Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Baptism and Birthday

The Sunday after we got back from our family reunion, we had the baptism for our newest addition.  So, on July 8th, as my dad the deacon would say, another one was claimed for Christ.

In fact, one of the sweetest moments was when she smiled when the words were spoken, "I claim you for Christ".....I immediately thought, "oh she's going to be a nun!!!!"  I'll try to squelch that over-exuberance and not pressure the poor baby :)

My brother was nice enough to take pictures during the baptism.  He was convinced that all the pictures would be terrible, but as you'll see, there were plenty of good ones :)

Before the baptism

Claiming her for Christ :)

The homily....she's listening intently

Around the baptismal font

Eating my finger to stop screaming :)

Blessing of the water


Her cousin drying her off

Calm for now

Blessing her ears

All done :)
The other big event in the last couple weeks was SB's 1st birthday.  It was a sweet birthday.  We celebrated with my parents on Sunday with my sister-in-law who's birthday was a couple days before SB's.  My husband's new weekend is Sunday/Monday.  As luck would have it, Monday was SB's birthday.  She was having a visit with her birth family in the afternoon, so we went out to breakfast.  It was a great breakfast with all three of our babies.  I think the older gentlemen drinking their coffee might have thought we made the restaurant a little too lively, but the proprietors seemed to really enjoy us (they later came over and told us they had 5 children).

An individual birthday cake (she liked the frosting most!)

LB putting $ in the ceiling at the restaurant (it's a special thing at this place)
One bittersweet thing about SB's birthday was the thought that kept reoccurring that this may be her only birthday that we share with her.  It was a thought I had to push down because I felt it leading me down the crazy path of trying to make everything *just perfect*.  The reality is, it may be the only birthday we share with her....or it could be the only birthday we have to share her......we just don't know, and we won't know really for months.  She's been in our lives for a year and the resolution doesn't seem any closer, although, logically, the conclusion is a year closer than it was before, no matter how long it takes.  So, for now, I've got fond memories of her birthday and an ardent hope that there are many more with us.

In my last blog, I posted about my constant worrying/complaining/asking for something in prayer and my new focus for the month on prayers of gratitude.  It's not been a perfect last couple weeks in this endeavor, but even when I find myself longing for things I don't really need this minute or worrying about what the future holds in terms of providing for our children or even how many children we'll have, the reminder to stop asking and start thanking has really been an eye-opener for the attitudes I'm walking around with each day.  It's not been an immediate transformation, but I see a small shift in my internal thinking. 

Here's a story that kind of illustrates this internal shift:  My refrigerator died.  Six years old, compressor kaput.  Naturally, not a fun situation to need a new major appliance, especially one that we all generally rely on to be in constant working clothes don't spoil when my washer stops working (although washers in their death throes can do some pretty gnarly things to clothes!).  I noticed that my freezer wasn't staying as cold as usual.  I mentioned it to my neighbor, as she offered to let me store my freezer goods in her deep freeze while we figured out what was wrong.  I went home from visiting with her after this conversation and checked on my freezer....the ice cube tray was starting to melt, so I shuttled 5 full grocery bags of freezer goods to her deep freeze.  Then began a purge/cleaning of the fridge and moving everything into coolers (one of which was loaned by the same neighbor).  Well, over the course of trying repairs and ordering a new fridge, it was 5 days that we lived out of coolers without a fridge.  Throughout the entire hassle, I continually worked to shift my thoughts back towards the positive of the situation.  Multiple times, I would catch myself frustrated over the situation and I would repeat to myself, "thank you God for the means to take care of this problem".  I realize that a new fridge in the past might have been a painful expense for our family.  This was a noted expense, but not a painful expense.  There should be gratitude in recognizing that.

I also stopped to thank God for the generosity of my neighbor.  I am grateful that we only lost a few popsicles and a couple frozen pies.  We saved meat, veggies, and most importantly, breastmilk. 

I ended up purchasing a smaller fridge without as many fancy accessories like water dispensing, but also purchased a small chest freezer with the end result that we're able to store more food and have a little more space in the kitchen with the deep freeze located in the basement.  In time, this will help when we purchase a new kitchen table.  We have an eat-in kitchen and when our newest addition starts sitting with us, we'll be out of table space, so at some point, a new table is in our future. 

As I was driving and contemplating my new fridge/freezer situation, I thought about the positives of the whole deal.  I have a new fridge that is more appropriate to the size of our kitchen, I have a new freezer so I can store food appropriate to the size of our growing family, I have a generous neighbor who helped me save all the important things from my dying freezer......all in all, this was the best appliance breakdown possible.  But then I started wondering, was it really the "best catastrophe" or was I simply able to see the blessings in hassle because of my mindset?  I have a suspicion that God has similarly blessed many of my mishaps, but I've focused so much on the mishaps, I've missed the blessings.  So, I'll keep working on my negative/whining/poor attitude and I think the result will be seeing many more of the blessings with which I am constantly showered.

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