Sunday, April 29, 2012

Mind Tour of a 5 Year Old

It’s starting to get cold here and African winter is underway!  To get you in the spirit of the flopped seasons of the Southern Hemisphere, here is a little tour of Jensen’s mind (albeit it was during a Nebraska winter a few months ago...but bear with’ll start feeling more “wintery” in a few seconds).

Take a little tour of the mind of 5 year old on a cold winter’s night with new fallen snow (5 questions Jensen asked in a 30 minute car ride to a Christmas program last December)...

#1 Q: What is “moisture?”
·         My Answer: “Uh...yeah...what IS moisture?  Wet stuff!  It’s like water...but just a LITTLE bit of water.”
·         Context – Jensen wanted to roll down her car window to feel the new snow coming down on her soft, warm hands. Willing to accommodate briefly, Karl rolled it down but explained he couldn’t keep it open because it would let in too much “moisture.”  Jensen really was not impressed with the negative long term effects of “too much moisture.”  The car’s upholstery sided with Karl.

#2 Q: Umm...Mom...what does “deal with disappointment” mean?
·         My Answer: “It means you don’t always get what you want and you have to be OK with it.”
·         Context – Jensen was very sad she had to roll up her car window and we told her she needed to “deal with disappointment.” After this was explained, she voiced her general preference for getting what she wanted all the time and in pretty much every circumstance– she would be much more OK with no disappointment to deal with.
·         Side note: Whether 5 or 95 – do any of us really want to “deal with disappointment?”  I’d rather skip that part of life myself.

# 3 Q: What does “silent night” mean?
·         My Answer: “Well, silent means very quiet.  This song is about when Jesus was born – someone thought the night was very quiet and still.  But Jesus was born in a barn with all those animals.  Do you think it was quiet?”
·         Context – Listening to “Silent Night” in the car.
·         Side note: We both decided the song was pretty but might have some factual discrepancies...what we lowing cows and all (I wish someone would tell ME what “cattle lowing” means).

#4 Q: Why does snow sparkle?
·         My Answer: “Well since the snow is wet – when the light shines on it, it looks like it sparkles – kinda like God’s glitter.”
·         Context – Looking out the window at the newly fallen glitter snow.

#5 Q: What does “jazzy” mean?
·         My Answer: “It means funky (realizing she doesn’t know that word) means the music may be a little TOO exciting.”
·         Context – She overheard our conversation about how someone thought the music last year’s Christmas program was too “jazzy.”
·         Sidenote: After the Christmas concert Jensen decided it was not possible for the music to be “too jazzy.” And really – can music ever be too exciting for a 5 year old?

Can you remember a time when you didn’t know what “disappointment” meant? When every wonder of nature had to be explained...when the mysteries of life included discovering ear wax, no slumbering at “slumber parties” and realizing wet braided hair = cool crimped hair style hours later?

I want to enjoy every second of this 5 year old’s life.

All too often I am rushing – rushing past her precious days filled with a hundred questions and the joy in her eyes when she says, “Mama, watch! Watch me spin!”

Here are 3 quotes that have inspired me to SLOW IT DOWN:

“On every level of life, from housework to heights of prayer, in all judgment and efforts to get things done, hurry and impatience are sure marks of the amateur.” 
-       Evelyn Underhill

 “My biggest regret is being in a hurry. Getting to the next thing without fully entering the thing in front of me. I cannot think of a single advantage I’ve ever gained from being in a hurry. But a thousand broken and missed things, tens of thousands, lie in the wake of all the rushing.… Through all that haste I thought I was making up time. It turns out I was throwing it away.”
-        Mark Buchanan

“That in Christ, urgent means slow.
That in Christ, the most urgent necessitates a slow and steady reverence.
That in Christ, time is not running out. This day is not a sieve, losing time. In Christ, we fill – gaining time.
We stand on the brink of eternity.
So there is enough time.
Time to breathe deep and time to see real.
Time to laugh long, time to give God glory and rest deep and sing joy. And just enough time in a day not to feel hounded, pressed, driven, or wild to get it all done.”
-       Ann Voskamp

Today I’ve decided...I am going to REFUSE the rush. I’m going to watch her spin...and think about why snow sparkles...and take time to appreciate the “jazzy” parts of life.  Jensen sees jazzy everywhere she looks – and when I slow down just a little bit...I can see it too.

See the spin...

Monday, April 2, 2012

By Any Other Name

Ahhh...what’s in a name?

Shakespeare’s Juliet said..."What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet."

Really William? Could a "Rose" ever be called "Smelly Tuna?" with the same effect? “Adison Smelly Tuna” would truly not be quite the same as “Adison Rose” - even if the flower smelled just as good.

When choosing a name for our third daughter I really wanted to stay in theme (parties, room d├ęcor and names should ALWAYS be in theme).  But in the case of Adi Rose - the theme was thrown out the window.

Bare with me on my love of themes – especially with the names of daughters. Our thematic rules were...
-          -   A first name that ended in “son”
-          -  TWO middle names that reflected the female members of our family, preferable in descending order (great-grandmas for Jensen, grandmas for Emme, and the mother for Baby #3?)

Daughter #1: Jensen Yvonne Francis
-          -    FIRST: Jensen was my maiden name  
-          -    MIDDLE: Yvonne Francis is Karl’s two grandmas’ names

Daughter #2: Emerson Dorothy Joan
-          -     FIRST: I just loved the name Emerson (which also happens to be a distant relative’s name)
-          -     MIDDLE: We borrowed Dorothy, my mother’s name (also happens to be the name of both my grandmas – it’s a wonder I wasn’t named Dorothy too – thanks, Mom for that one!  Can anyone see me as a “Dottie?”)... and Joan, Karl’s mother’s name

Daughter #3:  Decisions, decisions...

-       -    FIRST: Here were some contenders for the “son” ending...

o   Winston (Winnie for short) – I loved this one!  So Winston Churchill!  Karl hated it – thought we should just go ahead and use Marlborough for her middle name.
o   Ellison had so many great options for short names – Elle, Ellis, Ella.  The only problem is that Ellison and Emerson seemed a bit too close.
o   Adalyn (Karl’s second fav- but sadly no “son”),
o   Graceson (Grace would have been adorable for short)
o   Anderson (I loved Andi for short but Karl thought it was too masculine) – Anderson is also a family name (all of Karl’s cousins are “Andersons”)
o   Adison – Karl LOVED this name, and although I really liked the name in and of itself, I was very disturbed that it was #11 on some name lists.  I really, really prefer to avoid trendiness (my goal was not to use any names ranked in the top 100)

-          -    MIDDLE: What actually tipped the scale in favor of Adison was choosing Rose for the middle name.  I just fell in love with the sound of Adison Rose (or Adi Rose). 

First off...Rose is SO out of theme (only ONE middle name – and not in the descending order of great-grandmas, grandmas and then the mother– which would have been “Julie Annette”).

However, we felt like “Rose” is the name the Lord picked out for her. Here is the scoop...

THE SHOWER DECORE: When I showed up for my  baby shower last month I noticed a beautiful bouquet of pink roses on the table.

Roses from the Baby Shower

THE LETTER: At that shower my friend Nicole wrote a letter about how she was praying for the baby and saw a picture of a rose – a rare beauty...with thorns (not to be easily grabbed).  She got the verse Song of Solomon 2:1-2 (I am a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valley. Like a lily among thorns, so is my darling among young women).

The  original Hebrew here for “Rose of Sharon” is a word that indicates this flower seems to mean literally “Overshadowed By God's Love.

THE PRAYER: At the end of the shower, everyone gathered around me to pray for the baby. Whitney (not knowing about Nicole’s letter) said, “I pictured a rose and felt like God said that her life will be fragrant before him! Also I asked God who she is to him and he said ‘she is my princess!’ I felt that she will know her place next to the Father as the daughter of the King. And that she will carry an anointing to give that knowledge and assurance to other girls as she grows up!” 

Prayers at the Shower

THE FLOWER: The next day I did some research on the plant called the “Rose of Sharon” and as I prayed, felt some of these plant qualities will apply to the personality and spirit of our Adison Rose:
o   Rapid growth and high yields
o   Very colourful (white, red, lavender or light blue)
o   Offers color when many other flowering shrubs have ceased to bloom (due to blooming in late summer)
o   Attractive and plentiful blooms
o   Can be trained through pruning/ Last season’s growth should be pruned away (which helps produce bigger blooms)
o   Prefers full sun (can get fungus when older if not in full sun)
o   Can hold it’s own as a specimen
o   Drought tolerant
o says, “Don’t give up on the Rose of Sharon, thinking it’s dead just because it hasn’t leafed out by early summer. The Rose of Sharon not only blooms late, but leafs out late as well.”
o   Good pollution tolerance (appropriate for urban gardens)
o   Easy care and low maintenance
o   Buds may drop if plant is watered too much or too little (or if too much fertilizer is applied)
o   Blooms in Palestine (plain called Sharon) and is well known for its soothing aroma and pain relieving qualities

Rose of Sharon: very colourful (white, red, lavender or light blue)

As I step into a new phase of motherhood, with an emphasis on spending time with my children as Karl begins several new ministries, I am excited to see what God has in store for a baby with the name Adison Rose!

 I think it will be quite the ride!