Friday, May 18, 2012

Flashback Friday

(Originally posted in 2007)

Speaking Love

Landen received a letter in the mail yesterday. It was from his "friend-girl" of nearly a decade. I wish you could have seen his face as he read her kind, encouraging words. His smile sighed, and his head nodded with each mark of punctuation. When he was finished reading, he scanned the paper - front and back - and then sat back in his seat to relish the idea that someone thinks he's great. After a moment of pondering, he sat straight up, tore the heart-shaped stickers from the corners of the envelope, and put them with the letter in his pocket. He immediately got out a piece of paper and began penning his recipricol message of "like". He patted the outside of his jacket pocket and said, "Now, that's some good stuff, right there!"

Speaking of good stuff, do you know what I love about Luke? (I am challenged to appreciate it, but I love it...) He is ALWAYS willing to hang out. He can take everyday activities and shape them into quality moments of bonding. Whether it's cleaning up the dinner mess, playing a game, or grading papers, he wants to be there, and he wants to be chatting. He is the first to offer to read Mari a book. He is the first to offer to "help the girls clean their room". He is willing to take any roadtrip to any destination for any long as there is good conversation and perhaps a few snacks. He likes everything to be "special", and with him around, things usually are.

Ardyn has had three special friends celebrate birthdays this month. It is so important for her to give the perfect gift. I watch as she shops. She is enthusiastic and creative, and yet maintains just enough reservation to avoid being hasty or unwise. She always has a reason for the gift's appropriateness, and presentation is paramount. I love how she enjoys the art of giving. And I believe receiving gifts speaks to her soul as well. She was able to tell me what each person gave her at her party...complete with wrapping details and the inclusion of any personal notes. It's a gift.

I love Ashlin Rae. She loves me. We understand each other. She is the best little helper in the house. She actually SEES the dryer sheet on the living room floor. She sees, she bends, she finds the nearest trash receptical. Lord, bless her. She loves to help me cook --and better yet, serve -- dinner and seems to thrive in the fulfillment of a job well done. She is visibly encouraged when someone helps her with her shoes. One of my favorite things in life is to kneel down, tie her shoe, and hear her warm reply: "Thanks a bunch, Mom." No, thank YOU, Ash.

Mari Alice is a cuddler, and we LOVE it. Whenever Philip holds her, she automatically rests her plump, warm, rosy cheek against his face. Cheek to cheek....that's how she likes to chill. When she sits in my lap to read, she will subtly stroke my pants, or socks, or shirt....whatever has the softest texture. She enjoys sitting beside me on the floor or on the couch. She reads her book. I read mine. It's very sweet. I trust that she will learn to encouage with her words, serve through acts of kindess, nurture quality relationships, and give good gifts; but for now she blesses us all with her sensitive touch and comfortable closeness.