Monday, April 14, 2014

Being intentional...

People often suggest you make time to have a date with your hubby before a baby arrives, since dates will be hard to come by afterwards.  DH and I were able to slip away recently for dinner together which was so nice, but he also suggested it might be good for Lucy and me to have a special "date" together, too.  Even though I often get special time with my kiddos in the afternoon when Lucy gets home from school, it's rare for her to have my undivided attention.  She doesn't really ask for it, but I know my daughter's primary love language seems to be quality time.  So, DH and I made it a priority to find a day that he could hang out with GP and I could spend just with Lucy, and I'm so thankful we did that!  It was such a special time to just spend with my precious baby girl!

I told her we could eat ANYwhere that she wanted to for lunch, and guess where she chose??  SUBWAY!  
(When we lived in our former town, we would eat there just about every Sunday after church.  There weren't a lot of options in our small town, but besides that, we knew the owners and it was an awesome Subway!)

The AWANA pinewood derby was coming up at church, so on our agenda for the day was a trip to Hobby Lobby to select paint colors, decals, etc. Lucy also had seen a commercial the night before for a "fun loom" and decided she really wanted to get one, so we went to THREE different craft stores that day in search of which one we thought was the best.  We decided you can't beat the original, so we opted for a rainbow loom.  She had been so excited about decorating her deby car, but after getting the rainbow loom, all she could talk about was getting home to make her first bracelet! 

So, the rainbow loom won out for that day's craft project, and we postponed the derby car decorating for another day.  It was so much fun working on it together!  She wanted a Hello Kitty car, so we went all out with a pink base coat, some sparkly paint details, and of course, Hello Kitty stickers.
We ended up with some space on the top and I asked her if she wanted to put a number in that spot, since race cars typically have numbers on them.  She enthusiastically told me she wanted the number 36 on there.  I was a bit puzzled and asked her why, and she said, "Because that's how old my Daddy is going to be this week."  Sweet girl--she loves her Daddy:)  And he did some final touches to the car and turned it in with her the day before the race.  She ended up winning 3rd prize for her design--she was so excited about it!
But back to our "mommy-daughter day"...

After our trip to the craft store, we went for one of Lucy's favorites--ICE CREAM!  Again, she wanted to include her Daddy and chose Spiderman ice cream:)  (She wouldn't have been in danger of having to share it with her Daddy though, because it had chocolate in it!;-)

When the day was said and done, we had been to NINE different places, including a trip to Wal-mart where Lucy's very pregnant momma ended up frozen in the middle of the shoe aisle with some sort of weird pain--literally thought for a good 10 minutes we were going to have to call DH to carry me out of the store.  I ended up in tears right there in the middle of Wal-Mart, while people walked by and just STARED at me!  Poor Lucy wasn't sure what to do either and told me later how she didn't like it when I cried because it made her feel like crying, too:(  She is such a sweet and sensitive soul.  She told me later how she didn't like crying in front of other people because sometimes they make fun of her and it hurts her feelings, so when she sees other people crying, she likes to find ways to make them feel better.  Seriously melted my heart!  We had many sweet moments that day together discussing various things and just getting to connect with each other.  I had recently been discussing with a friend how sometimes I feel like I'm losing that deep connection with her, because life is just so busy.  She encouraged me to be intentional with my time with my daughter, so that's what I've been trying to do.  It's really been amazing to have these sort of deep conversations with this little 6 year old girl that I have the blessing to call my daughter.  That mommy-daughter day was such a blessing and has spurred on many more intentional moments to connect with her, like this one pictured here...
If you have children, you have probably been the blessed recipient of a weed bouquet.  While often a gardener's biggest annoyance, weeds take on a whole new meaning when proudly handed to you by your child.  As Lucy excitedly presented her treasures to me, she said, "I picked these just for you, Mommy," and my heart melted.  But then she looked deeply into my eyes and asked, "Are they good enough?" and my heart SANK.  My eyes stared deeply back into hers and then I pulled her closely, "Oh baby, yes!  Of course they are!  Anything you do for Mommy is always SO much more than just 'good enough'." Her desire for approval has stuck closely to my heart ever since that day though...I'm reminded of my own insecurities, and how doesn't it seem that we are all constantly striving for approval?  We all want to know that we're good enough--that what we do is of some sort of value and that our life counts...that we are LOVED--don't we?  As a mother, I struggle so much with this--am I doing enough for my kids?  Is it good enough?  But Lucy's words reminded me that I'm not the only one seeking approval in this relationship--my children so desire to know that they matter and they are loved.  And oh, how very very much they matter, and how very loved they are, but how very much I need to be intentional in making sure that they know it!  Because when I take the time to stare deeply into their eyes and listen to them and love on them, my hope is that they will not only see how very much they matter to me, but that they will see how very much they matter to their Heavenly Father...  My greatest intentions as a mother never will measure up to be "good enough," because on my own, I can't be good enough.  But the recipient of these actions--Jesus--takes our offerings and receives them as a sacrifice of praise to Him, and it becomes something beautiful and so much more than enough.  He takes those weeds and makes them into the most fragrant and treasured of bouquets.  He stares deeply back into my questioning eyes and says, "Yes, my child, I love you."

And yes, Lucy, how much your mommy loves YOU!

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