You're probably wondering about the daughter Isabella loves to clean-she comes by it honestly. I am a shameless clean freak. One morning I was working away in the kitchen while she had the mop I'd left out overnight to dry. And I look over to check on her and my then-7-month-old son, and say the five words I never thought I'd say as a parent, "Isabella, don't mop your brother!" He didn't mind, and she just wanted to make sure he was sparkly. So welcome to my world!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Looking to the hand that feeds you...

When my son, the voracious eater, was younger and I was nursing him, we had those wonderful soft-focus, sepia-toned mother-son bonding moments, staring into each others eyes. That ended (both the feeding and staring) when he grew razor-sharp teeth and bit me enough to draw blood. Bonding over.
Then it was on to the high chair. He had to wait for me to get the food ready, which took a while considering he ate the same amount as his sister, two years older than he is. In any case, he would always watch the food coming. Nothing else could sway his attention: the minute I turned from the counter, his eyes were on my hands to see what was coming. At 14 months (how did he get so old so fast?) he still does this. One of his favorite breakfasts is a fruit bar (like Nutrigrain cereal bars, but the cheap-o Wal-Mart version). I open the pantry and pull out the bar and the smile breaks. He gets so excited, that grin spreading across his face, eyes lighting up, arms and legs bouncing in happiness-good stuff is coming! His little eyes are locked onto that food because it's going to be good, to be nourishing, to provide strength (necessary to get into absolutely everything in the house for the rest of the morning), it's going to satisfy. I always shake the foil wrapper a bit to really stir him up, and the minute I drop it on his tray, he pounces. SO excited to eat! It reminds me this verse:

Psalm 123:2
As the eyes of slaves look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maid look to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the LORD our God, till he shows us his mercy.

NOTHING takes Ryan's attention away from the food-from the good that he knows is coming. And then I think about my focus. How often do I look away from the Lord? To my own (pitiful) strength, to my circumstances, to the people around me and their circumstances, to anything but the true Source? Ryan's laser-like focus is a good reminder of how I should follow after God. Granted, this verse mentions looking to God until He shows mercy, but every day God shows mercy. Every breath I take is God's mercy. I don't ever want my eyes to not look to God's hand.

That said, I've begun a gratitude journal (which in no way is original-mine was birthed through and not that I'm holier through the process, but I am made more aware of the daily gifts, the daily strength, nourishment, the daily good of God, always looking to His hand and thanking Him for simple things. I began in January and am almost at 400 things so far. Sometimes I write praises in there: physical manifestations of answered prayer. More often than not, it's the simple stuff: Ryan's smile, Bella's prayers thanking God for pretty much every item in her room ("Thank You for my shelves, for the doors, the green ball, the purple ball, the monkeys..."), for giant clouds in the sky, for food that I sweep off the floor because it means that God has provided Ephesians 1:20 once again-exceeding abundantly-and we're not going hungry.

May you ever be looking to the Hand that feeds you, that gives you strength for your journey...

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