A good long.
As well as the usual household chores and taking care of the little munchkins, Sitora and I spent a good chunk of time working in her AWANA book (AWANA is a kids ministry). She needed to memorize a verse and a section of books of the Bible, and fill out a page about a missionary she knows and a little bit about what they do and where they live.
She worked so hard on the books of the Bible. Her workbook starts with the New Testament first. So far she knows Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts, Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians. Today she needed to memorize Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 and 2 Thessalonians, 1 and 2 Timothy, and Titus.
She just couldn't remember Thessalonians, no matter how many times we went over it. I told her, "Imagine if a group of people ate a lot of balogne and made a mess. They would be called "a mess of balognians", and that rhymes with Thessalonians." She laughed hysterically. I don't think it worked though. Oh well- it was worth a shot.
She is wired a lot like me. She wants to memorize her verses with her own determination. Of course I have to remind her and help her, but she honestly really loves it. If she can't remember a word or phrase she repeats it over and over (and that is exactly how I memorize things). She thrives on accomplishing goals (hellooooo... mini me...) I guess that's what makes it easy for me, because I know what makes her tick. We'll see what Peter's learning style ends up being ;) (SuperDan's genes might kick in there...)
I help her class in AWANA throughout the evening of games, lesson time, and handbook/verse reciting time. I giggle watching her laugh and play with her buddies. I smile when she gives it her all running in the game races and doesn't care when she loses. I melt when she tells a friend what a good job they are doing. I beam when she boldly answers questions during lesson time and isn't afraid to be wrong (and wonder how in the world did she remember those crazy details? A pillar of cloud by day for the Israelites? I only remember reading her that Bible story a few times in her life. Apparently she listens to her AWANA CD on repeat 24/7...)
I try to give her space. Not many kids have their mom following them around all night, watching their every move. Granted, she does run up to me and jump into my arms constantly. She hasn't reached the "Oh, I'm kind of embarrassed to have my mom here" stage. I adore how her classmates love me too. I guess I know how to embrace and teach them because they are all the same age as my daughter.
My heart explodes with joy when I sit down at eye level with these precious children and help them memorize their verses. What a privilege to serve God's children.
I think I will probably always be involved in Sitora's life in this way somehow. When she gets to youth group age I will most likely volunteer with that. I am not sure how that will work out with having younger children in the mix and wanting to help with their classes too. I guess we'll cross that road when we get there.
After returning home I put Peter to bed then SuperDan took over the rest of bedtime for Sitora. Now here I sit, editing a photoshoot and thinking about today. I feel so blessed to be able to spend my days with my children. I feel blessed to be able to have the freedom to be involved with their lives inside and outside of the home.
And I feel blessed to have the opportunity to run my own business from home. It is late, so very late. And these eyes are droopy and this body weary. But I am thankful all the same. Working for myself has been the most empowering and dangerous expedition I've ever set foot on. I am my own boss. I am the only one keeping myself from failure. I am my biggest fan. I am my worst critic. I am living my dreams.
Morning will come oh so early. Breakfast to prepare, cleaning to finish, books to read, faces to kiss (SuperDan's being the first...), hands to wash, lessons to go through, scripture to meditate on, loved ones to pray for, more photos to edit, coffee to drink.
It's been a full day, and I look forward to all tomorrow has to offer.
I printed this and hung it up in my bathroom. It will be the first thing I see every morning (because we all know we don't really wake up until we reach the bathroom anyway!) Feel free to save it if you want :)
Happy today and tomorrow my dear friends. Every minute counts.