This week I’m trying to see and hear and experience the way my children do.

As usual, with such a resolution comes resistance.

My disgruntled self gets even more grumpy at having to set aside the to-do list, the writing, the daily motherly work. It chafes at the incessant responding to inane comments like “Mom? I wanna tell you something…… {insert pregnant pause here}…. I want to put a Luke Skywalker suit on my birfday wist.”

But I squelch its complaints [most of the time] and persevere. And when I set aside my agenda, moments like these emerge, and I find far greater joy than in crossing items off my lists and vacuuming one more time.

Why is it that I find indulging myself so tempting, so attractive? I forget so quickly how miserable it is soaking in my little pity parties & selfish hissy fits. My selfish self fights to the death to keep me from killing it. This must be why Paul writes “Die to yourselves.” I hope that one day it gets easier until that inner rebel dies once and for all. I hope that one day the lure of the smiles on my family’s faces and the pleasure I derive from watching them see something for the first time will overshadow the petty little things I want.

How do you win the indulge-myself vs enjoy-them argument with yourself?

Scott and I

339. Scott and I together at the top of the St. Louis Arch – we’d never been up before.
{340. Would you look at that? I got out from behind the camera.}

 

inside the st louis arch

341. Oldest son at the top of the St. Louis Arch. He was impressed with its size and shininess.

 

kids inside the arch

342. “Mom! Look at that! There are swimming pools on the roofs of those buildings!!!”

 

son looking at Mississippi River from St. Louis Arch

 343. Peering down at a helicopter pad on the banks of the Mississippi with his super-kissable cheeks.
344. He loved the little “eggs” we rode in to get to the top – when we got back down, he hollered, “We were in the eggs and now we’re hatched!”

 

Me, from the side

345. Gave the camera to my daughter — love seeing the world from her perspective.
(346. Scott says this angle makes me look like a serious writer.)

 

aftermath of painting

347. Aftermath of a fingerpainting party

 

finger paint

348. My daughter made stamps out of foil. I have to admit
I almost had a panic attack when I saw how much paint was not on paper
or in plates (where do I even start?), but I’m embracing the mess… and clean-up.

 

349. Road-trips with my family.

350. “Camping in” with other relatives.

351. Seeing cousins who I haven’t seen in *cough* twenty years *cough* (we can’t be that old, right?)

352. Watching our children playing happily together, realizing they were all second cousins, and sharing delight that our kids were enjoying something we never did (I’ve never met a second cousin of mine!)

353. Sharing the excitement of my upcoming trip to Bolivia with my aunts and uncles.

354. The joy of a wedding and two lives joining together to become one.

355. Watching airplanes take off and land with the kids.

356. Giggling at the horror on my kids’ faces when they heard the kinds of food I may be served when I visit Bolivia next week.

357. Finding a not-so-little girl in Bolivia with Elli’s exact birth date and sponsoring her. {Click here to see my special children-in-Bolivia page and sponsor a child too!)

 

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