Monday, December 28, 2015

Love is...

Being the youngest of five, I grew up sharing a room with all my sisters at some point. But I remember sharing a room with my oldest sister the most. I think because when I was 8 she was 20 and she had a phone, tv, record player, 2 goldfish and makeup!  She liked me when I kept out of her things. Not much space was designated for an 8 year old's treasures except for under the bed.  I remember competing for door space to put puffy stickers and a Beverly name plate with my sister's  Love Is ... Comic strip taped all over 'our' door. These were big in the 70's. Love is ... what gives you a smile from ear to ear. Love is .... Being able to say you are sorry. You get the picture. I was reminded of these comic strips that covered our bedroom door while reflecting on Christmas and a new year approaching. I came across the book, Crazy Love, By Francis Chan in my ibooks on my phone and started re-reading it.  A line struck me today;

“Nothing compares to being truly, exuberantly wanted by your children.”

My primary love language is gifts. This means I feel loved the most when you buy me something. How shallow right? It's really not. I didn't hear the words I love you as much as 'let's go to McDonalds and get a small fry' or 'I'm going to take you to Niagara Falls and of course buy you a giant souvenir pencil'. Yep, I was definitely loved. I do the same for my kids.  Even though not all three have the gifts love language I'm good at showing my affection this way. Love. How will I be challenged to be more loving in 2016? It's an emotion I struggle with if I don't feel like it. But that line above from the Crazy Love book really makes me think about how much God wants me to love Him. Am I living a life that shows God, my Heavenly Father, that He is wanted? 

"If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!
—Matthew 7:11”

See, I think the gifts love language is legit. I don't need a hug, I don't always need the affirmative words and you don't have to serve me. Just buy me jewelry and we can be friends. Just kidding. I want to reflect on all the good gifts my Lord has given me this year.  No! I NEED to reflect on all the love God has bestowed upon me!  Be more appreciative of His good gifts.  

I’m entering a year jammed packed with change. In fact, if I’m honest, it terrifies me.  I’m coming up on new territory with Jacob, my oldest, getting married this summer. I'm cherishing the last lunches I'm making for Blaire as she enters the home stretch to graduate highschool. I'm entering a stage of new status as mother- in- law and want to do it all well. Showers, grad parties, celebrations, decisions, planning, money…!  I want Love is statements to flow from my mouth and my heart in 2016.

I love new beginnings and fresh starts!  What's your Love is statement today or better yet what will your focus be for 2016!  Happy New Year!  

Thursday, December 10, 2015

mosquitos think I'm chocolate

I think the mosquitos think I'm chocolate. 
Just one of the funny things Zoe said yesterday. That girl makes me laugh daily. And others too. She says the simplest of things and yet so profound. My 6 year old doesn't complain much. This was actually her way of telling us she was being bugged by the little flies in her face but stated something possibly really true. Mosquitos crave your blood like I crave chocolate so I get it girl. It's also a fun way Zoe stays real about who she is and what she looks like. She knows she's brown like chocolate. We have gone in stages with how Zoe realizes she's different. On a daily basis kids in preschool used to comment on her hair. One boy told her mom he liked the way her skin looked. I don't know anyone in her class that stays away from Zoe because her skin is brown. She has an infectious smile and laugh and gets invited to every party going. She is loved. 

We were on a tour in the Blue Mountains of Australia yesterday. The tour guide might have had some reservation having a six year old on his private tour starting at 7 am. But she was quiet, polite and inquisitive. A perfect companion on a tour. After viewing God's amazing nature we stopped at a quaint town with boutique shops. We were left to find some lunch and browse the shops for an hour. When we returned to our van the tour guide presented Zoe with a gift. A Santa cookie jar. So sweet and unexpected and so not necessary. On our next stop at the wildlife center Zoe runs out of the van and hugs our tour guide. That's Zoe. She is lovable and loves hard. Being a father of three he hugged her back. We talked later about my adoption. A Jewish man from Israel who has traveled the world and has visited my hometownToronto.  He was surprised to find out my husband and son have also been to his. A family man trying to make a living who was friendly and polite. I'm not saying all people are friendly and polite but the more I travel the more I realize how important it is to accept people everywhere i go. I chatted with a lady from Japan in the park three days ago. She was curious about our Christmas traditions and I asked about hers. You know I had someone tell me I shouldn't adopt Zoe because she is from a muslim country. A sad statement stemmed from ignorant thinking. With all that is going on in the world I'm not sure what is the correct way to help Syrians or other refugees from crises but I do know we need to love. I know they have children who need medical attention that can be given in America. I know they have children who need an education to one day have the chance to be a doctor. Right or wrong I know I'm called to love. After vacation I will be thrown back into Christmas chaos mode. I'm a little behind on my Christmas to do list however I vow to take some time every day to pray for our country and its leaders, reach out to someone in need and be thankful for all God has given me. My ugly 'entitled' gene must diminish if God is going to use me to spread His kingdom. Whether you celebrate Christ's birth or not I wish you a very Merry Christmas.