Tuesday, August 23

Milestones and Memories :)

Yesterday my little monkey turned 2!  It was amazing to think back on the last few years and what a whirlwind they have truly been.  To see how much Carter has changed from the tiny NICU baby to the big boy he is now and especially with all of the things he has started doing in the last few weeks.

In the last few weeks he has grown 2 shoe sizes, started climbing (on everything), discovered that he can swing on the shopping cart handles, and has discovered what seems like an ENTIRELY new vocabulary...it's amazing!  We've gone through our share of struggles over the last two years and it was odd to think back over them.  My mind kept returning to different issues throughout the day as we celebrated.  Also, I kept looking back over the journey I have been on in my relationship with God over the last few years.

God has brought me WAY out of what I felt my comfort zone was.  Being raised in an environment where divorce was something that was common, men were absentee in their kids lives, and *knowing* that I never wanted to stay home with kids.  From that God brought me to a wonderful husband who I trust completely, feeling now as if divorce shouldn't be an option except in the worst of situations, a wonderful husband who is an amazingly loving and present father to our children, and loving every minute of being able to spend every day with my beautiful boys!  It's so amazing.  And the work that God has been doing in me and my husband's hearts just in the last year has left us both feeling a bit raw yet renewed at the same time!  Our priorities and values have shifted somewhere over the last four years and we both now feel like we are truly giving ourselves to God to use as He sees fit.  I have to say that while so many people think Christianity is restrictive and full of rules, we have seen the opposite in our lives--truly feeling freedom!  It's funny to look back at the things that were important and now see them as trivial.  To be in a situation that you've been in before and have a completely different outlook and reaction.  God has been so faithful to my prayers for peace and in giving me the knowledge that we are headed in the right direction.

This peace has so seamlessly transferred into parenting that it shocks me sometimes.  When I go out with the boys I get a lot of stares and comments about how full my hands must be, but what I think (and rarely say) is how there is no way I could accomplish this on my own.  But through God's strength I can lead these little boys in the right path for them.  It may not look like what other people do or what other people think is important.  But I know that it is right and it gives me so much confidence as a mother!  Not to say that there aren't struggles or times (almost daily) when I doubt my decisions.  But when I offer those feelings up to God, He is always faithful to give me strength to know that I am doing His will and He is walking in it with me.

It's funny because watching my son on his birthday...the joy on his face when he opened his present (yes one).  It was like looking in a mirror at the joy I now feel with the gift that God has given me.  I am so thankful to be one of His children.  To know His love, kindness, faithfulness, and grace!  With all the changes Carter has made in the last two years, I'm reminded still of the changes I've made in the last two years (or rather the changes God has made in my heart) and I feel that same sense of joy.  I so look forward to seeing what changes will come in the next year in Carter.  I look forward to seeing how much he grows and, deep down, I also look forward to seeing how God will chose to shape and mold me in the coming year and how He will step up to help me through the coming changes :)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MONKEY!  You are such a blessing in my life and I am so excited to see what you'll do in the coming months and years :)  I love you with all my heart and I hope you can always see that.

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