A Fresh Outlook on Life and What We Can Learn From Babies

My son will soon be eight months old. His most recent victory is sitting up. He is quite good at it. Occasionally he will reach for something too far out of his grasp and end up on his belly, or lean in the direction he is looking and topple over. Earlier today, he took a strong hold on the toy farm, brought it to his mouth to bite on (something he does with everything now that he has teeth) and fell onto his back with the farm on top of him. This did not phase him in the least and he went along chomping on the farm’s silo. He also doesn’t have very far to fall and we have a very nice plush carpet in our family room. Sitting up gives Colton a whole new view of the world. One he did not have a few weeks ago.

Colton has gone through many different stages of sight. As a newborn, babies can only see as far as the face of the person holding them. Perfect for a new mother nursing her baby. As they grow, so to does their eye sight. Things are more in focus and they can see further away. We have carried all of our babies in a Bjorn carrier. For the first several months, they are carried facing in toward your chest. They can’t see much, which is fine, because they usually fall asleep in this position. When they are strong enough, they are turned out, to face what is coming. A new perspective. A whole new world is just waiting for them to take in.

Like his sisters, Colton loved this change. To see what was coming, explore with his eyes, and return the smiles of everyone he sees. My husband calls this the “floating baby” because everyone notices and talks to Colton and rarely says anything to him.

And finally, when the torture of playing flat on the floor is almost too much to handle, the magical days comes a long when a baby can sit. Sit and play. Sit and be content. Sit and be happy. That is, until they want to crawl.

Sometimes in life, all we need is a fresh outlook on life. A new perspective. It doesn’t take much for a baby and it really doesn’t take much for us. So, take a moment, change your position and look again into this day. You may be surprised what you find. Disclaimer: Be careful to not pull the farm on top of you!

Magically Appearing Toys and Why Everything Starts With Prayer

The end of December and the beginning of January brought two long car trips for our family. The week after Christmas, we drove 400 miles to Ashtabula, Ohio. Only two short weeks later, we packed up again and drove 820 miles to Orlando, Florida. That’s a total of 2440 miles for both trips. It’s an amazing testament to how well our family travels together. Those miles consisted of many movies, songs, coloring books, snacks, potty breaks, video games (life savers!), books, car games, imagination, laughter and a few tears.

Our son, the youngest of four, was only six months old for these trips. He couldn’t get a snack when he was hungry, change positions when his bottom got sore, or ask for a new toy. Hence the tears (and some screaming) that happened along they way. I had placed a canvas basket of Colton’s toys between the driver and passenger seats so I could easily hand toys to him. It usually went like this: Colton is unhappy. A toy appears in his lap. Colton is happy. Colton plays with this new toy for approximately 4.5 minutes and then chucks it to the floor. Colton is unhappy again. A new toy appears in his lap. Colton is again happy for, if we’re lucky, another 4.5 minutes.

Colton is in an infant car seat and faces backwards in the van. He can’t see me or see where these toys are coming from. I began to wonder, what does his little mind think of these toys as they are magically appearing. He doesn’t know about my basket or that I am waiting for the sound of the toy dropping to the floor before reaching for a new one to hand back. He only knows that he doesn’t want to be trapped in his seat any longer and that when he cries, a new toy arrives and he forgets for a few minutes why he was upset.

This made me think about my walk with Christ. How, so many times I get upset and expect the answer I want (a.k.a. the new toy) to magically appear…right now!  My first thought should not be, this is what I want, but to stop and go to the Lord in prayer. What does God want for me in this situation? Sometimes it takes a little patience. God isn’t in the business of magically appearing toys.

Mother Teresa one said, “My secret is a very simple one: I pray… Everything starts from prayer. Without asking God for love, we cannot posses love and still less are we able to give to others.” May we each start tomorrow out with prayer and never stop.