Eleven years ago yesterday I was "nesting." I remember folding laundry, cleaning up around the house, and organizing baby clothes. I spent all day wondering when we would finally be holding Victoria in our arms.
Seems like those last few weeks of pregnancy that's what I was always wondering! I would walk in and out of her nursery a million times ... trying to imagine what life would look like when we brought our little miss home.
How would it feel? What would it be like? What would she be like?
I dreamt of all the perfect moments with our sweet girl, and I asked the Lord to give us wisdom and knowledge so that we would raise our daughter to love Him with her whole heart. I wanted to raise a daughter who would stand with Christ at all costs.
Casey and I often joke that we knew the most about parenting before we had children! On that day eleven years ago we knew a lot ...
Little did I know that the very next day, on August 27, 2007 Victoria Marie would finally be in our arms. That's the day when the journey really began.
We could never have predicted what the years would hold ... the joys or the challenges, the amazingly beautiful moments, or the incredibly desperate ones.
In some ways, this journey of parenting has been what I thought it would be ... in other ways, its absolutely nothing like I expected. It’s amazing how life works like that isn't it?
Today, I am thankful for the many lessons learned along the way. I'm thankful for good ideas and theories that got turned upside down and flipped inside out.I'm thankful for a journey that taught us lessons we didn't know we needed to learn.
While I am thankful for the lessons of the past eleven years, I am also preparing my heart for the many more to come.
God will use our children to shape and teach us. He will use the gift of raising our children to create, in us, a dependence on Him.
We can choose to be refined in the process, or we can choose to resent the process. No matter how we choose to go through it, the process is happening.
Refinement or resentment? It's up to us.
With the right attitude and perspective, the Father can, and will, use this journey of parenting to make us more like Him ... which, in the end, is what we all really need.
I need to be more like Him. My kids need me to be more like Him. And so do yours.
We need to stop wishing for a perfect parenting journey and, instead, let the journey of parenting perfect us.
This morning that's what I'm thankful for. I am thankful for a journey that didn't let us stay where we were. A journey that caused us to lean into Jesus more and more each day.
Parents, let's embrace what God is doing in our hearts as we raise the children He's entrusted to us.
May we have the patience and the discipline to choose refinement over resentment as we allow the process of parenting to do a perfecting work in us.
I'm thankful that this journey is still leading us straight to the feet of Jesus ... because, ultimately, that's where I pray our daughter's journey will continually lead her as well.