Another Gift I Don’t Deserve

I don’t deserve you.
It’s plain and simple. 
I haven’t done anything extraordinarily good, but somehow you’re mine-and the only reason that makes sense is because you are a gift. 
A gift that I treasure. 
A gift that I realize some long for and struggle for, searching for reasons why God may be withholding such a gift. And while God has surely not abandoned those that search and yearn, and He holds them tightly by the hand and walks alongside them to guide them in their journey, I want to remember not to take this most precious gift for granted. 
Like her sister before her, I want to memorize every tiny detail and imprint upon my heart each enthralling sound, touch, and look. I want to breathe her in, and through her see God’s grace, mercy, and love. 
I know not what God has in store for her life, and while I want to hold her so, so tight and so, so close, I have to remind myself that she is His. She is first daughter of the one true King and a generous and precious gift to us.
It almost hurts to loosen my grip. To know I don’t have control over what will happen in her life. To know that she is not here by my will, but by His.
But it also brings joy. To know that she is here with a purpose. A purpose that only God knows and has entrusted us to help fulfill. 
So today I thank God for Lillian Mae. Our long, brown-haired little sister. A patient baby. Easy to smile with blue eyes that light up a room. A wide opened smile that brings joy. I’m thankful for her chunky legs, big feet, tiny nose and two little teeth. I’m thankful for hands that are becoming oh so grabby and eyes that widen with surprise and concentration. I’m thankful for the way she rolls and squirms across the floor, taking it all in. I’m thankful for how much she loves to watch her big sister jump up and down and dance. I’m thankful for her kissable cheeks and tiny neck rolls. I’m thankful to sleep beside her most nights and nurse her. I’m thankful when she sleeps in her crib too. I’m thankful when she wakes up in the morning and looks at me with a big smile. I’m thankful for the way she brings her toes all the way to her mouth. I’m thankful for the way she now refuses to take a bottle or a binky. I’m thankful for her low, jerky sounding giggle. I’m thankful for her gurgles and sweet “talking”. 
I am thankful, and I don’t ever want to forget to be just so.

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Embracing Monday

Fresh starts and new motivation. Let’s go into this week welcoming Monday morning as another chance to spread goodness where we are and seek His truth. Let’s let in all the good stuff our souls need to soak up and start tossing out the bad. Let’s choose joy and thanksgiving over grumbling and complaining. Let’s embrace Monday.

Challenge accepted.

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back of neck kisses on tiny rolly necks//Gracie greeting Lillie excitedly after each nap and in the morning//Gracie conversations//the way Lillie’s eyes get big and concentrated as she focuses on something//afternoon naps snuggled next to Lillie//understanding husband//encouraging texts from friends//peonies in bloom//swinging in hammock//gardening with Dustin while Gracie plays in hammock and Lillie lays on a blanket in the grass//green grass in evening sunlight//frozen yogurt//family time//nights where Gracie and Lillie sleep way too little//hearing Gracie say “I love you mama”//enjoying Gracie and Lillie just as they are in the moment-so precious and innocent//headband making//sister’s bridal shower//other’s willingness to rock Lillie to sleep//Monday
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Anticipation of More Good to Come

The days are turning long and lazy. The warm air hugging a little too tight, only to be gently cast off by a cool breeze. The lush, freshly mowed grass beckons for bare feet and limbs that have seen far too little of the warm, bright sun. The sun takes a little more time to enjoy each outing, hanging in the sky to watch evening walks, neighbors sitting on porches and dinners around a campfire. The earth bursts forth with life and joy and my soul feels the anticipation of more to come.

anticipation 

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Gracie jumping in muddy puddles//Lillie doing 360 turns on the playmate//Lillie’s wide eyed stare at most everything that amazes her//The way Lillie opens her mouth, smiles and turns head to greet us//Lillie “jabbering” louder and more often//Lillie sleeping through night//evening runs//Tia Jia home for the summer//Lillie rolling over//Gracie’s messy ice cream face//laundry hanging out on the line//Gracie sleeping in her bed//long days//free plants from Delight//planted garden//dinners with family//rosy cheeks//sweaty hair//morning pilates//morning devotions//flowers in bloom, each taking their turn//jumping on trampoline

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