Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Tuesday Church

I read a post the other day that really resonated with me.  I want to tell you all about it, but it's so much better to read first hand.

Check it out: what church looks like, by Kate Motaung. 

I know church looks different for all of us - the building sort of church, and the people sort of church - but no matter what, church meets us in the faces of those who love Jesus, the hands that reach out, the feet that come to meet us. 

This morning, Sam woke up a little after 5.  I've been trying to get him to come out of his room without waking Vava (a really big temptation), so I was proud of him for coming to me quietly, not turning on the lights, not shaking her crib ... but I was definitely not ready for him to be up. 

I brought him in to bed for a snuggle with me, and told him we could get up at 6:30.  Until then, even if he couldn't sleep, he needed to let his body rest. 

He wasn't impressed.

So my wrestling match day began at 5, and at 6:30 when Vava woke up, we were launched full-on into the torrent of contrariness and whining that is the usual result of a too-early wake time. 

Long story short, by 7:30 I knew there was no way we could spend this damp grey day inside, hosting a play date.  I needed to get out of the house, and let the cranky energy dissipate in some fresh air.

Know what church looked like for me today?  A friend who wasn't fazed by me canceling on her, who met me at the park, and showed up with coffee in hand.  It looked like a hug and empathy and caffeine and some good laughs.

Ahhhhh.

I'm so so grateful for the hands and feet of Jesus, for the church that is His body, dispensing everyday grace into my needy heart.  

2651 to 2660

2651. Friends who understand rough mornings, and bring coffee. ♥
2652. Liquorice on sale :).
2653. Yogurt tubes.
2654. Naps.
2655. Sam and Vava's cuddles.
2656. Patrick's beautifully barbecued burgers.
2657. Tums.
2658. Sam Robson's version of Be Thou My Vision.
2659. Vava throwing a wadded-up pair of worn socks, and giggling "stinky ball!"
2660. Funny shows and laughing with friends.

Monday, July 28, 2014

2641 to 2650

2641. My kids forgiving their mother's cranky outbursts.
2642. A morning present.
2643. Clumsy Vava needing snuggles.
2644. Naps.
2645. Patrick coming  home.
2646. Finding a new heart-blog.
2647. Thunderstorm.
2648. Walking with the kids.
2649. Sam rubbing my back, asking, 'mama? This comfy?'
2650. Sam vacuuming under the couch cushions.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

2631 to 2640

2631. Vava writing a wildly skewed M, and joyfully proclaiming "big beautiful M!"
2632. Snuggles with my booger-monsters.
2633. Patrick's patience.
2634. Overhearing someone call their daughter Vava ... or something like it. :)
2635. Rainbow in the water.
2636. Thoughtful friends.
2637. Gideon's conversation with God.
2638. Busy baby boy :).
2639. Sophia walking!
2640. Sweet texts.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

2621 to 2630

2621. This truth: 'each act of obedience felt like a small death. But each has turned out to breathe life into us in ways we couldn't imagine.' (From Restless, by Jennie Allen, p.18.)
2622. Sam and Vava singing together at naptime.
2623. Bubbles on the deck.
2624. Comforting hugs.
2625. Rhubarb!
2626. Friends with gifts.
2627. Finding a zamboni pile and having a snowball fight in July :).
2628. Napping long ...
2629. Ahh generous husband.
2630. Watching Sam's eyelashes fall steadily closer to his cheeks.

Friday, July 25, 2014

2611 to 2620

2611. Vava and Sam's sweet love for each other.
2612. Waking up refreshed after a rough night.
2613. SO MUCH LOVE in the mailbox today. Four parcels!
2614. Friends who give grace.
2615. A reminder that the cross must matter in everything.
2616. Sam falling asleep when we went upstairs to wake Vava.
2617. Vava drawing pictures ... a dinosaur, circles, mama & papa, an airplane, a doggie.
2618. Vava wearing her new clothes on top of her old clothes.
2619. Sam curling up on the floor, sleepy before bed.
2620. Popcorn and a show with my One True Love.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

2601 to 2610

2601. I asked Sam if he was going to love his baby brother when he comes. "Yeah," he sighed happily, "I already do." ♥
2602. Vava & Sam & their friend diligently washing the little tikes car.
2603. Waking up to sunshine.
2604. Banana pancakes with peanut butter.
2605. Choosing behavioral goals to work on with the kids.
2606. A loving nickname from Patrick.
2607. Laughing hard at internet ingenuity.
2608. Sam and Vava singing Jesus Loves Me.
2609. Being able to serve and bless my family.
2610. My neighbour being okay.

Where Corn [Doesn't] Grow

The other day, my beautiful Sam was standing in the backyard by the woodpile. He was the same height as the tall weeds that surround it, and the picture he made brought a country song to mind. The words that laced through my mind: "the weeds are high / where corn don't grow." Poor grammar aside, the lyrics pressed in on my heart in the particular way in which God speaks when He is getting my attention.

I'm no gardener - it's no exaggeration to say I have a brown thumb - but when it come to rearing children, I need to be one. Like fields, my kids need to be tended and intentionally filled with the seeds of good things. I need to cultivate their appetite and ability to learn, think, communicate, perceive, and understand layers of meaning. These things don't just appear in a life. They need to be planted, and like any good crop, they will yield nourishment and satisfaction in days to come.  Where good things are already growing, there is less room for junk to take root. But where there's no corn ... the weeds are high.

I know my kids are young, but I think the weeds are high, already ... there are gaps in my rows, areas I've neglected and allowed weeds to grow because it's easier than uprooting the stubborn invaders of laziness and ingrained bad habits.

So I'm going to focus on intentional gardening. I'm pretty easily distracted and find myself letting goals slide.  I think I need to make a firm change in my habits so I can be a more deliberate mama.  They say it takes three weeks to form new habits - so for three weeks I'm going to take a break from Facebook, cut down my distractions, and pull some weeds.

Because I've got some really lovely fields to tend :).

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

2591 to 2600

2591. Playing with my sillies.
2592. Sam decorating his face with cheerios.
2593. Goodbye kisses from Patrick.
2594. Sam making a running track with cushions.
2595. A friend dropping by.
2596. Extra cuddles from runny-nose Vava.
2597. Vava calling "nose!" everytime she needed a Kleenex.
2598. A rejuvenating nap.
2599. Sam telling Chrissy she could take his toy frog home.
2600. Vava asking Patrick to read her the little critter new baby book three times in a row. ♥

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

2581 to 2590

2581. Celebrating a friend's birthday.
2582. Laughing over old stories.
2583. Homemade strawberry yop.
2584. Surprising Patrick with two coats of paint on the deck rail.
2585. Vava sleeping in her highchair.
2586. Patrick loving me even though I burnt supper.
2587. Sam and Vava's goony conversation about eye-poking & tickles.
2588. Kissing Patrick in the car.
2589. Maltesers.
2590. Baby K shifting off that painful spot ... ahhh.

Monday, July 21, 2014

2571 to 2580

2571. A playdate with fun friends.
2572. Sam helping me with the compost.
2573. Vava wearing her pretty yellow dress.
2574. Kids eating homemade icicles.
2575. Quiet afternoon to read and post pics.
2576. Talking with my sister.
2577. Homemade honeydew & vanilla yop.
2578. Going swimming at the neighbourhood pool.
2579. Sam being so proud of floating without Patrick's help.
2580. Vava wearing her hoodie towel as Patrick carried her home.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Knit Together

I'm so glad that God keeps knitting.

Our baby boy is growing and kicking and stretching and reminding me every day that God has packed him jam-full with life.  I fell so deep in love with this verse this week: 

As you do not know the way
the spirit comes to the bones
in the womb of a woman with child,
so you do not know the work
of God who makes everything.
(Ecc. 11:5, ESV)

I love that the Bible assures us God is present in the womb - where life is, of course, God is, because He is the life-giver, the Breath of Life.  It all comes from Him.  He knits us together, bone and spirit, in the womb.  Babies don't just grow as lifeless bodies in their mothers and then begin living at birth.  They live and grow and gnaw on their fingers and suck their thumbs and play with their hair and have hiccups and stretch and wriggle and live in that womb ... spirit and bone.

My growing boy doesn't let me forget him these days.  He's active and amazing all the time. God is completing him, preparing him for life out here.  It's funny, because I sometimes forget that He doesn't stop, once we're complete babies at 40 weeks.  He keeps knitting, even after we're born.

I'm often overwhelmed by how much I need to teach and nourish and instruct Sam and Vava.  That's part of the knitting.  And they're getting to the point now where they play with each other almost every moment, and teaching them how to behave as family - to clothe their actions in kindness - is a full-time job.  I feel like I'm nattering on at them all the time.  But they're not completed yet.  They're being knit together - siblings, a family - as their characters are developing and being shaped. 

And then, of course, teaching them reminds me to look up and see who is teaching me, and to remember that I, too, am still being knit together with my siblings.  My brothers and sisters in Christ, we drive each other crazy sometimes - just like Sam and Vava.  We get in each others' faces, step on each others' toes, tattle, whine, fight ... we're in process.  We're being knit together.  We're not done. 

We're not complete and whole on our own - we're meant to be part of our family. 

Baby K is growing toward a 40-week completion date, but he's not meant to stay in there, perfect and alone.  Sure, he'd never fight with his siblings if he stayed in my womb - but he's meant for so much more than just not fighting.

I can see the tendency in myself, wanting to withdraw and longing for solitude when I'm tired of getting along with people, tired of trying, tired of putting up with them not leaving me alone.  We prepped our deck for a painting makeover yesterday.  Our neighbour offered his opinion that he doesn't like the colours we chose.  I felt it - that flash of resentment, that flare of wishing we lived alone on an island where others' opinions weren't foisted on us unasked.  My own little isolated warm untroubled womb.

But we're made for family.  None of us achieves anything on our own.  When I was born, I couldn't feed or clothe or comfort myself.  My parents cared for me, snuggled me, held me, fed me, ensured I had everything I needed to grow.  My sisters and brother bugged and annoyed and loved and taught and endured me.  People who lived before me built the infrastructure that provides me with electricity, running water, education, sanitation, and abundant food & clothing.  I enjoy all of these blessings that make life rich and pleasant.  Alone?  Left alone, I'd be long gone.  I was made for family.

That's how God makes us into the church.  Life begins with salvation, the Spirit dwelling in our tents of skin and bone, and He makes us His family.  Our brothers and sisters in Christ teach us and love us and bug us and make us laugh and help us.  We're meant for each other - we're being knit together - family. 

I take comfort in seeing my kids fighting and loving and growing together.  Those annoyances?  Evidence that God's needles are busily knitting them together into a family.  And a reminder that the hassle of getting along with my siblings is so much more than worthwhile. :)