One Thousand Gifts

I'm reading a wonderful book that I received for my birthday from my dear friend, Liz -- Ann Voskamp's "One Thousand Gifts." Ann is no stranger to stress and difficulty, being a homeschooling mom of six children, and losing her younger sister to an auto accident (she was run over by a delivery truck in front of Ann's childhood home). In this book, she encourages her reader to live in each moment and consider every one a gift from God, whether it feels good or bad.

The inspiration for her thought-pattern was encouragement to write a list of one thousand things she is thankful for, which she did, and she was surprised by how it changed her perspective. And that, perspective, is key to what she writes about--that our viewpoint is skewed and therefore we are in no place to pronounce judgment upon things, calling them "good" or "bad," since all things ultimately pass through the hand of God (read Job lately?).

At any rate, I'm going to do my own list. And number one on my list is this:

Beautiful children born to one who was told she would never have children.

Yes, they get on my nerves--they act up, don't listen, and often get distracted while supposedly cleaning their rooms (which is the biggest problem for Iain, with tons of Legos and an active imagination). Yet, they are so precious to me, and they make me laugh loudly with their silliness.

The other night we were snuggling on the couch, doing some before-bed reading of newly acquired library books, when I noticed that Sara was pushing out her tummy. It looked like a basketball, so I commented to that effect.

In an inspiration of silliness myself (which my kids love), I told her to suck in her belly flat, and then I proceeded to say, "This is a how dough starts out, but then the yeast kicks in and starts eating the sugars and making poo-poo bubbles (sorry, family word there) and then it gets bigger and bigger...Sara caught on and made her belly gradually stick out and we all laughed.

Of course, Iain and Kyla wanted to demonstrate how they could push out their tummies, too. Then, I told them I'd show them my belly (which, after three pregnancies pushing skin to it's limits, can be pushed out quite far). I pulled up my shirt and leaned back on the couch, sucking in my gut, when Iain said, "No Mommy, you have to make it flat."

Yes, I did actually laugh, rather long and hard.