The Scrawl Vol. 1, No. 18

   
On Monday, we went on an excursion into Minneapolis. We checked out The Wedge (a pretty awesome co-op…I know where we’re getting our spicy Italian sausage for Christmas dinner this year!), meandered through the UM campus, and drove past the Central Library a handful of times before we “found” it.

 
Not only is the library huge and have tons of awesome books and meeting rooms and even a piano room, it has a lovely kids’ area, not cluttered with toys, just a few, and plenty of books. Maria loved having story time and exploration time as well.

   
Where did the baby go?

 
Aha! I found her! But where’s Dada?

   
Oh, I think that might be him…

 
Aha!

  
Maria has a fascination with prie-dieus (kneelers). She considers them her private jungle gyms, I do believe.

  
Because in between shakes, you need to have tastes. (I was experimenting cleaning a necklace with lemon juice and salt… Since I only tried it on my cheap ones, I don’t know if I should recommend it or not).

  
Sleeping beauty. I had just snuck out of bed to use the toilet, started working in the kitchen, and five minutes later, naptime is over! She’s starting to go down for her naps at more regular times, but it’s still hard to predict how long they’ll be.

  
We got her first baby doll for her first birthday. We found a pretty realistic newborn one, small enough for her to hold and carry. We gave it to her early (she won’t remember anyway, right?) and were delighted by her reaction. She took her baby and nuzzled noses with it, and proceeded to spend time cuddling and crawling with it and biting its hand, like a good little mommy. 

  
There was a cake for her at church. Plus a sparkly pink cupcake we were instructed to take home for her to “smash”.

  
Maria is a pretty compliant child. At least when it comes to smashing cake.

  

More dolly snuggles. I just can’t get over how sweet she is.

  

One year ago right now, I was busy pushing out a baby. I could see just a bit of her fuzzy black head… You can read more about it here.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I often forget that the struggle to be patient and gracious is a battle with evil, rather than an ambush I can’t help but succumb to. This post was a good reminder that by surrendering, I’m not just going to feel bad about it, I’m actually retreating, saying it’s okay to do less than what is right. The call to arms is issued again, and I want to meet it, my hands full of prayers, strong for the fight.

There have been some beautiful things floating the web in honor of families who have lost babies. I loved this song and this prayer and these reflections. If you have lost a child or sibling at any stage of life, I am praying for you. I have no words that can console you in your grief, so I turn to the Word who knows all grief, beseeching the consolations of his Spirit for you.

We’ve been doing our best to continue settling in, and actually got a couple of boxes emptied this week! I’ve been feeling like our house has been too cluttered, so after reading this (and getting some new clothes for myself at the thrift store that actually fit), I got rid of some of Maria’s and my clothes that we don’t wear while switching out seasons. It felt awesome. Going through papers and getting rid of unneeded ones has also helped tremendously. And of course, there is always the temptation to put off having folks over until our house is perfect (as if it ever will be), which is when it’s good for me to read something like this and remember that while I’m more comfortable in a tidy house, spotless homes are not the most inviting.

And this was just fun to read because I get the whole “I come from a big awesome family and the best gifts my parents gave me were their faithfulness to God and my siblings and I want to do the same thing for our kids, too” thing.

This meditation on the cross and the crosses we are called to carry is just what I needed to read today.

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