Sunday, December 28, 2014

An unexpected break in the clouds

This morning when I left the house, I looked up and saw these amazing clouds.  It sure doesn't look like a typical "December" sky in Chicago.  Not that I am complaining.......   Even though it is more or less normal temperatures, we have not really had any snow to speak of.  And there have been many really warm days.  Today, I enjoyed the clear blue sky and the sun shining.  I think we all needed to see the sun shine.

Yesterday was NOT like today.  It was rainy and cloudy and cold.  Yes, a grey and sunless day.  Gwen texted that Zeke was very much under the weather.  He had been sick all night and was not doing well.  Unfortunately, Gwen and Tim had plans to attend a wedding and were planning on leaving the kids with a babysitter.  But with one kid down and the possibility of more to follow, this was out of the question.  So I volunteered to be "grandma to the rescue" and watch the kids so that they could attend this wedding.  It was a good day.  Zeke was more or less back to his normal self.  And no one else seemed to have caught that nasty stomach stuff.
Anna played happily with these "new to her" toys that first belonged to Lia!  Lia and Ellie spent several hours making "tutus" (which is just their name for skirts/dresses) out of bubble wrap and copier paper held together with tape.  I did take pictures of these creations, but decided it was not a great idea to put those pictures on this blog!  (Someday they will thank me for that!)  There was then a "fashion/talent show" that was very entertaining.  Zeke played with his trains from Christmas.  He got two large bins of GeoTracks with remote control trains.  After dinner, all four kids took a bath and got ready for bed.  Anna was asleep before I turned around.  After some interesting conversations with Zeke, bedtime prayers, and tucking in, he fell asleep immediately.  I don't think he even moved! By this time, Ellie was all set and ready for her bedtime story.  This was the book she presented to me..... and I am not kidding you!
I did not set this up.... It was on her bookcase in her room and she selected it!  And yes, it says (in Gwen's very early handwriting "Gwen Rowley and Doug".  This is MY book!).  I also read from Ellie's new princess storybook. Ellie played for a bit, but she also was asleep soon.  Lia was patiently waiting.  She wanted me to paint her nails.  So she has some not very well done rainbows painted on her nails.  Gwen is much better at this than I am.  I had some wonderful conversations and prayer with Lia that was a nice end to this day.  This was an unexpected way to spend the day...and it was very enjoyable.  Yes, the time yesterday was a lot like that blue sky this morning.  It was a break in the clouds of grey rain that brought some warmth into my spirit. 

I was thinking about the day yesterday and also today.   I remembered how much I don't like gray raining days and how much I love blue sky and sun.  I learned that shipping supplies and office supplies can be wonderful (and creative) imaginative play things.  I watched a small child be so excited when a door opened and something popped out....what fun it is to discover new things.  I saw determination and joy when a train traveled on a track constructed with three year old hands.  I was filled with love and warmth by hugs and kisses from sweet little ones, fresh out of the bathtub.  Is there anything better than those warm, wet hugs?  Nothing is as sweet as the prayers of children.  The icing on the cake was holding that special book in my hands, once again. 

The year is winding down.  I can tell you that I am not sorry to see 2014 end.  This has been a very hard couple of months.  But during these days of sorrow and grief, I have been receiving many, many words of encouragement and hope for 2015.  I have been collecting these and have been pondering them.  So many seem to have been sent specifically for me and my family.  If there has ever been a time that I felt so in need of these words, it is now.  Over the coming days I will be sharing some of what has been working into my spirit through these words.  As is always the case, I know that these words are not just for me and I am praying that many will be blessed through them.  So watch for future blogs!

Jesus, thank you for providing much needed breaks of joy and warmth in the times of cold sadness.  Holy Spirit, thank you for words of encouragement and hope that you send to us in so many different ways.  Give me strength and wisdom to sort through these messages and courage to share.  Thank you for the joy and delight of playing children.  Help us all to be like little children.  Amen

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