Monday, July 11, 2011

Happy 9th monthday, little darling!

I have a 9 month old baby girl. How amazing! How amazing she is! I've said it before, but it keeps proving itself over and over--every phase is my new favorite. I enjoy this little person more and more as she continues to grow and develop. Things I find delightful:

We'll find her sitting up in her crib in the mornings after a little chatter to let us know she's up. And when she sees you come through the door, big smile and sleepy eye rub. Although she puts up a little fuss about the diaper change!

The girl can crawl! She loves to get moving, and will crawl with gleeful abandon, like when she really gets moving she's thinking to herself, man, I'm really making it!

She can pull up on things. In fact, she can crawl UP the little playroom slide at daycare! (She showed me today but whined the whole way, like she was scared but just kept going anyway. Sweet girl! Brave girl!)

And in pulling up on things, I saw her "cruise" and take her first steps holding on just yesterday! This girl wants to be a mover and a shaker, and it won't be long now!

She can wave. Oh. my. goodness. She is so cute.

And she can clap! Oh my goodness!

And she likes to chatter. (She MAY take after her mama about that!) I'm convinced she's really telling me things, I just can't understand what she means--yet!

She has 8 teeth. 8! And to be honest, I think there are more coming in! Whew, makes me tired just thinking about growing all those teeth.

She sleeps through the night--has been for months, but is giving up her 10:00 p.m. bottle and sleeping straight through from 8 p.m.-7 a.m.ish. Glory, hallelujah!

She can feed herself, and more and more often actually gets the bits of food into her mouth! She LOVES bananas, goldfish crackers, cheerios, peas... anything I'll put on her tray for her to grab.

And she can sit at the table with me like a big girl. After she eats, while the grown folks are finishing up, she's perfectly satisfied to sit at the table and provide entertainment. In fact, she did it at my parents' over the 4th of July. That's an important skill to me for her to learn, and I couldn't have been prouder.

She's a little begger for grown-up foods--she sees what other people are eating and gazes at you with those imploring baby blues until she gets just a taste! Haha, that may be how I get her to stay satisfied at the table while the grown folks eat!

At bathtime you should see the way she kicks and flaps her arms in the water--loves to splash! Same with the pool. Also, she loves froggies and duckies.

And, she may be learning limits. Sometimes she can't help those little hands, but she understands some of my verbal instructions to her--cords, the fireplace hearth and my cell phone are "no's", but there is so much fun to be had elsewhere! She seems ok with it so far!

She loves to play with the other children at daycare. Loves them. And plays gently and well with the other babies! It seriously warms my heart to see her making friends already, so sweetly. I love to see how other people love her, even if they're just babies.

And maybe the greatest thing of all. She loves ME! I am her MAMA, and although I don't have all the answers and don't always read her just right, she KNOWS that I love her, delight in her, and am a safe place to jump off into the world from.

Yes, being her mama is one of the great honors of my life.

So happy 9th monthday, little darling! I love you, and always will!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Isaiah 54

We've come across some hard times at my house, but even in the midst of it I have felt God's hand holding onto me, holding me steady. Which is great, because I am so terribly unsteady on my own! But all the same, there is at least the great steadiness of God to rely on.

I came across Isaiah 54 some years ago, and it was like salve to my soul. And I came across it again somewhat recently, and found it to have the same cathartic effects. This may not seem like much of a post, but here is some of the peace of God, shared with me in my storm. Shared with you!

"Sing, barren woman, you who never bore a child; burst into song, shout for joy, you who were never in labor; because more are the children of the desolate woman than of her who has a husband, says the Lord.
"Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes. For you will spread out to the right and to the left; your descendants will dispossess nations and settle in their desolate cities.
"Do not be afraid; you will not be put to shame. Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated. You will forget the shame of your youth and remember no more the reproach of your widowhood. For your maker is your husband--the Lord Almighty is his name--the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth. The Lord will call you back as if you were a wife deserted and distressed in spirit--a wife who married young, only to be rejected," says your God. "For a brief moment I abandoned you, but with deep compassion I will bring you back. In a surge of anger I hid my face from you for a moment, but with everlasting kindness I will have compassion on you," says the Lord your Redeemer.
"To me this is like the days of Noah, when I swore that the waters of Noah would never again cover the earth. So now I have sworn not to be angry with you, never to rebuke you again. Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed," says the Lord, who has compassion on you.
"Afflicted city, lashed by storms and not comforted, I will rebuild you with stones of turquoise, your foundations with saphires. I will make your battlements of rubies, your gates of sparkling jewels, and all your walls of precious stones. All your children will be taught by the Lord, and great will be their peace. In righteousness you will be established: tyranny will be far from you; you will have nothing to fear. Terror will be far removed, it will not come near you. If anyone does attack you, it will not be my doing; whoever attacks you will surrender to you.
"See, it is I who created the blacksmith who fans the coals into flame and forges a weapon fit for its work. And it is I who have created the destroyer to wreak havoc; no weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and this is their vindication from me," declares the Lord.

I love those Old Testament texts where it seems as though God speaks directly to us through his prophets. I don't understand it all, but there is enough I do understand and cling to.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Letter to my daughter 15: Be who you are

My darling Adria,
You are such a joy to me! Even getting to know your baby-self is a thrill, and to say that I'm so looking forward to knowing the person you'll become is a huge understatement.

I've had occasion to do some serious thinking about difficult situations in my own life lately, and through God's grace am able to come to one peace-giving conclusion--all I know is all I know, and all I can be is who I am. I think as WOMEN we struggle in particular with feelings of inadequacy. I was taking about it with a dear friend of mine just today and she'd been having some of the same questions and feelings as I have been--is who I am enough? When all the striving is over and I'm left with just me--is THAT enough?

My little darling, the truth in my own challenging situations lately is, all I can be is me, and all I know is all I know. And somehow the grace of God has been telling me that that IS enough. In fact it's who I must be! And it's the grace of God to tell me that, because sometimes the world or some unnamed difficult situation will have a different answer for you.

So as my Maker shares that answer with me, I want to that same answer with you. You are fearfully and wonderfully made--you were made Adria. No one else. And no one else was made to be you! So when you are faced with these same questions, and as a woman I am positive you will be because that seems to be our lot, know that all you can be is you. You were made Adria, to BE Adria. So be her, be yourself with all that you are. Because THAT is exceptional, beautiful, lovely, equal to your calling, and absolutely enough.

I will always be cheering on who you are with all my love,
Your mama