Saturday, January 20, 2007

Pure Joy

a. Intense and especially ecstatic or exultant happiness.
b. The expression or manifestation of such feeling.

My oldest daughter is 4. And she is VERY MUCH 4, if you will. She is curious and busy and adorable and very outgoing. It seems that I remember, even at that age, being very self conscious of what I said, what I did, how I looked and what people, peers and elders alike, thought of me. Not a good thing for a four year old to have to worry about. Granted, I had some issues that led to me feeling that way - stuttering being one of them, but I have a feeling that even if Kylie stuttered it wouldn't stop her from being who and how she is. She is one of a kind...

The other day when Jason got home, we all piled on Macey's new bed and, as the kids called it, "roughed up." This usually consists of some throwing around, chasing, tickling, and A LOT of screaming. Normally, I would hide in the kitchen and finish dinner or do something else while Jason takes his turn with the kids. But, this night I was in the thick of it, right along with Kylie.

It was a very cool moment for me. I was tickling her and was able to watch just her face. She has an adorable smile - but usually when she is trying to smile for a camera or something, it turns into more of a grimace at the most, and is pretty cheesy at the least. But, this evening, got to see her "pure joy smile."

We have some good friends that have a cabin on a lake. We have been blessed to join them on quite a few occasions. Usually we have at least one late night of cards, beer, and great conversation. One evening in particular it was really late, and toward the end of the week so we were really tired and the conversation was digressing rapidly somewhere in the realm of flatulence. Anyway, my husband was doubled over laughing uncontrollably. When he finally recovered, he commented that he laughed until he "lost control of his face." I was reminded of that when I was watching Kylie laugh. No inhibition, no self-consciousness, no concerns, no worries, just pure joy.

Oh, that I could lose myself like that. To experience on a regular basis true joy. And even more - to seek it out! Can you imagine - seeking opportunities to lose control - yikes! Whether it be in laughing (it does happen occasionally), or in worship, or in anything, I believe that some of the most intense freedom experiences happen when all inhibitions are tossed aside. God, make it more of a daily experience. Let me know the joy of being in YOU!!!!

So, here's to laughing until you lose control of you face!!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Lessons from the little ones

Over the past month since I posted last I have had so very many thoughts and ideas about topics to blog about - but, obviously, they have remained only thoughts and ideas. Most of them have to do with the kids and their antics and challenging moments along with the moments of pure joy they bring me. I had originally aspired to write one blog a week - a very lofty goal for me - but, again, that didn't happen. So, as I was sitting here this morning thinking of looking at bills and maybe hunting for a new car online, I thought - no time like the present. So, here is a quick rundown of the lessons learned and insights gained from my three (almost four) munchkins.

"real parents"

With the imminent arrival of Thompson 4.0 just a few months away, I finally broke down and decided to go the bunk bed route. I am a worrier by nature, and quite consistently had visions of my oldest rolling of the top bunk and breaking herself into bits. Granted, kids have been sleeping on bunk beds for years, and I was a "top bunker" myself for many years, but none of that mattered when it came to Kylie. Of course, if something bad could happen, it would to her.

But, nevertheless, I did it. Two very amazing families in the church gave us their old beds (thanks a ton guys), and now we have two sets of bunks in our two rooms. A boy room (the newest addition is a boy - yeah)! and a girls room. As we, or more accurately, as JASON was setting up the first set I had this overwhelming feeling of "oh God, oh God, oh God" - in a good way, I mean. I think for the last four and a half years I've been so in the baby stage - it's kind of been a blur. Diapers and wipes and potty training and high chairs and cribs and car seats and ahhhhh....all that stuff. But bunk beds are for REAL KIDS - that must mean that we are REAL PARENTS.

Not that the baby stage doesn't constitute as real, but there was this intense realization that they are not babies anymore. My mom would say that they are always your babies, but you know what I mean. My oldest is starting kindergarten in the fall, and my middle is really separating himself as THE BOY in the family - in every sense of the word. And my youngest - the baby, is sleeping in a big girl bed all by herself - no rails, no cribs - she is making her own way!

And to top all that - there is another one coming. I fell blessed. I've heard it said that a "rich man's family" is one boy and one girl. We are going to have two boys and two girls - that must make us rich beyond measure - God is good!

I wanted to post more, but this rich mom's family is needing some attention (ie - sesame street is done) - so I will try to post some more tomorrow or tonight (we'll see how well that goes).