These photos were taken on our happy family vacation last month on the eastern coast of North Carolina. "Vacation," of course, is a loose term with a preschooler and a toddler in tow, but we savored the family time away from our normal commitments and work.
Our babies are growing like weeds. Liam is quite intelligent at 3 and a half, using words like "exasperated" and pulling things apart just to put them back together again. His energy is endless and consumes most of our energy as parents. I must answer 100 questions a day. His enthusiasm for life is contagious. This fall he'll start soccer, and I think it'll be a great fit.
Lanie (18 months) is sweet as pie, sings "Holy, Holy" on repeat, and toddles around with her belly about 5 inches ahead of the rest of her body and some sass in her step. Just her presence brings our family so much delight.
Even at this stage, it's so easy to play the comparison game in parenting. What preschools should I consider? Are we reading to them enough? Am I planning enough brain-stimulating activities? Do we spend enough time outside? It's exhausting.
This morning, I read through Colossians 1 and was convicted and encouraged by the Holy Spirit to hone in on what truly matters as Liam and Lanie's parent. I plan to memorize this so that in those moments where I question if what I'm doing is enough, I can remember these words that bring truth and life.
From Colossians 1:9-12:
Liam and Lanie,
"We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light."
What a prayer! What hope! When I bring myself back to Scripture and find such a clear picture for what we truly desire for our kids, it's easy to cast the other things aside. Just this morning, I watched Liam gently brush Lanie's hair, and I heard him ask if we could help the homeless person on the side of the street. I watched Lanie pick up her toys just as I'd asked. I'm beginning to see tiny seeds sprouting - gentleness, kindness, self-control, love, joy - that show me that Jesus is bearing fruit in their lives.