Saturday, July 28, 2007

Attitude of Gratitude....

Today I am thankful for my friends.

Yesterday, I was missing my Cheryl. She has always been a constant in my life...someone that portrayed God's love more than anyone else I know.
Five years ago, when my first precious daughter was born, Cheryl was my nurturer. God's love in human form.
Let me explain.
I am a unique person. Lol. You kind of have to get to know me to really understand, and most say, really LEARN to love..ha. God made me different, and a bit quirky. But I'm okay with that... I am strong in my belief that God made me just the way he wanted me, and it's up to me to "perfect" the characteristics that I have learned, inherited or developed over the years that aren't quite like him. I'm a bit anal. In some ways a bit of a perfectionist. I am a tad controlling I don't like to ask for help...quite frankly I enjoy doing things myself. I like my schedules. I don't like change much. I like everything in it's place. But a God of grace and mercy overlooks those. He loves me true, pure and genuine.

So, you see, when my firstborn arrived, I felt like I did real good...and I still feel that way. She was a great baby. I had a GREAT year. I looked at the "season" as one to enjoy, and one that would be shortlived--(although at the time, may not seem that way!) I did not experience post partum, any new mother, I had my days..
That is when my Cheryl stepped in.
She was aware at how intent I was to breast feed, and even though, as a nurse, she new my premature baby might need a bit more milk, she stood by and showed me how to latch Hannah, how to wake her up when she didn't want too, etc... She always made me feel as though I was doing the right thing for me and my baby. She never disrespected my scheduling and always encouraged me, even when I knew she thought I might need to do something a different way.
Most of all, when she left, or hung up. She ALWAYS made sure I was okay and I knew that she was visiting only for me..(Hannah was a bonus!)-- she loved me just for me, and was genuinely concerned at my well being.
I remember Hannah's first "flu". We had thought with a bit of medicine, Hannah would work it through her system. On about day 5, at around 9 at night, when her fever had reached an alarming high, I called Cheryl. I was calm, but very concerned. Cheryl arrived shortly after (somehow finding a babysitter for her handicapped daughter???) and began nurturing both me and my daughter. She explained about a cold bath, gatorade, and how I could administer both advil and tylenol following directions. She comforted us. She prayed with us. And the whole time, while she doctored up my daughter, she made me feel as though she was primarily there for me. Because she loved ME. Sure, she liked seeing Hannah..alot... and she was helping her get better.. but ultimately she wanted to make sure that I was okay.
Loving like so few know how. Like God does.

On Tuesday night, after waking later than I should have to nurse my newborn, I discovered I had developed a very painful infection. After becoming quite sick, and in a lot of pain, I tried to research possible remedies on the internet.
I cried. And I prayed. Wishing my Cheryl was a bit closer than BC.
And then I remembered a friend Jen, once telling me of her experience with her 4th child..and the same infection.
So yesterday, with my 3 kids in tow, I set out to take Hannah to VBS. That is where I spoke with my friend Jen.
She gave me some great information. She studied the infection. Looked at the baby. Told me to rest. To look after me.
She gave me a hug. She even took my oldest children for the afternoon so I could sleep!!!!
But most of all, she loved me for me.
I could tell that she was genuinely concerned for my well being. That it mattered to her that I healed. Sure, she liked seeing Aliah...alot...but ultimately she wanted to make sure that I was okay.
Loving like so few know how. Like God does.

And today, I realize, that I have alot of friends like that. For all of the people in my life that judge me for my decisions, disrespect me with my scheduling, make me defensive by just visiting---God has blessed me with so many more friends who will love me like God does.
True, pure, genuine.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Well… this is Mike writing & not Amy & yes I can’t believe I’m actually blogging & no this will not be a regular occurrence. However, I know my wife’s blog has the attention of many & I just had to share something that has blown me away.

On the most regular of days my daughter Hannah seems to shock me with her actions, comments or demeanor. Today she blew my mind!!! Amy & I have been trying to teach Hannah that money just doesn’t always appear when she reaches into my pocket & pulls it out. Hannah has her own piggy bank that she fills with twoonies & loonies that she earns from doing the odd jobs around the house. Often we attend department stores & head right to the toy isles where her and Isaiah purchase toys that they want. Amy & I only let them purchase toys that they have enough money for. I.e. If they have $10 than they can only purchase something for $10 or less. If they see something they like that is more expensive than they have to keep their money & save up until they are able to purchase what they would like. We have found that this has been a good way for them to appreciate the value of money and of course we spoil them at times if you’re wondering.

Well lately my daughter Hannah has really caught my attention with her giving. Lately I have noticed that every time that Hannah has had a friend over to play she has given them one of her toys to take home & keep. When we asked her about this, she stated that her friends have mentioned that they liked that particular toy & Hannah felt that she needed to bless them with that toy when they departed. If that isn’t crazy enough… today’s episode destroyed every bit of selfish, materialistic, self gain off me possible. Hannah had received $5 from her grandma “Bonot” ffor working hard @ school and had $2 saved from chores so we headed off to Wal-Mart to look for a few things. After Amy had gotten what she needed, we headed over to the toy section. Hannah pulled numerous items off the shelf that she liked & asked Amy if she had enough to purchase certain things. We all know with $7 your not going to get too much. Hannah really zoned in on this wedding dressed barbie that was $19 & Amy told her she didn’t have enough money to purchase it. She had already picked Isaiah his “Lightening McQueen” racecar that she was going to buy for him. Hannah then grabbed this little toy that was worth $4.90 & appeared to be content. Amy asked her, “Hannah, are you sure that this is what you want or would you rather keep your money & save up & come back when you have enough & purchase the wedding dressed barbie”? Watching her, you could really tell that there was this little battle going on in her mind… (Oh I really want the wedding barbie, but Isaiah has a toy now & I want a toy) After she paced the isle a few times she made her decision that cut me to the heart!

Hannah put the toy for $4.90 that was in her hand back on the shelf. I figured she decided to wait & save up to purchase the more expensive wedding dressed barbie. Hannah then walked down to the Hot Wheels area where Isaiah picked his car toy & grabbed a popular racecar. Amy & I were a little dumbfounded. Hannah then stated to us that she has lots of toys at home & really doesn’t need any more & that she would like to take her money & purchase this race car for a young boy her age that lives across the road from us because she would like to bless him.

I wanted to scream out, “Holy Freakin Crap!!! Gods love & abundance flooded my heart immediately. Without knowing it, my daughter has the sowing & blessing principal engraved on her heart already without mummy & daddy’s help. It’s amazing what God can do with clean hands & a pure heart. I tell you this story only to challenge you to look beyond yourself today & to do great things as He has given you the ability to do so.

PS. Tomorrow I will go out & purchase that wedding dressed barbie for Hannah & 100 fold!!!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Happy Birthday....

Born: Monday July 2nd, 2007
9:36 AM
Weighing: 6 lbs 9 1/2 oz