I just finished going through all of Madison's baby clothes. She has finally graduated to six through nine month clothes, and until today I had drawers full of baby clothes I was unwilling to admit didn't fit her any longer. As a result I am in a bit of a thinky mood. Do you ever get in thinky moods?
|miss bunny, in her thinky mood|
|hayden's thinky mood|
I am not going to call this mood depressed… or morbid… but it is bordering on both of these feelings. I always border on these feelings when I am forced to put baby clothes away, but perhaps more so today because I am putting these away for the last time.
Many of these baby clothes are going to my daughter-in-law Monique, who just found out on Thursday that she is having another sweet baby girl.
Some of these clothes are just going in a box for memories' sake though... clothes that I just want to remember as uniquely Madison's. Her hospital cap – the familiar blue and pink striped stretchy one that is probably universal to all babies born in the United States.
|posted this on my IG stories|
But even so, it's hers… and it still smells faintly of her sweet little newborn head (unless it's just my imagination because of all the thinky feelings swirling in my brain right now.) The soft white baby socks with the tiny hand drawn bunnies on them… it's so hard to believe they fit her feet at one time- they are maybe an inch long ? She came home from the hospital in them and wore them for the first six weeks of her life. I held them up to her foot while she was sleeping a little while ago, and a giant lump formed in my throat as I realized it's been a whole year since the day we brought her home.
So here I sit, in my thinky mood... and I want to keep myself from spiraling downwards. If there is one thing I have learned over the years, it's that overthinking things can put me in a bad place.
But you know what can put me in a good place? Reading.
I'm reading a book right now that is really ministering to me. Which is a funny thing to say, because the author isn't even a Christian (as far as I know.) But it really is a motivational book, and I am not normally one who likes motivational books. Don't ask me why, because I have no idea. I'm the same way with forwarded emails - if the heading says "get out the tissues" or "guaranteed to make you laugh", I won't do either. I think it's just my rebellious nature or something.
ANYHOO, this book is inspiring me.
Here's a little excerpt from the book:
Researchers have found that people who write down three things they're grateful for every night (or even a few times a week) improve their well-being and lower their risk of depression. The results have been repeated over and over. Keeping a gratitude journal can even dramatically improve your ability to get a good night's sleep.
And maybe that's why I've been enjoying this book already, and I'm not even halfway through it. For several years on Instagram and a few times on my blog as well, I have posted what I call my "three things post".... I share three things that are bringing me joy right this minute, and I ask followers to do the same. The things that I list are not typically huge events, or even material things… usually they are just the little things in life: a nice cup of tea in my favorite mug, a walk outside with my children in the crisp morning air, the sunlight streaming through the window on my bedspread… just average every day things that are bringing me joy.
|scrapbooking and tea = joy|
|baby rolls bring me joy|
|...as well as baby food beards !|
It might sound simplistic or obvious, but focusing on our blessings is beneficial in so many ways. My husband preached an entire sermon yesterday on gratitude and I can't even begin to do that sermon justice.. but it paralleled what this book, The Gratitude Diaries, is saying (only with a spiritual twist, because after all, it was a sermon.) Being grateful improves our health, our marriages, the atmosphere in our homes, and our overall spiritual well-being.
|I'm grateful for ice storms, because they make everything BEAUTIFUL|
|grateful for my husband who stops in the middle of his work day to play a game with hayden|
|grateful for teenagers who are gentle and affectionate|
My Pinterest boards are filled with quotes on this subject that I have pinned over the years… Probably because I need to be reminded of these truths on a regular basis.
It goes against human nature to be grateful, doesn't it? If you ask someone how they are doing, they might tell you "fine" ... but two minutes later they proceed to fill you in on all of their not-so-fine moments. It's just human nature to mullygrub; to list the ten things going wrong in our lives, rather than three things we are grateful for. It takes work to be grateful ... and as humans, most of the time we default to complaining.
Another quote from The Gratitude Diaries :
One of the psychologists who has led this research (on gratitude), Dr. Robert Emmons of the University of California, Davis, jumped into the field early, and quickly became one of the world's leading scientific experts on gratitude. One of his findings is that you don't need good events in your life in order to feel gratitude. Instead, grateful people reframe whatever happens to them. "They don't focus on what they're lacking; they make sure they see the good in what they have."
|I could complain that I just organized the playroom - AGAIN - |
or be thankful that my kids have a room filled with toys to enjoy
|I could complain about these two always wanting to sleep in our bed...|
or rejoice that I still have kids young enough to "need me"
The Gratitude Diaries is inspiring me in so many ways to combat my human nature, and to make a conscious effort every day – throughout the day – to be grateful. To be intentionally grateful, to reframe bad events so that they are seen through the eyes of gratitude.
|this puppy has chewed up 45 billion rolls of toilet paper since we got her - but Lily no longer has a major dog phobia !|
|these two drive each other crazy half the time|
|but are best friends the other half ;)|
|I don't have my Kewpie doll from when I was little anymore... but now I have a real life one|
So here's how gratitude pulled me out of my thinky mood...
My baby is growing up, and I am being forced to put away newborn clothes ... for the last time.
However ... gratitude helps me reframe the sadness/anxiety/this-is-the-end-for-sure-this-time feelings into this :
I have the rest of my life to enjoy grandbabies who will wear her hand-me-downs. And I will have the pleasure of seeing my grandbabies in all of those adorable outfits, without having to do all that laundry. BOOM.
My baby may be growing out of her newborn clothes, but that means she is THRIVING. Last summer we could not get her to gain weight, her heart was failing, and as a result she was less than ten pounds at six months old. Today she weighs over fifteen pounds and eats like a CHAMP, and that means her heart is healed ! Thank God for surgery and modern medicine, and thank God for piles of baby clothes that do not fit my Bunny anymore!
I prayed for an entire year before Madison was born for "one last baby." God answered that prayer, and today I have my heart's desire. I may be a little (okay a LOT) sad about retiring her baby clothes, but two years ago I didn't even know if my prayer to get pregnant again would be answered. I HAVE A BABY AT AGE ALMOST 49 FOR CRYING OUT LOUD. (no pun intended, ha.)
Madison may have outgrown those adorable little bunny socks and will never fit into them again ...
...but she finally fits into these darling bunny slippers that her sister Abbi bought her when I was still pregnant !!!
I'm starting a Gratitude Revolution here on A Perfect Lily ... do you want to join me ??
To start this little revolution, I am giving away a copy of The Gratitude Diaries to one random commenter* on this post.
All you have to do to enter is leave a comment telling me three things you are grateful for. They can be big or small things - whatever you choose to express gratitude for.
I will place everyone's names in a bowl and have Lily draw the winner on Thursday ... I'll post a little video here announcing the winner and then order that person a copy of The Gratitude Diaries immediately.
(*I'm limiting entries to readers living in the United States because of shipping, but feel free to leave a comment for fun if you are outside the US !)
Are you ready to join the revolution ???