The kids are blossoming. I don't know how else to describe it, but I love it. I love being witness to it. Any parent can testify to how amazing it is to see a child grow.
Anakin is becoming so socially mature; he greets other kids, introduces himself, tries to befriend everyone. He listens better to me. He's so cute and supportive. When I work out infront of him, he cheers me on like a good coach, "C'mon Mommy! Push yourself! You can do it! One more!" How could you NOT work out to inspiration like that?
Brielle is learning to go to the potty. I have to admit, at first I thought her teacher was lying. Apparently, at school she's already fully potty trained and stays dry all day. It wasn't happening at home at all. But slowly but surely we started seeing her tell us, or go by herself... It hasn't been an accident free weekend, but we've done A LOT LESS cleaning up. I'm so proud of her - and her confidence in herself is so high! She throws less temper tantrums and communicates more. It's hilarious to hear her say, "Mommy! Bubba's bothering me!" It cracks me up.
Paul is putting them to sleep right now...
Caleb is just all smiles. He barely fusses on an easy day. On a more exciting day, he has a hard time going to sleep - a little over-stimulated. It would freak me out more, but being the 3rd one, I know there's no harm done in letting them cry for a bit. But he wakes up and smiles at you, tries to talk to you, and sometimes flat out laughs at you. He's only 3 months old, going on to 4. It's amazing: I thought that baby #3 would make me exhausted and miserable. I find my self with new strength and new love every day! I love him so much! And the Lord is with me. He gives me more than enough to go around!
I find myself truly experiencing that I can do all things through Him who gives me strength. I run out at times, I feel worn out by the kids or on a short fuse. And then I stop and catch my breath - and pray - and I feel a "second wind" charge me up. Lets me do one more household chore... play one more game... read one more story... rock Caleb one more time. Without getting grumpy, without wishing I was asleep. With full joy. I know it's God.
I also know that He is with me in going back to work. My kids are flourishing at day care - it's meeting a need in them that I guess wasn't being met when they were home all day with me. They love it, they are doing great. I have peace of mind at work, and I know why I'm there. God has ordained all my steps for a reason - a good reason! I don't think it's a coincidence that I end up being the only pro-life, "Bible-thumping", Republican-to-be conservative in my work place. I firmly believe that if I allow God's love to shine through me, and I am a person whose character and personality is agreeable and maybe even likeable, then there's a better chance that my values would be held in better respect by those who possibly would not have considered my side before. It's hard to "represent". But God is with me, to help me BE a blessings to those who come across my way. I'm not braggin' on myself, it's just what I'm trying to accomplish. I don't want to leave a bad taste in some one else's mouth, so to speak.
I guess the Bible describes it as a scent. Somewhere in 2nd Corinthians He says that we are a fragrance, either of life or of death. To some people, our scent means death to them - they don't like it, or they are allergic. To others we are refreshing, like the smell of lavender. But you can't have a bad smell and cover it up with a good smell. Have you ever forgot clothes in the washing machine? The smell doesn't come off unless you wash it again. And how many kids have you seen come out of P.E. and spray cologne all over, only to STILL knock the nose hairs off with their armpit smell? I have the same perspective for being a Christian. Personally, I don't want there to be anything in me or about me that offends someone else - because if I repell them, then they won't "smell" the goodness of Christ either - and they'll turn away from HIM as well as me.
Not everyone likes lavender though. So I know that even with out trying, even "smelling my best", there will be thsoe that are still offended by what I stand for and what I believe in. And they'll be turned off, and turned away, no matter how hard I try. I won't compromise my God and how good He's been to me for anyone.
And God helps me. He helps me at work and at home. He helps me to exercise. I don't know if I've lost weight, and I don't know why, but exercising and eating healthy is DEEPLY tied to my walk with Christ. I never would've thought one thing has anything to do with the other. But it goes back to "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength". If I'm not deeply nourished by Him, I don't have the energy or will power to exercise. But when I'm in communion with him, I'm on a roll working out. And I feel like I owe it to Him to have my body in the best condition possible - specially after 3 kids and it's effect on my body. It's not even about how I look (though flatter abs would be great!) but more about how I feel. And the biggest thing is that I want to have the discipline to be consistant: I want to know that I can command my body to exercise, eat healthy, and make good choices. I guess it's because if I can discipline myself in this area, then I know that I can discipline myself to fast, to watch my tongue, to pray without ceasing. And somehow my faith in God's power and His work in my life is hanging on Him helping me meet simple physical goals. I learned this week I can't do it on my own strength. But I definitely CAN do all things through HIM who gives me strength when my own is run out.