Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Default to Joy

As some of you know, our sweet son has a helmet to fix his little flat head (and it has started working after just a few weeks!).  When I posted a picture on Facebook of him wearing the helmet, my sister-in-law commented, "I love how he is so happy, just takes everything in stride! Doesn't seem to phase him one bit!" And it's true. 

We've been blessed with such a happy baby! I have to give credit to the Lord for reaching outside mine and Josh's genes to accomplish that! Not that we are unhappy people -- we are very happy and have so much to be thankful for, but come on now -- two firstborns who have structured, Type A tendencies and whose desire for excellence and order can sometimes leave them, shall I say, cranky in the midst of otherwise sunny circumstances?! It truly has caught me off guard that Gavin seems to default to joy! When he was a tiny baby, it even seemed that he would try to keep himself from crying and calm himself at certain times in the face of discomfort. As he continued to grow, he would smile at us for no apparent reason and laugh at the simplest things. Don't get me wrong, it's not a 24-hour party, especially since he recently turned 9 months and (as the books said would happen) his opinions are sounding more like protests. But even still, he likes being happy -- for lots of reasons, and for no reason at all.

And it's this "no reason at all" that has me reflecting the most. It reminds me that when I was pregnant and reading lots of books about having babies, raising babies, and especially how not to mess them up, I would think about the kind of home that I wanted Gavin to grow up in. I know that I tend to get anxious about small things and obsess over details. I know that when my mind is not occupied with a pressing matter at hand, it tends to gravitate to "how can I do more, get more, squeeze more into this minute" rather than "how can I give thanks, give back, and find joy in the moment". It is with this in mind, that I started praying that ours would be a home that defaults to joy. In the absence of a reason or activity, I prayed that it would be joy that our minds settle on and that our hearts move toward. 

I see the Lord answering my prayer in an unexpected way (which I guess should be expected). I know our home will have a profound impact on how Gavin grows up. But when I look at this happy baby, I realize the way that he defaults to joy is having a profound impact on us -- inspiring us to continue seeking joy as a theme in our home. And so, Gavin is shaping the home that will continue to shape him. 

Amazing God. Humbled, thankful mom.

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