Tuesday, February 03, 2015


I would love to tell you that I spent the month of January taking a long winter's nap.  But I didn't take a long winter's nap or a short winter's nap.  "Nap" is not even in my vocabulary right now.  But if I could, I sure would!

It really is hard to believe that January is now over.  It's February.  As much as I really wanted to hibernate and take naps and read a book or two or three or four (because I really think that's what Januarys should be for!), we spent the month doing ordinary things.  But I really have found the EXTRAordinary in the ordinary day-to-day stuff.  I'll be honest.  Some days (many days even) I want to crawl back under the covers and let somebody else deal with it all.  But not really.  Because I don't want to miss a thing!  I already know how quickly the years fly by, even if the days are long sometimes.

I found myself often times just staring at them.  Staring.  I am absolutely fascinated, absolutely captivated by these three littles that fill my life with so much laughter and fun and frustration and tears and joy and everything else you can think of.
January was just a really fun family time.  We finally got to see the much anticipated Paddington movie.  I don't typically look forward to kiddie movies.  I'd much rather see a big people movie.  But I was really looking forward to this one.  I mostly couldn't wait to see Ellie's reaction to the movie that she'd been watching the trailer to day after day.  She even prayed for Pad Bear!  The movie begins in the jungle of Peru, and while it isn't scary, the bears look so very real.  Ellie immediately scrambled out of her seat and into my lap and buried her head as far down in my lap as she could.  I finally convinced her to look up after the jungle scene was over.  Sometimes she watched, and sometimes she didn't.  I think she was just mostly indifferent.  But when the movie was over, she promptly asked to watch it again.
January was a big month for Ellie.  She slept in her crib for the very last time.  We left her in there as long as we possibly could.  But she recently began crawling in and out of it.  She didn't do this during the middle of the night or anything, but we knew it wasn't safe for her to be doing so.  And so we took the crib apart for what is probably the last time.  I've not really thought about that a whole lot, but it was bittersweet to say the least.
I picked up Ellie's new bed after Bible study one day.  Since Seth was out of town that week, I waited until he got back at the end of the week to haul it inside.  That was also the same day the mattress was going to be delivered.  When I got everything unpacked, the bed rails were brown, and the bed was eggshell.  The furniture store gave me the wrong bed rails.  To make a long story short, we were not able to get the correct bed rails until the following week so we ended up having to set the mattress on the floor, and that's how Ellie slept for a few nights.  So her first night in her big girl bed was really her first night on her mattress.
She loves to bury herself underneath all the covers.  That's mostly how she sleeps, but sometimes I find her without the covers.
And this was the first night she got to sleep in her fully assembled big girl bed.  She absolutely loves it!
The kids spent two of their January Saturdays doing a missions project with the kids' ministry at our church.  Earlier in the month we had the opportunity to visit the child we decorated cookies with when he was in the hospital recovering from serious burns all over his body.  He was at his new home this time.  We took him some gifts and ate pizza with him.  It was so wonderful to see him smiling and talking and walking.

Last Saturday we volunteered in the dining room at a homeless shelter.  We assembled lunch bags for the homeless.  They were given a ham sandwich, a bag of chips, a breakfast bar and some sort of packaged sweet.  The shelter depends solely on donations for the lunch bags and hot meals they prepare.  And most of the staff are not paid staff but homeless people who just work there.  On this particular day, they didn't have any drinks, only the food we packaged in individual bags.  The chips had been divided out into ziplock bags.  Hannah Kate was putting a bag of chips in each lunch sack.  She showed me one of the bags in which most all of the chips were smashed.  It looked like the bottom of the bag.  She asked me if she should use it.  I told her to go ahead and use it.  In my mind I was thinking that the homeless person who got that bag really wouldn't care that the chips were crushed but would just want the food to eat.  

But as the morning wore on, I really felt conviction about that thought.  In my giving, am I giving out of my leftovers?  Or my abundance?  Because there's a difference.  And why should my giving be any less than the very best I can give, even to someone who has no place to lay her head and no promise of a next meal?  Doesn't she deserve my best, too?  I left the chips as they were.  But I must say that was a humbling experience, especially as I can home to my organic vegetables and grass fed meat that I paid a lot for at Whole Foods.  My refrigerator is full of that kind of stuff.  I'm not saying that's a bad thing.  I'm just saying I need to reevaluate what and how I give sometimes.    

January . . . it was a good month!  It was a great start to a new year.

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