Saturday, March 1, 2014

Take the Joy Dare #6


Here I am, still counting joys! Two months down means 59 days means 177+ joys. 177+ gifts and blessings, straight from the hand of the Father. Because it means so much to me and really is a little piece of me, I'll link to this first: Say Something, a post I wrote earlier in the week. A reflection on a song that pointed my eyes to God and a reminder I need every day, that God is coming for me and requires nothing of me.

And now! This week's joys :)

1) Baby girl sitting up!

I imagine I'm not alone as a parent in this: my investment in my kids outweighs most any investment/ambition I have for myself. I don't view them as these lofty, idyllic projects, but I want for them. I want joy and peace and love. I want a good life. Mostly, I want them to know Jesus, and while in my head, I know that a journey of faith is never a painless one (be it physically, emotionally, or spiritually), in practice, I don't want them to hurt or struggle. It's harder to watch them in pain than it is for me to be in pain. With my daughter? We have fought -- she... has fought -- for everything. She fought to live. She fought to eat. She fought to sleep. She fought to grow. Right now, we're fighting for teeth (those blasted teeth). I fight alongside her, but it is her battle. I push her, but the victories are all hers.

This week? She sat up! All on her own! Her Early Intervention therapist was here for our every-other-week session and she said, "Okay, let's do this, girl!" She got her into position, sat her on her bum, pulled her arms straight, flattened out her hands, pressed them to the floor, and rocked her weight onto her palms to settle her in. My daughter looked up at me while I held her favorite sparkly flower, and her therapist began to count (as she does every time we get her into sitting position, marking and timing her skill). One thousand one, one thousand two, one thousand three. I expected her to fall any second; she rarely makes it past five. One thousand seven, one thousand eight. My eyes got big; I smiled up at her therapist. One thousand eleven, one thousand twelve. "Wow, baby girl, look at you go!" One thousand twenty, one thousand twenty-one. I started to cry. She was sitting. Right here, right now. We've done this one thousand twenty-one times and she has never done it before and here she does it. Her therapist loses count, starting to cheer. I'm trying my best to contain myself so as not to distract her. One thousand thirty, one thousand thirty-one. She topples over, but the victory was already won. I knew the moment would come. I knew we would get here. But I never expected it would be that day, that time, that moment. We cheered; I kept crying, so thankful and so excited for her therapist who has worked hard with us to be there to see it. Every day since then, she has sat there, once for three whole minutes! It's a miracle that I was confident we would see -- in time -- but it's no less a miracle for having happened, for continuing to happen. It is none of it guaranteed.

2) Chalk

We had a few beautiful spring-like days this past week and we took the opportunity to play with chalk! It was just as fun as I remembered :)

3) Earth Fare macaroni and cheese

During our brief stint in Greensboro, we completely fell in love with Earth Fare (grocery store) and their store brand of macaroni and cheese. Now I make a mean homemade mac 'n' cheese (if I do say so myself), but for the average dinner around here, nothing beats a box of Earth Fare's white cheddar. My husband stocked up on his last trip down and it tasty, tasty. Mmm...

4) Toddler vocabulary

My two-year-old son is gaining words every day. It is so fun to hear him put together sentences as he goes beyond just mimicking our words. Some of my current favorites?
  • "tin-tle" = gentle
  • "fair-ful" = careful
  • "bro-pen" = broken
  • "pweeping" = sleeping
  • "wid" = lid
  • "Gonna hap-en mommy" = What's gonna happen to mommy? (followed by me being poked with a toy)
  • "tate a wittle nap" = take a little nap
  • "ack nighly" = ask nicely (while vigorously signing "please")
  • "oukie" = ouchie
  • "pall down" = fall down (which he does often and wildly and usually on purpose)
He's also starting signing sentences! Most used? "More milk, please." Beautiful!

5) Yet another good book

I really love to read. I know it's not for everyone, but I can just lose myself in a story and I absolutely love it. I think it helps that I read fast, so it's hard for me to get bogged down. As I evaluated what I like to do and what I want to accomplish with my time and compared that with what I actually spend my time on, I realized that while my goal is to learn and read several books that I've had just lying around, my use of time reflected my desire to be a Facebook/internet expert. It helps me to remind myself, "You like to read and want to do it!" Then my use of time can reflect what I actually want to do as opposed to what I just end up finding myself doing.

The universe conspired with me. My favorite author's more recent book was available at the library, prompting me to read the second in the trilogy so I could devour the third. (The Maddaddam Triology by Margaret Atwood: Oryx and Crake, The Year of the Flood, and Maddaddam) My dad gave me an excellent book for Christmas (This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage by Ann Patchett) that inspired me to read more of her books (The Patron Saint of Liars and Run). I'm on such a roll that I read twice as many books last month as is my goal! (My goal is one fiction and one nonfiction book each month.) Next up is a biography of Bonhoeffer that I've heard is wonderful. I am thankful for the chance to work my mind, my imagination, and my heart. It is so, so good for me!

To close us off, I'll steal my favorite thing from Ann's Only the Good Stuff for this week: The Piano Guys "Let It Go/ Vivaldi's Winter" -- I have to close my eyes because it is too beautiful to hear and see all at once!

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