As parents of two boys we have wild days and nights. This past weekend was no different. Friday night we had a special child spend the night with us so her mom could run an early morning road race. We took the 3 kids to a the Winter Park Christmas parade. It was a 2 hour event!
Later on Saturday Daniel and Addison enjoyed their first camp out at the Central Florida Zoo in Sanford. They enjoyed a camp fire, nocturnal animals (Did you know that scorpions glow under a black light?), and a rite of passage into man hood so to speak. Bryan and I had our own special night, and Bryan camped out by the Christmas tree in the living room. Sunday morning we had family time at the zoo. It was super special. Our favorite exhibit, the otters.
Later on Sunday, we had the neat experience of seeing a Florida Black Bear in our neighbor’s back yard. It found a frozen turkey in their garage fridge and feasted on it in broad day light. Daniel enjoyed this as it was his first time seeing a bear in person, and he photographed it from afar. Shortly after the bear sighting our neighbors, friends, and family arrived to celebrate our Neighborhood Nativity. A celebration, kid style, of Jesus’ birth. It went well. However, Bryan did not want to participate so he was inside wandering during pictures and the nativity. Kids are so different, and it is refreshing to see their different personalities develop. We love both of our boys dearly. God has blessed us with these wild days and nights. Mary and Joseph had their hands full as parents too.
Today I started my morning with a run. I ran with two neighborhood moms, and we pounded our feet on the pavements of nearby streets and sidewalks for four miles. Greeting us was a cotton candy sky created by God…gorgeous pinks, blues, and hazy clouds. Warm Florida morning air. I came home to shower, dress, and eat breakfast with Addison. We enjoyed a breakfast with an Advent candle shining. Today’s three gifts shining for me are…
1. The Sun
2. Candle Light
3. My shirt, a glittery gold sequin tank top. I am thankful for a cute boutique nearby to dress up in sparkles. Even big girls like a little sparkle.
I woke early this morning because Bryan woke three times in the night with leg pain. After calling the doctor/nurse on call we are on a watch and wait vigil. I think he’s fine. However, I rejoice in God’s mighty power to give us rest and wake us as needed. I think mom’s have that keen ear to come help always. Thank you mom for answering my early morning call to you as well for a nurse/mom consult. Bryan is now watching cartoons, and Daniel and Addison are sleeping peacefully on their first camp out at the zoo! Look forward to hearing about that adventure.
I read about Ann Voskamp’s weekend Joy Dare, and here is a neat photo of link to her challenge for December:
So I will start counting God’s Graceful Gifts to me this holiday season. Today I will reflect on 3 gifts white and 3 gifts bright…
1. Creamy white and gold Nativity that was given to me by my mother, it now adorns our white mantel
2. White porcelain nativity that I placed on our bathroom counter…reminds me of my childhood
3. White teeth, that may sound silly, but I am thankful we live in a country with toothbrushes, toothpaste, and dental care. We are truly blessed with beautiful smiles, healthy teeth.
4. Bright white lights hung on our house by Daniel
5. Bright white lights that light our Christmas tree in our living room
6. Bright lamp light that greets me each morning, with a thankfulness for electricity today. Again, we live in a blessed nation.
I will continue my gifts tally throughout December. If you want some beautiful inspiration check out your Bible, God’s glimmers around you, and Ann Voskamp’s A Holy Experience Blog http://www.aholyexperience.com/
10-11 But because God was so gracious, so very generous, here I am. And I’m not about to let his grace go to waste. Haven’t I worked hard trying to do more than any of the others? Even then, my work didn’t amount to all that much. It was God giving me the work to do, God giving me the energy to do it. So whether you heard it from me or from those others, it’s all the same: We spoke God’s truth and you entrusted your lives.
Yesterday I received a package in the mail from Dayspring. I do love online shopping…little treasures that arrive at my door are so fun for me! I think it’s the kid at heart that loves a package in the mail! Dayspring is a neat vendor of Christian cards and gifts. They had a big sale with 30% off everything. I got a book, a gift for Daniel for Christmas, and a set of “Redeemed” jewelery…they are really neat. Costume jewelry…but blue stones in the shape of tear drops. A ring and earrings and engraved into them is Grace 1 Cor. 15:10 (above). Awesome. I didn’t know they had that fine detail. I consider it pure joy that I am a treasure to him, and in telling our children about his love we continue the generations of knowing that Christ loves us and is truly our king.
What is life but the angle of vision? A man is measured by the angle at which he looks at objects. What is life but what a man is thinking of all day? This is his fate and his employer. Knowing is the measure of the man. By how much we know, so much we are.
–Ralph Waldo Emerson
Our angles of vision vary person to person. We each have private thoughts. Our minds work intricately. I see my angle and you see yours. I woke early this a.m. at about 4 a.m. I decided to work on a pallet painting project in the garage then heard Bryan crying loudly at nearly 5 a.m. I went to rub his back and give him tylenol as he had a fever and ear pain. Shortly later Addison awoke about 5:30 a.m. due to the noise and the fact that he’s a morning person like me. I’m talking before the dawn wakers people…we are a rare breed.
Daniel woke at about 6 a.m. when the crying by Bryan continued. Child A was content to wander about the house, play with the cat, watch me paint etc. Until he noticed the large package under the tree. It arrived yesterday from Grandpa B.C. for Bryan. Addison was majorly jealous, upset he did not have a present under the tree, and cried for a while about how he “never gets big things…things on his wish list…etc.” So Daniel and I hit the shower and let Addison cry it out…he’s best left alone when angry. When we got out of the shower we were greeted by a pile of laundry and pillows stacked half way up the closet?! I then realized…Addison (a.k.a. Dennis the Menance) had engineered his own step stool to try to reach the top of my closet shelf area where a delivery box of presents was “hiding” for Christmas. I acquiesced, gave him the kind of boring LEGO books and water bottle that were inside that small box with a cheerleader-esque boost to the box. He helped sort back the laundry and pillows, and then after my grumblings about the situation he proceeded to make his own lunch for the first time.
His angle was one of repentance. He knew he had crossed the line of making us angry, and he was seeking approval and love. He was serving me by making his own PBJ, prepping sides for snack etc. Daniel thankfully noticed this little victory too…a notable turn around…complimenting me. I credited God. I did not do that. God can only change our moods and hearts at times. It is truly a gift that God gives us knowledge and perceptions of people and situations. Praise God! Love these little life lessons that sometimes come from the heart of a child. Who really wants to wait to open a gift? Not me!
Today I took a morning run with one of my neighbor running girl friends. We had a quick paced 3 mile run and talked the whole time. I wanted to walk, but I pushed forward and made it back home without stopping. Why does everything seem to move so fast?
Fast days, fast nights, and fast things surround us in this world. I hope that I will try to slow down a bit as the day moves forward. I tend to speed through each event and sometimes miss the little “glimmers of God’s grace” along the way. Right now, I am thankful for…a sleeping child, my husband’s ability and willingness to take our older son to the school bus stop, and for jobs. We have the ability to share our gifts to receive gifts. These gifts are in turn ours to use, lose, or abuse. I hope we are using our gifts wisely today. May we run the race set before us with His strength, mercy, and love.