Sunday, June 26, 2011

A gift in this year: Children.

This is a pretty good image of how I spent most of my year:
with my arms full of babies.

(As in, I cashed in a groupon on a massage recently- the masseuse told me it was evident I worked with kids. "Your back is twisted in the way we always see with someone who has a baby on their hip all day..."-
I was so proud.)

My life was FILLED with children this year;
so, oh, was it filled with joy. 

It is joy to see God's design in how they develop.
It is joy to watch their growing exploration of the world around them ("Bubbles! Colors! Blocks! A bird! Look!").
It is joy to be the recipient of their gleeful affection.
It is joy to see their innocent, un-self-conscious personalities expressed.
It is joy to hear their questions of faith.
It is joy to see the purest human love between parents and their babies.
 It is joy to deep-down know just how valuable a life is, even when they have yet to "contribute" anything to society.
It is joy to delight in their beauty and uniqueness.
It is joy to pray over their lives.

I loved going to Rez- a church that number one, has tons of small children, and number two, values them.  Kids are welcomed and encouraged to come to virtually anything. I love seeing them come down the aisle with their parents; I love serving them the Eucharist; I love seeing them dance in the aisles during worship. I love the hugs I get from the kids in the families I know. I love that a good friend's four-year-old was scared to take Communion so they had her come to me for her first time. I love seeing them fall asleep on their parents' shoulders during the service. I love that we hear of God as Father with these examples of it surrounding us. I love that they are growing up feeling safe and accepted in an atmosphere of faith.

I loved teaching the elementary-schoolers at Iglesia every week. I love that Steven, Kym, and I took the kids to see a children's play at the college and they still talk about it months later. I love taking them out for hot chocolate after class and that they call it "going on an adventure" ("Are we going an an adventure to Starbucks tonight?!!"). I love that the moms will call me if they need a babysitter. I love that I joke with them that "God wouldn't recognize me taking Communion without a baby in my arms!" (joke- bad theology- He does!)- because most Saturday nights, I reach for the wafer while juggling at least one toddler in my arms and another clinging to the hem of my shirt.

I loved being immersed in Michael and Lisa's family. I love their babies (ages 5, 3, and 10 months). I love babysitting them, I love playing at the park, I love that I met M. the day after she was born, I love watching Michael and Lisa be parents, I love being Tia Emily.


And finally, obviously, there was my job.
All year I had eleven babies assigned to me. I got to read to them, I got to chart and watch their development, I got to cuddle and do crafts, I got to plan activities that were particular to their needs and strengths and preferences, I got to observe and encourage and fill with joy at their relationships with their beautiful parents. I got to fall in love with them and see them grow over a whole year.

 (And it's so sad I'm totally not allowed to post pictures of them, because they are the.cutest.babies.ever. Seriously. Be sad you can't see them.)

"How can there be too many children?
It's like saying there are too many flowers."
-Mother Teresa

Thanking God for giving me children in this year.



Nora said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Savannah said...

LOVE THIS POST. LOVE YOU. wish i could see you with these kiddos!!

Emily said...

Totalllly thought about you when I wrote it :-D. I LOVE AND MISS YOU!!!

Do you know dates you'll be back in Coch yet?? So hoping we correspond.

Human Needs Global Resources Covenant, 2009

As fellow travelers on this journey, we commit to this covenant before God. Lord, in Your mercy, hear these our prayers:

When confronted with scarcity, need, and inadequacy, may we be nourished by the Bread of Life and the Cup of Salvation. Abundance overflows from Your table, sustaining all who come in faith. Father, help us.

When monotony blurs our vision and dulls our senses, may we encounter others as Christ did, through intentional presence in daily life, submitting as clay to be formed into vessels filled with the Spirit. Christ, guide us.

When wounded by the fractured condition of Your people, may we be united by Your Lordship in faith, hope, and love; seeing, as through the facets of a diamond, the beautiful spectrum of Your light reflected onto Your holy Church joined in praise. Spirit, empower us.

When all Creation groans, afflicted by injustice and driven to despair, may the promise of redemption root us in the hope of Your Kingdom: "Behold, I am making all things new!"

Holy Trinity, send us now into the world in peace, and grant us strength and courage to love and serve You with gladness and singleness of heart.