Take a minute (or three) to be encouraged:
This was the exact encouragement I needed to get through my day and week.
Sundays in the Pinchback home are usually our "get ready for the week day" and we typically spend the afternoon grocery shopping and cleaning. Ben and I decided that the boys would benefit from special individual time, so Ty (who we've affectionately deemed Alpha) went with Ben and LJ (Bravo) stayed with me.
Ben works in a sea of acronyms (government) and thought code names would be appropriate. It worked out handy, today, because we were able to discuss them at dinner without them being any the wiser! Anyway, Bravo and I had a really good time at home. I let him help me load the dishwasher, set the table, and start dinner. He was so excited to contribute, he seemed to forget how much he likes to throw fits. When Ben and Alpha came running through the door (okay, just Ty was running), LJ rushed to him and hugged him and grabbed Ben's hand, saying, "Look. I set the table!"
I had no idea that such a small task would make him feel so proud. Victory! We're going to focus time on these tasks, this week.
After dinner, I was sitting on the couch with both boys. We have been talking about our similarities to help connect with one another. I've been telling the boys that they share the same beautiful dark eyes. Ty said, "Mom, look. Me and LJ have the same eyes!"
"I know isn't that cool?
Ty: "Mom, what else is the same?"
"Well...Ty, you and mama have the same dark hair."
Ty: "LJ, Me and mommy have the same hair!"
"And LJ...You and mama have the same squishy nose."
LJ: "The same nose?"
"Yup. Look at how they smush (I demonstrated with my finger)."
LJ got the closest he's ever been and smushed his nose right into mine, staring intently at my eyes. And then he shocked me by giving a sloppy, wet kiss (while continuing to smash my nose)!
My heart soared at the first real moment of connection.
We still had tantrums and tears, today, but the assurance of progress made all the difference.
At bedtime, LJ was glued to me. We read several books and sang songs - some silly, some serious. I love the below picture that Ben captured. It says so much about our relationship, right now. He will let me hold his hand and sing and pray with him, but his demeanor is always the same. Very somber.
I pray for the day that I see freedom in those beautiful eyes. Freedom from his past and hope for his future. It will take some time to dig it out, but I know that God is singing over him.
He'll hear it one of these days...and his life will never be the same.
I am praising God, tonight, for this week, his Son, and that our Sunday is only around the corner.