It feels as though the past few years have been somewhat consistent and stable. The kids all in a pleasant stage and considerably predictable. It's been the sweetest of seasons. Of course there have been trials, but all-in-all, it's been a time of rest. Change is in the air, though.
Having them home so much has allowed me to get to know them deeper than I ever would have dreamed, yet with that comes the constant awareness of self. My weaknesses; theirs, it's all heightened when we are in each other's space, all day long. I'm grateful for that time, though. Each time I allow myself to imagine them away at school, I combat it with thoughts of training their hearts and minds and I'm always confirmed that this is the right choice for us, no matter how hard it is.
We have some pre-adolescence stuff starting up. Without going into detail, because of ages and stages, I will just say that it's new! And it comes with it's fair share of adjustments as anything new does. Change. So much change.
I'm on my knees more than I have been in the past few years. Parenthood will do that to you. And while I spend time in prayer over my children, the Lord also continues to do a work in me personally.
Just when you feel like you've cleaned up your messes, he brings awareness to one you had never even noted! Refining is awesome though, it's growth, and so as my children grow and change, I do too, and we're able to share those intimate conversations together. It's both humbling and powerful all at once.
I haven't really updated much about my melanoma journey. I put something on Instagram, because God be the glory!! But for those who haven't read it, there is no trace of cancer in my body. Can you believe that? Thank you Jesus!
I left a few weeks ago to have a check up and all the tests came back clear, including the melanin test, which I wasn't expecting. I mean, I was expecting it, because I had all my trust in God, but part of me prepared for "the long road" because sometimes faith can be that way.
We were just so elated and shocked. Jason cried on his office floor when he heard the news. :)
I cried most of the way home, which was an eight hour drive. :)
We are so grateful. God is good. There is so much that I don't understand but by holding onto his promises, it fuels you up for hard times. To look back and see his work.
There are a lot of things I'm working on right now. Being immediately obedient, no matter how humbling the task. Being slow to anger, using gentleness in my voice. Removing harshness even though it gets the job done. And control, don't even start me on control!
This has been a year process at least, when the Lord brought it to my attention how much in my ordinary day I use control. He will gently tell me as I'm talking with my children "this is a control issue, and there's no need for it right now", yet I still push through. Because I'm a mom and I want them to obey me. But above all, my heart is for them to love others and understand the heart of God. And he does not demand obedience. He hopes that we will choose to obey out of a deep love and understanding for him. And that's the mentality I need to continue to adopt.
I've wanted to write out a few words to my children for quite some time and I just haven't been able to. I haven't updated anything on them, and this used to be a journal of all their milestones. Having lost my dad at a younger age, I would take any information I can on what he thought of me and hold it so close to my heart, so I'm using that as a motivation to hopefully write more often to them.
My dearest children:
How I am cherishing this time with you. Sometimes I watch you play together and I am taken back at the beauty of it all. You know how when we hike somewhere new and we reach the top of the mountain and the view leaves us speechless? How we all kind of stand there and praise our Creator because he gave this to us? That's how I feel. On a daily basis. The hike up can require effort, patience, small breaks here and there. It can even hurt sometimes. But when we reach the summit, it all makes sense and the rush of arrival is what makes us feel more alive than ever. I feel like I'm climbing mountains with you on a daily basis. I feel so alive because of you. My gifts. My treasures.
Carter, you're the beginning of my strength, son. You have taught me so much about who I am. Not just as a mother. But who I am. You see right through me to the depths of my soul. What a remarkable gift that is. Your precision and drive are admirable. You are so good at anything you do. My favorite thing to do is watch you learn something new. I feel like if I could see inside your brain, it would look like a fine oiled machine, nuts and bolts working swimmingly, everything doing as it must to compute and create. You are a masterpiece, son. God has created you to be bold and to do things no other man has done, and you will do it with great fervor, because that's who you are.
Everett, you peacemaking, worshipping, lover of life! You wake to meet the birds, tend the fire and start on your work for the day. You love working outside. The most willing heart you have, and I'm afraid I take advantage of it at times, because it's as if you want to help and please, as if it brings you joy. What is that like, son? To have a heart that seeks to please and serve others? It's a gift. A beautiful gift that you give so willingly. Thank you for serving your family so joyfully every day. I am brought to tears when I see you worship the Lord. It's powerful, in your gentle worship I see a warrior. A mighty warrior prepared for battle. Because worship and gratefulness will always be your greatest weapon, and you use them so liberally.
Scarlett Hope, you joyful, goofy, and creative girl! You are so strong. You have a powerful will that is used in the timeliest of situations. You discern people and places. You are a social butterfly with girls and delight in spending time with them. Cling to that, my daughter, because good friends will be your sisterhood and will be the greatest support throughout life. You have become affectionate, entertaining, and very strong in opinion. Your strength astounds me as a young girl, so petite and beautiful. We are often surprised by witty comments you make, stories you create, or vocabulary words that you use. You are a force to reckon with, child. I pray that you use that strength to serve the Lord!
August, my worshipping, loving, intense boy. You have a heart of worship, raising your hands to the Lord when you feel led to. A leader. Strong in will, yet a lover of people. This is the greatest combination, son. You will be a leader to leaders, it is without question. You love your mother with an intensity that none of my children have ever had. Embracing me, calling me, "my girl", telling me I'm beautiful, noticing if I put lipstick on or wear a skirt. When you pray, you pray with purpose. You are a mighty man of God already and I can't wait to see you grow into that even more.
Elias, the sweetest, sensitive, most grateful heart you have. Always with a song on your lips, a skip in your step, and a smile in your eyes. You are kind and gentle, yet have the most jovial spirit and you carry that with you wherever you go. You love animals and learning. You are so sharp, and have a gift of memorization. What a delight you are to teach because you pick it up so quickly and joyfully. I pray that you always keep that joyful heart, son; joy is something that the world needs so much of and I have no doubt that you will use it to help change hearts for God!
*these images were from a job we had a while ago, the kids are never this dressed up when we go to a river. :)