Well, actually, we've not "gone" anywhere...
But, after we moved into our new home, our internet service was too slow to access our blog unless it was the middle of the night. I love blogging - but I was also just too tired to try and keep up that sort of a routine, so I took a blog-cation. Now, if I could just remember how I fit daily blogging into this very busy life... At least there's been tons happening, so I'll have no shortage of material to write about!
What I've missed most about blogging, however, are the "Multitude Monday" posts. It is a good discipline, deliberately thinking through my week, looking for opportunities to give thanks instead of time to feel sorry for myself or to complain and critique or... This past month, I've felt totally overwhelmed and almost always on the verge of tears; now I'm wondering if part of that was because when I lost internet access, I shelved blogging, and I shelved this practice right along with it. Possible? Probably probable? Well, that seems to be what the Holy Spirit is whispering deep into my soul.
It isn't that I've not spent time with the Lord. I'm presently working my way through 1 Kings and have been astounded how the Lord has spoken so directly to me about my present as I've looked at Solomon, Jeroboam, Elijah, Ahab... I have had rich times of Bible study...
It isn't that I've skipped times of prayer and accountability. There are a few with whom I pray regularly, a few who - when I ask - will tell me where they see sin, inconsistency or negative habits in my life...
It isn't that my burdens and the weight of what God has called me to carry is more overwhelming than any other. He gives us no more that we can bear, and He offers to carry not only our burdens, but us,if we will only come to Him...
God has spoken to me as I watch and parent our little M&M. She is a dramatic, emotional little girl - more so than the others in this family. There is another way she is very different ~
With all of our other kids
- whenever it is necessary for Mama to say "No" instead of "Yes" to a request,
- whenever correction or a change of direction is required,
- whenever discipline is enacted,
- in general, whenever I, as the parent, do something with which the child does not agree...
...the most typical response is withdrawal - a refusal to talk, to look, to sit on my lap or to want to be touched or cuddled by me. In other words, I get the silent treatment... until I'm needed or wanted again, or I've done something that, in their book, makes up for the previous injury. Now, I don't think it is all thought out or premeditated, but based on my experience as a child (and knowing what I thought and how I acted) and based on my experience now as a parent (and knowing what I observe in the words and actions of my children), that has been my hypothesis.
Until Mary Michelle...
Even after she's been told no, even when I've had to bring her inside instead of letting her hang out with the kitten, even when she's been disciplined for climbing the ladder to the loft without permission, for slugging her brother with a wooden Thomas the Tank Train track piece or bitten her sister for putting her toys away at bedtime (yes... that sweet little face is entirely capable of all of that!), and she is furiously frustrated, angry or just sad because of something I've said her done, her response is to throw her arms around my neck, usually sobbing and saying something like: "I'm so mad at you, Mama. I need to pinch your face..." or "Why you're so mean? Pick me up. I want you to hold me so I can pinch you!" And that isn't actually a mean thing... she "needs to pinch" my face when she's trying to comfort herself. She is actually asking to rub her hand along or gently pinch one or both of my cheeks until she calms down or falls asleep.
As I said, God's been speaking to me through her example. I need to be more like my little M&M. There are so many times I don't like what God has offered or planned for my life. I usually don't appreciate the consequences for my sin and I tend to get angry and withdraw from the Lord. Instead, I need to run to Him, throw my arms around Him, snuggle into His lap and bring my face as close to His face as I possibly can. It is those times when my natural nature... my sin nature... wants to withdraw as far away as possible that I most need to saturate myself with His Light and His Presence. And I need to continue the habit of counting my many blessings - because when I do so, I often see more clearly how the very things I've protested and disliked are God's tools to teach... to train... to liberate from impurities...
today's gratitude list:
(#'s 1553 - 1578)
life lessons learned from little ones
a week of vacation
a new friend who wants to help with literacy classes
one of my literacy class ladies is actually getting it... she'll be reading her Bible all by herself very soon
nachos & cheese, spicey salsa, sour creme, guacamole for dinner on Sunday night - our "Life in America" tradition that doesn't happen very often this side of the water
blogging once again
re-developing a habit of gratefulness
pictures where I can see the fall leaves back home
learning to wait, learning to let go of expectations
the new experience of young adults
horseback riding lessons - the joy after she gallops and jumps on a horse
burdens that I know right away are too heavy to even try and carry
accepting from others, even when it humbles
empty places that can only be filled by Him
vacation morning snuggles
slumber party-ing girls
fun ideas for birthday and Christmas presents
boy who acts like a gentleman, even on first base
the laughter of Sunday night Monopoly games
my sweet 6 year old wonder boy who always knows just what to say and who's smile melts my heart every time... still...
looking forward to a night out, together...