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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

I promise; words for our daughters

from the moment I gave birth to Avery, I began to see the world in a new light. it suddenly seemed harsher, more dangerous, very sex-driven. I take parenting very seriously, and assume the responsibility for my two girls and their upbringing (shared with Justin, of course). I want more for them than what our culture can offer. I want them to be better than I was, better than most of their peers will be. I want so much for them. and so I am taking an oath and making a promise, which you will read below. I encourage all of you to do something similar. protect your childrens' innocence with everything that is in you. be vigilant, be perseverant, be loving, but be firm.

to my girls:

I promise to love you, no matter what you do
I promise to protect your innocence to the best of my ability
I promise to pray with you, in front of you, for you
I promise to teach you about the living God who created you
I promise to guide you and respect you
I promise to have rules, lots of them that you will hate
I promise to never have magazines with rail thin actresses on the cover, or models baring all in lacy lingerie
I promise to never have cable tv
I promise to be very careful about what music you listen to, movies you watch, and books you read
I promise to spend quality time with you
I promise to never push you out of childhood
I promise to never allow you to wear shorts that are too short or tops that are too low
I promise to never let you wear navel-baring shirts or bikinis that are too tiny
I promise to be careful about what friends you spend time with
I promise to ask you questions, lots of them, and to listen to your answers
I promise to never give up on you
I promise to instill in you humility, a servant's heart, and a love for others
I promise to encourage and help you to wait until marriage to give your heart or your body to another
I promise to pray for your future husband, marriage, and children
I promise to pray for God's call on your life, and to help you to realize what it is
I promise to say no sometimes
I promise to love your father and show you what a Christ-centered marriage looks like
I promise to ask for your opinion on big decisions
I promise, Avery and Brooklynn, that you will not always like me but that it's ok. Because I promise I will do everything in my power to protect you, to nurture you, and to raise you into incredible women of God.

I promise.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

easter reflections

as I've become a mother and gotten older, Easter has held so much more meaning for me. so often my eyes fill with tears and I think of Mary and the terrific pain and sheer terror she must have felt as she watched her baby boy suffer such terrible mistreatment. her precious son, who had never done wrong. the man who she bore into this world. I wonder what she felt in that moment. guilt? fear? blame?

I think of his followers and friends, the ones who were closest to him on earth. what must they have been thinking? that the world was coming to an end?

I think of Jesus himself. I wonder what his thoughts were. this is where the tears really start to fall. he loves me enough to endure such pain willingly. what?!? my mind can't comprehend a love that deep.

I think of God, sending his son for me. I could never have asked my child to endure such a thing. I'm sorry, but if your salvation depended on it, I don't think I would have been strong enough to make that choice. it's her over you, buddy.

I wish I could live those couple of days in history. I wish I could be there watching him carry that cross on his battered and burden-laden shoulders. I wish I could have seen the earth shake and the skies grow dark. I wish I could have seen the stone roll away and watch the guards freeze with fright. I wish I could have seen Christ, my Savior, walking out of that tomb. how amazing!

death has been defeated!! if you're not a christian, you will have no idea what that means or how exciting it is! it's utterly amazing and mind blowing! when my human body ceases to draw breath, I will wake up in the arms of my Lord and be able to stay there with him forever. hallelujah! he is risen!!!

Monday, April 14, 2014

here we go again!

we are gearing up for justin to leave for about 6-8 weeks. training trip. always training.

i have learned a TON since we first began this journey four years ago, but one thing i've learned is this: no matter how many times you go through something and no matter how much you learn from it, the heart will do its best to protect itself from pain. for me that means putting up walls; building distance between justin and myself; telling myself that i'm ready for him to leave. it's been a pretty amazing psychology lesson for me, actually.

the last week i've felt myself doing just that. and i think it's ok. i think the key is communication. yep. we all know how much our husbands love that word. it's ok for me to feel sad and frustrated that my husband is constantly being ripped from our home. that's normal. the important part is that i tell him how i'm feeling; that i explain to him that i'm not being short tempered or distant because i'm sick of him but simply because that's my heart's defense mechanism. that it's how i try to prevent myself from feeling his absence too deeply. that it's how i make his leaving a little bit easier on myself.

and so here we go again. training trips and work ups, oh my! i can hardly believe we are starting this whole process over again. Lord, please help me. how many times have i muttered that prayer over the last four years?! too many to count. sometimes those are the only words i can utter without falling apart.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

a week in the life!

A few snapshots of our week!! 

On Monday we went swimming with some of our friends! The girls had a blast, and it was so nice to be able to SIT and TALK to grown ups! 

Oh, and some pictures of B dressed up as Cinderella when we went out to eat one night. haha! 

 I am reminded how quickly these days pass. Being home with my girls as much as possible is my number one priority!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

4 years in...

we have been on this wild navy journey for over 4 years. wow. that seems a little crazy to me. in a way it has passed so quickly; in another way, those first days suffering through bootcamp seem like a lifetime ago!

the growth we've experienced along the way, my goodness!! justin and i have grown leaps and bounds, individually and in our marriage. praise God i'm not the person i was in the beginning of all this: insecure; selfish; depressed; unhealthy; lost. i still struggle with some of those things, but they do not define who i am.

i now have a sense of purpose; i am healthy, and helping others to be as well; i am at peace; i'm happy.

we've made some really incredible friends the last four years, too. friends that are now spread around the world. friends that we will undoubtedly have forever.

our family has grown over the last four years. we are now a family of four instead of three. i've grown and matured so much as a mom.

as i look back at it all, i'm just so thankful. so thankful for how far we have come, so thankful for the growth! praise God!