In the harshness of dark and responsibilities weighing heavy--they all have had baths, supper finally eaten at 8:00, teeth brushed, and now time for prayers and a story--I try to make sense of time and how it seems to rush away from me, leaving me here, empty, with all my stress and worry.
I am trying to get everything done so that when they at last fall asleep, Mr. Simmons and I can watch a movie, snuggled up.
But I hear squealing coming from their room, and I realize that he is not cooperating with the plan. I peek into their room to see what the commotion is, and see pillows being flung, laughter escaping little mouths, and eyes wild with excitement. He is in on it too.
I could get annoyed at the plan being sabotaged, as I have in the past and tell everyone to calm down so that my nerves can rest. But I don't. I have learned a new motto: If you can't beat 'em, join 'em--at least when it comes to the lighter issues of life, and when it applies, and I whole-heartily believe it applies to pillow fights.
So I join in on the pillow sacking, and the girls run from me, in squealish fright, eyes wide with merriment. Mr. Simmons grabs a pillow and sacks me and I stand bold and pretend to hit him with all my might. (Of course, we all hit Mr. Simmons harder than we do each other because he can handle it--isn't that the way with Daddies and heroes?)
While Mr. Simmons is preoccupied with being tackled by eight tiny hands--even little baby Lilly, who we heard grunting in her crib, wanting in on the fight--I run and retrieve my camera to capture the moment. Lilly toddles over, unsteadily holding baby-sized pillow over her head, mimicking her sisters in their ambush.
As Mr. Simmons becomes too tired to continue, and the room begins to quiet, all three oldest girls are in a trio huddle, and I try to snap a frame of them, only for them to fall backwards in giggles on the bed.
I capture their sweet giggles, as Mr. Simmons stands in the doorway watching. Ivy has a contagious, innocent laugh, her body slumping back with the limp happiness, reminding me of the sweet gigglish bunny of the cartoon Robin Hood. She rings pure joy, the echos reaching my very soul, and I know...this is what life is about. This is contentment, this is savoring the moment, this is wisdom...slowing down just to hear her laugh, just to taste the sweet joy of them, their faces all flushed tingling happiness.
#236 tree tops bowing in storm, the way i do before God and His mercy
#237 pine trees swaying--one last dance before winter's bareness
#238 wings flapping past window pane
#239 from my perch at sink, a close-up view of tiny bird on her wire perch--her distinct lines, soft belly hair, and ruffled, white-streaked tufts of mohawk adorned head
#240 how the green lush is greener against the grey sky
#241 grey skies that lend to me staying in my context and settling into family games inside while it pours outside
#242 feeling useful
#243 that i can again do tasks for my family that require a lot of me
#244 making food to fill their bellies while Husband practices guitar with eldest daughter and little ones play with dolls
#245 that they are learning music together
#246 pinkness of salmon
#247 a new food and fitness plan for me, bedtime routine for all 6 of us
#248 that he read scripture before family card game on our Labor Day together
#249 candles' soft glow on table
#250 children's laughter and my learning to just let go
#251 tiny brown paper heart handed to me in the middle of my chaos of emotions and her angelic voice, "i love you"
#252 Husband calling into work and spending the whole day being lazy with me, just for us
#253 napping in the hammock with Husband, reading aloud together "The Mystery of Marriage"
#254 being on time
#256 realizing that i long for home when i'm out and the familiar smell when i walk through the door
#254 date night twice in a week's time
#255 Husband taking me to Joann's and buying craft supplies to keep my mind off things
#256 us reading scripture at the supper table and him choosing the Psalms because he knows that it soothes me
#257 the two of us, one, praying together at bedtime
#258 Lorna's prayer: "God, thank you for everything we have, and without all the things You have given us, we would be very poor. Please help the children in Africa, and Brazil and Australia that don't have anything to eat and please give them more than just one room in their home and take care of them. Amen."
Counting 1,000 grace filled moments to be thank for...with Ann...you can too: