My life is teaching me surely that nothing, absolutely nothing, is forever. Except Jesus.
So, they unpack. Christmas tubby after Christmas tubby, reminiscing...'Oh look Evelyn, I made this when I was little.' :)
A few weekends ago, we were at a brunch and Santa was there. They sat on his lap. He asked them what they wanted for Christmas. They both thought about it and finally came up with an answer. 'um....I don't know.' I have pictures of it. Looking for the pictures now....
Found them. Check out these genuinely confused, thoughtful faces. I honestly think he was the first person to ask them. And I honestly don't think they want anything.
Working on teaching them what took me all these years to learn.
Less is best.
Things don't matter.
Christmas is just about Jesus.
Way more fun to give than receive.
Go on a date. I challenge you. In the next week.
We make it a priority in our marriage. There is nothing that we do during the week that is more fun, uplifting, rewarding. I'm still floating from that little act. For me, it is the little things.
I'm missing my Mom. She was so feminine. So beautiful. So sweet. As I grieve, I am missing funny things. Not funny ha-ha. But things I didn't realize I'd miss. I miss her pretty red lips. I thought she was the only one that could pull off red lips. But no. I can too. Secret is, this Revlon color looks good on EVERYONE. Me included. The girls love it too.
It started simple enough.
'Mom, I want to be feminine like you.' - Carlisle
Out of that has come a new subject during school. We call it 'Girl class.' One day we are talking about PRE-birds-and-bees stuff. Another day, we are baking cookies from scratch. They told friends that we had over for lunch, it was their favorite thing about school.
We have HAMSTER(S).
Brian had mentioned that he had hamsters as pets growing up.
So, honestly I shouldn't have been so surprised when he showed up with two hamsters, a cage with cool tubes and enough food to keep it alive a super long time.
The very first thing the girls wanted to do was hold them. And the very first thing the hamster did was bite Carlisle so hard that it drew blood. And continued to bleed.
We call that one the 'not sweet hamster.' So after many more bites, I took it back. There is a return policy on living animals. Who knew? So, we kept 'the sweet one.' Days later...I think it was 3 days, I woke up to Brian standing over me in the bed saying, 'You're not going to believe this. There isn't just one hamster anymore. Mama hamster had BABIES.'
So in the most fertile house in Florence, a Mama hamster birthed 6 tiny, DARLING babies, to the happiest future veterinarian in the world. All Carlisle does is watch them, love them, feed them, ogle them. She's so delighted to have babies.
As my girls get older, their problems change. I am in the adjustment stage with that. The problems used to be '____ won't play with me', or '___ likes sister more than me.' While we still get that, there are new problems too.
Recently, they have been confronted by a bully. I call her a bully because she is 10 or 11 and has hit, kicked and slapped them. They are 5 and 6. That, in my book, is a bully.
Carlisle told me she thinks its because the girl is sad. I told her that I totally agree.
Unfortunately, I fussed at the bully and told her not to touch the girls. Well, the Lord has dealt with me on this. I shouldn't have said anything. I should have let those in charge handle it. And I didn't. So, as I read my bible every morning, I can hardly see straight as I am convicted and TRIPPING over the words that pierce me straight to the heart.
'For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joint and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.'
- 'God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.'
- 'Be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to anger.'
God is teaching me humility. And especially infront of my daughters. I battled with myself for days and finally had to confess to the bully's mother that I was not quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to anger. Would SHE forgive ME. WHEW. That was a hard pill to swallow. Asking the bully's mom for forgiveness. But that is what God led me to do. So I was obedient. And found a spring of healing in doing this.
Blessing always follows obedience.
I know that the blessing will not come from her. It is from the Lord. She didn't respond to my comments. And she did not have her daughter make an apology to my girls. Nothing. And that is ok. That was never the deal. God was working on MY heart. And my girls watched as I humbled myself before the Lord. And cried out to him.
God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. Being humble is hard. Some say its the root or at the bottom of ALL SIN. Maybe. I know for me, it was. Once the note asking for forgiveness was sent, I was done. It no longer mattered what happened or what she did or I did, it was over. God gave me that cool, supernatural peace that truly does pass ALL UNDERSTANDING.
But it was time. She was nursing all night long every few minutes, on the hour. I was useless. Sleepy. Ridiculous. Couldn't remember anything. Thankfully, Brian intervened. He snuggly placed her in her crib in the nursery, and came downstairs, shut our door and turned the noisemaker in OUR room on. No monitors to check on her, no. Nothing. He's an all-or-nothing guy.
Morning number 1. I opened our bedroom door and could hear her crying upstairs. It was 6:00am ish. Her voice was hoarse from crying all night.
Since then, she's learned that nighttime is for sleeping. We thank God for that. We are all in a new norm. She's more alert. I am more alert. She even naps better too.
Now that I am sleeping at night again, the sky is bluer, the grass greener, workouts are better, the girls are funnier. The sun is shining through again. It's like the sleepy grey cloud has been lifted. The veil has been pulled back and I am resurfacing. It is a relief after a long 8 months. And with my Mom's death during that time...it's been a long, grey season. Glad for the relief that sleeping again brings.
Our baby is our delight. We are desperately in love with her. She's truly better than our wildest dreams.
God is the giver of GOOD gifts.