Birthdays And Other Scribblings

 Gwen turned seven years old and Myles six this month of March 2017. When March rolls around each year Myles gets to have his birthday a week before Gwen making them seem like they’re the same age for a week. 
This birthday bundling helps me as the Marmee to remember, so I like it. And when we happen to go visit them in Nebraska during spring break-up we get in on the party, too.  We took gifts along as well. In July the other two of Jenny’s children will have their birthdays.

 Jenny tried her hand at a homemade Angel Food cake for Gwen who had been begging for one.  She was disappointed in its shortness as opposed to the tall foamy rendition her mother-in-law manages to create. I know, there is supposed to be great value on the tallness of said cake, but in this family even the short ones are appreciated, so it becomes only a matter of passing pride or humility. It’s just a cake, afterall.

On the other hand, Jenny’s humiliation from her Angel Food flop was short-lived having created a three layered chocolate, albeit boxed, cake for Myles, who was feverish and tired last night at cake serving time. He didn’t eat any then, but that didn’t stop the rest of us from enjoying it. This is one of those times when I think I get the better part of food. I can’t have it but I can enjoy it with my camera, and share the picture, and hone my writing craft describing it for you. Anybody hungry for moist chocolate cake? When Amy cut the cake and took out the first wedge the next few wedges kept their shape but gently unfolded, leaning into the serving spatula to be lifted onto a plate, moist and soft, still definitely cake but not a bit powdery. They ate it with vanilla ice cream.

Gwen and Myles are fortunate children. They’re being “brought up” in a Christian home with a mom AND a dad and two other siblings. They have all the love and nutrition a normal child requires and then some. How thankful we should be. Gratefulness should be our main voice.

Don’t you think we get a little carried away with the moaning and complaining about our bad environment and all the terrible things happening in the news, government, and society? Why not shift our focus and mental energy on what’s good for a change?

Focusing on the good might mean being thankful for our children and families when it feels too busy. The seemingly endless rounds of living: messy living rooms, runny noses, running feet, broken door knobs, and the rest are cues to be thankful. Why not put the news to rest, find a fresh cup of something, make a pretty end table, a notebook and pen, and your Bible and start saying “Thank you” to God for our children and our freedoms. We are so very blessed. Noticing it makes all the difference.

Or when it feels like Husby is entirely too preoccupied with other things of life and we could sure use his help or his interest or his love… anyway, that would be a great time to be thankful for commitment and the promises we made back there on the wedding day. I’ll break it to you gently right here, that if you haven’t discovered that moment yet; you will, where all that seems good about your marriage is the promise itself. This would be the exact moment for which you were tenderly saying “I Do” back there at the wedding about sticking it out and loving each other for better or for worse. Who knew that “for worse” could be so rotten. Yet commitment is what will carry the tide back to “for better” one of these days. And if it doesn’t; we are still not off the hook. The for life commitment we made is good for kids and their turn-out. It’s good for society and the next generation.  And it isn’t really, at all, until it is tested.

 Focusing on the good could be taking time to actually do some spring cleaning this year while thanking God that we have houses … full of things. And possibly that would be a great time to clear out some of the extra things in our closets and on our shelves that we really don’t need, not even for pretty and give them away or land them in file 13. Try a cleared surface for pretty, especially the countertop. And stand back and really see it.

So be thankful, don’t fuss, and throw away the superfluous.

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