Kitchen Dancing

Sometimes life can really kick you while your down, you know what I mean?  The other day someone said something that wasn’t ment to hurt me, but it did.  It struck right at the core of my insecurities and left me feeling alone, friendless, unloved and unwanted… horrible things to feel.  And my Accuser and Enemy stepped right in and whispered things in my ear that took me right back to a place and time that I had hoped I would never revisit again in my life, a place of deep insecurity and unhappiness …  “nobody likes you… you are unlovable and unwanted… you are destined to be alone and friendless for the rest of life.” Oh how the wounds of childhood can stay with us for so long.  I thought I had left all that behind me long ago, and yet there it was, staring me in the face once again and I was brought to my knees.   It was a bad day.

Then, there are moments that make life seem like the most precious gift in the world.  Tonight, Jeff and I were cleaning up the dinner dishes and unexpectedly he sweeps me into his arms and starts to dance with me (how I love that).  Ava, being slightly caught off guard by this sudden change in events, stops whatever trouble she’s getting herself into and plops right down in the middle of the floor to watch Mommy and Daddy dance around the kitchen.  Her eyes twinkle and sparkle and a big grin is on her face, as if she somehow perceives that what’s happening is good.  After a few minutes she crawls over and pulls herself up on Jeff’s leg.  He scoops her up and proceeds to spin around the room with her.  A huge smile is plastered on Ava’s face and you can almost see a little cup of joy in her heart running over.  The little cup of joy in my heart IS running over… this is a perfect moment.  This is a moment that I longed for and begged God to give me while I waited so many years for the one he had for me.  I would daydream about a husband that would dance with me in the kitchen, sweep me off my feet and kiss me in front of our kids.  And they would be grossed out by it and roll their eyes, but secretly in their hearts they would find security in the fact that Mom and Dad love each other more than anything.

Jeff and my dancing was probably a bit clumsy, ungraceful, nothing at all like the movies, and the humming was off key, but to me – it’s perfect.  It’s in these moments I realize that my God has been gracious to me and has given me the desire of my heart.  He heard my prayers all those nights not so long ago and answered them.  Because he loves me.

While the sting of the other day still lingers and my heart wounds may take a few days to heal, I know there is One who fights on my behalf, has my best in mind and loves me more than anything… because he formed me in the palm of his hand before I was born.  That sure beats the socks off anything else I can think of… even dancing in the kitchen.

Ava on the Move

Ava has learned to crawl… and life, I fear, will never be the same.

She had been working on crawling for almost a month.  Our slick tile floors deterred her for the most part and while it was somewhat comical to watch her sprawl out like a Bambi on ice, I did feel a bit bad for her.   She was trying so hard and yet so little progress was made.  Then we headed north for Christmas… to the land of fully carpeted homes.  And she took off.  We were there for all of three days and Ava was scooting around, amazed by her new found freedom and encouraged in her boldness to poke around into previously unattainable places.  By the time we left, she was a pro.  Back home in Louisiana, slick tile floors are no match for her now.  And a new era has begun in our family.  No longer is our house a touch free zone, our belongings safe from inquiring 8 month old hands.  Our morning as follows:

“Ava, don’t touch the plant.  NO.”  A look of  “What Mommy… I bad?”  She moves on.

“Ava, don’t chew on Daddy’s slippers.”  A look of  “But I like them…”  She moves on, but not far.

“Ava, don’t chew on Mommy’s flip flops.  Ishta!!” (that’s the Norwegian coming out in me)

“Ava, don’t chew on that cord!”

“Ava, no playing with the outlet covers.”

“Ava, Mommy said no chewing on the cord!!”  Apparently she didn’t hear the first time.

All of this happened between 7:30 a.m. and 8:30 a.m.  This was intermittently sprinkled with activity that while not totally desirable, was not worth a “NO”.  Within that same one hour time period, Ava also  managed to pull all the cloth napkins off the bottom shelf (this occurred three times as Mommy was not smart enough to just leave them on the floor the first time).  Later, she moves onto the dish towels to which she decides to pull off the oven handle, chew on them, discard them and then drag them around with her after they got caught under her knee.  She spent several minutes looking in the dish washer.  Tried to climb into the dish washer.   Investigated a door hinge.  Made a bee-line for the refrigerator any time the door was open to see what was inside and begin pulling items out if time permitted.  All within one hour.

Watching Ava discover her world, while exhausting at times, truly is amazing.  She’s figuring things out and has a spirit of discovery and adventure that I hope doesn’t get squashed along life’s way.  As long as we can keep her from chewing on too many chords, I think she’ll be ok.