“Fill your children with good thoughts before they go to bed. Ask them about their favorite part of the day, praise them for a good deed, pray with them, and tell them they’re the best gift God ever gave you. They’ll fall asleep feeling ten feet tall.” –David Young, from “A Little Guide to a Big Life”
“Be gentle with your children. They’re doing the best that they can.”
“If we want our children to stay hungry for knowledge, remain interested in questioning, enjoy the wonder of discovery, then we must leave them some clutter-free hours for friendship, the great out-of-doors, the rich world of imagination and the satisfaction of the skilled use of art supplies, music, dance, wood and clay.” –Elaine Cooper
“The way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice.” –Peggy O’Mara
There have been moments recently where the beauty of life brings me to my knees. Life teaches me — over and over again — that the human heart has a capacity for healing far greater than I could ever imagine.
I’ve seen people rise up from the ashes of extraordinarily tragic circumstances, grow wings, and fly once again. I’ve seen people look in the actual face of horror and loss, trudge through it, and somehow come out on the other side to live in light and grace once again.
We’ve all heard the trite phrase, “What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.” But what I know now is that it’s not simply a pleasant motto to help push us through difficult times. It’s an undeniable truth. An impenetrable coat of armor that can shield us during even life’s most trying obstacles.
Adversity is painful. The trials of life can cut us so deeply that there will be days, weeks, months, and even years when we will be certain that we can not go on. You will ask, “How can a body withstand this?” But you will go on.
One day, you will rise. You will laugh again. You will love again. You will swim in the sea and the summer sun will warm your skin. You will sit beneath the stark night sky and watch the stars sparkle into infinity. You will feel wind on your face and the simple, undeniable magic of raindrops falling on pavement will make your heart beat a little faster.
After pain, when the healing begins, life is changed. Every color is a bit brighter; every taste a bit sweeter; every sound a bit more lovely; and every touch a bit softer. Don’t ever doubt that you will get through whatever it is that is testing you. You will.
“Keep your best wishes close to your heart and watch what happens.”
I’ve started taking long walks with my sweet babies again. It’s something that I didn’t do often after Marina was born. Recently, though, she’s been doing much better in the stroller.
I forgot how much joy these long walks bring to my heart. We take the same path most times. We drive to my parent’s house and park the car. Then I load everybody into our stroller. We meander around lots of little side streets, by my old elementary school, and past a few playgrounds. On the trip back, we stop at the ball field and Roman plays on the little playground there. Sometimes Marina falls asleep, but only after a long while of taking in all of the sights with wide eyes. We collect things along the way, like discarded baseballs, pine cones, and crab apples.
Perhaps it sounds crazy, because it’s only a simple walk, but it’s just magical for me. On the days when Marina is quiet and the weather is good, I feel like the stars have aligned especially for me & my little ones. It’s so peaceful. I am grateful for my strong legs that push us all along the streets. I am grateful for my giant double stroller that makes me feel like I’m commandeering a massive pirate ship at times. I am grateful for the splendor of nature. I am grateful for the two, tiny, perfect souls that God has entrusted me to mother.
Or perhaps it’s not so crazy at all. Perhaps these walks truly are magical. Perhaps gratitude is the very key to unlocking magic’s door. Perhaps magic isn’t something that you stumble upon, but rather, magic is something you make. ♥
Merry Christmas, dear friends! I have so much to be grateful for today as I celebrate the holiday with my family. This year has been full of every kind of twist, turn, bump, and bruise — but here we are. Warm, full, blessed & full of thanks. I am so thankful for you, too — my friends & readers — that words just aren’t enough. Thank you for always being here. You’ll never know just how much it means to me. May these days be merry & bright for you & yours.
you are my sunshine,
my only sunshine.
you make my happy,
when skies are grey.
you’ll never know dear,
how much i love you.
mornings are so special. m. & i lie in bed until we hear our little one begin to stir. he usually wakes up around the time that the sun is peaking up in the morning sky. eventually roman will start to talk his beautiful, baby babble. m. will get up & greet him, change his diaper, and bring him into our room. he puts him down on his side of the bed. mama turns to greet baby. the biggest smile comes across his sweet face. he crawls across the bed and into my arms as quickly as his little legs will carry him. i hold him tight for cuddles and then he nurses until his belly is round & full. after nursing we usually play in bed for awhile, silly games & songs. all the while the morning sun begins to shine outside of the bedroom window. soon we are up & out on our way to start the day. i just couldn’t imagine sweeter mornings. ♥