My Lovely Family

I had this same issue the first time I had a baby – I don’t know if it is a little Postpartum depression, or just the intense vulnerability of loving a new fragile person, or maybe sleep deprivation – but both after Grace and now after Bekah’s birth, I am just incredibly vulnerable to emotion during the first months. I will look at Grace and she is growing so fast – and my eyes will fill with tears. Or I will watch Justin do some mundane task for one of the girls in his quiet selfless way – and I’ll be fighting back emotion. Or I will look down at Bekah sleeping and say a quick prayer for her salvation and ask the Lord to protect her and be crying my eyes out in seconds. I remember this happening after Grace was born and it really freaked me out. 

During this time my friendships are vital. My already wonderful family is even more of a priceless gift. My calling to ministry pulls at my heart and I can’t wait to see lives changed for eternity by Christ (during this time I also have no patience for the nonsense that comes with ministry sometimes – it is like the vital nature of our true calling comes to the surface and all of the rest of the junk gets shoved out of its path). My heart is so sensitive to the cry of the orphan and to the plight of the hurting. It is like my little girls and the love I feel for them overwhelms my normal coldness and all of the sudden I am left vulnerable to everyone hurting in the world. It is a disconcerting thing for someone who, normally, considers myself to be a little cold and dead inside when it comes to expressing and feeling emotion. To go from crying once every 6 months to crying six times a day is a little freaky (to say the least). But what I learned with Grace is that there is also a part of the person I am during this time that I really cherish. It is like the blinders come off for a few weeks and I see how blessed I am and how much the people around me are gifts from God.

Justin is, seriously, the best partner I could imagine having. He helps so much and takes on so much. He makes me laugh like no one else and completely accepts every flaw and error in me with unconditional love like I’ve never experienced. He is a “self-made” man – or as close to one as we can be with divine intervention – and he has worked hard to be a Godly husband and father. He is kind of the yin to my yang as far as parenting – so many times when I have reached the end of my patience and endurance – he is ready to step in and give the girls unconditional love. 

Bekah is a miraculous gift – her every little bone and muscle, her heart and mind that I can’t wait to get to know. I loved her so much immediately. I wondered how that would be – after having Grace would this little girl feel strange or unfamiliar? But that instant, mama – bear, overwhelming love took over the first night with her and I was, as I was with Grace, shaken and changed by it.

Grace is a brave and bold little girl. I love everything about that child and can’t believe how brilliant and strong she is at her age. She amazes me – and it especially amazes me that the Lord gave her to me to parent. She is a challenge – in every way. She stretches me and has, since her birth, made me want to be a great mom. She deserves the best from me. I watch her learn and grow all day everyday and I sprint to keep up.

My parents are incredible. As parents, they have demonstrated love and patience and selflessness for so many years – but something about seeing them as grandparents gives my love for them another dimension. My sweet dad is absolutely captivated by my girls. I love seeing this gentle wonderful man expressing his absolute adoration for my girls every time i see him. He goes out of his way to show them his love in every way. It is funny – it is almost hard to carry on a conversation with him while Grace is in the room – she totally captures his complete attention. He can be exhausted, hungry, overwhelmed – and Grace will walk in and it will all fade away and he will play with her for as long as she wants to play. He holds Bekah with such gentleness and focused attention – I love that my girls are going to know such completely unconditional love from their Papa. My mom is my best friend and just understands, without me saying a word, exactly what I need at all times. She is a gift to me that I can’t measure and don’t know how I could ever live without. She is like that with the girls too – so sensitive to their needs and so able to take care of them. When I can’t get them to eat or sleep – mom comes in and immediately they comply. She wears herself ragged to serve us and love on my family and I am humbled by her love for us. She is absolutely wonderful and I love seeing her as Mimi… she was made to be a grandparent.

My sweet sister is my other best friend. There is 11 years age difference between us – but I trust her and rely on her like my twin. She drops everything to come and serve our family anytime we need her. She makes me laugh second only to Justin – and I can tell her anything. I truly believe and want her so much to believe that she is the single most beautiful person I know, both inside and out. Like my parents, she is in love with my kids and I trust her with them completely. She is Grace’s favorite toy and my favorite houseguest. 

One of the things that makes me particularly weepy these days is missing my brother, Lori, Anna and Brody. I so very much want for Grace to be able to play with them all of the time – she has such a fantastic time when they are here and for the most part she is surrounded by adults only in her “normal life” – so selfishly i just want her to have buddies. Plus I want to see the twins grow up – they are so precious and I want to see all of their fun stages. Joe and Lori love love love my Gracie and I know they will love Bekah when they get to meet her soon. I love the relationship I have with Joe and Lori as adults and as parents. It is so fun to go through all of this together – even in another state. I treasure their wisdom and experiences with two little people and am so proud of the people they are as parents. 

Anyway – if you have continued reading my sappy little tale of love and weepiness – you are a trooper. But I did want the people in my life who overwhelm me with gratitude to know how much I love and appreciate them… so I wrote this little note. 🙂 I think this stuff all of the time – but don’t share it NEARLY as much as I should. You guys are all VITAL to my life and are great sources of joy and love for me. I thank my God upon every remembrance of you… and seeing you love on my kids is the most important thing in my life. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

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