We've had good days these past few. Family from afar to play with, to eat with, to just be with. So good that the boys are beaming still, even after they are gone. Such a blessing to spend time with them. And also, for little old me, at some point afterward I just feel like I need a good long nap. :) Anytime I spend a chunk of time with people really, I find I need to have some time to recharge. Ideally alone time is what I want. Time to sit on the bed and watch the sky through the maples bare branches just now showing buds. Time to read and soak up what my soul needs. Time to meander through the yard and see what is peeking up through the dirt just now. (although there is still some snow out there from this late storm)
And it is not what the boys need. After being with people they want me. :) To tell their stories to. To snuggle them in. To read with and sit with and laugh with. I love it that they want me. But you see how the timing is just not what my own little self would want at that particular moment.
And honestly, my own little self, can be not so little about it. I can be downright grumpy if I dwell on me and myself, you know? I've been more aware of how just shifting my focus to them and their little faces and hands and selves makes me much less grumpy when alone time is what I crave.
And today I chose them. And it felt so good. The boy asked me to cut him an apple just when I was thinking of myself, and at first I sighed and felt the old selfishness rise up within me. His reaction caught me off guard. He noticed right away what I was struggling with and said, "It's okay mom, you don't have to cut it up. I'll just eat it whole."
And I had this snapshot flash in my mind's eye. Of my grandma peeling apples by the kitchen sink, big oak ivy hanging in the window that overlooked the barn. All the peel in one big circle and how she fed me slices graciously even though she was filling a pie. And her fingers peeling, peeling and cheeks all wrinkled like great maps of rivers and all the love that was given to me in those slices of apples.
I flash back to his little face. I grab the moment quick to make sure the connection stays close. "You know what? I'd love to peel you an apple!" And I get one, all green and yellow and I sit down plate in my lap. And for a moment I am struck by how beautiful the green apple is in my lap, black skirt setting it apart. I see my own hands peel and I wonder if he'll remember the shape of my fingers and the peeling just for him. He sits next to me and offers me a slice. We grin at each other.
After he leaves the room, all filled up, another picture flashes in my mind. It's not photo-like, more of a sketch of me. Me sitting peeling the apple and how the beauty isn't of the green apple and the black skirt and purple socks, light shining through the window, but of me dying to self and being filled up with God's love. And it's like God says to me...this is what makes you beautiful. This is what I see. This is what I will remember.
I am humbled by this, and have more opportunities all afternoon to practice it. The lesson is life long and runs deep. And I want to learn it more. And, well, that's all really.