It’s been a season of waiting, trusting, of focusing on family, having numerous houseguests, of reconciliation, and learning the paradox of holding close and letting go. With the birth of our premature granddaughter, and my dear Aunt who is home with hospice care, we are walking through a time that is incredibly precious and also draining. During these times, I find it helpful to be intentional about taking time for activities that feed my soul: going for a walk at my favorite park while listening to my favorite music, writing down my blessings in my everyday journal and giving thanks, and taking time to pray and paint.
Our granddaughter was born 10 weeks early last fall, a few days before the scheduled baby shower. She was in the NICU for 49 days. It was a long haul, and we are so thankful for her health. She is so sweet and smiley! I had made a coloring page for the shower, and colored it while in the NICU. During those 49 days, I visited, made meals, and came home every 3-4 days. The beginning was full of unknowns and concerns. It was consuming, so I wanted to channel the concern to prayer. Being visual, it translated into visual prayer on a nesting doll. I drew the coloring page image onto the largest doll, representing our new granddaughter. I prayed and listened and wrote on the dolls. My daughter had a couple of animals that she sensed represented her new baby’s character. I looked up the symbolism and added the meaning to the doll. I added more symbolism and messages as I prayed and painted her a personalized nesting doll set.
Our young grandson was so excited about the nesting dolls, I decided to make him a set for his birthday. This time was a little different because I already know what he looks like, his interests and favorite color. The process was as prayerful and meaningful as the first set. I had to get his dimple on the large doll and his favorite color, animals, and car etc. As you can see, the second largest doll is a moose. Moose was his nick name. Honestly, I didn’t like it much because it seemed derogatory, even though it was spoken with pure affection. He was born a very large baby, over 10 pounds and 23″ long. I changed my mind about the nick name when I looked up the symbolism of the moose (which I added to the back of the doll). It has sweet symbolism and I found it describes him very well.
This photo was taken on the first sunny day we’ve had in a very long time here in the Pacific Northwest. We ran out to the backyard to catch the sunshine and walk the labyrinth. Today I am thankful for life, for children, for the beauty of nature and the feeling of sunshine on my face. I am thankful beyond words for the health of our grandchildren. I am also grateful I get to live close to two of our four grandkids and we get to share sweet times together.