I visited dear, photogenic people (and a baby!) today, but as usual, I was too busy talking to get my camera out. So you are left with the view I had when I got home. Not an adorable baby, but it’ll do.
At first glance, it may be difficult to see the beauty here. I didn’t take it during the Golden Hour when the light was just right. It isn’t part of the snow-covered landscape. But it was part of a lovely evening, where a few women gathered to make freezer meals for a friend who had surgery.
I can’t explain what is so special about serving together. Maybe it is how God wired us? He commands us to love one another, so should it be surprising that serving one another can bring great joy?
Anyhow, I was able to make lots of burritos, roll out pizza pretzels, drink some wine, and get to know these wonderful gals a bit better.
As if this weren’t enough, I was able to see evidence of the little people who live in this house, which made my joy complete.
As the sun quickly descended this afternoon, I realized I hadn’t taken a picture today for the DPP. I picked up my camera and looked at my options: sun was glinting off the back of a nutcracker; Maddie had just sat down with her tea, raisins and a clementine; or, I could head outside in the 5 degree weather.
This is what I love about the photo project: the hunt for beauty. My soul feels revived as I search and find the beautiful breadcrumbs God has left to lead us to himself.
This is MP’s room in the basement. I frequently stop and soak in the view when the light comes through the window. The light transforms her messy bed into art, and I almost forget to be annoyed that she NEVER MAKES IT.
This bed pretty much reflects my state of mind this morning. We woke up to a gently falling snow that had already covered the ground and trees. We were supposed to go to Life Group on the other side of town, so I obediently showered and got my egg casserole in the oven. But my heart wasn’t in it. I had a difficult time shedding my fuzzy red robe, and when the neighbor called to tell me the roads were slick, I felt relief wash over me. I could rest today. So I did.
So did the cat, but every day is the Sabbath for him.
Today was Christmas Baking Day, for those of you who don’t celebrate this holiday.
Every year we head to my mother-in-law’s with a trunkful of ingredients, and return home with all sorts of cookies and candy we should share, but rarely do.
When the girls talk about what they love about Christmas, this day rates way up at the top. I am thankful. I don’t feel like much of a tradition-maker, but traditions have seemed to happen in spite of my lack of planning.
What was NOT traditional this year was the ninja gingerbread man cookie cutter one of the cousins sneaked in. We made a few regular gingerbread men for grandma, but the rest of us wanted ninjas. Two years ago we had Harry Potter characters, and last year it was zombies. What will the cousins think of next?
Becca’s a wrapper.
She not only loves to give presents, she loves to wrap them. As in, I don’t do any wrapping unless the present is for her. Don’t hate me.
This morning she asked me if she could wrap while I read to her about Sequoyah. Yes, yes. A thousand times yes.
Other people have been the recipient of her wrapping love, and I am thankful she is using her wrapping gifts to bless others. Ha!
Gabe comes over once a week after school while Maddie gives his sister a piano lesson.
First he asks me if I have any snacks. We look together. Then he sits down at the kitchen table, and crumbs scatter in a 5-foot radius. Then he tries to wipe the crumbs into his hand, and throws them away.
Sometimes he plays with our old legos, but his go-to is Rebecca’s favorite book at his age: Snakes and Reptiles: The Scariest Cold-Blooded Creatures on Earth. The book only shows the most deadly critters, usually poisoning or chomping some unsuspecting humans.
Then it is time to go home. He likes it when he has a ride, but if it is nice, I encourage him to walk. Sometimes, he gives me a hug that makes me melt. I’ve never had a little boy, but if I did, I wouldn’t mind if he was like Gabe.
Today was the day I drove to the top floor of a parking garage to meet my girl. She was so excited to show me where she attends nursing classes, then do a health assessment for me. Her enthusiasm overflowed, and I tried not to giggle and be serious.
Today was also our foster baby’s first birthday. Her new mama sent me a picture of sweet babe smiling away at me. It did my heart good to see her, but I also felt a deep tug.
Today ended by taking my youngest out to buy Christmas presents. She loves to give gifts. At the end of the evening, as we finished our sandwiches, she told me she would rather shop with me than with her friends.
Today was a good day.
My baby turned 14. I don’t really call her “my baby” that much anymore, since she outgrew me last year. Or was that two years ago?
I have learned so much from this girl. She is so creative, so tenacious, and so insightful in her own way. She broke the mold when she was born, and has taught me how to parent on my knees instead of with my own wisdom.
How rewarding and challenging it is to be your mama, and how I look forward to the strong, feisty young woman God is shaping you to be.
Maddie-poo is too mature to use her childhood endearment, so I shortened her nickname to the important-sounding “MP”. It suits her well.
Maddie is delightful. She is so funny, I am quite certain she makes me laugh almost every day. She swims against the tide. There’s no one like her.
What a privilege it was to capture this beautiful young woman, and what a joy it is to be her mama.