Sunday, March 11, 2007

Can't get enough...



I blog quite a bit about contentment here at Nitty.Gritty. It's something I think so many people struggle with in the American culture we live it. It is such a conusumer/image-based society...and while I love America and I wouldn't want to live anywhere else in the world than where I do right now. But, I think there is a growing epidemic of people not realizing how blessed they truly are in their lives. There is growing consumer debt, and just lots of people not as happy as it seems they should be...constantly comparing themselves to others who have more, or get to do more, or just that they wish they had more.
In light of Teagan's death and our ongoing recovery with Wyndham, my thoughts changed dramatically in life as to what true contentment really is, and my definition of success took a 180. I am still learning to be content with what I have, and I know that I have more than enough.
Still, when I looked through some photos today I couldn't help but think there are some things in life I will never get enough of. Like the smiles of Bella and Wyndham...you can just see how much they love and interact together. That sister-bond can rarely be broken...and I hope my girls stay close forever. I hope they always want to be best friends. To my own two sisters, Stephanie and Jaqcue, they know I love them and share the same bond we see in the photo of my girls. I am blessed with having two sisters who are also my best friends in life.
Then there is the whole thing of rubbing noses. We did it with Teagan all the time. She was such an affectionate little girl, that a simple kiss on the cheek was never enough. She loved to hug our necks so tight, and rub noses, and do pinky promises...promising to love us forever. My dad has a special memory of one of the last kisses he got from Teagan. He asked Teagan to come over and 'give Grandpa a kiss' before she ran off to play. She went over to him, and he was expecting a quick peck on the cheek. Instead, she reached both her hands on each side of his face and pulled him gently to hers, and then gave him a little kiss. My dad says it was so sweet and innocent, and yet so unexpected from this wild and crazy little energetic girl. She just had a knack for melting hearts, I guess. I am so thankful that my dad has this fond memory to look back on...that was one of the last kisses he ever got from Teagan.
Okay, about the rubbing noses thing before I start tearing up while writing my own blog. (Ahem. That's me getting my composure back after that last thought.) We love rubbing noses to show our kids how much we love them. It's just fun and especially when the kids are little, they love changing things up a little bit- even when it comes to hugs and kisses. I just had to catch Chip and Ava the other morning- even though they were still a little 'scruffy' from just waking up. Ava actually 'tuned out the camera' for a minute during these shots...she was just loving her daddy and his undivided attention.
It's something I can't ever get enough of...the love between my husband and my kids. I know it is a gift that many people and sadly, many kids never get. Some people live with the void of never getting that love they crave their whole life long. While we're not perfect parents by any stretch of the imagination, our kids do know how much we love them...and we're not about to ever stop telling them that- or showing them. Although it might not always be rubbing noses with them. That would look funny to all the other kids- especially when they're in highschool. =)
I had another really amazing time of just "soaking up the presence of God" today. I've had some questions and emails about how you know when God is speaking to you, or how do you 'feel Him'. For me it has been in developing a personal relationship with God...it hasn't happened overnight, that's for sure. But, I believe that God can 'speak' or reveal Himself through all sorts of means- especially when we read the Bible (that's the best way I have found to hear Him speak to me), but also through nature, through a feeling in your heart (something can feel 'so right' even though life might be otherwise at that time), and oftentimes for me it is through worship and song. During the music portion of our church service, there are many times when I just shut my eyes, and in these moments, through the words and music, it's as though it's just me and God. I have often been blessed and touched (as I was today), because sometimes I can close my eyes, and as I sing and worship God, I get a sort of 'picture of Heaven' in my mind, and it's like I'm worshipping God and Teagan is right there with me. It's really an amazing thing...and maybe it sounds a little 'new-agy' or something, but it's very real to me. I imagine that Heaven isn't really as far away as we think it is...the reality is that we're all just a breath away. It's that feeling- that reality, that picture- that when I draw near to God, He really is THAT close to me. It's another thing in my life that I can never get enough of. The more I grow in my spiritual life, the more I want of Christ. I guess as a kid sometimes I wished I didn't have to go to church so much or wondered why people would read the Bible- it seemed 'boring' to me at times. Now, I know...the more you love and feel God's love, it just multiplies from there. It just happens...but it definitely takes effort. And again, I am not the most spiritual person on earth, and I skip church and my Bible reading from time to time, but it's more and more becoming a 'natural desire of my heart' and I am noticing God in my life more and more as I faithfully do MY part.
One more thing, before I start to sound greedy. =) I got a nap for the first time today since I can't remember when. Wyndham was awake (and in our bed) for half the night, so nobody did much sleeping. When we got home from church and lunch, she was tired, and Chip let me lay down with her. I had hoped to get some sleep, but wasn't counting on it. I just have to say, "did that nap feel good!" I think I could add sleep to my list of things I can't get enough of, but I have a feeling it won't stay on the list for long! Besides, I've heard it said that sometimes too much sleep makes you more tired than not enough sleep, so I wouldn't want that wish anyway, huh?! It did feel good to get caught up on a little bit of the sleep I missed out on- especially with the time change too.
Now I'm wondering...if you were making a list, what kinds of things would you put on it? This could be a fun bunch of comments. =) Mine is love, smiles, (pictures!) and real worship...the kind that makes God feel 'touchable'. I think I'm going to start keeping a list in a journal, and add to it as things come to mind. It will be fun to look back on in a few years. Maybe you want to do it too.

14 comments:

Lisa Tanner said...

Jody - you never fail to make me think of things that I haven't necessarily thought about - or atleast think about them in a different way. So here's my list: Tight hugs from Cole, his butterfly kisses, rubbing noses (we did this ALL the time), and hearing him belly laugh, calling me Mommy (I know those days are running out) and full face smilies that aren't cheesy! That's something we don't always get since he had nerve damage from his brain surgery. His left side is week, something like a stroke patient. But sometimes, we get this sweet fabulous smile that lifts his cheeks and brightens his eyes - almost like he knows what a special smile it is!! I hope we both gets lots more of those things on our list!!

Hillary said...

Things I can't get enough of... :)

Hmmm, my cousins' smiling little faces. My great-grandma. :) A day off with nothing going on....

Thanks for your amazing insights...I appreciate it. I'm always amazed at the peace you seem to have. God Bless...
Hillary

Cara said...

things i can't get enoujgh of huh?

sunshine . . . long walks . . . the beautiful moutain view from my neighborhood park and one certain spot on the highway . . . my husband's amazing lips (and i don't just mean for kissing . . . they are so perfect and beautiful to look at!) . . . making up silly songs with my husband . . . swimming (especially that first lap or two) . . . creative moments when all of the juices are flowing and i feel contentment like none other

Patty in PA said...

Jody, I am closer to your Mom's age than yours however, you my wonderful young lady, have been a mentor to me.
I am not really sure how I was led to your blog. Let us just say God was in it.
Thanks for loving Him and leading me. Blessings to you and your family.

Anonymous said...

Me in the latter days of my LIFE...I'd say "things" aren't so important as they seemed when I was young. What I really love now is "TIME"...with my DH and with my grown kids and the grandkids. I love the conversations and the hugs/kisses and just plain "TIME". Things will get old, wear out, fade away. I just heard recently even the richest person is always thinking it's still not enough and may be looking for more. Things and money don't make for happiness and contentment!
There is a "God-shaped" hole in everyone of us and it's ONLY HIM that can fill that space! So added to the above...time with HIM and with my family now is the most important.

Anonymous said...

Hugs from my boys, those times that they just amaze you with what they know or how they feel and how freely they share with you (I dread the day they start keeping more to themselves), a note left just because by my husband, fishing and camping trips with my crew and the fact that there is no TV or radio or toys, just us being together and connecting, making great memories.

stacy
stacywhite.blogs.com

Anonymous said...

I've been reading your blog for quite some time; never commenting, but always wanting to. A church friend told me about your blog. I went to Bethel as well and grew up in the church. Reading your blog today made me realize that I am certainly not spending enough time with God.I remember when I fealt so close to Him, not being able to sleep until I spent time with Him in the Word. Then 3 kids came along, and the days just go by w/out time spent with Him. Thank you for reminding me that my quiet time with Him is so precious! And thank you for blogging. You are touching more people and planting more seeds than you realize.

Christal said...

Hello my friend!

Jody, I cant get enogh of your blog! HA! Really I love reading your blog, you always amd I mean ALWAYS have a lil something for me. I was talking to a friend the other day telling her about you, and this sort of longing to be like you, I was telling her about the postive things I see in you... She said, " That is God, she is positve and uplifting because she allows Jesus to use her, even if she doesnt know it, she is!" I agree. I am so hungry for God's word and praise and worship" I cant get enough of it.
Another thing I cant get enough of is gardening, the kind where you work all day outdoors planting and getting dirty and get tired and sore... I LOVE THAT! I also cant get enough of my 2 mile walk/jogs in.

Jill B said...

Here are a few of my favorite things.. those I can't do without.
My husband coming home each night and the moment the garage door opens the kids yelling Daddy Daddy.. Annette the 2 yr old's big hug and kiss when she gets up each morning and says I awake, the 10 year old boy who still likes to snuggle, the 6 yr old girl who twirls and spins to worship songs and loves to dance for "jesus".
a cold glass of lemonaid-iced tea in the summer by the lake, a hot mug of tea when's it's cold and Sunday mornings in the pew when all three kids sing and worship God right along with us.
I think I better find my journal and write these down.

JSM said...

At the risk of sounding extremely shallow - I can't believe you left buttercream off your list! :)

sara b said...

Things I can't get enough of.... GOOD HEALTH (we have had a rough few years and now I understand what a blessing your health really is), pictures, little voices requesting you to play with them, hold them or kiss them, my girls running to their daddy when he gets home from work and the moments when as a mother and wife you feel at peace. Thanks Jody for this post, it made me stop and think today!

Erica S. said...

Just found your blog (after seeing that amazing layout about Teagan in CM Magazine) and I can't wait to read more. What wonderful insights!!

What I can't live without...

those precious moments alone with God at 5:00 am, when the house is quiet, the coffee is hot and I am in His presence as ERICA (not wife, mommy, sister, friend,etc)

the feel of my 1 year old draped over me, dozing off.

times just laughing and playing with the husband and kids.

scrapbooking

reading one good book after another

women being vulnerable andreal with each other.

The list goes on, but the baby's awake!!

Mary said...

Jody - I found your comment on Adrienne's site and it just really spoke to me. I ended up visiting yours. I honestly do not know what to say, you suffered so much. I love your pictures and your faith and devotion to God. You are so incredibly strong...I can't even imagine. I felt the need to write (even though I guess I didn't have much to say). God Bless you and yours. What a beautiful family you have and what a beautiful little angel up there in Heaven. Mary

~Lea~ said...

Things I can't get enough of...

My husband making me laugh, cuddles from our puppies, spending time with my grandparents, watching my little brother transforming into a wonderful young man, watching him play sports, being in Montana, patterned papers (my scrapping guilty pleasure), praise and worship, white chocolate lattes, card making...the list could go on. I am so blessed with things that make me happy day in and day out...

Have a great day Jody!