Monday, April 4, 2011

Gratitude... in the midst of...

I have been negligent in writing my gratitude posts. I haven't meant to but it's just been something that I almost avoided. I dont' know why- i have no reason... I think I have been down in the dumps these past couple of weeks and so I have let joyful things slip. What i should do is confront despair with delight, troubles with thanks, grief with gratitude. And I will... here, today.

Gemma's sick, you see. I know it's probably not a big deal but we've been warned many times over to keep her healthy- especially from respiratory illness. Somehow, she caught my cold. I did try to keep myself from being too close to her but she's a baby and needs snuggles. She's also in that stage where she suddenly opens her mouth and tries to eat your face- with no warning... hard to avoid contact there, believe me.

in the midst of worry, or concern- which I can often table with a large dose of avoidance- I've been trying to give thanks. When worry seems to rise up in my belly, I have been audibly giving thanks. Ann Voskamp said that you can only feel one thing at a time and she chooses to feel grateful- fight feeling with feeling. I am choosing gratitude also. Amidst what feels like chaos, amidst what feels frightening, amidst what feels so far beyond my control, I will be grateful; I am grateful.

I have been particularly sensitive this year to the weather- the gray days stretch out in a seeming abyss of gloom and there seems to be no end to the snow. I love Minnesota and the winters and all the beauty that is snowfall and icicles and mittens and hot chocolate but this winter seems to have wrapped it's cold fingers around my spirit. To say it's been difficult is accurate- trudging through each day, feeling really rotten, pretty defeated, worried about Gemma, anxious about her future, knowing that she has not been healed yet... it has taken it's toll. Daylight savings came and with it, the extra sun and with it... a small seed of Spring in my heart. Maybe it's because I had a baby at the beginning of winter and my hormones were crazy and my emotions were naturally depressed for awhile but there is such hope in the promise of this Spring... The end of flu season, the ability to be outside, the freedom to go places with my girl and not feel selfish or guilty for choosing an experience at the risk of her health.

I long for the quiet spontaneity of summer- the days that blend into one another with sunshine and beaches, sand and grass, dirty baby feet and sun hats. It's not that I don't love the winter but I am ready for new birth, new life, new warmth, Spring.

So, why haven't I documented gratitude these past few weeks? I think I've been a bit depressed and haven't had the motivation to be posting creative and reflective essays. I was and still am... tired. Up at night with a sick baby, up at night myself not feeling well, Abe not feeling well. Just tiring.

But in the spirit of Spring, I choose this new hope. This new gratitude. This new life.

So, in no particular order... #110-120

Gemma eating solids... we tried peas (gagging, turning of head and blowing them back out of her mouth at us ensued.) Then we tried squash (so far so good... she's gotten most of it into her mouth and actually opens it to eat- also, so far, no gagging!) She's so cute when she eats- she sticks her arms straight out from her sides and leans forward with her mouth open like a little bird. Cracks me up... so cute!

Our doctor listened to Gemma's lungs and said they sounded gorgeous- clear and fine. She thinks that this cold will be a non-event. Let's hope! I am so thankful for good medical care- people who love my girl and want the best for her medically.

For sunshine- later in the day, every day, the sun sets. With each extra minute of sunshine, my sprit lifts and Spring gets closer.

For black beans and rice- a delicious meal with fresh cilantro and lime! Yum!

Movie dates with Abe- after Gemma falls asleep, we sit together on the couch and alternate between watching movies and dozing off. It's a nice quiet way to end the day.

For apple-cinnamon muffins- I really want to find the Jiffy ones that my mom used to make when I was little but can't find them anywhere! Any suggestions?

For infant tylenol. Gemma seems to respond really well to it and it gives her much needed uninterrupted sleep while she's sick.

For friends who reassure me that I am doing a good job- that I am a good mama- that I just need to relax and enjoy my girl! For their willingness to give me sound medical advice and patience while I ask ridiculous questions. Kelly, you are the best!

For the promise of togetherness. Though i may feel alone or lonely, the presence of God never leaves my side. He is in all and around me at all times. The only times I feel alone, I may have stepped away- His constancy is like a warm quilt of security.

For the smell of spring and the Moby wrap, too. We took a short walk with Gemma in the Moby- oh, how I LOVE to snuggle her like that and hold Abe's hand at the same time. What a gift!

I am living in the resurrection promise of Spring- new life, new hope, Spring cleaning, forgiveness, new motivation, togetherness in God's great creation!

Seeing the Spring light,

Photos of G eating coming soon!

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