baby, you’re a firework.

Sparrow wanted two things this year for her birthday.. blue painted toenails and a red lollipop. precious doll. she’s brilliant, creative, loves telling stories all day long, loves singing, loves making valid arguments, loves to cackle, oh i could go on and on… having Sparrow 3 years ago was such a rollercoaster, as most first births are. two things really stay clear in my mind…on the night before she was born, the lady who birthed right next to our room didn’t even make it to the bed all the way before her 4th child came rushing out (i literally heard her water burst and splash on the floor), all while i was lying on my bed listening to the fireworks. the second and most precious moment still crystal clear is Sparrow’s eyes when she was tossed into my arms for a brief, but eternal, 2 seconds. they were filled with wonder and curiosity. i’ve written a story on her birth before, now i can’t find it. go figure. it may seem odd to some… but i truthfully didn’t fall in love with Sparrow until she was 1 week old. of course i ‘loved’ her.. she was my offspring. but i wasn’t in love yet. maybe it was the shock of birth. or the shock of a new human. or both. or the fact that sometimes i think i’m a robot. but one thing’s for sure. i remember that exact moment when the Creator softened my strange heart to love my birdie as a mother should. it was like fireworks in my soul. cause baby, you’re a firework.

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May

As a soft rain falls a flock of birds bravely take their share of our doggies’ food. The dogs lazily watch them take away one triangle at a time. Two of the darlings are snoozing, while the other is being rocked with one of my feet in his cradle, and he’s proving to be a finger soother. Fine by me. I’m reflecting back on the blessings of this past month. My favorite month of all, May. He has given us shelter from storms, delicious food on our plates, humble hearts, time alone as a couple, plenty of laughter & discipline with the children, more patience, & graces abounding. I was challenged through a reading… “What is the deepest root of your joy? What God gives to you? Or what God is to you?” Although I pray every day to die to flesh, and for Him to be our true joy… I am human. And it is so easy to make the joys in our life our gods. Far be it from me Lord, and forgive me. But I am soaking in these joys, and looking to Him. The Joy.

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4 years, 3 darlings, 2 hearts, 1 flesh.

{{I really have no other choice than to speak the truth. The truth about our marriage. The truth about the man I am married to. So go on, hands, type away}}

If you would have asked me 4 years ago if I loved being married, I would have plastered on a forced smile and said, “Well of course I do!” Thankfully it’s true what they say ‘the honeymoon stage ends’. And thank God it does. Let me explain.

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The day after our honeymoon ended, we set off to Africa. Ethiopia (and the trip as a whole) was simply not what we had imagined or could have prepared for. God knew that. He knew our selfish hearts needed to be sanctified. We set off on this trip with hearts ready to serve and teach. But God’s plan was much higher than ours. We soon found out that we would be rooming separately for 2 months, as newlyweds. So that in and of itself was such a challenge. But beyond that God slowly tore back the pretty wallpaper we had wrapped around our ugly hearts. We started to see that we were selfish, haughty, self-righteous, etc. I could go on. After returning to America, we had only a few months before we became pregnant. But in those few months, we were job hunting, job training, and figuring out married life. Then we conceived. A baby was definitely not in our mindset. But once it was, God tore back even more of the pretty wallpaper. Just thinking about how selfish my mind was makes me ill. Wesley and I fought, probably more than you want to imagine. It was definitely both of us at fault. I was mean, he clammed up. I was angry, he didn’t speak his feelings. I stomped out of our college apartment like a raging toddler diva more times than I can recall. I was having a really difficult time handling pregnancy hormones and the stress of a bank job with a bullying boss. Wesley sweetly let me leave a “professional” job and go back to where I belonged, the coffee shop, even though pay was less. Months passed and we bought our first home. We got our ‘furniture’ at a local auction, and Wesley’s parents graciously bought us couches and many other necessities. We knew I was a short while away from birth, so we soaked in the time alone we had as best as we could. Then Sparrow came. We were terrified, in shock, in love. More fights were lining up to be had. I needed help, Wesley was clueless, and I didn’t tell him what I needed. {Ladies, seriously.. just tell your husband what you need/want. It is true… they cannot read our minds, even if we are sure they can.} Four months later I started getting sick. It wouldn’t stop. We thought it was a constant stomach virus. Nope. It was Blossom. In my belly. And I was not eating properly, or even enough. Near the birth of Blossom, Wesley had really started to show his capabilities as a father. But even more so during labor. What a friend he was to me. Sweet Blossom arrived and things were going just blissfully. Wesley and I hit a huge bump in the smooth road though. But by the graces of God, He pulled us up and lavished us with His mercies. We became more resilient and loving than ever before towards each other, even though the evil forces had intended for just the opposite. We decided after a good time (9 months) that we’d love another child. I think I took 30 of those 99 cent pregnancy tests in a 30 day span. I had only 2 left (Wesley insisted I calm down) and I decided to just take one more after dinner. I did. It was positive. My heart spoke, “My son!” We had a sweet dreaming friend tell me of a stunning dream she had about a calm natural birth of a boy. We soon found out we were having Woodland. Before he arrived we tried to soak in as much of the girls as we could. During labor Wesley kept me grounded as His love cradled us.

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Now here we are. Four years later, 3 children. Our love for Christ has never been more sure. And our love for each other has never been so real. I tell Wesley nearly weekly, “I don’t want to put you on a pedestal, but you really are something wonderful.” I won’t get too personal, but it’s good to know a little bit more about us…

Wesley is the most mature male I know. He has given up all childish things for me and his children.

When he comes home from work at lunch and at the end of the day, he swoops up the girls, kisses me with force, and coos with Woodland.

He is truly helpful in raising our children to be healthy. He keeps me focused when I want to slack too much in the health area. He knows it’s long term for us all, and that is why he cares about what we buy & cook & eat.

He is super stealthy in the morning when he wakes before dawn to get ready for work. He gets in ninja mode to ensure that we ALL stay sound asleep, except for the gentle kisses he gives me before he gets ready to make his juice.

Nobody can style a pompadour like my man.

He leads our family in worship after dinner.

He works until his brain is numb to be able to provide for us.

He is head of the house, yet has never domineered or hopped on a high horse.

Wesley loves me like Christ. Oh, if I could count the times Wesley’s love for me directed me to the Cross!

Since we were teens, he has made me cackle with his witty-ness.

Wesley has mellowed me out in the best way possible. It takes a lot for me to get ‘riled’ up. God has definitely used marriage to sanctify us both in countless ways, but especially in the realm of my emotions.

He has a brilliant mind and creative hands and a deep soul. He lets me be free, and wild, and me.

He will hold Woodland while I eat, and he will clean the girls’ faces & hands after meals. He helps me bathe them all. He rocks them to sleep when needed, he bottle feeds Woodland when I go out on a girls’ night. He is faithful to me when he has guys’ night.

He speaks to me with gracious words, listens to me, and gives me Scripture.

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I know there are much more seasoned couples out there who have gone through so much more than us. And we look up to them. We are past the honeymoon stage… onto a much deeper love, deeper than I could have ever known existed. I know that God has shown us favor, definitely undeserved. God has given me Wesley, a man that is seeking His glory alone. A marital covenant is one that should symbolize the covenant Christ has with the church, and I am beyond blessed to say that our marriage strives to do just that. To God alone be all the glory, and may He use us for the furthering of His kingdom.

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Here’s to you, Wesley, my Darling Dove, my knight, and lover. May we be blessed with so many more years of love & joy & peace & truth. Cheers. FLTD.

XO