I think I am in the minority, but I look forward to Mondays. No matter how hectic the rest of life gets, Monday is an oasis of joy. It is my Sofia day.
This week, as she draws near to her first birthday, I think back to the first time I saw her sleeping in her hospital bassinet. As I leaned over and drank in the sight of the dark cap of hair on her tiny head, the perfectly formed little nose, the smooth curve of her soft cheek, my eyes filled with tears. I was overcome with awe at the amazing workmanship of the Master Designer.
I marvel at how much she has changed in one short year. From a little six pound bundle of squishy softness, unable to lift her head or control her movements, there has been a transformation into a little dynamo of activity and intelligence.
Her ears are tuned to familiar voices and she turns to look when she hears her name. Outside, she listens attentively to the chirping of birds and other sounds of nature. It seems that daily she discovers something more about her vocal cords and how to make new sounds using her tongue and lips. She delights in laughter and sometimes giggles just for the pleasure of hearing the sound.
Sofia also uses her hands to ‘talk’. She points to express her wants, and claps to express pleasure. We know her tummy is satisfied when she signals the end of a meal by signing “All done.” Her sturdy little hands reach for toys but also have the more refined ability of picking up small objects with her thumb and forefinger. She is enchanted by small bits of lint and fuzz and works diligently to get them into her mouth.
Stretched out legs, piles of laundry, or an odd assortment of toys and books are no obstacle to this little monkey/mountain goat child. She takes satisfaction in conquering every mountain that she encounters during a day’s adventure. When she takes off down the hall with a grin thrown my way, I know she is headed straight for the stairs…. which are theoretically off-limits. Nani stands behind her to guard and protect as she makes her way to the top. Once the summit is conquered she bestows a triumphant smile on me and crawls off in search of another adventure. Such a bundle of non-stop energy! I can get tired out just watching her escapades.
Evening brings a familiar routine. Dinner is followed by a splash in the tub. Afterwards, she has taken to quietly cuddling on my lap as I sing to her. I inhale the scent of freshly washed hair and sweet baby smell and want to linger forever in that time and place.
As I considered the changes in Sofia over the last year, both physically and intellectually, I wondered about myself and whether there have been any changes in me. I know that at my age the growth spurts are not nearly as impressive as they are for an infant, but I want to think that I have grown. As I was mulling this over I remembered something the apostle Paul said:
Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. Romans 6:13
How have I offered myself to God this year? Are my ears more tuned to hear His voice and do I respond more quickly when He calls my name? Is He pleased with the way I use my words? Are my hands, feet and mind engaged in missions of eternal importance or have I been distracted by ‘small bits of lint and fuzz’? Have I learned this past year how to rest more quietly against my Heavenly Father?
Surely I have composed and quieted my soul; Like a weaned child rests against his mother, My soul is like a weaned child within me. Psalm 131:2
For a child, growth is almost inevitable. As an adult, ‘growing in favor with God and man’, takes effort. It also takes effort to sit and rest quietly against my Father. I’m still learning.