In life, I started with only an inkling of my parents' love and understanding of what they put up with until that glorious day when my husband and I received the title of mother and father. Along the many wonderful, joyous times filled with laughter, big smiles, hugs and kisses, there are the extremely challenging times filled with ear shattering temper tantrums, nerve grinding whinny complaints and boundary pushing that causes one's eye to twitch. Our first son, pictured below, was the type of child who was eager to please. His kindergarten teacher once joked, "Um, if you're thinking about having another don't, cause this one is your easy child." We laughed but weren't too concerned, as we weren't sure if we would even have another child.
I experienced postpartum weeks after the birth of this son and really struggled with horrible thoughts. Truthfully, I was afraid to have another child, not wanting to go through that experience again. The one verse that really helped me during that dark time was 2 Timothy 1:7 which says, "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind." I would say that verse over and over again, out loud, when I would have an attack on my mind. That verse literally saved us.
Eight years after our first son was born, we were blessed with another son, who as you can see in the picture below is just full of energy and brings different challenges. When he was two, we experienced a home invasion (thankfully, we weren't home) then he fell while crawling over his crib and broke his right arm. My husband lost his job and our oldest fractured the growth plate in his heel at a friend's birthday laser tag party. After that, I was taken to the emergency room and months later had an eight and a half hour cancer surgery. It was a whirlwind of a time and both our boys had a hard time understanding what was happening.
God really showed up for our family in amazing ways. He led my husband to a new and better job with insurance that came on the day I had to go to the emergency room. I experienced God's provision and love throughout my two week hospital stay and the months and years to follow. Even though I learned to slow down and not hold on to anxious thoughts, I still struggled from time to time with staying cool as you can see from my face in the pictures below.
Love the family pictures that show the reality of what was really happening behind the scenes. At this particular moment I'm getting really frustrated while my husband is trying to hide his laughter.
These pictures really capture the range of emotions while parenting. I laugh as I recognize my mother's frustrated facial expressions now on my own face. I now have a new appreciation of all she put up with from me and how she was able to learn patience with me and herself as she made her way through maternal waters.
At last, the frustration fades and the joys of parenting return and I learn to, as my friend, Julia (mother of five) says, "embrace the chaos!"
I am reminded through parenting of God's great love and patience. I understand His heart now more than ever before after knowing what it's like to love someone created in your own image who warms your heart but whom also talks back and doesn't always listen to sound advice.
So may all you moms out there stay focused on Him, keep pointing your children towards Him and stay cool!
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