Tuesday, October 13, 2009

So Incredibly Blessed

Life is full of so many blessings. Sometimes we have to weed through and scrape around to find them. Sometimes they are as obvious as your child's smile. Sometimes realizing your blessings are a blessing in and of itself. There have been times in my life where I have found it very difficult to thank God for my circumstances. There have been times when I have been dissatisfied with myself, when my worry has stolen my joy, and when my outside environment was allowed to wreck a great deal of havoc on my joy. I am not naive. I know that these times will come once again.
Which is why I can praise God for the blessing of realizing the blessings.
It is a great blessing to go to bed at night with a laundry list of things in which to thank the Lord. It often overwhelms me. It brings tears to my eyes. That God would allow such great gifts in my life and would trust me to love and cherish them as His own, that is a blessing.
I dine with, commune with, parent with, and worship with my very best friend. The Lord has given me a husband whom I love and who loves me in return. I will never claim that he is perfect, and he would prefer me not claim that anyway. He has his faults, and I have mine as well. Together, we are two imperfect human beings clawing our way to the prize. I encourage him, he encourages me. We are imperfect, but together we serve as a beautiful illustration of the love of Christ for His church.
And God has made me a parent. I'd be lying if I said I had no reservations about parenthood. I definitely wanted my "married time" before any other person took my husband's affection away from me. (Seriously, that was exactly my thoughts for awhile.) Though I do appreciate, and do not regret, the 3 years, 3 months - 3 days, that Aaron and I were married before Bryton came into the world, becoming a parent has been the most life - changing, and one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever encountered aside from marriage. I love being a mom. The rewards that come with seeing my sons smile, seeing his new experiences, seeing his affection for me and his dad, and having that little head lay on my shoulder, even if for a moment, is priceless. I think now of the sacrifices I would make for my children and to be a mother, and it amazes me. A year ago I had a lot to learn about parenting, love, and sacrifice. Amazingly, the "motherly instinct" (that I believe comes from God), comes quickly and fiercly. My mom saw it in me the first time Zeke met Bryton. The dog, whom we had loved like one of our own children, very quickly became a dog again when Bryton was on the scene. My mom says she could see in my eyes the, "You hurt him, and I kill you," glare as he ran wildly into our apartment. My affections towards Zeke have returned to some degree, but he is, and forever will be, the dog.
Bryton has made me take life less seriously. He, in his 11 month old innocense, has instilled in me a love for fun and spotanaity. He encourages me to laugh at myself, to rough-house on the floor, to splash as much as we want in the bathtub (who cares if the floor gets wet... it seriously takes one minute to wipe up), to have family traditions and to do and see as much as a family as we possibly can. I truly believe that he has taught me to become a better wife, better youth worker, better aide at school, and better friend. My confidence is higher than it's ever been, and though there are probably more stressors in my life than there have been at other times, I find myself less stressed and more happy.
I never want to be my kids' friend at the cost of discipline and their moral character, but I'd love if my kids could consider me their biggest cheerleader and a really fun mom.
As far as friends are concerned, I have some pretty amazing women in my life who encourage me, boost my confidence, who make me take life less seriously, and whom I really believe will be behind me and beside me regardless of what obstacles I may one day encounter. Some of them I have known briefly, some I have known for some time, both are as valuable to me as gold, and they are always remembered as I reflect on my blessings. I love them dearly.
Thank God for opening my eyes to my blessings. Even when the times seem hard and the blessings seem few, they still exist, and it is a blessing in and of itself that my eyes have been opened to see the precious gifts in which I have been blessed. God is forever worthy of praise.

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