristyn Getty.
Ryan has mentioned moving again, and I feel his pain. His commute is over an hour each way and I know that's two hours a day that he is away from me and the kids. But I struggle with the thought of moving because I've grown to love our little house. I tell him if it weren't for his commute, I'd live in this house forever. You see, I look at it and see it's potential. Yes, it's sweet and comfortable and even attractive in some ways as it is now. But there are so many possibilities as to what this house could become! We could dormer out the upstairs back and/or front. We could add to the back. We could convert the garage to a great room and move the driveway behind the house. It could be roomier, cozier, and even more attractive with just a little work.
I was explaining all this to my dear friend, and telling her how grateful to God I am for the contentment I find in this house. It's so easy to see bigger and more beautiful houses and wish they were mine, but instead, I am grateful for what I have.
And then I had a flash of analogy: this is how God loves us! He sees our imperfections and our potential. He looks at us and sees what we could be with a little work. And He isn't going to move on to another project before finishing the work He has put into us. There are some things that need fixing or a little coat of paint and there are some things that need to be completely gutted and rebuilt. And He will do it all, lovingly, one step at a time. As long as we let Him.
Of course, the analogy is imperfect because while I whine and moan when I have to move the oldest dishwasher in the world to the sink to plug in the water or when I have to trudge down into the darkest parts of the basement with piles and piles of laundry, God doesn't complain about all the work He has to do in us when we are so stubborn. But it still gave me pause, and helped me to remember His great love for me.
And His continual work in me, especially in learning to stop whining about dishes and laundry.
I am on a journey. As a woman who has been on a diet her entire adult life (ie. been cheating on a diet my entire adult life), I now say I am done. I am done looking in the mirror and seeing what is wrong with my body and deciding to try dieting. Instead, I am going to look in the mirror at this amazing, beautiful body that God has given me, and decide to treat it right: healthy foods, activity, and respect.
I call this a journey because an entire lifetime of a certain way of thinking cannot be changed overnight. It is a journey of respecting myself, of being an example to my daughter, and of honoring my Lord God and Creator. He gave me this body, gave me my health, allowed me to carry babies, etc. etc. etc. The list could go on and on! And that is the list I want to focus on.
And yet, do you know when my resolve waivers along this journey? When I hear you, you lovely, beautiful, talented, smart, amazing woman, talk down about yourself. I start to think if this lovely, beautiful, talented smart, amazing woman thinks badly about herself, how much worse must I be? How much worse must she think of me? (Now I know you're not thinking worse of me, because everyone is hardest on themselves, but that is how I interpret your words.)
So please, let's just stop. I know... I do it, too. But for the sake of my journey, and even more importantly, for the sake of my daughter's young and pure journey, please stop the negative self-talk.
I could say when we have conversations, start telling me wonderful things about yourself. But let's face it, we're women... that's not going to happen. So instead, look at me and tell me something you admire. And I will do the same to you. I can pull up every woman that I know in my mind and think of dozens of positive things I could genuinely say about them.
You, woman who is reading this blog post, I promise you, I think you are beautiful.
So for my sake, for your sake, and for the sake of our daughters', stop talking negatively about yourselves, and truly believe that you are a beautiful creature of God.
Will you join me on this journey?
A friend recently asked me why I had the music and lyrics to the song "Take My Life and Let It Be" (Frances R. Havergal) up on my fridge. I hadn't ever really thought about it before, but I immediately said, "I feel like it's my prayer as a housewife, homemaker, and mother." (Actually, I wasn't quite that eloquent, but that's what I meant.) And the more I've thought about it, the more I realize how true that is! In fact, tonight as I was washing and cutting up strawberries (my new favorite dessert, thanks to my new, sugarless lifestyle - yes, I'm now one of those people who eats FRUIT like DESSERT!), I was singing it to myself and imagining how the words pertained to the stay-at-home mom. So here is what I came up with: Take my life and let it be Consecrated, Lord, to Thee. My life may look mundane, in all the routine little things that I do (will the dishes ever end??) but it is the life the Lord has laid out for me, and it is sacred. I have dedicated it to Him, so even in doing the never-ending dishes, I am worshipping Him.
Take my moments and my days, Let them flow in endless praise. I want my children to see me worshipping the Lord in everything I do. If I can live out a life of praise in front of them, how much easier will it be for them to do it, too!
Take my hands and let them move At the impulse of Thy love. Take my feet and let them be Swift and beautiful for Thee. So many times I want to just lose my temper. "How many times do I need to tell you to put your toys away???" But instead of condemning and acting out in anger, I pray that I will act out in love. I love these children so much. May my hands and my actions show them so.
Take my voice and let me sing, Always, only for my King. Do you know how often I've sung the song "Let it go" from Frozen??? Well, if you're a mother of a young girl, you probably know... it's a LOT! But how often am I singing praise choruses, or even this hymn? I want to be worshipful, even/especially in my singing. (Nothing wrong with singing a little "Let it go", though! How much longer will my daughter want to be singing those songs with me? But even those precious moments with our children can be worshipful.)
Take my lips and let them be Filled with messages from Thee. I pray that I would be more bold in my faith. It's not something I'm ashamed of, but something I cherish. Why do I withhold that precious gift from my non-believer friends? And I want to take every opportunity with my children to tell them about Jesus.
Take my silver and my gold, Not a mite would I withhold. I pray that I would be more generous and think less of myself when it comes to physical belongings. Don't I want my children to understand generosity? Do I want them to be spoiled? Or see me be spoiled?
Take my intellect and use Every pow’r as Thou shalt choose. So many people think that becoming a stay-at-home mom means that our minds/education has gone to waste. I pray that would not be so. I pray that I can use my intellect, my education, my knowledge to help my children understand more of life.
Take my will and make it Thine, It shall be no longer mine. Yes, I am a control-freak. (Actually, sometimes singing "Let it go" to myself helps me remember to do just that!) I pray that I would honor God's calling in my life. Even if it means I have to give up control.
Take my heart, it is Thine own, It shall be Thy royal throne. Take my love, my Lord, I pour At Thy feet its treasure store. More than anything, I want to love Jesus. I want Him to reign in my life. I want my children to see that in me, and I want love Him, too.
Take myself and I will be Ever, only, all for Thee. And that speaks for itself. That is my prayer. In every aspect of my life, may I live it for the Lord.
I am so happy that you are here with me! I love to hold you and cuddle you and you are just precious to me. I wondered how a mother could love more that one child, but now it’s so obvious to me! You are a joy to have around and have been such a wonderful experience for us! I am excited to watch you grow and find out who you will turn out to be. I pray that you will love Jesus, like your namesake David in the Bible. He didn’t care what other people thought of him, he just loved God! He danced in the streets and made a fool of himself because he loved the Lord so much. I love to look at David and see his troubled heart be soothed by contemplating the love of the Lord. What an amazing lesson, and one I hope you will treasure in your heart as well. I also pray for your purity, both of mind and body, because I know how hard it is for a man in the society that we live in today.
You are also named after your grandfathers and your daddy, all good men who love the Lord and their families. All have such good work ethics and the desire to take care of the ones they love. I pray that you will take after their examples and be a good man, husband, and father someday.
And finally, David means beloved, just like Amy, so you are also named after me. You are already our beloved, but first you were God’s beloved. I love to think of God calling me his beloved and knowing me and yet still loving me so much. It is the same with you. He loves you because you are his beautiful creation. And I love you, too, not because of who you are yet, although I’m sure that will come, but because you are a part of me. Nothing you can ever do will stop me from loving you like that.
I've always been fascinated by Psalms, because there aren't many people in the Bible to be called a man after God's own heart, like David was. David loved God without restraint, even in the hard times, even when it might be embarrassing (his wife, Michal, hated his singing and dancing and praising God in the streets, but David didn't care! He had to let it out! 2 Samuel 6:16). But you know what else is interesting about David? He didn't have the New Testament, all he knew was the God of the Old Testament.
Yes, I know, He is the same God. But so often we take the qualities of Jesus and reflect on those as to why we love God. He is gentle, kind, loving, accepting of any kind of people, even if he rebuked their sinfulness. The God we see in the Old Testament is fierce, just, angry and full of wrath. How can we harmonize these two pictures?
Well, David did. He was able to see God's loving traits even through the sometimes terrifying picture we have in the Old Testament. And he loved God for every aspect of who He was, not just the parts that are easy.
Reading Ezekiel has put me face-to-face with this terrifying God. The visions that Ezekiel sees are enough to make anyone feel weak in the knees! His body is made of fire, for goodness sake! (Ezekiel 8:2)
But David says that God is our Fortress, He is our Refuge (Psalms 59:16). David is helping me understand how to love the terrifying God, as well as the merciful and loving God. The God that scares me so much is ON MY SIDE! I can run and hide behind his strength and power, and he will protect me, comfort me, and give me peace.
I feel very inadequate at trying to explain what I'm learning here. So I'll go to CS Lewis for a different analogy. In his Narnia series, Jesus is portrayed by a lion, about whom Mr. Beaver says, "Safe? Who said anything about safe? Course he isn't safe! But he's good. He's the King, I tell you." (The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe)
This God, who is all powerful and fearsome, is also good and loving, and on my side. Like David says, "In God I trust and am not afraid. What can man do to me?" (Psalms 56:11) I should never fear.
So it must have been Providence that led me to read Ezekiel and Psalms at the same time, and not just my laziness at reading certain, more difficult, books! I'm learning to love God for all of who He is, and in doing so, I am able to trust Him more.
Hi friends! If you hadn't noticed, I just made my April blogging quota by the skin of my teeth! In fact, why am I posting again, when I could just save this until tomorrow and have May's done as well? I guess I just felt like writing. This is going to be one of those stream-of-consciousness posts, because I don't really have anything to say. But my last post like this got a lot of feedback, so maybe it's the only post I'm good at? (I expect to see a lot of "Oh no, that's not true"s in my comments section!)
My neck hurts today, which is weird because I just left the choir-practor yesterday (thanks, Aunt Dottie, for getting that pronunciation in my head!). Audrey is up past 30 pounds, but still believes she's my baby (that's OK, she is!) and wants me to hold her a lot. So my neck, shoulders, and back are always in pain. The choir-practor had really been helping up until now, and the appointment I had yesterday was a bit too new-agey for my taste (what does "You have unlimited life-force" mean?) (No, don't tell me, not really interested.).
Hugo is driving me crazy! When he has to go out, he prances around the room like a maniac, and his long nails click click click on the floor until I want to kick him. Hmmm... should I not admit that? I'd never do it! *click click click* But I don't want to take him out right now because Audrey is asleep (for once! she rarely naps anymore) and any movement *click click click* outside this back room might wake her up!
Sometimes I think her light day-sleeping is just an excuse for me to sit and watch TV with my computer or ipad on my lap, but no really, it's true. I remember telling my cousin not even to open the door, because she'd wake up screaming. She didn't believe me, opened the door, and Audrey woke up screaming! And now Hugo is pawing at the door, so I have a dilemma on my hands... Wake up the screaming toddler or clean up a pile of poop? What would you do?
*click click click*
Weirdly, I think I'd rather clean up the poop. Having a baby changes your priorities, believe me. And what you can stand... For example, my squeamish husband has cleaned poop out of the bathtub while in the middle of giving my daughter a bath. That is something I never could have possibly imagined him doing pre-daughter!
I'm addicted to dragon games on my iPad. Or castle games. I'm reading Wheel of Time still, and we started watching Game of Thrones. I used to play World of Warcraft, and I fall asleep every night listening to Harry Potter or LOTR. Sensing a pattern here? I didn't until the other night, while watching Game of Thrones, I was playing Dragonvale, Dragon Story, Castle Story, Lil' Kingdom, The Sims Medieval, and The Hobbit: Kingdoms of Middle Earth. It's getting excessive.
I'm also watching How I Met Your Mother reruns. I'm not sure why. I just like sitcoms, even though this show went seriously downhill after about season 3. I also like to have something on in the background while I work at night. Barney is starting to remind me of one of my friends who reads this blog, too. Not sure why, his sense of humor I guess? Not his womanizing!
The leaves are coming out and the flowers have bloomed and it's just a gorgeous time of year. Do you know I hated spring during my school years? It always signaled change to me, and that scared me. But now I feel like I'm finally appreciating its beauty. I feel bad for Ryan with his horrible allergies.
*click click click*
OK, Audrey is awake and it's now safe to take out the dog. The urge to kick has not stopped, but the writing has kept it at bay. At least now I don't have to make that unpleasant choice!
About a year ago, I got it into my head that I'd like to join a MOPs group. But there wasn't a single group nearby! So I spoke to the leadership at my church about starting our own, and we did! We've been meeting once a month (with discussion and craft time), with a scattering of play groups and special events. I've enjoyed it so much, and love that it is a way that I can use my love for crafting! Pinterest has been a huge source of those crafts, but I also am very fortunate that I have a fully functioning pottery studio at my fingertips! So several of our meetings have offered pottery painting. We've also had a couple events at the pottery studio, where the moms can get in touch with their artistic side, while their children are cared for and lunch is provided afterwards.
Here are some of the other crafts we've tried:
That's a few of them! And oh! I have so many more fun ideas! Thankfully, we will be doing our MOPs group for another year starting in September. If you're a mom in the area, come and join us!
I started writing a post entitled "What I've Learned from Audrey" and had so many points listed out, I thought instead that it could be a series, of which this is the second. When I first started writing that post, I'll be honest, it was just to get one done in the month of May. But it really caused me to start thinking about the past two years, all I've learned, and how much I've changed through motherhood. And once in a while, a little introspection is probably a good thing. One of the scariest things about motherhood is the burden that we carry to pass on every lesson that we've learned the hard way and the knowledge of the impossibility of the task and the fact that our children will probably have to learn their own lessons the hard way, anyway! But I know in this short time that I do have with my daughter, I can make a (hopefully!) positive impact on her life.
I have to be so careful about what I say, or even how I perceive myself, because whether I want her to or not, Audrey will emulate me, especially in her youth. I want her to be confident, to love Jesus, to be compassionate and forgiving, among so many other things. Because of that, I have to be those things as well.
Even at two years old, I already see trying to be like me. Sometimes it's wonderful, like when she hugs me tightly and says, "I love you sooo much!" which is exactly what I say to her. Sometimes it's just in her expressions or silliness. But I know the time is coming when I'll recognize in her something that's not good in me.
I guess, in her own way, Audrey is teaching me to live the way I should have been living all along. By pursuing Jesus, by being healthier, by being kind, by prioritizing my time. It's still a struggle, but now I not only see the results in my own life, but in her's as well. So this burden that I carry is pushing me to improve myself and be the best mother I can be.
I feel the need to quote Frasier here:
F: "I meant burden in it's nicest sense!" F's dad: "As in, 'gee, what a lovely burden!'??"
This is indeed a "lovely burden".
Related: What I've Learned from Audrey: Love
I've considered changing the title of these post to "Days of Thanks" because clearly I've missed a few postings, but I decided not to. Even though I haven't posted, I've been very conscious of what I am thankful for every day because I know I should be posting. I should probably try to keep this up all year, since it's giving me a more grateful spirit! Today I am thankful for all the people that love my daughter (almost) as much as I do. It gives me such joy to know that other people see in her the wonders that I see. And even more so, I'm thankful that Jesus loves her even more than I do. What peace that brings me! No matter what happens to me, there will be other people in this world to love my baby. And no matter what happens to her, she will always be in God's loving hands.
Today I'm so thankful for God's provision over my life. Today I almost hit a deer while I was driving on one of our windy, wooded, back roads. I've never had to swerve to miss hitting a deer before, and it was quite traumatic. I realized if there had been an oncoming car, or if I hadn't been paying attention, things could have been a lot different. So I am thankful we are safe (my daughter was in the car with me!), and I'm thankful That my life is in God's hands. I'm so thankful that He takes care of me.
OK, I've decided to stop "cheating" and just skip a few days. It doesn't mean I wasn't thankful on those days though! But I guess I was less intentional about it. I probably should have done this on Twitter just to start with, but I like the chance to write not only what I'm thankful for, but why. Today I am thankful for texting. Now, before you dismiss this as silliness, let me explain my reasons. First of all, in the busyness of life, sometimes it's hard to keep up with your precious old friends. But it's so easy to write a text and just let them know you are thinking of them, or ask them how they are. Or even remind them of an old inside joke. I send those a lot, and I love to receive them!
Secondly, I have a failing when it comes to meeting new people. I don't come across as friendly. I get nervous. I trip over my words. It takes a while for me to get to know someone, so in the meantime, I can text them! I can plan exactly what I want to say and not worry about not being able to find the right word. It can really be helpful for me as a way to build new relationships.
So yes, today I'm thankful for texting as a means of continuing and building friendships. And even though it's embarrassing to admit this, I can't be the only one because otherwise, why has texting become so popular?