Five Minute Friday: Delight

Five minute Fridays: stop editing yourself, take five minutes, and let the words pour from your fingertips into your keyboard (not as romantic as the pen but hey, it’s practical).  Five minutes. Don’t take a breath. Don’t look back over your words to fix them.  Include spelling mistakes (haha, yeah right).

 

DELIGHT.

GO.

No word quite captures childlike wonder like delight.  The twinkles in her eyes when she get to go play in the snow.  The giggles erupting from an under duck on the swing.  The sleepy smile she gives you in the morning, followed by those little stretching arms reaching up to wrap around your neck.

They delight in everything.  A new song.  A pebble in a puddle.  A rain drop on their nose or a snowflake on the tongue.  Christmas lights.  Tickles.  A new crayon.  Playing in a box.

A box of delight

A box of delight

What has happened that we grown-ups forget to delight in the life around us?  I am so thankful for my little ones, whose daily delight inspires me to see the world in a different way.  You can’t help but laugh when your child reaches up to the sun for a sun-hug.

My biggest delight this week: watching the girls meandering down the aisle at Staples, Sara following “the leader” (Aliyah) but carefully guarding that Aliyah went the right way, and then looking up at me to say, “I love my little sister.”

My other biggest delight this week: knowing I get my husband all to myself for dinner tomorrow night, and then we get to cream our friends at squash (lol) before a long straight-through-the-night sleep.  Nothing quite so delightful.

STOP.

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I am Mama Lion: Hear Me Roar!

Five Minute Fridays.

I’ve kind of forgotten about those.  They’re instigated by the Gypsy Mama, a fun blogger who I (occasionally) follow.  Here’s the premise:

  1. Write for five minutes.
  2. Do not edit.
  3. Enjoy.

So I will.  Here’s the topic:

ROAR

GO.

The other day, I was literally roaring at my daughter at the play place in the mall.

I was being a lion.

And I was being stared at.

It is incredible how many people like to watch you when you are roaring at your child in a mall. Parents stare, especially when you get on your knees and crawl around after your screaming and giggling preschooler.  Passersby glance once – twice – and then their gaze lingers on the strange woman who looks completely normal but is acting completely bonkers in a very public space.  Kids are the most fun; they look at you with awe and wonder, and eventually start giggling.  Usually they try to join in, but then you notice the glare you are getting from their parents: don’t you dare roar at my child.

The funny thing is, my preschool daughter is not in the least bit fazed by her mother roaring at her in a public space.  She bubbled over with shrieks of laughter and sparkling eyes as she raced around the play space (granted, perhaps the speed was not wise in a small area swarming with children who hadn’t quite fully mastered the art of walking, but still).  When she’s a teenager, she’ll be powerfully embarrassed by the bizarre antics of a somewhat normal but very loud mother, but at the moment, all she thinks is Get away from that lion! and with great delight proceeds to do so.

I wish I would roar like that in public more often.

It’s far more fun than any other kind of roaring I’ve done before.

STOP

To Grow With You

Five-Minute Friday with the Gypsy Mama:

1.Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. Go a little overboard encouraging the writer who linked up before you. OK, are you ready? Give me your best five minutes on:

Growing

Go.

Grow with me, baby mine.

You are three now.  I remember those first big grins and first crawling steps, first time standing up in your crib and first time sliding down the slide and now your first time on the big girl swing.

You are growing into yourself, becoming the little girl, the big girl, the young woman that you are going to be.

And I am growing with you.

Parenting is so intentional, so stretching, so out-of-reach sometimes.  I see solutions but they are just beyond my grasp; I need a footstool (or a boost from a bigger hand than mine) to get to them.  I have to grow into it.  And it gives growing pains.  You know the kind.  The ones that attack your calves and so you ask mommy for a massage, those ones, but mine are in my head.

I have to grow into patience as I seek to teach you how to control your emotions, you girl, you.  I have to grow into gentleness when my nerves are taut and my eyes are heavy with sleep and you come into the room for the third time in the middle of the night, telling me “Mommy wants to cuddle me?”  I have to grow into wisdom as you ask questions I can’t answer, act in ways I don’t understand, look in directions farther than I can see.

But growing in love seems nearly impossible, though it happens constantly.  How can I love you more?  My love seems to overflow when I watch you, my growing big girl.  But every day it grows, stretches, pours out even more.  How is it possible to have so much love for you and for that love to grow always?  I am amazed.

Sara's first earrings...clothes pins!

Stop.

Five Minute Friday: Rest

Five-minute Friday.  Free-writing, no self-editing or waiting to find just the right word, just – writing.  If you’re interested, check out the link:  http://thegypsymama.com/2011/09/five-minute-friday-rest/

The topic tonight: REST.

GO.

Tonight Bob gave me a real rest.  A genuine lean-your-head-back-close-your-eyes-and-let-the-music-wash-over-you rest.  He (and two friends) surprised me (and their wives) with tickets to the Josh Groban concert, and with my heart in my throat I sat back and rested in the incredible notes that came out of that man’s mouth.

There is something about music that gives me a deep and peaceful kind of rest.  Not kids’ music, which I get all too much of, or rock music, which is enjoyable but not restful, or rap (blech), but classical, soul-soothing vocals and incredible stringed-instruments that send notes soaring about your head and straight into your heart strings.

I don’t often enough sit back and let music feed my soul.  It is a true rest to turn off my brain and just ride those gentle waves.

STOP.

Gosh, it is HARD to write under-pressure at 1am!  I’m afraid this post is very scattered and sloppy, but I will not let the self-editor out and I WILL post this.  I WILL.  (But you probably won’t read it because it’s really not that good…)

Five-Minutes Friday: Beauty

For five minutes, just let your fingers go with the flow.  Don’t self-edit.  Don’t pause to evaluate.  Just write.

The topic:  BEAUTY.

Ready: GO.

Beauty is my 3-year-old daughter running ahead of me down the sidewalk.  Her gorgeous blonde hair dances around her shoulders, glistening under the sun.  It is hair that does not come from me.  Her beauty does not come from me – physically, that is.  She reflects so much of someone else: the gorgeous, dark-lashed blue eyes, the porceline skin, the golden tresses, the slender height.

But beauty is not only physical.  Every day – almost – I tell my Sara that the best thing is to have a beautiful heart.  A Beautiful Heart.  What does that look like?

Compassion.  Generosity.  Mercy.  Justice.  Truth.  Love.  Grace.

And in a little girl’s terms, what is true beauty?  To share her toys.  To cuddle her sister.  To obey her mother (with a twinkle in her eyes).  To kiss daddy and squeeze her arms around his neck.  To confess.  To forgive.

All my life I wondered if I was beautiful.  Compared myself to pictures in magazines, images on TV, girls described in (usually Christian) novels (aren’t they almost always beautiful?).  Hoped someday a boy was think I was pretty.  Focused on the wrong kind of beauty.

I hope and pray I can teach my daughters true beauty

STOP.

Still

Five minutes Friday.  That’s all the Gypsy Mama gives you to freewrite about a topic.  No self-editing (I do that a lot), no stopping to analyze or think about things or be interrupted by something outside (that’s tough).  It’s enough time to wet your appetite, open your mind up a little, get the creative juices flowing…but not enough time to get it all out! (:  But it’s a great exercise.  Try it.  I dare you.

Here I go…

Still

10:15pm.

Be still.  And know.  That I.  Am God.

Be.  Still.

How often are we still?  What is stillness?

Antonyms: disturbed.  agitated.  unquiet.

Synonyms: calm.  quiet.  at rest.  hushed. tranquil.

My house is still.  That is, it’s quiet.  Is it calm?  Well, at the moment, while the girls sleep and rest.  It’s definitely hushed.  I hope it’s tranquil, most of the time.
Is stillness the same as solitude?
Can you have stillness when your house is full of sounds and agitation?

The dishwasher.  The TV.  The ipod.  The radio.  The alarm clock.  (Okay, that’s not a constant, but it’s frequent enough to interrupt stillness…)

I want my heart to be still.  To carry stillness into the business and busy-ness of my day.  To have calm and rest when my mind is confounded by the millions of thoughts that bombard it.  About cystinosis.  About adoption.  About parenting.  About faith.

Can I be still when my mind is full of questions?  When it’s hard to shut off the noise in my own head?

Be still.  And know.  That I Am.  God.

10:20.

Half-full nothing!

This morning, after Aliyah’s blood work was done and we’d received discussed Aliyah’s medical needs, caloric needs, weight gain (a whopping 15 lbs 1.8 oz!!!  Way to grow, Baby!), the social worker popped in to say hello.  She introduced me to our team psychologist (yeah, we have a team of people we don’t have to personally pay who care for Aliyah and for us; we love the Alberta Children’s Hospital), who is supposed to make sure we are coping well enough with Aliyah’s diagnosis.  The social worker noted that I seemed “lighter and happier” than I had for awhile, and then said in her sweet Irish brogue,

It makes all the difference, if you see your cup as half empty or half full.”

“Half full, nothing!” I chirped.  “It’s totally full!”

And as I reflect on fullness tonight, I realize that it’s true.

Half full is noting I have a house but it isn’t big enough or has a too-small kitchen.  Full: I have a roof over my head.  I get to renovate it to suit our needs – and our fancy.

Half full: I have a daughter with cystinosis who is tolerating her meds and gaining weight, but still too small.  Full: I have Sara and Aliyah, two lively, precocious girls who, once upon a time, I did not think would ever be.

Aliyah in all her goofy glory.

Sara, such an introspective. How can one not be full with such hilariousness in the house?

Half full: Our church family loves us.  Full: Our church family loves us, and we love them.

Half full: I married my childhood sweetheart.  Full: my husband is my best friend, my rock, the father of my children, our breadwinning provider – and he still melts my heart.

Half full: We have head colds.  Full: we have head colds but we are otherwise completely healthy, have a comfy bed to sleep in and can fill our diets with a variety of delicious things full of nutrients.  I’m not stuck eating “ugali” at every meal!

Half full: I have so many questions about my faith.  Full: I believe in a God who is big enough and wise enough and full enough for those questions.

 

Half full nothing.  My cup is full.  And overflowing.

Niagra Falls, full and overflowing. As is my heart.