Baby Watch…. a year later…

A year ago I was planning a series of posts on Baby Watch, 2012.  I wrote about the trip up to wait the arrival of our grandson.  It was a fun time, the weather was much too hot to have fun outside, but we did manage to tour Gettysburg for three days and we did take several walks with our family in the D.C. area.

The baby was born and I went on with my posting.  Last week I began to think about this time last year.  I thought of the posts and smiled to  myself.  The baby watch became baby watching.  We have loved watching him grow this year.

He was an alert baby from the start.  His bright eyes captured our hearts immediately.  He seemed to smile sooner than I remember my own children smiling.  His smile is so heartwarming, and contagious.  Yes, I know, I am gushing, but he is so easy to gush over.

He has grown so much and with each visit via Skype, he changes.  He smiles and babbles on.  I know he is talking to me and telling me about his adventures with his Nana.  Nana watches him each morning while my daughter teaches preschool.  They share wonderful adventures and he loves to tell me about them.

He has eight teeth (at least I think that is the count now).  He smiles and you see them and have to laugh.  He loves to eat his fruit and veggies and recently he discovered the wonderous joy of carnitas (homemade, of course).  I guess he could not get enough of the pork pieces.

He is starting to venture out in walking now.  He has taken a couple of steps on his own, but with his quick smile, he realizes he is not just ready yet and reaches out for someone close by.

We get to visit him soon.  I am anxious for this, and keep checking the calendar to make  certain it’s still only June.  I have another month and a few days to go before we leave, and time is just not going fast enough for me to be there.

The baby watch will go on, I am afraid.  I will watch him until my eyes no longer work.  He will always be our little baby grandson.  He will always have that joy that infects our hearts with laughter.  A year ago, I thought I knew how I would feel when I saw him.  I was so wrong.  I thought I would be happy and joyful.  I was that, but this is so much more.  People warned me about being a grandparent.  I thought they were exaggerating.  Again, wrong!

I am so thankful for this gift in our life.  He teaches me so much when I see him and hold him.  Lessons I am learning can’t be put into words though.  I look at him and see the glory of God, for he is our precious gift from God.  I see a life starting to unfold.  A life beginning, a life ready to learn and explore and touch.  Through his eyes I see the beauty of a tree, the wonder of a cloud and the adventure of walking around a coffee table.

I feel the release to squeal with laughter over any accomplishment.  The delight to wave hello to people.  The freedom to give kisses on those you love.  These are lessons I needed to relearn.  I am so glad the Lord provided such a wonderful teacher in our little grandson.   Yes, I will continue with the baby watch… and will drag you, my dear blogging friends along with me.

Thanks for stopping by, I appreciate it.  DAF

Weeds from Childhood

As my Dear Anonymous Hubby was pitching a tent in Gettysburg this past July, I grabbed my camera and started taking pictures.  (He didn’t need my help at that time and I wasn’t offering…).  He smiled as he watched me taking pictures of him and the view behind where our tent would sit and the road in front of where our tent would sit.  However, when I took the next picture, he asked me what I was doing. 

I told him I was taking pictures of the weeds from childhood so that I would have a reminder of them.  I went on to tell him how, when I was told to ‘weed’ the grass I would pull the tops off of these weeds and walk away, thus leaving the root system in place.  As a grown up, I now realize this meant that the weeds could spread out with their roots making more of them the following year or even later in the season.

As a child I would also grab these long stems and pull off the little beads, never realizing they were seeds and I was effectively sowing seeds of weeds.  So, after taking the picture I reached down, grabbed the long stem and began, once more to remove the seeds and let them blow in the wind.

Later, after actually helping pitch the tent, I sat in our little outdoor chairs and looked at the pictures.  The term, weeds from childhood rang in my mind.  Great post title!  Great post, hopefully.  Anyhow, I have thought of this post since the second week of July.  It has echoed in my thoughts and lurked behind other posts, waiting to be written.

We all carry our own personal weeds from childhood.  They lie there dormant most of the times, but always peeking around at us, waiting to pop up and remind us that they are there.

I thought back to my nephew’s wedding reception.  At one point my older sister grabbed my younger sister (mother of the groom) and stood up on a chair to dance.  I was standing nearby taking pictures of them.  I overheard my younger sister ask if I was going to be asked to join them.  My older sister replied, “no, she’s too good.  she would never come up here.”  Weeds popped up within me.  I also thought back to my childhood attempts at weeding the yard, where I pulled off the top of the weed making it look like it was gone.

I married very young and since I married into the military, I left home very young.  I was the middle child, the quintessential middle child.  If I was told to be home at midnight, I came in at 11:30, I tried to please everyone everywhere.  Thus, since this is the impression I left on my sister, this is what she thinks.  She loped the top off a weed, thinking that she knew it and that was that.  She has failed to realize that my root system was in tact and with my travels and experiences there are many areas of my life she isn’t aware of.  Those seeds on the weed have spread and with their spreading new aspects of my life are a part of me that aren’t known.   She doesn’t know that no, I would not have danced on the chair, I would have jumped onto the table and danced.  Did I?  No, it was just too hot and I didn’t have the energy for it.

All of this got me thinking though.  We have weeds from our childhood.  Some beneficial, some not.  The beneficial ones we grow from, we respond, we flourish.  The weeds that take root when we are children that are not good also affect us.  They rear their ugly heads up within us at times that are unexplainable.

I read a post today about a man who was injured and overcame the injury with zest and zeal for life.  He had weeds that could have overtaken him and grown so thick that life was sucked away from him.  He didn’t allow it, as he knew if he allowed those weeds to overtake him, it would keep him from living his life.

How do we respond to weeds from our childhood?  Do we allow them to bring us down?  Do we give them undue recognition?  Do we refer to our childhood as a time that shaped bad habits in us?  Do we cling to them, thinking they have to be in control of us?  Do we allow them to overrun our lives like vines over growing an abandoned home?

I, for one, have done a lot of thinking on childhood weeds lately.  Yes, they may pop up occasionally, they may sting for a moment, but I weedwhack them back.  I have chosen to live my life now.  I should say, NOW.   There are too many precious moments and times to laugh and have joy to be held captive by an antiquated root system.  I am looking forward with anticipation, with excitement, with hope.  I serve a living God and I am not a victim of my past.  Does that mean I don’t feel a tug at my heart at certain time and circumstances?  No, I am human and things bother me.  I just daily make the decision to weedwhack my life and enjoy the manicured lawn of my life.  Yes, it may just be crabgrass, but it’s my crabgrass.

Thanks for stopping by!  As always, DAF

Same Stuff… Different Day

Have you ever answered someone’s question with my title?  Doing the same thing as you did yesterday, last week, last month, but the day was different.  That was the only difference in your schedule.

I have thought recently about topics like this.  Same stuff, different day.  One more time around the mountain.  Here we go again.  Or, the definition of insanity that Albert Einstein suggested, doing the same thing yet expecting different results.

When we were walking around Gettysburg in early July, I came upon this site.  I photographed this picture as a reminder of finding something totally unexpected in a place, this time being a national battlefield park.  I knew I would think of this site often.  I also knew that I would wish I could sit here and just think.  I didn’t think it would be this soon though.

For those of you who follow my posts, you know that I like to pray.  I like to pray for family and friends and for people I see going through something while I am walking.  It’s my time to get my day going and get some exercise.

Lately I have had a couple of things I have pondered and praying on.  One in particular makes me wish I could be a puppet master, you know the one holding the strings.  I would move arms and hands and feet.  I wouldn’t make the puppets dance, I would just move them in ways I would like to see them move.

This begs the question, ‘why’?  Why would I want to be responsible for someone else’s actions?  Why would I want to move someone who has the ability to think and reason and discern their own paths?  Why would I think that my input would somehow make their life better?

Lots of why’s and no clear-cut answer.  What I have concluded though, is that I am not the one who is in control of this world (thank God!).   The best I can do for anyone is to be a support.  I can pray and ask for blessing and joy for people.  The rest is up to our Creator.

I can argue during my prayer time (yes, I argue with God, I’m that crazy).  I can tell Him that what I am seeing I have seen before.  I can use all the lines I wrote at the beginning of this post.  I can yell that it is insanity that I am seeing.  But, as I have so often read and heard, we see the bottom of the tapestry with all the knots and loose ends and tangles of thread, He sees the top of the tapestry.  The side that is perfect and colorful and beautiful and finished.  We can pull all we want on the knots and the tangles, trying to make something of them, but until the end we will never see the other side.  When I stop running at the mouth and mind while on my walk, I hear a gentle voice within me assure me that He is in control.  Lately, I have heard, “It’s okay.  hang on, I’ve got this.”

So, although it seems like it’s the same stuff, different day, it’s not.  It’s one more quadrant of a beautiful tapestry that we call life.  Which leads me to another photo I took that same few moments we passed the unexpected.  What was the person sitting here looking at?

The views may change, but sometimes we have to sit in the unexpected places and take in the scenery.

Thanks for stopping by, as always, DAF

Delicate Boldness in the middle of a hard spot

During our trip to Gettysburg a month ago, I tried to capture the beautiful landscape of my beloved Pennsylvania.   Upon entering the state I immediately felt a calmness come over me that only happens when I arrive there.  No other state in the wonderous union of ours has touched my soul like Pennsylvania.

As you may remember, we decided to spend three days exploring the battlefield in Gettysburg.  My dear hubby loves this area and is fascinated by the battle that was waged there.  I told him he could walk and take as many pictures as he wanted.  We had a great time walking up hills and exploring pathways we had never ventured on.  It was a memorable three days for the two of us.

As I was waiting at a stop for hubby to return to the car, I came upon this site.  It caught my eye and I knew there was a post in it.

How do flowers have the boldness to come up through rock?  They are delicate and beautiful, yet they have the ability to stay so after making a tough journey.  It occurred to me that often, in tough times, I fail to have the grace I am capable of having.

Seasons come in life and often times they feel hard, difficult, sort of like a huge boulder of granite.  We have choices to make when blindsided by difficulties.  We can disappear under the weight, either being crushed or left to perish, or we can forge ahead.  We can use the strength given to us by our Creator.  We can see the obstacle, put our roots down into the soil and push our way upwards.  It may not be easy, but with the help of our Lord and the encouragement of family and friends we can carry out our goal.

When we finally break through the difficulty we can actually show grace and beauty.  Our appearance my look delicate, but what is inside us is bold, strong, ready to gain ground.  Philippians 4:13 says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”  We can break through hard rocky times and emerge with grace, boldness and an inner strength that defies our outward appearance.

Thank you for stopping by today, I love your visits.  DAF