Friday, February 8, 2008

Things to Smile About . . . .

The last couple of days I have been fighting feeling very melancholy. Actually, I'm kind of proud of how I've done. While there have been a few tears, I've managed to keep moving and have a reasonably good attitude. But, it has been sheer will power. The melancholiness isn't totally without reason. I've made a few hard decisions over the last few days and they are sinking in. But to combat that, I am going to make a list of things that make me smile and maybe leave a few pictures too. I don't know yet. I'm making this up as I go.

However, I want you to participate too in "make Amy smile." Leave me a comment about something that makes you smile. If it is a silly picture or something, tell me that and I'll visit your site to see the picture.

  • So, here we go, in no specific order:
    Mali and Katy (my cats) make me smile. Here they are on top of the refrigerator. There are no rules about being on the refrigerator. However, there are rules about being on the counters. Since, they are good, obedient kitties, I'm sure they just flew up there!

  • Playing with the cats is fun too. Katy actually plays fetch and I'm teaching Mali tricks from a book I got.

  • Speaking of the refrigerator, I notice that it has lots of pictures on it. They are of people I love. Though you can't see it here, there are some picture my little friends have drawn for me too!
My church makes me smile. I've been going there for maybe 4 years now. It makes me smile to think how much I've changed in that time. Honestly, I was as skittish as a horse when I first started going. One Sunday, someone came up behind me to adjust the thermostat. They just about had to pry me off the ceiling. Now, I am much more relaxed and can engage people.
  • Remembering the 3 years I spent living with a family while I was on staff with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship in Indiana. Jerry had jokingly suggested it once. Several months later, I brought it back up. We decided to try it for 6 months and then evaluate. I stayed for 3 years -- until I transffered to a different state. I paid minimal rent and helped out with the kids. I cooked once or twice a week to give Dana a break. If I was home, I would clean up when she cooked. I had my own space in the basement. Jerry always said it was particularly great at meals because the kids didn't out number the adults. We each took care of one child (Hannah, Elizabeth, and Jonathan) -- cutting up food and what not.

  • Remembering God's provision while I was on staff. You have to raise all of your own support (health insurance, salary, office supplies, you name it and we raised it). On average, lets say I raised $30,000 a year and I was on staff 11 years . . . . That is a staggering amount of money to raise. God sold a lot of cattle for me!
  • Remembering that God loves me as I am but still expects me to grow.
  • Helping make Elizabeth a birthday cake that you cut peices out and then assemble into a butterfly. She was 4 and wanted a butterfly birthday. It was chocolate cake with yellow frosting and pastel M&M's.
  • Thinking about Billy makes me smile. Billy was a child I volunteered with for 5 years. He lived in a residential facility in town and I spent 2-3 hours a week with him. I wasn't sure when they assigned me a boy. I was more familiar with little girl stuff, but Billy and I hit it off. He was labeled "behaviorally/emotionally disturbed." In the 5 years, I only ever had to take him back early for misbehavior twice. I think because I did that, he knew what to expect and if I gave him a warning I followed through! The staff thought I was crazy the first time I announced I was going to teach him to make cookies from scratch. At 8, he had never baked. But he loved it and really enjoyed taking the treats back to the kids on his unit. I think it gave him a sense of importance.

  • Billy tried to teach me to rollerblade! I never got the hang of it. We rollerbladed in the basement of the residential treatment center. The only way I could stop was by running into the wall! Luckily, it was the "skate room" and there weren't a lot of obstacles to avoid. Billy and I played a game of tag on skates -- racing from one end to the other.

  • Thinking about my paternal grandmother makes me smile. She always believed in me. I was a really shy and quiet child -- except with her. She brought me out of myself more than anyone I can remember. She listened raptly to all the details in my 10-year-old heart. This included listening to some of my first writings.

  • Being around friends.

  • Knowing that God will never leave me or forsake me.

  • Horses and riding. Though I haven't done it in a year due to an injury and then the expense. It just isn't an option at the moment.

  • Surprising people. Once, my friend was out of town. I got together with another friend and we left a casserole and a dessert in her house for when she and her family got home from their trip. She was thrilled. She had just been wondering what she was going to feed 6 hungry kids and came home to find it already made. I love doing stuff like that.

  • Kid of all shapes and sizes. This is Addy. She is such a shy and retiring child! I wish I had about half her spunk.

Please let me know what makes you smile!


Heather@Mommymonk said...

Wish I had a picture for you...Guess I'll have to make my words do the trick.

We took the kids to an indoor water park this weekend. The first thing you need to know is that I am not fond of being dunked deep into the recesses of dark water. Second, I am deathly afraid of heights (ok, I'll openly admit it - I'm a big chicken).

Third, none of my kids have passed swimming lessons and as much as I fear heights and deep water, I am gripped with anxiety when it comes to my kids' safety.

I know, you're wondering when the smiling comes in...The kids trepidatiously approached the little kiddie slides which landed in less than 3 ft of water. I was doing just fine wading in the pool and catching them - it was just like being at the park, except with no grass.

Then, my husband found the Howling Tornado ride and forced me to go on it with him. He couldn't ride alone and none of the kids were big enough. That should have been a clue for me. I screamed the whole way down, and I do mean d-o-w-n...not a slow meanering tornado. No, it was a spiking drop (I swear it was vertical) and then swirling around and around. I'm surprised I'm still alive. And then, he forced me to do it AGAIN! I yelled "God help me!" the whole way down the second time.

A thousand slides later, we are waterlogged, sore, and smiling from ear to ear. :)

Lysa TerKeurst said...

The unabashed love of my two dogs.

The giggles of my kids.

Beautiful words strung together in a way that makes me pause and read them again.

Roller coasters.

Bible verses that make my breath catch in my throat.

These are my smiling things.

Sweet Blessings Friend!!!