Monday, December 24, 2012

christmas in virginia

I don't know this woman but I stood at the edge of her lawn singing with new friends from church.  It was the last house on our route around their neighborhood.  

After a sweet time of fellowship with four other families over soup and salad, we hit the streets singing Christmas carols as our dinner hosts delivered holiday treats to their neighbors.  Brother was asking to be the one chosen to knock on the next door during our entire loop.  At the last house, he was called up.  He lingered on the porch while we sang.  From a distance I saw the gentleman kneel down to shake our son's hand and I wondered why Brother didn't rejoin our group.  We said Merry Christmas and then returned indoors for cookies, hot chocolate, and more encouraging conversations.  This was the first time we have been invited anywhere in the past year.  

This morning, our assistant pastor's wife emailed me this link.  The blogger was the resident of the porch Brother stood at the night before.  You never know how God will work in the heart of another when you choose to really live for him.  Merry Christmas.

Friday, December 14, 2012

be still and sit close

If you have spent any length of time with Babydoll, you may have been able to gather that she is equal parts of her Mommy and Daddy.  It humbles me to see who she is becoming at such a young age and I often wonder if I had that much personality back then.  We adore her.

We have also chosen to parent her independence with care.  We give her space to do and be who she wants but also create boundaries around respect, obedience, and kindness.  She does not run this house--although I am sure her desire to do so is one of the parts that comes from me.

I have noticed lately that her busyness--that part is from Daddy--has decreased her interest in affection.  I have had to remind myself to slow down and give her hugs and kisses throughout the day.  She has always been good about expressing her needs when she has exhausted her efforts first, but doesn't generally make herself vulnerable to be loved on by me unless it is on her terms.

I call her to my side as I pause mid-task and ask her for an intentional kiss and hug.  She resists.  She squirms in my arms.  She doesn't have time for this when there are baby dolls to cart around in her stroller.  A little while later I ask again.  She turns and runs.  After my eyes were opened to this about my daughter, I start having feelings of guilt.  Did I not snuggle her enough as a baby?  Was I too busy trying to balance two kiddos that I forgot to just sit and be with her?  I know that the obvious answer is no and yet it stings.

Then it happened and continues to happen.  She pushes me away at my mere suggestion of intimacy and yet in her own time she asks to snuggle me.  In the midst of all she has going on her in her day, she decides she is ready and calls for me.  I drop everything because I am aware of it now and I make myself available and I soak up this moment of closeness that she initiated.  It feels safe to her because it is on her terms.  That stubborn will she definitely gets from me.

I start to think.  How often God must call out to me while I bustle around (or lie around lazily) asking for me to be still and sit close.  I don't have time for that.  I am not always ready to make myself vulnerable at his call.  And how humbled I am that he "drops everything" when I say his name and ask to "snuggle" awhile.  Oh how he must soak up the moment of closeness and smile that I finally initiated.  How he patiently waited to love on me and fill me with his peace and joy and strength as soon as I was ready.