Whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy -- meditate on these things.
Recently, I read One Thousand Gifts, which was recommended by someone whose blog I read, but I can't remember who anymore. It was a beautiful book and has inspired me to be thankful for the little things once again. (Briefly, the hesitations I have in recommending it: she writes pretty stream-of-consciousness, and though I think she does it well, those who are sticklers for grammar might have a hard time. Also, it is written for those who are already Christians.)
The premise is that being thankful opens the door to being joyful. She writes her journey along the road of thankfulness, her progress through the ups and downs of real life. It is a good reminder.
It takes me back to my first year at college, when everything was new, from living on my own, to snow, to daffodils. It takes me back to childhood when everything was new. This must be why Jesus said to become like a child.
People laughed at me in college, because I was no longer a child. I kept telling them my "snow age" was five, since I had moved away from snow when I was four. The cynics laughed at me for taking delight in daffodils ("That's what they're called, right?" I asked.) Taking pictures of the very first light dusting of snow. Freezing my un-mittened hands at the first larger snow but I couldn't keep from playing in it.
I really was more joyful then, though my email signature still holds on. Gradually, though, I got tired of being laughed at or watched strangely. I supressed my outer delight and then the inner faded, too. I want it back! I will take delight in the little things. I will slow down to look at bugs with my kids. I will let myself be thankful and joyful in all these things, and I will not let anyone's laughing penetrate. Neighbors may think I'm crazy, taking pictures of the first snow (that was today!) again, but I do not care. Joy is worth it.
We took a snow day from school today. I jumped around with my kids and took pictures and we dug out the new sizes of snowsuits and Jonathan made a snowman and Noah made slushies (from the railing snow). It was great! It was beautiful.
And I'm glad we seized the moment because in the afternoon the snow turned to rain and most of it is melted now. Children know how to do this and adults are too busy with "matters of consequence". May I always remember this!
Well, in the three weeks since I last posted, Joy has made major progress in mobility and the rest of the household is still working to adjust!
9/11 - Joy started crawling longer distances with a cross-pattern belly crawl.
9/13 - Every time we go into PIttsburgh, we cross the Allegheny River. Faith always asks me what river we are going over. This day, she said, "Mom, did that be the Alligator River?" (Now, she says it correctly to the best of her speech ability and names it every time. She has a little 'Allegheny River' song that she sings. It sounds like "Ahwee-daynee widduh") (More)