"...because of Christ we have received an inheritance from God, for he chose us from the beginning, and all things happen just as he decided long ago." Ephesians 1:11
October is one of my favorite months of the year. On my list of favorites for this month is being hit in the face by a leaf falling from a tree; we have several big trees around our house so it seems that I'm being "love tapped" by God almost every time I go outside. The leaves are beautiful as they fall and the gentle touch from God is a reminder that ... (I'll finish this thought later).
October is a favorite month for a few other pretty amazing reasons: our oldest and youngest children have birthdays and Clint and I celebrate our anniversary.
When Clint and I got married, I believed that he would make me happy and that my fulfillment would come from being involved in his life; however, God did not make us, or intend for any of us, to make others happy or to fulfill them; that whole "you complete me..." is a lie. Fortunately, about 5 years ago, I surrendered my life to the "One who knows me the best and loves me the most" (Pastor David Ring http://www.davidring.org/about.html); God had been pursing me passionately and in one very short moment, I realized that my happiness wasn't going to be found in Clint but in my Savior, Jesus Christ. After I accepted this truth I let Clint off the hook and stopped expecting him to make me happy and focused on how I could make his life better; I also began a relationship with the One who can and will make me happy (and provide immeasurable peace). Just for kicks, I looked up the definition of happy and it says that it is an emotional state that feels good or is pleasing.
When I think about our upcoming anniversary, I am humbled that Clint is my husband and so grateful that God held us together until we were both able to learn how to love Him first so that we are capable of loving each other the way God intended.
Ashley will soon (very soon) be turning 22 years old; I haven't been a part of Ashley's life for all of her 22 years but I have been blessed with her in my life for the past 15 or so years. I am so grateful that God has given me the ability to love her like I do. One of the best things that Ashley has done "for" us to is to make us grandparents to Chyanne! (The picture is of Ashley and Chyanne, 1 day old, in the hospital.) But honestly, Ashley is a beautiful person on the inside and out.
Cole will turn 11 years old toward the end of the month and its hard for me to believe that he is this old and this big already. When he was born, I was working about 30 hours a week, and attending school part time; he was kind of a "sick" baby and from the time he was about 5 months old until he was probably 9 months old, we had to give him nebulizer treatments every four hours - regardless of whether he was awake or sleeping. On typical night, Cole would wake up to be fed and then go to sleep and an hour or two later, our alarm would go off reminding us he needed a neb treatment. Because of this schedule I was a bit sleep deprived and looking back, I feel like I missed out on his first year or two. Thankfully, God is a redeeming God and Cole and I have had many "special" and memorable moments together. He is my 2nd favorite "man" in the world and will always be "little Cole" to me.
(continued as promised)...life goes on and as seasons change so the seasons of my life change. The leaves fall but I know in a few months, after cold and snow, new leaves will replace the ones that fall today. As my children grow older my role in their lives and what they need from me continues to change. As a mom, a lot of my identity is wrapped up in my family and the changing of the seasons reminds me that my life is changing as well and while it feels like God may be "taking away" I know and believe that he will be generously replacing what is gone with beautiful fresh and new "leaves of my life."
"Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you." Joshua 3:5