Thursday, June 26, 2014

2391 to 2400

2391. My kids having a playdate while I had my glucose test.
2392. An hour to sit alone and read.
2393. Boys playing at the splashpad in the sunshine.
2394. Vava snuggling in my lap.
2395. Sam asking for a nap.
2396. Chatting with my dad.
2397. Pedi in the sunshine.
2398. Vava showing her toys to the man next to us in traffic.
2399. The kids playing carefully on the ladder while Patrick worked at the top.
2400. The city blooming and summery. :)

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

2381 to 2390

2381. Morning coffee.
2382. A good night's sleep.
2383. Vitamins from my mama!
2384. Sam using kind manners and a gentle tone of voice in the grocery store.
2385. A comforting reminder that I'm crazy because I'm pregnant.
2386. Sam singing along with the Rose Cousins cd.
2387. Vava being so adorable and sweet after her bath.
2388. The kids being so happy to play with chalk paint.
2389. Getting the groceries for our week at the cottage!
2390. Remembering that tomorrow is another day ... chazak va'amatz!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

2371 to 2380

2371. Understanding friends.
2372. Stuffed dinosaurs at the library.
2373. Sam's concept of our week at the cottage: he thinks we're going to stay in our neighbour's camper van. ♥
2374. Coffee break with Patrick.
2375. Mail love from my mama.
2376. Sam waking so happy and rested from his nap.
2377. Vava lounging adorably in her carseat while we had the oil changed.
2378. Patrick doing the dishes ♥ again.
2379. Sam trying to walk around with my gigantic rubber boots.
2380. Playing ball with this awesome family.

Monday, June 23, 2014

2361 to 2370

2361. Cuddling in bed with Vava.
2362. Sam sleeping in til almost 8:30.
2363. An unexpected sunny morning.
2364. Kids & clothespins.
2365. Sam and Vava picking dandelion ghosts.
2366. Patrick.
2367. Notes from old friends.
2368. A husband who washes the dishes.
2369. Sam and Vava painting water on the deck.
2370. Orange sunset glow.

I'm an Awful Lot Like My Kids.

My kids are both great sleepers.  We have our occasional nighttime disturbances, and since the summer rolled around with incredibly long evenings it's harder to get Sam to come inside and go to sleep, but on the whole, they do really well. 

A few weeks ago, Vava woke up shrieking in her room around 11pm.  Nothing would soothe her, and any movement toward her bed started her howling again. 

It was awful.

We tried a lot of different things - rocked her, snuggled her, sang to her.  We brought her into our bed, crawled into her crib, and prayed for her, with her, over her - but nothing seemed to make a difference.  Sleep was elusive, and Patrick and I divided the nights in two in order to get a little sleep.  We finally tried moving her bed into Sam's room.  His presence was the comfort she needed - a few kisses, songs, and bedtime prayers sent her off to sleep 12 hours in a row again.
And Zebra.
Always Zebra.

She has adored that lovey since she was three weeks old.  Sam bonded with Monkey when he was six months, but for Vava there has only ever been Zebra.  We've got a smelly, fuzzy little zoo in tow wherever we go.

I woke up in the middle of the night a week ago. 
I listened, but couldn't hear any kids fussing or crying.  They were both sound asleep in Sam's room, arms wrapped around their precious loveys, safe and secure.
I laid in bed, grateful and content for the stillness, the peace.

And God, like He often does, used that quiet time to speak to my heart.

I was thinking about those loveys.  Bits of stuffing and fuzz, ratty and worn and probably more full of germs than I care to acknowledge.  They don't have any monetary value, but if our house was on fire and everybody was safe, I would grab Monkey and Zebra before I snagged anything else. 

They don't have any value in themselves, but to Sam and Vava they're tangible comfort.  They're familiar.  They fit cozily into a toddler snuggle, and they're always soft and gentle.  Giving our kids loveys to cuddle is one of the age-appropriate ways we teach them the value of tenderness and the comfort of a hug.

Really, though, their safety and security comes from us.  If Monkey and Zebra happened to be lost, Sam and Vava would still be loved and cuddled and kept safe.  Patrick and I care for them and meet their needs, we protect them from harm and comfort their distress.  We lock the door, install carseats, dress them in snowsuits, feed them, give them lots to drink, play with them, teach them, listen to them, guide them, hold them, kiss them ... you get the idea.  Their loveys are tangible reminders that they are loved, but their loveys don't keep them safe and secure.  We do.

And this is when God showed me that I'm an awful lot like my kids. 

He gives me tangible reminders that He loves me.  Things I love, things I bond with, things I value.

Things like my beautiful Nova Scotia, my wise & graceful mama, my loving dad.  My sisters, my brother, my nieces and nephew.  My Nana's soft accent, my cousin's gift for making me laugh, the heart-grabbing scent of rain on stone.  The good opinion of people I respect.  Fairness.  My Patrick.  My Sam, my Vava.

And sometimes it's really easy for me to forget that these are all reminders, grace-proofs of Love, and I want to hold them closer and insist I deserve them and call them MINE and forget that my safety and security doesn't come from my family, my home, my reputation.  But that's idolatry.  They do not, apart from God, give me safety and security and joy.  God does.

They are my loveys.  I treasure them and value them, because they make my heart ring with Love.  But I must never confuse them with Him.

If they were all swept away and I was cast alone on a sunless, sealess planet, I would be no less safe.  I would be no less secure.  I would be no less loved.

I would be no less loved.

I want to write that in the sky and spangle it with stars, so that every aching heart can trust the Lover, even when all the loveys are lost.

Sometimes Sam and Vava misplace Monkey or Zebra, and oh, the drama!  Everything stops while we turn the world upside down until we find them.  Their reunion can only be described as rapturous.

I love finding Monkey and Zebra.  I love knowing that Sam and Vava have cozy proof of loving parents to carry around with them.  It gives me the deepest pleasure to know that they are aware that they are safe and secure and treasured.  But it would hurt if they grew up believing that their home, nourishment, education, safety, clothing, and pleasure were all provided by Monkey and Zebra. And it would be weird.  And wrong.  And they'd need a lot of counseling. 

Because the loveys only point to the Lovers.

I've been writing down ten gifts every day, ten little things I find that whisper I LOVE YOU, ten little proofs of God's love in my life.  And it's never hard to find ten.  They abound.  And one of the beautiful side-gifts in looking for these ten is that I start to see something beyond the gifts.  I catch little glimpses of the Giver.  And His heart is sure.  His love is steadfast.  He is good.  He is good.  He is good.  His plan may involve things that are hard, but His plan is always for my good and His glory ... and He delights in giving to me.

So I want to hold my loveys close, I want to treasure them, but not as idols.  I want to rest in the safety and security they remind me of, the true safety and security of being His. 

With or without my loveys.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

2351 to 2360

2351. Our church family.
2352. Love ... the best motivator.
2353. A crash-test-dummies-ish deep voice singing behind me in church.
2354. Vava walking in circles like a cat when she was tired.
2355. A delicious and gorgeous cupcake.
2356. Naptime ahhh.
2357. Sam crawling into bed with us halfway through his nap.
2358. Homemade mango & coconut ice cream.
2359. Friends and laughter.
2360. Kids being silly. ♥

Saturday, June 21, 2014

2341 to 2350

2341. Cuddles in bed with the kids this morning.
2342. Patrick doing laundry.
2343. Vava helping me clean up a spill at Chapters.
2344. Patrick buying me a book. ♥
2345. Sam giving Vava sips of smoothie at lunch.
2346. Vava riding Sam's bike with incredible balance.
2347. Going out with friends.
2348. Delicious food.
2349. Needing children's benadryl and finding it in the cupboard.
2350. Patrick's aftershave.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

2331 to 2340

2331. Sam wanting to wear underwear for the first time since The Outhouse Incident.
2332. Taking the kids to Target.
2333. Sam walking the whole way there and back.
2334. Finding the blanket I thought I'd lost ... which I'd already folded and put away.
2335. Mowing the backyard.
2336. Kisses from Vava at naptime.
2337. Vava eating three bowls of supper. Three!
2338. Planning next week's menu & shopping list.
2339. Chatting with our neighbours.
2340. Clean feet before hopping into bed.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

2321 to 2330

2321. Waking up after a full night's sleep.
2322. Sam, hearing me exclaim about poor Vava's little diaper rash, running to get baby powder for her.
2323. My neighbour coming home!
2324. Playing in the sunshine with the kids.
2325. Vava mastering the big-kid swing like a pro.
2326. Chrissy.
2327. Sam wanting to coze me.
2328. The kids loving the oatmeal loofahs I made for bathtime.
2329. Chatting with Hattie til dark ... an unbelievable 11:30pm.
2330. A soft bed to tumble into.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

2311 to 2320

2311. Patrick sharing Restless-Vava nightshift with me.
2312. Sam's surprise when I said yes to his billionth carwash request.
2313. Vava in a sundress.
2314. Sam's friend being generous and kind.
2315. The kids tiring themselves out by playing hard at the splash pad.
2316. Laundry fresh off the line.
2317. Sam being proud of himself for using the potty all day long.
2318. Vava sleeping well in Sam's room.
2319. Sharing ice cream with my gorgeous husband.
2320. Happy texts from a friend.

Monday, June 16, 2014

2301 to 2310

2301. Walking with the kids in the sunshine.
2302. Standing on the train bridge and watching trains zoom past below.
2303. Sam and Vava licking rainwater off the patio set and laughing at my response.
2304. Reading a new novel and loving it.
2305. Vava holding my hand til she fell asleep.
2306. Racing with the kids in carts in the parking lot.
2307. Supper being happy and good.
2308. Asian chicken salad brought over by a sweet friend.
2309. Talking with our wiggly wiggly baby boy.
2310. Sam looking so handsome with his new haircut.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

2291 to 2300

2291. Getting Vava's room cleaned & rearranged.
2292. Taking the kids shopping.
2293. Vava wearing her headband backwards all day and looking like Rambo.
2294. Sam explaining he ate the strawberries; they tasted like dirt.
2295. Super Cooper's birthday party.
2296. Chatting with moms.
2297. Vava swinging like a pro on the big-kid swing.
2298. My awesome dad.
2299. My awesome brother, who is soon to be a dad.
2300. My awesome husband, who is a totally amazing dad.

2281 to 2290

2281. Sam telling Vava she has pretty toes.
2282. The kids chasing bubbles in the kitchen.
2283. Sam eying up my pregnant belly and exclaiming, "ooh, full tummy!"
2284. Sam asking Vava if he could hold her, and she agreed.
2285. A long nap.
2286. Encouragement from my super-cool brother-in-law.
2287. A family walk after supper.
2288. Vava gathering pinecones to share with Sam.
2289. Patrick doing the dishes.
2290. Afternoon sunshine.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

2271 to 2280

2271. World's sweetest cashier at the checkout this morning.
2272. Being loved by Jesus.
2273. Who sends His arms to make me supper and let me sleep.
2274. Waking up to the heavenly smell of spaghetti and meatballs.
2275. And finding it simmering away in my clean(!) kitchen.
2276. A visit from auntie C.
2277. An amazing spaghetti supper.
2278. A date with my One True Love.
2279. The winsome The Grand Seduction.
2280. Vava sleeping in her own bed tonight. ♥

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

2261 to 2270

2261. The really hard days.
2262. Perspective and understanding for people who have the hard days every day.
2263. Friends and playdates in the park.
2264. Peanut butter sandwiches.
2265. Tylenol.
2266. Patrick.
2267. Sam's concern over Vava clonking her head.
2268. Chatting with my sister.
2269. Showing the kids a train coupling.
2270. Birds swooping through the sky.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

2251 to 2260

2251. Patrick's goodbye kisses.
2252. Sam and Vava playing dinosaurs together.
2253. Sam asking to snuggle, and telling me I smell like flowers.
2254. Vava's tenacity.
2255. Burgers on the bbq.
2256. Vava resisting bedtime, finally telling me she wanted books.
2257. Patrick's coming-home kisses.
2258. Jesus making the difference, every day.
2259. Heroes, remembered.
2260. A good man who hugs his kids when they cry out in the night.

Monday, June 9, 2014

2241 to 2250

2241. Waking up with sweet Vava kisses.
2242. Sam's joy that today was Patrick's birthday.
2243. The kids wanting to dress up today, and looking so gorgeous.
2244. God answering my desperate plea to find Vava's lovey.
2245. A much-needed nap.
2246. Delicious brownies for Patrick's birthday.
2247. Patrick bringing home treats for the kids.
2248. The kids' delight at playing with the birthday balloons.
2249. Loving friends joining us for dessert.
2250. Cuddling Vava to sleep in her crib.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

2231 to 2240

2231. A heart-restoring sermon at church.
2232. Sunglasses.
2233. Patrick doing laundry.
2234. Vava being so pleased to wear her pink-flower dress.
2235. Sam telling me I shouldn't say no to papa.
2236. Jesus being the bread of my life.
2237. Taking the kids out and having fun.
2238. A refreshing shower.
2239. Patrick making nachos.
2240. Vava climbing safely out if her crib.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

2221 to 2230

2221. Sam's sweet "you're pretty mama!"
2222. A happy morning with my three favourite people.
2223. A good long playdate with sweet kids.
2224. My energetic and awesome husband.
2225. Sam's skill and Vava's delicious ineptitude at water guns.
2226. More successes with the potty dinosaurs.
2227. Sam telling us he was ready to leave the park by getting off the swing and walking to the car.
2228. Vava carrying a lollipop around the store, hat on backwards and giant shoes at the end of her adorable skinny legs.
2229. Sam asking to look in my eyes, then nodding, "hmmm, interesting!" Funny darling.
2230. A foot rub from my one true love.

Friday, June 6, 2014

2211 to 2220

2211. Vava wanting to hug & kiss her papa at the crack of dawn.
2212. Going to moms' group.
2213. Vava's peanut buttery fingers making the Sharpie incident a quick one.
2214. Taking a sweet nap.
2215. Sam protecting us from bugs.
2216. Sam sharing his drink with Vava, unprompted.
2217. Playing at the park after supper.
2218. Two successes with the potty/dinosaur jar.
2219. Hanging out with friends.
2220. Coming home to a good good man.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

2201 to 2210

2201. Cleaning the car with my two hilarious helpers.
2202. Gorgeous sunshine and playgroup at the park.
2203. Sam pretending to be a rocket on the swing - flying to the moon.
2204. Vava softly asking "higher, higher," on the swings.
2205. Grilled cheese dipped in ketchup.
2206. A neighbour popping in with a box of popsicles for the kids.
2207. A deep sleep naptime.
2208. My new Norwex getting a workout on the make-up-y stair.
2209. Patrick coming home.
2210. Safety and peace.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

2191 to 2200

2191. Sam reading his dinosaur book to Vava: this is a pterodactyl, this is a triceratops, and this is a dinosaur-asaurus.
2192. Mini ice cream cones and melty sunshine.
2193. Sitting on the deck, watching the kids play.
2194. Vava gobbling her peanut butter sandwich, then falling instantly asleep.
2195. A surprise treat: supper with friends!
2196. Biking home in the perfect spring evening.
2197. A good workout at the gym ...
2198. Followed by 15 minutes in the massage chair ... sheer bliss!
2199. Talking over the day with my OTL.
2200. Resting in God's sovereignty.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

2181 to 2190

2181. Sam cuddles early this morning.
2182. Sam asking for a second bowl of oatmeal because he liked the first so much.
2183. Vava 'reading' to me.
2184. Sam holding my face in both hands and looking into my eyes while telling me he loves me.
2185. Vava thanking me for helping her into her rain boots.
2186. Going through the kids' baby pictures with them ... they were enthralled.
2187. Spinach smoothie.
2188. Making plans for our summer getaway.
2189. Being in touch with a sweet former student.
2190. Patrick bossing the after-supper cleanup while I drowsed on the couch. ♥

Monday, June 2, 2014

2171 to 2180

2171. A quiet early morning with just Sam.
2172. Vava's appetite and happy temperament returning!
2173. Playdate with a cutie pie.
2174. Both kids asking for early naps.
2175. Puddle-splashing with the two cutest kids ever.
2176. Stewed rhubarb & strawberries, hand-delivered with a hug.
2177. Cleaning the kitchen with Patrick.
2178. Watching starlings take a bath in puddles.
2179. Sam asking to see Grandmaman soon.
2180. Sam and Vava pretending to read the wall map.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

2161 to 2170

2161. All four of us cuddling in the early morning.
2162. Wearing my new maternity dress ... so much comfort!
2163. Vava rubbing my back in church.
2164. Playing in the toddler room with the funny and adorable kids.
2165. Sam telling me he's not a sweet pea, he's a dinosaur.
2166. A visit from a family we love.
2167. Finally hanging the white curtains our living room was waiting for.
2168. Wal-Mart returns ... so painless.
2169. Giving Sam a quick shower after he & Vava played with worms in the muddy backyard.
2170. Meeting another mama due in October :).