Every now and then, I like to do a post about our precious children. They are growing up so fast, it is exciting, and yet a little sad for me as a mother because I know the time is slipping by, and often too fast for me to truly treasure all these memories and experiences in my heart.
I sometimes wonder if I don’t have too much on my plate, causing me to miss little moments here or there. But recently I have been reflecting on the blessings in my life, and I believe that all the opportunities I have to serve (as a wife, mother, church member, campus minister, lawyer, and friend) are all gifts from the Lord. I want to be able to confidently say, along with Paul, that “I have leaned in whatever situation I am to be content.” (Phil 4:11). In thinking and praying about contentment, I have been able to see the Lord’s hand at work in and through me even more. I am able to enjoy the time I get to have with my kids at home, as well as the joys of the work I get to do.
I was reading the book Calm my Anxious Heart by Linda Dillow, and 2 of the things listed in a prescription for contentment really struck me: 1) Never allow yourself to complain about anything; and 2) Never compare your lot with another’s. I have sought to apply them and I already see the fruit. Unfortunately, I participated in complaining (mostly to Jeremiah, about various circumstances) last semester, and I found that it resulted in a subtle poison that, if allowed to simmer long enough, leads to bitterness and cynicism. Thankfully, the Lord gave me eyes to see my sin, and confess it both to Him and others, instead turning to “Rejoice in the Lord always!” And I do have so much to rejoice and give thanks for – principally that God has shown me so much mercy and given me His spiritual blessings (Eph 1). So I see very clearly that choosing to not complain is a wonderful prescription indeed, allowing me to see what is actually true in God’s sovereign goodness (amazingly, I am also seeing this truth and hope in God displayed with amazing beauty and grace by some friends who are choosing to cling to God and not complain in the midst of great sorrow at loosing children and being diagnosed with cancer. I am humbled, encouraged, and inspired by their steadfastness in the midst of brokenness).
So with that little backdrop. let me share some of the fun, precious things I have been able to do with my three gifts from God–Isaiah, Bethany and Judah.
Isaiah is doing very well in 1st Grade, and has a wonderful teacher at the local public school. He comes home from school happy, and dives right into playing with Bethany and Judah. They are so fun to watch laughing and making up crazy stories and worlds together. I love to join in too, though they often have to correct me because I just don’t know all the details of their imaginary realms quite right. But they are usually pretty patient.
Isaiah is still my little policeman. He wants everyone to follow the rules, though he himself does not always do so. But I am seeing growing maturity in him–he is internalizing so much of what we say, and has become a big helper. He does not usually complain when I ask him to help me with various tasks, and I see him trying to help the other two learn and obey too.
Isaiah also just did a science project for school, and it was fun to walk with him through the whole process. I was so proud of him for working hard and finishing well.Bethany started preschool this semester, and is doing really well there. She picks things up so quickly, and is having fun making new friends. We try to have special times together when she gets home after lunch; I get to hear all about her morning, read books with her, do some crafts together, or go play outside. She also loves to get in some time playing with Pippin, our dog. She likes to “train” him, and puts on her best commanding voice to do so.Bethany also displays such a soft heart for people and a trust in the Lord. I love that her first thought when she hears of anyone hurting is to suggest we pray for them. She has such childlike faith and wants to know God more–sometimes I hear her humming worship songs that Jeremiah and I play or sing.
Then there is my little Judah. He is so fun and so funny, despite his determination to assert his opinionated 2 year old will. I am enjoying some time with just him in the mornings when Bethany is at school (even though he gets his backpack ready every morning and insists that he is going to school too). He is learning so much, and has left behind the 2 word sentences for 10 word ones. He loves to read, dance, play “swords,” do exercises with mommy, and build duplos. He loves football and baseball and soccer too, and can kick and throw for long periods of time. I can’t help but smile when he throws a ball and then yells out “Oh no, you missed it.” when I don’t catch it. Most of all, he wants to be like his brother and sister. If I tell him he is 2, he insists that he is either 4 or 6. And he has so much fun with them.
Finally, something fun we are doing all together several mornings a week is to go over the New City Catechism, which was developed out of Tim Keller’s Redeemer church in NYC. It is an app that has been a great resource, helping us to train the kids in some of the basics of the gospel and God’s word that we have talked about since they were tiny, but that they are now able to articulate more. It is fun to hear even Judah repeating the phrases we are memorizing, and then to talk to all of them about what those words mean and what stories in the Bible might illustrate the truths. We recommend it!
I have also started reading the Narnia books with the kids (something I fondly remember my parents doing with me), and it has been fun to talk about the worlds CS Lewis created as well as the Biblical analogies that come with them. The kids are so interested in figuring out all the details and implications, though the tension is a bit much for them sometimes. I can feel their nervousness as they sit tensely on my lap…