Fiona in January

Fiona in January

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Live Like A Child

I read a wonderful quote today:

Watch children. Watch them live. They cry and get over it. Then they play. Someone makes a face and they laugh. They live life as it should be live - in the actual moment.  Oh, to live in the moment, instead of groveling over the past, fretting about the present or speculating on future doom. Oh to live life today, emotions at all.

Maybe that's why Jesus spoke of the wonder of faith as a child in Luke 18:16-17 - "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.  I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it."

It's a lesson to all of us who some days find it easier to disengage, to withdraw into the cowl of self-protection when the world hurts us too much.  The entire point of this life is to engage in it fully, weep at its maladies and laugh at its hilarities.

My nephew Thatcher enjoying life in the moment for sure!  This photo was taken July 2011.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Taking Stock of Stress - A Challenge to Slow Down

I've been reading this book, "Ordinary Mom - Extraordinary God", which is full of short chapters of anecdote-based encouragement for moms.  I love it because not only does it give me some perspective on being a parent, but the chapters are short and I can read one quickly before bed or in between Baby Knives' naptime/playtime or in this morning's case: banana-rice-cereal-projectile-puking time.

This morning's chapter is titled, "Earn a Stress Less Badge" and part of it really resonated with me.  It's so easy for me to stress about work, about money, about whether we're raising Baby Knives "right", about whether she's sleeping enough, eating enough...the list goes on and on.  I've never stopped to think just how much my own seemingly-internal stress could affect my daughter.

Stress is like an insidious disease; it moves and lives to find victims.  But more often than I would like to admit, it is a congenital disease, passed surreptitiously from parents to children.  When I worry about finances, the kids seem on edge.  What are some real life solutions?

Slow Down.  Ghandi said that there was more to life than increasing its speed.  Somehow we have bought into the notion that cramming our days will mean a higher quality of life.  How much real life has passed me by in my race for productivity?  God tells us, "Be still, and know that I am God." (Psalm 46:10).  When was the last time you were still?

Take a Media Break.  Psychologist Mary Pipher, in her book The Shelter of Each Other, speaks of the damage the media and its potential to add stress.  She recounts an interesting story about a girl from Tonga.  Pipher asked what it would be like to grow up in a world without media.  The girl responded, "I never saw television...until I came to the United States in high school.  I had a happy childhood.  I felt safe all the time.  I didn't know I was poor or that parents hurt their children or that children hated their parents and I thought I was pretty."  The only way to lessen the media's influence is to choose as a family to spend time together without its constant blaring intrusion.  It is hard to quiet our souls or expect quiet souls from our children when there is so much cluttering our ears and so many images clamoring for our attention.

Simplify.  Henry David Thoreau noted, "Our life is frittered away by detail...Simplify, simplify, simplify!"  Growing up, I always had a cluttered bedroom.  As an adult, I have learned to de-clutter.  The less I have in my home, the less I have to worry about and spend time managing.  The Apostle Paul said contentment is a secret to be learned, "I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do everything through Him who gives me strength." (Philippians 4:11-13)

To live simply is to forgive, let go, grant grace and remember that people are more important than things.

What a challenge to my over-stressed, hyper-aware, media-bogged soul!

Monday, January 21, 2013

The Hilarity of Hippos

I know my last post was of my daughter laughing, but I can't help it - check this one out!  I've never seen her laugh this hard, who knew hippos were so funny?!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

The Best Medicine

In light of every other person I know being sick lately (we are in the throes of cold and flu season after all!), here's a Baby Knives video.  If laughter is the best medicine, I hope this video cures what ails you!

And if laughter is the best medicine, dancing must be a close second!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Wait, it's 2013? When Did That Hapen?!

Apparently the new year has begun, I must have missed it, since I've been fighting a nasty head cold since New Years Eve and was in bed long before the ball dropped.  What a way to start the new year, right?  Today is the first day I feel a lot better and up to my usual writing/cooking/cleaning/entertaining a 6-month-old tricks.

So what to say about 2012 now that it has passed...if there was any year that changed my life as much, I can't think of it!  The year I moved out to Indiana for college and ended up there for 8 years (in the state - only took 4 years to graduate college, just to clarify!)...but still, I was 18 and stupid enough not to realize what a big deal it was!  The year I got married...sure, but kind of a seamless change.  The year I moved back to Maryland from Indiana...yeah, but I got to move in with my older sister for awhile and her family (especially my nephew) definitely helped distract from the enormity of that change.  But nope, 2012 will go down in the books as my most earthshattering year thus far.


Well because of this little booger of course!  Also known as Baby Knives...

Fiona Knives Rohrer, you have changed your daddy's and my life forever and even though you surprised the living crap out of us by appearing on the scene, we love you so much and wouldn't change a thing.

There are days where I don't think being a mom has changed me that much, then I nonchalantly wipe snot off my child's nose and onto my own jeans without thinking...hmm...methinks I've changed more than I think!  I also find myself waking up at night occasionally worrying about making sure she gets the right nutrition and that we'll live in a better school district when she starts kindergarten.  Not to mention those random moments when I'm jerked from sleep for no reason and have to go check on her and watch her little chest rise and fall.  I'm pretty sure I'll never get uninterrupted sleep again!

2012, you changed me forever and I can't believe at this time next year our little girl will be over a year and a half and running in circles around