Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Smiles, Laughs, and Sibling Joy

John smiles on his two month birthday.
When my baby looks up at me, shows recognition in his bright blue eyes, and gives me a big smile, I feel that all is well.  I enjoy John's grin and his halting attempt at a laugh -- usually brought on by my husband when he comes home from work or by Anna when she coos over him. In general, John hasn't smiled as much as Anna did at this age. Even though he seems happy much of the time -- especially while being held -- his smiles are still treats.

Really, when the baby is happy, everyone is happy... unless it is almost midnight.  Then, it just means he is isn't sleeping, and I would gladly give up "happy" for "sleeping" most of the time at that point.  Still, John is a laid-back, contented baby, and he is sleeping well most days. He takes things in stride, and at just over two months old, that is welcome. He hasn't been colicky at all... which means I feel saner this time around.

Anna meets John for the first time
Watching Anna with John has brought me so much joy. She greets him warmly in the morning, after her nap, or when returning home from an outing. She wants to hold him (with my help), rock him, hold his hand, stroke his head, "read" him books, and bring him toys.

Anna loves holding John.
I don't remember much of when I was two with a baby brother of my own, but seeing Anna and John together helps me understand from an outsider's perspective why I love my own "little" brother so much. We share so much history together. We were children together, and now, as adults, I don't think I could care for him much more than I do.

David and I "matched" back in July so had to take a picture.
I love having David over to my home. He is in my prayers, and I so enjoy visiting, talking, and playing games with him. He is and always will be one of my greatest friends. Although every relationship has its bumps, twists, and turns, I thank God that he gave me David. I hope Anna and John will have as much fun together as David and I had in our kid years. Perhaps they will stay up late telling stories to each other or make bows and arrows out of sticks and string like their momma and Uncle "Day-day." I hope they won't fight as much as we did sometimes, but they too will have to learn how to get along... how to share, compromise, and act unselfishly.

I look at John and his smile. I revel in Anna's excitement and joyful laugh. I smile and laugh with them.  What a joy they are! Thank you, Jesus, for giving me two little ones!

My little family. Zachary and I are so blessed! Thank you, Jesus!

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Jesus Prayed for the Church Throughout Time -- Including Me

Jesus prayed for His disciples. He prayed for the believers that would follow. He prayed for me.  John 17 is one of my favorite passages in the entire Bible. There is so much there in Jesus' heartfelt prayer to His Father, the only true God.  Read it.

Jesus' prayer makes me feel more at one with Jesus, my Heavenly Father, and the followers of Christ throughout history. Jesus was not the start of a movement; He is the movement. The amazing thing is that I am His and get to be part of this movement too -- the movement that shows the world that Jesus was sent by a God who loves them and wants them to be one with Him.

Jesus prayed I would have His joy. Even though I may be hated and cannot escape the troubles of this world, He prayed I would be kept from the evil one and would be sanctified in the truth of His Word. In the relative ease of my life, I also pray for the persecuted Christians, my brothers and sisters in the faith, who are suffering unfathomable pain and loss right now for the cause of Christ and the Kingdom of God.

I want to make an impact on the world -- particularly the little part of the world I am in daily contact with: my family. I am a wife and a mother. My life is simple and full.  I want to live in such a way that my children come to know Jesus as their Savior and Lord simply because they know my relationship with Him is real and they want that relationship with Him as well. My life has purpose and joy -- the joy Jesus prayed I would have. It is a joy I am constantly fighting for as I continue to allow the truth of His Word to work in my life.

Being a young wife and mother is not without challenges, but God is able to see me through. I serve my husband and children, but I don't work just for their sakes. I do it for my Savior and the Kingdom of God.

How can I be more intentional about this? How do I take my motive and make it my constant motion?

Friday, September 05, 2014

Before You Have Kids

I just read a list of "10 Things to do Before You Have Kids." I know, it is a bit late for that seeing as I have two now... but I was curious. What was I supposed to do? Did I do them? My conclusion was that yes, I did do many of them in the years before I had children, but those things that I didn't do are either unimportant to me or are things I should be doing now or in the future that are totally possible with children. I am so glad I have my two children, but I am also glad my life didn't end when I had them. I still have interests and hobbies. My life has meaning and purpose, hard work and fun. Yes, it is easier to do some things without children, but many things are worth doing with children. My life is not over just because the Lord is using me to raise two new lives. There is so much to live for, and I am thankful Zachary and I are a team as we raise Anna and John