We had a really great weekend around here. Nothing exciting or out of the ordinary, just hanging out with the family with nothing scheduled. It was wonderful. I spent part of Saturday shopping with Grace and we laughed and talked and I just kept looking at her wishing I could freeze this moment and make it last....this time when she still wants to be with me, thinks I'm funny and actually listens to my opinion, and still has this innocence about her that makes me want to hang onto her leg and not let her out of my sight. Since I can't do that though, it is reasurring that at the end of our time together I was so proud of the young lady she is becoming. She and I went on a long bike ride today and it was just a really special time and I am blessed to be her mom. She thanked me a hundred times for such a great weekend.
Noah finally conquered his fear of his bike and rode by himself....a bit shaky but alone. His proud toothless grin was enough to break my heart and it was yet another one of those moments where as a parent you want to freeze the clock. They really do grow up so quickly.
Ava and I have been working hard at finding ways that are effective at helping her make good choices and get a good nights sleep. I think we're on to somethings and I can tell she feels good about how she acted this week. For so long I have felt completely ineffective at parenting this child so the progress we've seen this week is affirming. She's worked so hard and she makes me laugh so much.
Throughout the weekend I kept looking at P and L laughing and acting silly and crying when they are hurt and seeking us when they need attention and I was just overwhelmed by the sheer resilience of these children. In church today I was thinking about what it is like to be 2 years old and 3 years old. Can any of us imagine plucking our toddlers out of their life and throwing them in with this family they don't know...in this house they've never been....with rules they've never had...without their toys and their clothes and without us....alone. It is insane how well these two are doing. There are behavior issues, yes, but not anymore than any other toddler has. It is insane how well adjusted they are in such a short period of time. They are amazing. They are brave and strong and vulnerable and open. They are loving and affectionate and needing and wanting and we are blessed beyond measure. There are times when I have to remind myself all that these two have been through.
I overhear Noah encouraging L and smile each time L calls him ''brudder.'' Grace reminds L to use the handrail on the stairs and lovingly explains that we don't want him to get hurt and we're a safe house:) Ava and P sit playing with their new babies together and you cannot convince me that these two weren't meant to be sisters. All five of them are running around playing secret agents and they just belong together.
I am so proud of our family and how God has brought us together. We all know I've had my days and I am starting to feel more like myself again. I realized that as I get ready for my mission trip to Kenya in just five weeks now that I really think I have been under attack. Satan doesn't like it when you are living your life for Christ. He doesn't like it when you take children into your home. He doesn't like it when you say yes to your life's calling and start packing for Africa. He feels threatened. I got distracted with my life. I got distracted with my kids and their needs and my crazy busy life and I realized that I felt distant from God because I wasn't seeking Him in each moment. I was relying on me, which we all know won't cut it around here. I couldn't do this. BUT---through Christ I can. I've refocused. I know He was waiting on me to ask HIM for help. Back off Satan, you don't know who you're messing with.
The best part of this whole weekend that was as I looked to each of my children, I saw this man next to them cheering them on and loving them and encouraging them and guiding them and I thought about the fact that someday all these children will be older and have their own families and I will still have this man...this husband God has blessed me...to laugh with and grow old with and I think I will enjoy the day that I can sit with him uninterrupted.
I am so thankful to be the momma to these five beautiful faces, to be the wife to this honorable man. I am thankful for the encouragement of my friends and family. I am thankful for this gorgeous day. Fifteen more days until we will know the fate of our family. I pray the future looks alot like today.