Eliana’s View: Tiny Victories

Smallest in his house, Walter captures hearts.  His short stature and sweet face draw me in every time.  Walter is all boy.  He loves trucks and tricycles.  He prefers walking alone to holding hands.  A bit unsteady on his feet, he dashes all over campus to find adventures.

His expression is serious.  When we met, his face was impassive, and he shied away from my open arms.  As the playtime ticked by, he warmed up.  I’m sure the bubbles and cars helped.  Still cautious, he walked along with me, pushing a dump truck.

Then it came: we paused on our trek and I wiggled my fingers along his belly.  His face broke into a smile.  Victory #1.  We were getting somewhere.

Towards the end of our time, however, disaster struck. Walter was intent on pushing his truck too far from the play zone.  I planted my feet and blocked him.  He did his best to outmaneuver me, but I wouldn’t let him by.  His frown turned to tears, and he dissolved into a fit.  I waited him out.

After the worst of the storm, I scooped him up and carried his truck back to the play area.  He liked the ride.  His sniffles diminished, so I set down the vehicle and put him on his own feet.

More meltdown mode.  Seeing me as a good source of love and transportation, Walter refused to walk.  He grabbed my legs and tried climbing them, but I knew this game enough to choose not to play.  He threw himself on the ground and screamed.  Oh boy.

A few minutes and a borrowed tricycle later, he settled down.  His expression went flat as we made our way to the house.  No smile for me when I said goodbye.

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The next week, we saw each other more.  He started to beam at my enthusiastic greetings.  I learned his tickle spots, and he would let me hold his hand when we walked.  Victory #2.  Sweet progress being made.

But how would he act when he was upset?  I found out soon enough.  Walter burst into tears that afternoon when he bumped his head at playtime.  I picked him up and soothed him with my Spanish.  I took him to the gate and pointed to the falling rain outside.  He relaxed as we looked at the glistening grass and trees.

When I made my move and set him down, he erupted once again.  I held his hands but refused to pick him up.  If you were fine just a few minutes ago, you should be fine now.  His arms around my legs, I shuffled to the couch and sat down.

He followed me up on the sofa.  I let him crawl into my lap, thinking I could eventually slide him off and sit next to him, then get up and play.  His little figure unstiffened and was comforted.

All too soon, it was time to leave.  I shifted him off my lap.  No whimpering.  Victory #3.

I stood, picked up a balloon, and handed it to him.  He took it, still solemn, but content.  His eyes followed me the whole way to the door.  With a quick wave, and no crying, I exited.

These victories are small, but dear.  Trust is being built and a little life changed.

Next time I’m going for #4.  I want a smile from him as I go.


What tiny victories are you celebrating these days?

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Truck Photo by Zhen Hu on Unsplash

 

Lifting My Eyes

Sometimes when people hear about what the Lord is doing in our family they make a statement:  “I could never do that.”  The truth is that without Him, we can’t either.  Sometimes we stride, sometimes we stumble, but always the ground is taken one step at a time. When I’m struggling, the best thing for me to do is to pick up my pen and journal.  There’s something about putting my thoughts down on paper that makes it easier to sort the good from the bad.  The Spirit led me to let you peek at one of my rough spots as a big hug when the path ahead seems difficult.  It may not always be easy, but He is always good.  When my heart lifts its gaze up from the rocks in the way, I can see His rainbow of love over my life again.

Friday, November 16th, 2012

Lord, it hit me tonight so quickly that it almost took my breath away:  [In this moment,] I don’t want to go.  All these changes, all the work of this year-long goodbye.  Letters, prayer cards, friend-raising, presentations, decluttering, de-stuffing, rent or sell?, storing, packing, decision-making.  Prayer.

Come be with me, Daddy.  Hold my hand.  Wait, it’s clinging to my kitchen counter with all its strength.  Peel back the fingers, lovingly, one by one, and fill them with Yourself.  Help me again to want what You want.  To trust the plans You have for our family.  Give me kisses for orphan faces, momma-bear hugs for their hurts, and laughter for their antics.  Give me tender wisdom to guide team members out of their comfort zones and warm grace to welcome them in as friends.  Give me Your love for them all, and for myself.  Wrap me up in it.  Your banner over me is love.  You are good, and like David in the waiting, I will trust in You.  Let my soul glorify the Lord.

His love over each of us is brilliant.

I lift up my eyes to the mountains –
where does my help come from?
 My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.

 He will not let your foot slip –
he who watches over you will not slumber;
 indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.

 The Lord watches over you –
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.

 The Lord will keep you from all harm –
he will watch over your life;
 the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and for evermore.  Psalm 121