Monday, July 5, 2010

BOY OH BOY...

It has been almost SIX MONTHS since I have written! So far in 2010 our family has experienced so many blessings. We have welcomed in a new cousin Caroline Elizabeth, traveled on a couple’s vacation to Jamaica, continued to slave away at improving our home in Bay City, and celebrated as our two little ones turned 4 and 2.


However, our biggest news is that we are expecting another baby- A BOY THIS TIME! We are elated that God is gifting us a son and still getting used to the fact that we have found out the gender of our precious little one before the act of labor and delivery. I must admit discovering that HE is a HE is a moment that I will treasure forever; a picture-perfect scene where I was surrounded by both of my parents and DJ’s Mom. There was loud hoots and hollers and the shedding of plenty of joyous tears. What a wonderful blessing and responsibility that God has given us. (And yes, the girls already have big plans to play dress-up with the little guy! R.J. you will now be off the hook buddy!)

I’ve had a million and one blogging topics that I have been scheming to write, but before I begin the process of “enlightening” you with my journey, I wanted to give an update on Lacey – after all SHE was my inspiration for this blog!

The best way I can now describe our second daughter is to use one word: DELIGHTFUL. Over the past few months, through much patience, discipline, prayer, and laughter we have witnessed Lacey turn a corner, becoming a toddler who is simply refreshing to be around.

I have read A LOT on how best to teach and correct her. I have also prayed extensively for this little girl and her fiery temperament, a trait that I have grown to appreciate. And I have had countless conversations with other moms. But mostly I have taken the hours and the days to get to know her...to discover her uniqueness and temperament. I have focused less on how different she is from Lilli, but more on WHO God designed her to be. I’ve “taken inventory” of her abundant strengths and rough edges.

I have learned Lacey hates to be rushed and tends to only have melt downs when we move quickly from one activity to another. She is fiercely independent, wanting to do almost everything “by myself”. She is a fast learner. She is smart. She has been completely potty trained, day and dry all night, since she was 23 months old. She is loyal. She adores her sister and will do anything to please her, cuddle her, or make her laugh. She is stubborn and her will is hard to break. When she is disciplined we must be firm and patient. She is not sensitive and will stand her ground.

But most of all, Lacey has taught me so much about the love of my heavenly Father- a love that is so abundant and deep that it is hard to comprehend, impossible to put into words. When I look at her I catch just a glimpse of what my God, my Creator must feel about me. I feel joy and peace when she is in my presence. I experience a tug on my heart when I hold her close. My devotion to this precious child is so deep that as I write I have tears rolling down my face. She is gift to me.

I have realized how difficult it can be to really open our hearts up to these little ones. It is easier to stay safe, stay protected. But when we get down on their level and see the innocent and loyal love in their eyes our hearts are changed forever. I have spent many hours staying busy, rushing from activity to activity...staying preoccupied. I think I have been trying to protect my heart. Not get too close. Not love too much.

But what I have learned is that skirting and stifling my emotions is not the way to live freely. My daughters need me to be present. They need me to be engaged. A mother who is truly loving opens her heart to her children. She allows herself to be read like an open book. It’s much easier to be distracted, but God desires for us to KNOW our children. To offer them all of us. To be their primary care givers. To be the ones who hold them when they fall and correct their little hands when they go astray. THIS IS HARD WORK! It is much easier to hand them off to somebody else and hope they can get the job done. But as women who are following God, I believe we are called to mother our own children. It sounds so silly to word it in that way, but in a culture where children are constantly being farmed out to other people, we as young mothers need to be reminded of the vocation of motherhood.

Mothering takes time, patience, and tears. It takes a tremendous amount of self-sacrifice. It sometimes means giving up what we want, our passions, to comfort and teach our little ones. And it can be lonely and exhausting. But the beautiful thing is that God is witnessing our journey. HE cares about our attitudes and the manner in which we serve our children. HE notices all that we do, (even when our husbands don’t!). And whatever rewards we do not witness here on earth, God will gift to us in heaven- a place where we hopefully will be surrounded by the little souls we are helping to mold today.

If you have said yes to God’s invitation to mother- May God bless you. Be encouraged. Thank you for your willingness to be a vessel to further the kingdom of God, a steward to help guide one of God’s amazing creations. You are making a difference.
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