A Kiss on the Forehead

Encountering Heaven in Every Day Life

Multitude Monday: Buddy Bear Edition :)

Okay, so generally when I do a Multitude Monday post, it’s a post about the things, big and small, that I’m thankful for. But over the last week and a half since we’ve moved to the city, I have been so blessed to watch the world through my 18 month old’s eyes. He was born in the beautiful smoky mountains, and really, all he’s known is simple, country living. Having lived in the big city before, I’ve always kind of considered myself to be a “city girl” (I grew up in suburbia and went to college in the heart of downtown Chicago). I hadn’t thought about it before we moved, but for Buddy Bear, most of what’s around him now that we’ve switched to a VERY different, Urban terrain is completely new and foreign to him. He’s a country mouse in the big city, and everything, even the things that I take for granted, are new, big, and exciting. Beyond that, but he’s at an age where he’s able to express his excitement about the new things. It is SO fun to watch. So here you have, a list of what I’ve noticed HE might say he’s thankful for today.

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1. Cars. The boy LOVES cars, and in the city, there’s NO shortage of them. You would think that would be something he gets used to quickly. But no. Every time we go outside, he’s pointing, saying “Cah. Cah. CAAAAAHH!!” and giggling.

2. Dogs. Yes, you run into more dogs in the city than in the country. And yes, he wants to stop and look at each and every one of them.

3. Escalators. HOLY. COW. The child LOVES escalators. This morning we went to Target. Without thinking about it, I stepped on the escalator with him in my arms. You would have thought we were on a space shuttle ride to the moon. He squealed and laughed and marveled as we went up, up, up. He looked at my feet again and again, simply tickled by the fact that mommy wasn’t walking, but it sure felt like it. As soon as we got off, he started signing for “more”. So, as a treat, we rode the escalator up and down four times on the way out of target. Child’s day = made. And yes, he cried when we got off for the last time.

4. Free Museum Thursday. There is a nature museum about 15 minutes away that is free on Thursdays. They have frogs, snakes, fish, plants, a giant water table for kids to play in, an indoor playground with tunnels and slides, and best of all, a butterfly exhibit. He chased butterflies for almost 45 minutes last week, flapping his arms and pointing and squealing. Complete BLISS.

5. Buses. See #1, but magnify the excitement times 1,000.

6. Squirrels. Again, Buddy Bear has always loved squirrels, but this is a completely different animal. It’s kinda gross to think about, but city squirrels are MUTANT-HUGE. Plus, the window in our livingroom overlooks a park, and the window also has a gate on it. The squirrels like to hang out on that gate in the afternoon, so really, it’s like going to the zoo without leaving our living room.

7. Airplanes.  We live not too far from one of the busiest airports in the nation. Planes are constantly coming and going. Every time we step outside, his eyes are on the sky and he always finds a plane and waves “buh bye!” as it disappears.

8. White noise machine. A downfall of moving from the country to the city is that the city is LOUD. When you are born into a country environment and only ever sleep in silence, moving to a big city is a HARD adjustment on your sleep routine. Solution = a white noise machine. Sleep magic.

9. Trains. See #1 and #5.

10. Lights. We live in a part of town that has a LOT of blinking lights. Think Vegas on a mini-scale. Every store and shop has neon flashing. This is mesmerizing to a toddler.

11. IKEA.  Need I say more?

12.  Shopping Malls with play areas.  Not only did we move from the country to the city, but we moved from the south to the north. It’s COLD. It’s wet. It’s snowy. For a little guy who’s used to going outside and at least walking 2x a day outdoors, being inside all day long can be kind of a bummer. THANKfully, most shopping malls now have those little indoor play areas. And we don’t live too far from a shopping mall. Fabulous.

13. People. Not surprisingly, my child is a social being. He is fascinated by people, and will smile and talk to everyone around him. In the city, there are people EVERYWHERE. Not only that, but in the specific area we are living, these people are more than just white Americans. This area is INCREDIBLY ethnically diverse. I remember the first time he saw someone with a much darker skin tone than his own. He stared for a LONG time. I am so grateful he is in a place where he is being exposed to people of LOTS of colors, languages, dialects, and mannerisms. What a neat experience for a little kid. 

14. Sirens. To adults, these can be quite annoying. But to a toddler boy??!?!?!?!!! Hearing a firetruck, police car, or ambulance siren is cause to throw down the blocks you are playing with and RUN to the window, point, and squeal. 

15. Tall buildings. I know, that’s a given living in a city. But I forget that he hasn’t ever seen anything of this magnitude before. Outdoors or in the car, he is always wide-eyed and looking up. Precious.

16. Elevators. Kinda like the escalators, but really, we all know elevators are COMPLETELY different. We went to Michaels the other day, and it was on the fifth floor of the building we were in. We climbed onto a crowded elevator on the first floor and provided entertainment for each of the other 15 people on that elevator the entire way up. Every time the elevator door opened, he yelled “OOOOOOOOHHHHH!!” and everyone laughed. Then the door would close and he would watch intently until it opened again. Magic. Pure magic.

17. Close proximity to Grandparents.  This isn’t because we’re in “the city” so to speak, except that this specific city is only 2 hours from my parents. We spent Christmas time with them, and Buddy Bear LOVES his grandparents. It’s so nice to be close again so he can start to develop more of a relationship with them.

18. Snow. Again, more because we went from south to north, but snow fascinates this kid. He doesn’t like it once it is on the ground but when it’s snowing outside, he is enthralled. Hands up in the air, squealing.

19. Swimming lessons. We live close to the YMCA. This kid LOVES water. And at the YMCA, swimming lessons are affordable. So Saturday mornings, he gets daddy time and water. It’s awesome.

I could probably go on and on… looking at the mundane through the eyes of a child is INCREDIBLE. NOTHING gets old. EVERYTHING is exciting and new. I am enjoying this fresh perspective in the crazy chaotic world of city living, and I’m so very thankful for the little man who is helping me to remember to take time out for the small things. 🙂

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Cleaning that closet…

You know that one closet?  You know, the one that, over time, has gotten sooooo messy and chaotic that you get overwhelmed, and instead of taking everything out and clean it, you choose to simply close the door and pretend like it’s not there?

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That’s kind of how I’ve been toward writing lately. And honestly, I think that in moments, that’s how I’ve been toward my heart.

I know writing is good for me. I know I have things to say. But quite honestly, these last five months or so have been so chaotic, so full of confusion and frustration and joy and busy-ness and transition… I’ve had so many thoughts I’ve wanted to put to the page, but haven’t known where to start. I’ve been overwhelmed, so I haven’t even entertained the thought of sitting down to write. 

First, a brief synopsis of what’s happened since you saw me last…

  • We spent a month at home with family and friends. We were refreshed.
  • We celebrated Buddy Bear’s first birthday. We were sad and happy all at once. How QUICKLY time passes!
  • The theater company I was a part of went through a major change and temporarily ceased to exist. I grieved.
  • We went on our first EVER vacation and our first EVER cruise (it was the same trip, but a lot of firsts!). We enjoyed one another.
  • We got (SURPRISE) pregnant. We struggled with that, because the timing was “wrong.” Then we got excited about this blessing.
  • We miscarried. We felt “teased.” I was angry.
  • We hosted a “Love and Respect” couples study in our home in an effort to make some new friends. We had fun stretching ourselves.
  • We got (SURPRISE) pregnant again (and yes we know how that happens). We were elated.
  • We found out it was TWINS. We were terrified.
  • Buddy bear started walking. Our lives changed.
  • We lost one of the twins around 12 weeks. While we were overjoyed the other was healthy, we were devastated
  • We struggled with knowing what to do next for Mr. Right’s internship, since it was supposed to be overseas, but the pregnancies and lack of funding were making it difficult. We prayed
  • Doors opened to work with a ministry in the city instead. God instantly provided. We rejoiced.
  • We prepared to move across the country upon Mr. Right’s completion of school. We lived in chaos.
  • We celebrated Christ’s birth with family and friends. We rested.
  • We moved two hours south to the city. We will be here for two months. After that we have no idea what’s next. But, we are trusting.

I don’t share all that to say “look how crazy my life is.” I know that, in comparison to many people, my last six months have been a cake walk. But I know that some of you out there are in the same place as I am, and I want to offer you encouragement.  Frankly, I walked into this new year exhausted. Once having the heart of an adventurer, I currently find myself longing for stability, for a firm place to stand. I often picture this as my husband working a stable job bringing home a steady income and living in a home for more than 8 months at a time. But realistically, that’s not what He’s called us to right now, and that’s not the path we are walking right now. 

And yet, I’m grateful for the instability, because it makes me cling to the only consistency in the chaos.

“For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him

He only is my rock and my salvationmy fortress; I shall not be shaken

On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty rockmy refuge is God. 

Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him

God is a refuge for usSelah”  Psalm 62:5-8

In HIM, life isn’t quite so overwhelming.

So come on, heart. It’s time to let God clean out that closet. It’s time to be poured at His feet. It’s time to rest in His salvation. It’s time to stand firm on the Rock once again. Only in Him can we find stability.

 
 

 

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