Sunday morning found me once again sitting outside the church, waiting and wishing the service would hurry up and finish so we could go home instead of looking for shade and trying to keep Mary Michelle out of trouble. It was a very, very long service - made up essentially of 3 different sermons, 30 minutes worth of announcements, no electricity (thus no sound system... no fans and just shy of 100 degrees...), praise and worship time in Zarma that I was too distracted to follow and Communion (it was probably a good thing I was outside, because I could not have participated this Sunday... internal attitude issues, you know). We got there about 10 and we didn't get home until 2 in the afternoon with eight hot, tired and hungry kids, two hot, tired and hungry parents - and about every imaginable place on the continuum from good to bad as far as how we were handling the heat, our fatigue and groaning, grumbling tummies.
On impulse (I thought), I'd thrown my camera over my shoulder on the way out the door that morning and to help kill time while I was chasing and sweating, I started snapping photos of our brand new 2 year old. Flipping back through those pictures this evening, my baby led me through a vivid lesson in contentment and choosing joy, especially when things aren't going the way I'd expected.
#602 God speaking to me through my baby
#603 Thursday night birthday celebration ~ chocolate cream pudding and I made the crust with oatmeal AND Oreo cookies sent from the States
#604 decade old darling girl playing with her brand new horses from Gammie and Gampy
#605 slow Sunday morning snuggles - as we like to joke: "How many little (and not so little) Wrights can you fit on Mom and Dad's waterbed?" ..."There's always room for one more!"
#606 Nigerien friends who entered our expat world tonight to encourage Rebekah as she sang her first duet
#607 listening to her lovely harmony... and seeing her smile as she sang for Jesus, even though she was scared
#608 haircuts that work, even when I have no clue what I'm doing
#609 2 cups of coffee with pumpkin spice creamer ~ that I didn't have to make the creamer or even get the coffee pot perkin' myself
#610 marshmallow wreath Christmas treats
#611 orchestra playing "Patapan," flutes leading the way
#612 listening to one side of the conversation as best friends catch up on the phone... after they haven't seen each other for a year and a half
#613 planning a slumber birthday party and...
#614 ...smiling at the choices of friends she's inviting: 1) because it is so perfectly her, our introvert, only wanting a few; 2) because it so perfectly a picture in miniature of her world... and that she's so perfectly comfortable with and adores her world as a third culture kid
#615 carols by candlelight
#616 black plastic bags blowing in the wind
#617 that while big people with different skin colors can be scary, little people are just fascinating and fun
#618 kids enjoying other kids, finding common ground
#619 2 year old smiles as the wind blows through her hair
#620 bright pink flower on a green belt of a yellow, sunshiney dress
#621 a changed attitude, even though the fatigue still feels overwhelming
#622 thinking it was an impulse that let me to bring my camera; realizing later that it must have been the Holy Spirit, for the Lord wanted me to document this lesson
#623 sweet, tired babies who fall asleep in a matter of seconds
#624 knowing it is only 2 weeks until vacation
#625 the delight of holding his hand again