Sunday, March 30, 2008

Why I'm glad I they're smushed together

Someone told me this week that they could in no way do what I was doing, having three kids three and under.

This isn't the first time I've heard this. But it was good for me to reflect again on why I love my exhausted life and am grateful for God's sovereignty in it. Plus, God gives us our daily bread, gives us what we need exactly when we need it, and Scripture's full of great examples; manna is one of my favorites. But I thought, for my own benefit and your interest (if you are in fact interested), I'd compile a list:

Ten Reasons I'm SO Glad I Have Three Kids Close Together
1. They learn patience. There's no way I can meet all of their needs when they want them met.
2. They learn nurture at a very young age. It's so neat to see the big brothers learn to interact with Corinne.
3. They learn to help. They're both learning self-sacrifice in ways I couldn't otherwise teach.
4. They're best friends. Last year when I asked Baden who he wanted to invite to his birthday party, he thought a minute, then asked, "Can Will come?" And Corinne giggles and kicks with anticipation when they come near. At night I have to choose between telling them to PLEASE SLEEP or letting them belly laugh with each other.
5. I learn to die to self. Each kid teaches me more of that, and I can think of few more beneficial lessons for me to learn! "It's not about you" is something I seem to always need to hear. It brings my tendency to be a martyr to the surface and reintroduces me to the truly beautiful discipline of joy.
6. They avoid some self-centeredness. They hopefully won't remember a time when their world was all about them.
7. I teach all of them at once! They're all in similar stages together. They're often interested in the same things. And they teach each other.
8. It teaches me more faith in God's sovereignty and wisdom. I have to trust every day that He'll give me what I need for this crazy bunch. This was His idea, and it was a good one--which brings me to #9:
9. I can't imagine not having a Baden or a Will or a Corinne in the world--these fabulous little creatures that bear God's image. Aside from God's sovereignty, imagine that their life, their incredible personalities, wouldn't be! Scripture repeatedly reminds me of the blessing of children; makes me think twice considering that in our country we usually determine how many children we can afford, and consider children inconvenient.
10. It is certainly humbling for me. I always seem to have at least one thing (usually my house) out of my control (!), and often have to depend on other people's kindness rather than my own ability to manage my life. (Sheesh.) It's worth it. :) As I am fond of saying, I have my hands full in the best way possible.

Thanks, Lord.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Latest little familia update, #3

Well, notta lotta, but if you want to hear the latest:

Corinne: Still only creeping backwards, but full of so much personality. Definitely knows what she wants--and when she wants it (i.e. now), but has a great laugh and is innately curious. Does this great little thing with her head, laying it on your shoulder when she wakes up (always happy to see you!) or meets someone new. Getting wisps of very curly hair. Talks with her feet, kicking with excitement or interest. Loves the outdoors and her johnny jump-up.

Will: Talking up a storm; great belly laugh. He and Baden are best friends. Very nearly potty trained (YAHOO). Sick with a high fever this week :(. Love to hear him talk; I'm always amazed by what he comprehends. Likes to sing with me; he fills in words I leave out.

Baden: Starting to sound out words that end in "at" with his magnets, but I have to approach it casually, because as always, if it's not his idea, it's not a good one. Really showing a lot of compassion and desire to help lately: "I'll pick that up because you're making dinner"! Loves to teach something. Asks great questions. Growing up so fast--to school in a year and a half--that I feel like my life is passing before my eyes. Such precious times.

John and me: Our lives seem to leave us tired, but I genuinely believe we're expending ourselves in ways God wants us to, leaving us fulfilled. I'm experiencing more satisfaction at work, feeling like my contributions are valuable with the change of our Publisher (big boss). I struggle with the day-to-day endurance of being a mom and sensing my lack of holiness in it: so much to learn. Our home is racking up its share of needed repairs, which contributes to John's stress, but God continues to provide for us and generously give us His favor in a number of ways.