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Monday, April 25, 2011

Grateful

My kids vie for prayer privileges around here.  Even Buddy says "[Buddy] tuwn!!" when it comes time for family prayer or blessing the food at mealtimes.  And each one seems to attempt to outdo the other in gratitude.  It will start off normal enough "We thank Thee for our family and our home...", but soon it becomes "and we thank Thee for our table...and our microwave...and our dishwasher...and our mixer...and the green cups..."  I will invariably peek up to see a little face thoughtfully looking around the kitchen for other small appliances to be grateful for.  Or another time "We thank Thee for our home, and our backyard...and our garden...trees...and cars...and telephone poles (I caught that kid completely turned around in his chair, chin resting on hand and craning his neck to see around the backyard).

I suppose that it's better than the times that I hear "And please bless us that we can be reverent during prayer.  And stop picking up books right now, and stop poking our brother during prayer.  And bless that we can keep our hands folded while I'm trying to pray." 

Sometimes it's very thoughtfully specific.  At bedtime I hear, "Please bless that I won't see monsters in my closet, or hear spooky sounds, or remember the ninja turtle book that I read today, and that there's no one under my bed or behind my dresser and that I won't think about Darth Vader."

About the same time we had Sweetie our neighbors got a puppy.  A few weeks ago they decided to give the puppy to someone else, much to the sorrow of the whole neighborhood and my children.  Since then, Buddy in every single prayer prays for Abby.  Even though he can't speak very well, he always says "Abby new home" ("bless Abby to be happy in her new home"), and it makes me smile every time. 

And I'm thankful for the kids that make me laugh every day.  Mostly every day.  Okay, every day.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

(Some of) The Best Advice I Ever Got

Like most anyone who's ever gone, I loved EFY (Especially for Youth).  All four years.  And while the weeks of teams, classes, dances, activities, and awkward teenage flirting are just a fun blur, one thing stands clear that I'll never forget.  It was some advice that the speaker said would change our lives.  Three words:

Be. Here. Now.

I was a little confused.  It seemed like a cliche that fit nicely in between "Learn from the past" and "Keep your eye on the future".  Or maybe in a category with "Wherever you go, there you are." 

It wasn't until later, as I grew up, and now as I sit on my wise eagle's perch of early 30's ;)  that I see what it meant, and the wisdom in it.  It means precisely that-- to be here, in this moment, right now.  Instead of wishing your life away to a far and distant time that will be easier or more comfortable or less busy, to dance in it right now.  To love the moments of your life for what they are.  To joy in what you are learning and how you are growing right now, even when it's painful (okay, and if not joy, at least recognition).  To occasionally unplug, and ignore the phone and texts, and really be in your life and home.  Get something out of each moment of your life!  For me, it's taking time to really be interested in the latest recyclables invention that my son has come up with, or to enjoy reading the digger book for the 7th time in a row to my little guy, to ask more questions about how one plays horses during recess, or just to sit and stare in to the face of a baby that is like Christmas morning, dessert, and sunshine rolled into one.  For me, it means to take time to see through the messes, and be glad I have the kids to make them.  To smile at the dryer full of black socks and white shirts, and just be glad that my sweet husband tried to help.  To soak up the few hours of sun, and the rest of the time be glad that the plants are getting watered with no help from me. 

J has always said that I have a blessing-curse of getting lost in the moment.  Because, while, yes, I deal with some scatterbrainedness and punctuality issues--it's usually worth it.  I love being able to enjoy a moment with no thought of before or after.

Be here now.  I guess it's about pausing in the hubbub of life to really connect with the things and people around you, and enjoying the things that really matter.