Friday, March 7, 2008

What Happened to Spring?

Last week was warm and sunny here, and this week, cold and rainy. Today...we woke up to SNOW! It was so beautiful falling. We bundled Jonah up and went out to play in it. It was his first time ever to actually be out in the snow as it was falling. He loved it! He just wanted to run in it, of course, back and forth across our backyard, over and over. Such fun. Unfortunately, the camera was on the wrong setting, so these pictures are blurry and didn't turn out very well. You can't even see the snow falling and know how big the flakes were! (Not that many of you would be impressed. But this Texas girl is!) But you can tell this little guy was having a good time....

My azaleas were very sad this morning.

Other memorable Jonah-moments from the last few weeks:

  • A couple Sundays ago, I was almost finished getting ready for church when Jonah came in my room and gave me a long stare. "What is it?" I asked him. It sounded so sweet as he replied, "You look nice and clean." I like to think it was his version of telling me I looked pretty (and I'll take it!) rather than referring with surprise to the fact that I had showered.
  • The first time Joel and I called him from Colorado, we told him we were about to go up in the mountains, not having any idea if he even had a clue what a mountain way. But he showed his concerned heart when he quickly warned, "Don't fall off!" Sweet thing.
  • When we returned, I laid on the floor of Jonah's room while he played with his little cars. My body became what every woman dreams of...(that was definitely sarcasm)...the "hills" and "curves" that the cars must drive on. He insisted on me laying still so the Hot Wheels could go up and down and all around the hills. Nice. He then looked at my beginning-to-protrude belly button and poked at it and asked if that was the baby sticking up out of my belly button. I thought I had convinced him that it was, in fact, NOT a baby coming out of my belly button, but a few days later, I overheard him telling my mother-in-law that you could see Parker's toe coming out of my belly button. I guess he just doesn't believe me. So, if you're wondering what my stomach looks like, evidently, like a human TOE is extended from it.
  • Last weekend, while Joel's mom was giving him a bath, she noticed a dry spot near his bottom that had gotten raw enough, I guess, to make a little cut. So she tended to it with some Vaseline. The next morning, I asked him if his bottom was feeling better. He said, "It's doesn't need any more gasoline."
  • He's been praying for our friend with cancer. He'll say, "Dear God, thank you help Mrs. Thomas feel better." It comes out just like that every time. But it's a sweet reminder to me to be thankful to God, even as I present my requests to Him. (Phil. 4:6)
  • Yesterday morning, out of nowhere he told me, "I am not a princess. I am just a boy." Glad to hear it, son.
  • And Wednesday, he had been occupied with something while I was finishing up preparing for Bible study that night with the community group girls. I was looking up the meaning of a word on the computer, and he was ready for us to do our next activity that I told him we would do together. So I was typing on the computer as I slowly said to him, "I'm almost more word to look up..." and without thinking about it, I just started explaining what I was doing, "I'm trying to find out what this word means so that I can know better what God is trying to say to me through the Bible." He said, "God says something to me." As I closed it down, I said, "Great. What does God say to you?" He answered, "That God is with me." I could have cried all afternoon over that one. I can't believe the mercy of God sometimes that He drills into the hearts of our children what we ourselves fail to teach and remind. I know Jonah was referring to the Joshua 1:9 verse that has been taught to him in Sunday school (although I have done such a halfhearted job of reviewing that and building on it) and it just motivates me to be more intentional about speaking Truth into his life and reminds me that he really is hearing and soaking up more than I think. I must make better use of the time we have now to do that!!! Do any of you have suggestions for how to be more intentional in those things? Any certain activities you do? I'm asking because as much as I want it to just be a natural flow in our home where we are constantly weaving truth into every experience we have, I do think I need to set aside times to do this in a more structured manner. I think it would help me.
It amazes me to watch Jonah's personality develop. As much as I like talking and thinking about temperaments and love languages, I wouldn't have a clue how to label his personality in any way! I know it's way too early to detect some of those things anyway. But I like seeing signs and glimpses of what he may become one day. And it's just so fascinating right now because I see such a unique blend of traits in him. At times, he can be so intensely serious....even pretty insightful about life....and then so very silly and random the next moment. Daily experiences with him range from conversations about the most serious of situations where he shows deep concern and compassion for others to conversations about the silliest and lightest things of all where his sense of humor and desire to entertain really shine through. He is curious about everything and is constantly asking questions. He takes pride in learning new things. He loves people, but he demonstrates some real "beaver"-like qualities too as he plays....his favorite things to do with his toys are still to sort them. We sort his cars by color, by type, and in all different ways possible. And we do it over and over, every day. He loves routine. But in a number of ways, he's so flexible and adaptable too. He reminds me almost daily that he "is big now and not a baby anymore." He has never been an extremely physically-affectionate child, yet lately, he enjoys cuddling and kissing and hugging more. I can't believe that him he's actually wanting to be held now that my back feels like it is going to break every time I lift him! But I'm loving it. I celebrate these things that I see as strengths and natural gifts in him, but I also pray for wisdom and insight into his weaknesses and struggles too. I think neglecting the reality of those could prevent me from knowing how to talk through with him what need He has of Christ. And I need to be more on top of addressing with him those heart issues such as selfishness and pride that seem to drive every kind of human sin. Trying to remember some of that Shepherding a Child's Heart stuff! It is such an amazing journey. Who knew that parenthood could bring so many lessons and opportunities to grow (I'm talking about us...growing ourselves, the parents)?! I don't know why it surprises me....marriage was the same way! But oh, how interesting that God designed for some of us to learn this way....through the very challenges of parenting....and how wonderful that in the midst of it, we are given this incredible gift of the enjoyment of our children as well. Just so you know...I'm REALLY enjoying this kid right now.


Kate said...

Okay..After our conversation last night, I'm finally going to comment! First off, I want to know how you found out that Jonah was learning Joshua 1:9 in his class at church? It seems that they used to send home something about what they were teaching, but I haven't received anything in a long time. I always forget to ask his teacher about it when I pick him up and think about it later. So any hints you have about that would be great, because I really do want to follow-up on what they are teaching Brantley at home.

Also, you asked if anyone had ideas about how to be intentional with speaking truth into Jonah's life. I usually have one verse that I focus on with Brantley (right now it often has to do with a behavior issue I'm starting to see (i.e. lying). Then we work on memorizing that verse (we often put hand motions to the verse) and talk about it throughout the day especially as that situation arises. One thing I do is to use the time we have driving in the car to review Bible verses we have worked with Brantley to memorize over the last months. We will say the verses and then talk about what they mean. We also read Brantley a Bible story from his children's Bible every night before bed and talk about the story. It is a challenge every day for me to remember to be intentional about speaking the Word to my children. I know that I could be doing a lot more, and would love to hear other ideas that you have.

Courtney said...

He is so funny...and yes, take it as he thought you were pretty! :)

As far as advice, I don't really have any....we use night time to have our "deep" discussions and usually he brings them up. And also we read out of the storybible or the veggie bible which has verses in it! But I do'nt really set aside time throughout the day, but I definitely should. I know they work on it at school too!

Courtney said...

oh yeah, did you find out if i would be able to stay with your group...or would that be weird

Aubrey said...

Hannah, hey thanks for the comment on my blog. How are you guys doing??? I can't believe how BIG and CUTE Jonah has gotten. Are you expecting a boy...I thought I had heard a girl? Congrats either way! What is your due date? And yes, we LOVE the name Hudson!!! Very strong...and unique as you don't hear it too often. I just have to say that those cute little things that you noted that Jonah's done or said lately are absolutely adorable! I LOVE to hear what little kids say and how they think.

I do have one suggestion on being more intentional and weaving truth etc. into Jonah's day. My sister who has 2 little girls (they are 5 & 3) and they live in Louisiana... every night before bed they work on memorizing a verse, which then brings up questions that the girls will ask their parents. They have been doing this with them since they were little...they could probably recite 20 or more verses right now. You may already be doing this. They also have been doing catechism questions with them since they were little, and they branch off the catechism questions with more questions. It sure is amazing how their little minds are like sponges...Allie who is 3 has been learning & reciting verses since she started talking.
I think you are doing a great job shows too...Jonah knows that God is with him! :) It is neat to see that your heart's desire is to help Jonah know the guys are great parents! Someday soon I will be doing the same with is a great responsibility to raise children in the Lord's will...I know I will fall short many times. You mothers who go before me are an inspiration.

Hope you all are doing well - we'd love to see you if you make it up this way sometime!!!