Monday, December 14, 2015

Far more abundantly than all that we ask or think.

On Saturday morning, my husband woke me up at a little before 7. He let me know he was going to hop in the shower, and then I could go. (The house was gloriously quiet with both girls sweetly asleep, which we still can't get over!) It has been a while since I'd done it, but we were trying to get back into our old practice of my going out on Saturday mornings while he watches the girls.

 I used to love these mornings! Leisurely mornings starting at a coffee shop with my Bible and notebook, and then perhaps going to "Market", as we call our Farmer's Market in Lancaster. Depending on the amount of time my husband was able to give me that Saturday, maybe some thrift-store shopping would occur, a favorite past time of mine. 

I am definitely an introvert, needing my time alone- which of course is not easy to come by in this season of life. (As we've been over on almost every blog post I've written so far!) The times when I've been able to make it happen this year have been sweet. So, I was rather excited to wake that morning.

"So when would you like me home?", I asked, in a very typical-wife moment of already having the answer in my mind which I would like him to tell me. "9:30?", he gracious replied. And then I replied, not so graciously, how I was hoping it would be more like noon! He kindly reminded me of all the things we really needed to use the day for, and how a whole morning with me gone would not work so well. I told him it was hardly worth going out for just two hours! And then he took his shower.

I complained in my heart for a while, and laid in our bed instead of making it. With half a mustard seed of faith I prayed that God would help my bad attitude. But I also let Him know how annoyed and disappointed I was!-having all week daydreamed about a morning away and alone.

Then, I heard little footprints. Emmylou's. She opened the door quietly and smiled her sleepy smile and crawled into bed with her cranky/searching-for-grace Mother. She snuggled into me carefully and quietly for a moment, then sat up and said, "Is it morning or is it night?" I told her it was morning, but it was still dark out. And curiously, she hopped out of bed and pulled back the shade. "You're right, it's still dark.", she said in such a big-girl way, and cheerfully climbed back into bed with me.

It was one of those moments I have often as a Mom. I am set on being miserable and cranky and selfish, knowing it's wrong. And I half heartedly pray about it, not really expecting anything to change. But suddenly ,the simple sweetness of one of my children brings me back to reality. Their innocence melts my heart. The answer to my half-hearted prayers for help! I can't help but smile as I think/pray: "She is so darn cute. I love being her Mom. I wouldn't have life any other way. All the little sacrifices are so worth it." You just see it so clearly for a moment. And strength and joy comes for the next task of the day.

With the sound of my husband's shower in the background,and the darkness still outside,(and Emmy not knowing what was going on in my heart at all)-I asked her,"Do you want to go to a coffee shop with Mommy this morning?" In her Emmy way, she cheerfully/nonchalantly said,"Oh. Sure!" We went to her room and got dressed. I took a couple pictures of her being cute with her little stuffed bunnies and I let Bron know she was coming with me. He smiled at me, his crazy wife.

We packed a bag full of stickers and notebooks and things for her to do while I worked on a couple things, and off we went. Emmy commented on "the lovely sunrise", and I was instantly so glad I brought her with me. I drove the short drive to the coffee shop downtown, and she squealed with delight over the houses with Christmas lights, and the sparkly wreaths on the lampposts lining the streets.

She did so well at the coffee shop! She chose baked oatmeal with blueberries, and picked from the basket of toys they had there to play with. She barely made a peep! She just smiled and enjoyed herself immensely. I couldn't help but turn away from my work to interject a few questions into her concentrated-play ,"How do you like being a big sister? "What do you think Daddy wants for Christmas?" She answered me politely, and probably thought I was being weird. ;}

It was our first Just-Emmy-and-Mommy-Date, and I think it might have to become more of a regular thing. I couldn't imagine time alone at the coffee shop, even a whole morning alone, being any better than that time together. I truly just felt so blessed by my sweet daughter!

After some time there, we walked right next door to Market. She put change in the red Salvation Army bucket. She helped pick a donut for Daddy, and waved shyly to the lady at the flower stand who goes to our church. We bought a chicken and some sausage from the meat stand, and two lovely mini poinsettias for the windowsill.

 She held a dollar in her hand to pick a Christmas cookie. But before our last stop for that, we swung by the Amish stand that sells all sorts of Amish handmade things, and a random pile of used Little Golden Books. Much to my surprise and delight, I found one I've been dreaming of adding to our collection!
Eloise Wilkin's "Baby's Christmas".  I am always trying to hunt down books of hers- her illustrations are so detailed and beautiful and filled with simple home-life things. When I saw this book, I snatched it up with an audible gasp. I couldn't believe my eyes! This stand usually has lots of character books- Mickey Mouse and Big Bird and such. It just felt like such a specific and tangible blessing for me, from a God who knows and loves His children. I couldn't help but smile, inside and out.

We got home, and  put our poinsettias in their spot. We read our new book quite a few times. Little sister Sadie especially loved it. And then, we got to work- as my husband had planned. What did we need to work on? Well, among other things- Saturday was the day we set aside to officially organize my art area!
It is no Pinterest-worthy art room, but all those things in the corner-shelf had been hidden, rather symbolically,
in boxes since we moved into our home two summers ago. And now, all of my creative supplies are set out and ready for time to start making things again, as the Lord allows. Such a happy thought for me.

I was super excited to find two of the last things I've ever made. An unfinished girl, waiting to be placed in some kind of background with some kind of Scripture around her. And a very unprofessional embroidery of a favorite line from a Johnny Cash song. The song my husband and I walked down the aisle to together after saying our wedding vows.

On Saturday morning, I woke thinking that all I want to do is be alone for a few hours- and giving that up brought about such sweeter fruit. That happens so often in the Christian Life, doesn't it? Most days, we feel like we are just searching and praying and trying to get through. Then one day you are just so aware of the goodness of God, and you wonder how you could ever forget. You know you did :nothing: to deserve it. The end of the book of Ephesians comes to mind.

"That according to the riches of His glory

He may grant you to be strengthened with power through His Spirit

in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—

that you, being rooted and grounded in love,

may have strength to comprehend with all the saints

what is the breadth and length and height and depth,

and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge,

that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think,

according to the power at work within us, to Him be glory.."

Ephesians 3:16-21



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  2. Aw! I love this story and I love your Johnny Cash quote embroidery! Seeing your art supplies shelf is encouraging...I need to organize my things in a more accessible space! xoxo