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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

FRESH AIR TO A STALE WORLD

Today my baby girl is 22. No, I won’t embarrass her by posting baby pictures online for the entire world wide web to see. Take my word for it. She was a beauty. And still is.

Nicole wasn’t one of those girly girls as a child. No pink frills. No lace. No ribbons. She wore jeans, cowgirl boots and an oversized wolf T-shirt until she turned 12. Then one day when I wasn’t paying attention, she went from total tomboy to young woman.

When I turned around, she took my breath away. Now that she’s moved away from home, every time she comes back it’s like she’s bringing fresh air with her. She fills the house with color and music and delight. Having her home is like breathing fresh air after a spring rain.

Before we become parents, we are still becoming the people God means us to be. We are still moving from childhood ourselves; learning to trust our never-quite-enough wisdom; understanding the world and our place in it. When we are blessed by that first child, he turns our world upside down and forces us to find a new place to perch.

When our first born arrived—our wonderful son—I remember my husband and I sitting quietly together holding our precious bundle of blue and whispering. “Life will never be the same.”

And it hasn’t been. We simply cannot imagine life without our children. When they arrived, it was as if God breathed fresh air into our lives and expanded our lungs and our hearts to contain the increased volume of love they brought. Every day our children showed us how to look at the same thing we saw yesterday and see it from fresh eyes. Every day our children showed us delight in things we had forgotten were delightful. Every day God showed us how to love our own children so we could finally understand His love for us.

One day 4-year old Nicole came running into my office, declaring, “Mommy, look what I found!”

Tearing myself away from the computer, I had half a second to wonder what could be so exciting to merit her enthusiasm.

There she stood, next to me, holding an egg beater, turning it slowly, rotating the beater blades like gears on a bicycle. I’d had that egg beater for 15 years, but to my 4-year old daughter, it was brand new; miraculous and exciting. And for a moment, it was exciting to me, too.

To children, everything is fresh and new. They remind us of the amazing things God has created for us in this world. Once reminded, can we continue to look at our world with the freshness of children? Can we retain our childlike love for God and a childlike gratitude for His gifts?

Perhaps we can, if we remember that we are His children.

Happy birthday, Nicole. You are a precious gift from God. He loves you and so do I.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, please help us never lose our childlike love for you. Help us to always see you as our Heavenly Father. I pray that we will always be a sweet blessing to you; a fresh breeze wafting up to heaven. Thank you for being our Heavenly Father and thank you for the fresh air we experience from the children you place in our lives. Amen.

WHAT ABOUT YOU? Do you have an example of a time a child taught you how to look at something with fresh eyes?



24 comments:

MGalloway said...

Great take on this month's topic.

The kids teach me all the time. It's funny how over the years the subject matter has shifted from objects to people to relationships to philosophical discussions.

As far as an example, I never knew that plastic toy shopping carts bouncing down a staircase at six in the morning could actually be entertaining!

From Carol's Quill said...

@ Mike Our daughter used to bounce our cat (dressed in doll clothes, of course) down the stairs in her doll stroller. Our cat is now 20 and probably still wouldn't mind.

Traci B said...

Wonderful post, Carol. I don't have children here, but I have been blessed through interactions with the children of relatives and friends throughout the years. One lesson in particular has stuck with me for the last 17 years or so.

My pastor at the time and her husband were rearing their granddaughter (their son had passed away and his widow was not prepared for life as a single mother). My pastor's husband was out of town on business this particular weekend, so the granddaughter sat with me during church, since Grandma was in the pulpit.

We had communion that morning, and while I was being all solemn and efficient in my consumption of the matzah bread and grape juice, my small charge was sipping and nibbling and saying "aaah" in satisfaction. I started to urge her to finish up quickly, but the Holy Spirit checked me with the thought: "Why not linger over communion? After all, isn't that what communing is about?"

That little girl blessed my life in countless ways during the 9 years we were together. She wasn't my daughter, but I was her "aunt Traci" and we were both the richer for the experience.

From Carol's Quill said...

@ Traci - what a sweet and precious moment. She was so right to linger over communion. I'll probably now think of her during communion for a very long time! Ahhh...

Nicole Peterson said...

Thank you for your blog today Mom and for the birthday wishes. I love you so much and we'll always have those silly and great memories together. Remember that time we missed the exit to Strings at least 4 times because we were having so much fun chatting? =P

From Carol's Quill said...

@ Niki - of course I remember missing our exit! It was as if I didn't care that we missed it. It was just good being together. I love you, too!

Tracy Krauss said...

What a great example the egg beater is. I'm sure to someone who never saw one before it would be a marvel! I can actually remember being fascinated by my grandmother's eggbeater and I am a lot older than Nicole! As a mother of four (My baby is 26) I know exactly what you are talking about in this post.

From Carol's Quill said...

@ Tracy - kitchen gadgets are amazing! Tools, really. Glad I could take you back to your own childhood.

chris said...

Carol, thank you for another inspiring post! Seeing life through a child's eyes is truly a blessing, just wait until you can experience grandchildren, there will be lots more "egg beaters" to come... my grandson is the most awesome gift right next to my two daughters. Be Great !!

From Carol's Quill said...

@ Chris - more eggbeaters to come? Cool!

Keith Wallis said...

Oh dear you should never have asked the question about seeing with a child's eyes. When he was three or four our eldest son grabbed my wife and, pointing to something on the kitchen floor, proclaimed - 'Mummy it's a moveable poo !' It was a very large slug which must have got in through the ventilation brick. (Val has one thing that makes her shiver and cringe - slugs.)

From Carol's Quill said...

@ Keith - Moveable poo! That's priceless. And perfect!

Victor Travison said...

The illustration of the egg beater reminded me of the time my then-wife and 8-year-old stepson were touring a museum. We came across a showcase area where several Model T's and Model A's and other thick-hulled cars stood. My stepson's eyes grew big.

"Oo, fancy cars!"

He thought they were the latest thing in transportation!

I haven't raise children from babyhood, but I have watched my stepson and several nieces and nephews grow up. The things they come up with often make me wonder what thought processes went into it.

~ VT

From Carol's Quill said...

@ VT - A great memory. "Old fashioned cars"--what our family still calls them--are always a delight. They are fancy in their own way.

Terrie said...

Wonderful Carol!! Truly you hit all the notes of fresh air. Life is to be an exciting adventure-but when we turn our attention off the wonder of it all-it becomes a drag.

That is why I adore being around children, they have a way of breathing new life into everything around. I am not ashamed to consider myself unlearned about everything-it keeps that child-like wonder alive in me. I am Forever His Child!!!

May blessings abound in all those that read the gift of your words!

From Carol's Quill said...

@ Terrie - Thanks. "Forever His Child" is a terrific way to think of yourself!

E G Lewis said...

Great memories. I recall when we heard the second one was on the way thinking, "Well, how much harder can it be?" Ha! Boy, did a learn a thing or three. Peace and Blessings

From Carol's Quill said...

@ EG - right. Everyone kept telling us that having a second child is no more work than just having one. As if!

Sarah said...

This was great, Carol! I remember as a child thinking my mother's egg beater was by far the coolest kitchen gadget! We (my brother and sister and I) would take it into the bath tub and create mountains of bubbles with that little thing! Haha!

Now that I am older I thoroughly enjoy the view my children take on things. They notice so much more then I do and find so much joy in the little things. They are my daily reminder of God's love, my breath of fresh air.

Thank you so much for beautiful post! And, Happy Birthday, Nicole! :)

From Carol's Quill said...

@ Sarah - LOL about the mountains of bubbles. What a novel new use for an egg beater! Thank you.

Adam Collings said...

Great post Carol - and very special how you honoured your daughter's birthday and tied it in to the fresh air theme. My kids are often teaching me lessons. You're right that parenthod is a process that God uses to help us grow. Thanks for sharing.

From Carol's Quill said...

@ Adam - here's to those lessons God and our kids keep teaching us!

lynnmosher said...

I'm sorry, Carol, for being late to the party. I'm running behind. I loved how you tied your sweet baby girl's birthday with fresh air. Our daughter will be coming for a visit soon. I, too, will get that sweet whiff of fresh air. Blessings to you!

From Carol's Quill said...

@ Lynn - Have a wonderful visit with your daughter. Inhale deeply.