Tuesday, January 21, 2014

someone else's shoes

It is not often that you actually get to "walk in someone else's shoes". I have sort of done that for a week now and I pray that I will remember some very important things about life.

First is this: My mom is an amazingly strong woman.

Second, these 'big' things in life can really bring you down if you don't look for the little moments that can warm your heart and lift you back up. For me, I find that the little things are the laugh of my toddler, the words of my preschooler, the creations of my son, the smile of my daughter. Noticing the mourning doves that skitter under the bushes each morning as I walk by their nesting spot. The curve of the mountain that I looked at every day as a child. The pattern of the frost on my van in the early morning. Nature is full of God's handiwork, and stopping to admire the beauty is essential for my well-being.

Third, I must remember not to judge. It is not my place, and I do not know someone else's heart or circumstances.

Lastly, I pray that I can become who I long to be. Every day, I disappoint myself in ways small and large. Why do I find it so hard some days to be like Christ? To do God's will?

Friday, January 3, 2014

How we celebrate a birthday when we are getting ready to move

From the warmth of my house, I stared out the window at the cold wind blowing, swirling leaves up and around and spreading them hither and yon. I felt like one of those leaves. I am caught up in the winds of a huge move and I don't have a lot of say about which way I am blown. Today, for instance, I will be packing up the kids again so that the property manager can show the house. We did this yesterday too. So much for organizing our things.

On New Year's Day, though, I stood firm against that mighty wind and chose to get in the car yet again to take one almost seven year old to the Lego store two hours away for a birthday surprise. I walked behind him and his siblings. As the store came into view, he grabbed Anna's hand, gave it a good squeeze, and began walking faster. There may have even been a little jig in his steps. Before going inside, he paused outside to look at all the displays in the store window. Then, after giving me one of the biggest grins ever, he stepped inside. Three and a half hours later, we walked out with heavy bags and lighter wallets and very happy kids.

Can you see it? Straight ahead!

Doing a little happy dance.

This is the best day ever!

"Umm. Hello? Can I get out of the stroller? Please?"

She ended up getting a different key chain. She agonized over the choices for about an hour.

See all those bins behind him? The kids hand-picked pieces from there that they have been wishing they had.

All smiles. For now.

"Look Auntie Leah! I made this!"

Tell me the middle figure does not look like Jamie from Mythbusters! He also went back before making the final purchase and the chef now has a chef's hat.

Squeals of pure excitement were heard as he rode his first mall ride.

We made her wait till after the Lego Store to ride a ride. She loved it and was all smiles until...

...the ride ended. Then I must admit to one of the most embarrassing fits ever thrown by Therese.

"They put in another dollar! Yippee!"