This month has been a whirlwind. From a horrible tragedy, to a wonderful blessing, to packing, unpacking and painting, to having a lot of company for over a week straight. I just haven't had a chance to really sort through my thoughts. I have had a LOT on my mind constantly, but I have a hard time being able to put the thoughts into words. I have sat down numerous times to write a blog, only to not really be able to because of being pulled in different directions and/or not being able to put my thoughts into words.
A wonderful friend of mine gave me a book the other day that really explains my new perspective on life and my family. It is called Let Me Hold You Longer, written by Karen Kingsbury. It is a children's book, but I really think it was written more for parents :). I read it and immediately started crying thinking of my mom, who, through experiencing last moments, didn't have a clue just how short my brother's life would be. And, through the same tears, I realize that I don't take the time to really and truly love my kids the way that I should. It definitely brought a new perspective to life for me.
Here are the first few pages of the book:
"Long ago you came to me, a miracle of firsts: First smiles and teeth and baby steps, a sunbeam on the burst. But one day you will move away and leave to me your past, and I will be left thinking of a lifetime of your lasts... The last time that I held a bottle to your baby lips. The last time that I lifted you and held you on my hip. The last night when you woke up crying, needing to be walked. When last you crawled up with your blanket, wanting to be rocked. The last time when you ran to me, still small enough to hold. The last time that you said you'd marry me when you grew old. Precious, simple moments and bright flashes from your past- Would I have held on longer if I'd known they were your last?"
So much of the time I spend a lot of energy worrying about the house being perfect, food being whole/organic/natural, finding a way to afford natural products, etc, but I need to be putting more of that energy into loving, playing, and training my kids to one day be men and women of God. Spending time with Jesus needs to be my first daily priority, then spending time with my husband and children needs to follow. Everything else is good, but not as important. Through all of the things that have been going on, I am SO thankful that God has allowed me the opportunity to be home with my kids very soon. Money will be very tight, but it doesn't matter. He has provided for all of our needs and MUCH MORE. When I made the decision to stay home with my kids, I had no idea of the events that would happen the following months. But, I'm so glad that God knew, and He put it strongly on my heart that staying home was what He was calling me to do. I have NO doubt in my mind that we made the right decision.
I am now due in a month and a half, and I'm getting nervous :). I don't feel at all prepared for another little one, but ready or not, he's coming soon! I'm ready to not be pregnant any more, but I'm not sure if I'm ready for the responsibility of a newborn, plus two others. I know that God will give me what I need in order to handle it, and I know that it will be easier because I've done this a few times now! My prayer is that everything will go smoothly, and that I will have no trouble breastfeeding.
The year 2009 was a pretty rough year in many respects, but I am hopeful that 2010 will be wonderful. Not only am I having Levi, I get to be a stay at home mom, and we live in this new amazing home that I don't feel we deserve. I also have an amazing family and amazing friends. I have grown so much closer to some people that I am blessed to have in my life. God has shown Robert and me that despite imperfections (which every place has), this camp is our home and will be for a long time. Not just because of the new house (because we felt this way before we found out about it!), but also because of the amount of love that they have shown us. We truly are blessed to be part of this ministry. My prayer is that God will continue to show me how I can serve Him here and that He will give me opportunities to reach out and love others. We are here to serve Jesus and others and not ourselves. It has taken me a while to figure out my place here, but God is slowly making it clear.
Through the past month, something else is happening. I'm finally figuring out who God has created me to be, what's truly important to ME (not just because someone else says it's important), the things that I want to focus on, and how to let the rest go. It'll be a continual process, I'm sure, but I'm getting there. I am learning to not worry so much what everyone else thinks. It's not easy, but I make a conscious effort when something is bothering me to ask myself, "does it really matter?" The "anxiety" that I've struggled with for so long is very minimal now. You would think with all that has been going on that I would have been freaking out (because that's what I have done in the past), but God has given me a peace that surpasses all understanding. God's grace and strength have kept me going and I just feel like a different person. They say that hard times grow you; I've never had a time in my life that was as hard as losing my brother, and it really has grown me. I pray that I won't lose sight of all that I have learned.