Sunday, January 29, 2012

Joy Dare
January 23
43.  Rain, washing clean the city air for a time, and the quiet and change of pace it brings for a day
44.  Holy Spirit whispers to be patient, to trust Him for these high energy days when my energy is very low
45.  Dessert out with my husband
46.  Boys laughing together

January 24
47.  Fun play time from the simplest of objects--My son and his buddy had a long and totally delighted play time with dried lentils we had gotten for an art project, throwing them up in the air, using them to "fight bugs," and scooting them all around.
48.  Taking the time to go back into the grocery store to look for a lost toy--I'm learning in very small steps to slow down and go with the moments, and it was a special memory of the adventure of searching for it.
49.  A random concoction put together working out well for dinner
50.  French toast cut in dinosaur shapes making my son's day
51.  Updating my little one's baby book
52.  The dollar bin basket that Isaiah uses to carry around his favorite toys lately

January  25
53.  Everything looks greener, fresher, lighter this morning
54.  Spontaneous dance party with the boys!
55.  Red rain boots of which Isaiah is apparently at least the 4th owner and the freedom to wear them on all the sunny California days just because he wants to

January 26
56.  Learning, little by little, to not always be in a hurry with my boys...just enjoying moments
57.  Sleeping until 6:45 and a glimmer of hope that we're turning a corner on sleep with the baby
58.  Uncontrollable giggles from my son in the back seat at the wind blowing his hair on the highway
59.  Naps
60.  Baby singing--Little Ezekiel has always been a singer, and it is the most wonderful sound!
61.  Isaiah's fascination right now with the story of Jesus' death and resurrection

January 27
62.  My son's little hand clasping mine for comfort as he rests to recover from his fever
63.  God revealing my insecurities of not being enough for my boys and His reassurance that HE is
64.  Winter Dream Tea Latte from a thoughtful friend

January 28
65.  Dinner out with girl friends
66.  Pinterest reminding me of amazing and dear friends who are far away but close to my heart
67.  Letting go for a short break
68.  Talking to my mama
69.  Healing for my son from the fever

January 29
70.  Playdough time
71.  My son pointing out the singing of the birds, which I wasn't even noticing
72.  My baby singing in the bath
73.  Photos and note from friends who live far away but visited this last fall
74.  The sweet little faces of my boys captured in those photos and cemented in my heart for all time!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Joy Dare
January 16
19.  A long uninterrupted nap and shower--I'm learning to accept gifts as unearned acts of generosity.
20.  The delight on my boys' faces when they were delivering chocolates to me--Don't get me wrong, I loved the chocolates, too, but the excitement of my older one to give me a special present, and the adorable grin of the baby while he held (and munched on) two chocolates in a small wrapped package were all the gifts I could have asked for!
21.  A conversation with my husband about totally random interesting things--It seems rare lately that we have (or at least take) the time just to have a conversation that isn't related to our home, parenting, or functioning as a family; it was a refreshing time just to enjoy each other.

January 17
22.  Parenting my boys made me pray.  I am so thankful and so humbled by the opportunity to parent these two amazing gifts, and sometimes I feel fear creep in when it doesn't seem to be going well, and I have to remember over and over and over again that God is greater in their lives than I am.  So I pray.
23.  An unlikely gift, but I'm thankful and laughing at the poop in the potty today!  We hit a stretch where it was being avoided, and today, not only did he go, but he was delighted with himself and proceeded to describe what each piece looked like!
24.  We are starting a series as a whole congregation around the book Emotionally Healthy Spirituality.  I have only finished the first chapter so far, but it draws me back again to this journey that God is pressing me on to let Him transform the deep parts of me and not just try to manage and control and clean up the surface.

January 18
25. 2 Corinthians 12:9  It seems to be the verse I am wrapping my heart and soul around in this season to truly believe and walk in faith that "His grace is sufficient" and that His strength is made perfect in weakness!
26.  Jesus shares the two greatest commandments...LOVE!  Love Him.  Love others.  I want to center my life and family and my home around this!!!  So simple and yet so challenging!
27.  Bible stories with my son at night--I am thankful for the chance to share these with my little boy and that he looks forward to them and asks about them and engages them, and I trust God's promise that His word will not return void.

January 19
28. I had been starting to not feel very well, and I woke up in the middle of the night during one of the baby's rough stretches feeling really, really awful.  I thought about the next morning and had the hope that maybe my husband could take half a day off of work so that I could go in to see the doctor.  A major struggle for me that God is really pressing me on is to admit I need help and to accept it.  The next morning before I said anything, John suggested taking a half day off so that he could take Isaiah to the museum, which Isaiah had been so looking forward to.  In spite of that huge blessing, I still had to fight the impulse in myself to say no and suggest that I just figure out a way to handle the day, but thankfully, I accepted.  It was so needed and such a blessing that I nearly missed, but I am so thankful for the little steps of walking more fully in God's grace for me!
29.  Time to just sit and smile with my baby
30.  A slow, unrushed walk with my boys, noticing leaves and signs and flowers and grass and tree bark and little gifts in our little urban corner.

January 20
31.  My son's excitement to be able to pick out library books and the pleasure of watching him get engrossed in "reading" them
32.  Ice cream treats
33.  A sweet and trusted babysitter for the boys who loves on them and navigates even tricky times gracefully

January 21
34.  My boys' affection for each other
35.  My baby's delight at faces and people
36.  The fabric store--It is fun to choose the pieces for a project for my son with him, but it also reminds me of the many times of carefully choosing patterns and fabric, a treasured outing with my mama at least once a year as she patiently taught me to sew.
37.  Discovering a video, as I sorted through last year's, of my son holding my baby on his first day home

January 22
38.  Loving parents who delight in being involved in my children's lives and invest so much to do that across the distance
39.  Quiet home tonight
40.  My son's enthusiasm about meals lately:  "This is a yummy, yummy meal, Mom!"
41.  Blogs of many amazing women that I've discovered lately that inspire, encourage, and speak truth
42.  Sitting quietly together with John, both reading

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Joy Dare

JOY DARE 2012 (see page for explanation)

January 10
1. Sweets in general--With nursing my baby, I've had such a craving for sweets, and I feel really struck in thinking of something sweet today what a luxury it is to have desserts at all, and I'm thankful for being able to ENJOY food!  Sweets speak to me of "extra," of abundance.
2.  Being able to feed my children healthy food and having plenty of food to feed them.
3.  Comfort Food--As I ate my poached egg and toast, I thought of the many times my mom would make me soft-boiled eggs and toast when I was sick, and I'm thankful to have been loved and nurtured as a child and that certain foods still trigger that feeling for me.

January 11
4.  The color yellow itself gives me joy because it is my son's favorite color, and he gets excited about seeing things in his favorite color.
5.  My boys and this yellow laptop--It has often seemed on its last leg, but this computer is still hanging in there for us, and both boys have always been drawn to play with it.  Seeing my baby stretching over the edge of the couch to reach the laptop or bang with his screaming, grunting delight is a little treat in my day.
6.  Stomp rocket--My parents bought a little rocket launcher for Isaiah that you hit with your foot to launch the foam rockets.  Isaiah has gotten such delight out of it, and when he took it to the playground, it became this sweet vehicle for him to engage other kids in a newly bold way that was very special to him, really fun for them all, and a really treasured moment for me to stand back and watch.

January 12
7.  Deciduous tree leaves--Isaiah recently learned the word "deciduous" from Sesame Street, so it has been drawing his, and therefore my, attention to all the leaves above us in the trees.  I am always struck by the variety in them!  But, with the focus on "deciduous," I am also struck by the amazing process of making all things new, even through paths that seem bare and dead!
8. Our bedroom floor--It is just beautiful to me and feels like such a treat to have been able to put it in.  I'm really enjoying having laminate on most of the floors in our new-ish home, actually.
9.  My son's sweet face inches from mine, joining in singing a bedtime song, "From the Rising of the Sun."

January 13
10.  My baby's laugh--When someone makes a raspberry noise, he just giggles with total delight, and it is most adorable and infectious sound!
11. "Mommy...Mommy...Mommy"--It seems like it comes out of my toddler's mouth several hundred times a day, and sometimes it stretches my patience, but I am remembering how thankful I am to be able to be here, home full-time with him to hear all of those and that he loves and trusts me to call on me all throughout the moments of his day.
12.  The turn of the key when my husband is arriving home from work!

January 14
13.  A visit from a friend I rarely see who is just a treat to be around
14.  Having two boys who eat well and having plenty of good food to feed them.  Also really thankful for experiencing some grace in not always having the "ideal" meals that I'd like to have prepared for them!  I have struggled with being really hard on myself about this, but my husband and my boys flow with my shortcomings in energy in this area during this season really graciously, and it has been a very obvious area of life that I have had to yield and release the weight of my own expectations.  Still struggle often but thankful for experiencing grace here.
15.  As I pass on some baby hand-me-downs to my friend, I am reminded of how generously and graciously we have been provided for in the things we have needed (and way beyond actual needs!) for our boys!

January 15
16.  Hearing "Daddy, I'm doing it!" as my son delighted in helping Daddy with the task of trimming ivy from the patio.  He so delights in pleasing us!
17.  After a discouraging discipline interaction, my son crawled in my lap during bedtime songs.  I am so grateful that God is bigger in my boys' lives than even my greatest strengths of parenting but especially that His strength is made perfect in my weakness!  Learning to connect to this truth!
18. My pajama pants--They are so soft, and they are part of a gift from my sweet mom that represents a tradition passed down for generations.