A note about the picture:
Sometimes, what I catch through the lens becomes an entirely different picture after I take it home to my computer. I crop. Sometimes I crop away. Sometimes I crop toward. Either way, the final picture is the result of a hunt for the best composition. I think, a lot of times, we find joy by looking for the best composition in our circumstances. We can frame it and crop toward it, or we can frame it and crop the extraneous distractions away.
Finally, brothers and sisters,
whatever is true,
whatever is noble,
whatever is right,
whatever is pure,
whatever is lovely,
whatever is admirable—
if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—
think about such things.
Philippians 4:8 (NIV)
"Tomorrow, I eat my breakfast slowly."
The refrigerator door is open, my eyes focused on the makings of my own breakfast. I only half hear her. Some people need coffee to wake up; I need food in my tummy to take myself off of autopilot. But something about this sentence stalls me out, stops my hunt for the cream cheese container, and has me look at her.
Autopilot means I haven't noticed that my daughter is standing at the counter eating her banana, instead of sitting at the table. Autopilot means I haven't noticed the 'work' bag on the counter next to her, flaps open, purse inside. Autopilot means I haven't noticed she has already changed out of her exercise clothes and into an 'outfit', ready to return to her volunteer position at the Army Community Services center on post.
I know she's excited. We've spent the last three weeks as a family, my husband on leave, boating, fishing, enjoying the crisp weather and blue skies. She has started telling me it is time to go back to work. She has started telling me she will see her friends. She has started telling me she is hard work (yes, exactly in that way...) But what stops my pre-breakfast autopilot is the -ly in the word slowly.
Yes, it's a really little thing. Two letters, to be exact. At the end of a 6-word sentence. But for me, it is huge.
See, my daughter has Down syndrome. Those little morphemes, those little one-, two-, and three-letter word attachments, those little bits of meaning, have been agonizingly slow to show up in her vocabulary. Sierra, my daughter, is very concrete. Very in the here and now. Very visual. So it's not surprising to understand why this part of her language skill lags. Those bits of meaning add abstract information. The -ed shows past tense. The -er shows someone who. The -s shows plural, or possession. For most of us, these little bits get added way back in our toddler and primary years. For Sierra, it's an ongoing process.
And now the -ly. It tells how.
So, I'm standing in the kitchen with my mouth open, just like the refrigerator door. And I'm celebrating my daughter's language. She just turned 24 - and the language keeps coming. Nice, right?
Jennifer Dukes Lee found a barn painted with a sign "Praise God." She interviewed the veterinarian who had the sign done.
He said the two words, “Praise God,” seemed like the best ones to hang over a farm … and over a whole life.You can read the rest of her post here. It's worth the read.
Today, I'm joining the #TellHisStory Community, and ThreeWordWednesday with a simple praise of my own. I praise God for steadfastly walking beside my daughter and me, in all things, even something as little as an 'ly.