When you grow up as a Christian, if you’re like me, you are constantly wondering How does God love me ALL the time? It’s impossible to love someone all the time. I especially thought this when I was a teenager. I didn’t like everyone, much less love everyone everyday every minute. As I got older, I could semi understand, because I loved my parents more. Then, Ken came along, and I loved him pretty much all the time.
Now people love to say, “just wait until you have kids.” But now I understand. Most people who are reading this probably know me pretty well. Most of y’all probably have been around and experienced Ward as well. He’s wide open, wild, stubborn, strong willed, but he also has completely taught me about God’s like be for me. I love both of my children all of time of course. It’s unconditional. However Ward’s personality is more like mine and I’ve started looking at it in the way I look at my relationship with God.
His personality makes him infuriating and exhausting and overjoys me all at the same time. I can only imagine this is how He feels about me. God is probably like “Gosh, how can someone who goes against me daily and wants to do what she wants to do, no matter what, how can I love her still so much?” I ask myself this daily, “How do I love him so much it hurts when he makes me so….tired?” There is only one answer. God first loved me, so this is how I know what true love looks like. And I’ve found that in Ward.
PSA: I do love Walker extra hard, but this is Ward’s blog. If it was Walker’s I would just say, “Little W was sweet again today. 🙂
This year, I have asked several people that mean a lot to me and Ward to write letters to him on his second birthday. I will save them and one day, when he is older, he will have ways to know/remember these important people. Here is my letter to him on his birthday eve.
Two years ago, I was on pins and needles knowing that you would be born soon, but not knowing when. When I got the call on December 15th around 8:30 in the morning, I knew that my life would change, but had no clue how much it would change. In the past two years, these are some things that you have taught me.
- Everything is not black and white. Before having children everything had a place, everything was either right or it was wrong, everything had one way to be done. Now that I have you, I know that sometimes there are grey areas. This is hard for someone who likes things to be just so, but having you I know that I have to give a little here and there, and you have to too. It’s hard on both of us. We have both butted heads over these small grey areas, but we have made it this far.
- My mom( and every diligent prayerful mom) made a huge impact. After you were born, I truly realized how much my mom did and didn’t do for me. She was selfless, patient, and loving. She was not my friend, she didn’t make excuses for me, and she told me exactly what she felt. The most important thing she did, that I now realize is the most important thing any parent can do, is that she prayed for me. Some of her prayers probably seemed to be falling on deaf ears. Sometimes, my prayers for your stubborn spirit seem to be unheard as well, but she was diligent. Now, she would probably tell you that her prayers(for the most part) were heard as I am now a grown, responsible adult with a semi well paying job, a Godly husband, and I love JEsus. These are my prayers for you. I pray that you become a responsible adult who takes accountability for your mistakes. I pray that you become a self relient man who doesn’t need someone to make you feel worthy. Most of all, I pray that you become a man who truly loves and follows Jesus.
- Unconditional love is real. Everyday I mess up. I know that right now you don’t realize this, but one day you will. Right now, no matter what I do, no matter how harshly I talk to you, or how much I play on my phone when I should be playing with you, you love me. You love me hard. You love me so hard that sometimes it’s overwhelming and it feels like I can’t breathe. I love you this hard too. You and I, Ward, have a special relationship. I hope we always do. When you are 18 and reading this, I hope you can at least think, “Man, my mom is annoying, but boy, I sure love her.” I know I think that about you sometimes. 😉
4. Most of all, you have taught me that God has great plans for my life. Before you came along, I had a purpose. I was someone’s daughter, teacher, wife, friend, but then you came along, and in these past two years I have truly realized that you and I were meant to be together. I told your daddy last night that I believe that you are my soulmate, just not in a romantic way. I am so thankful for my messed up plans that ended up in God’s perfect plan by putting you in my life.
I can’t BELIEVE you are going to be two tomorrow. It really seems like I was just heading to Cartersville to watch your birth. I will never forget the moment that your birthmom looked at me and said, “Go to him. He’s your son.” I have never felt more love in one room. Thank you for your impact you have made on everyone’s lives around you, Dub. Never change.
Tomorrow, November 5th will mark two days since a day that forever changed our lives, the day we found out that we had been matched with a birthmom, who eventually would give us our sweet Ward.
The year leading up to this sweet, life-changing day was one that was marked by several significant events, not necessarily good either. I know that they say that hindsight is twenty/twenty but as I look back over the year that we went through the adoption process I see several things.
- I learned that everything was not about me. Through sickness and tragedy, I really learned to look at things from other people’s points of view and to put others before myself. I remember one Saturday I had to “give up” my day of doing important things like watching football and walking at the Y to go visit with my great grandmother. She died a couple of months later. I wish I had put her over myself a little more nowadays.
- I learned that love answers all questions I had so many questions that year. Will I have a baby? Will we be matched with a birthmom? How will I handle the deaths of these people that I love? I realized that through this all, I needed to love. Love everyone(EVERYONE) no matter what they looked like, or what they could do for me, but that love conquers all. I would like to consider myself more loving these days. Ward and Walker can’t talk yet, so they can’t prove me wrong. 😉
- The most important thing that I learned on this day is no matter what, Thy Will Be Done. I am one of the most worrying people on the planet. Well, let me take that back, I WAS one of the most worrying people on the planet. Y’all, on this day, when my world was completely turned upside down, it’s like God(the Holy Spirit) said, “Don’t worry, Stace. I’ve got this. My will WILL be done.” And since then, I have repeated this phrase to myself pretty much everyday. All through the ten day waiting period, people would say “Aren’t you worried she will change her mind?” I think my mom came close to an anxiety attack. The whole while, I was calm. I had learned through the sickness and death and tragedy and hope and joy that the past year had brought, I just knew that His will would be done no matter what.
November is Adoption Awareness Month. It’s also the month I get to celebrate my little adoption blessing. I encourage all of you this month, be thankful. Be thankful that we serve a sovereign God that even when things don’t go the way you think they should, His will is done. I also encourage you this month to choose life. Support adoption and just support the love that adoption encourages.
I am a firm believer that you become a mom when you hold your child. Some people believe you become a mom at different times, when you find out your pregnant, when you see an ultrasound. Whenever you believe you become a mom is right, but when you become a mom, you are no where near being a complete mom.
Motherhood is a series of lessons that you learn from your kids about yourself, I believe. Yesterday, Ward taught me a very valuable lesson in motherhood. He taught me how to hold yourself together on the outside while on the inside you are completely and utterly falling apart.
Yesterday, as Ward seized in my arms, I asked for help and thankfully, was in the doctor’s office, so help was readily available. All through this time, I was thinking and praying for my sweet boy and trying to keep myself together at the same time. I was also comforting him and holding him. It was all very trying.
Today, the doctor called to check on Ward. During our conversation, she told me how well I held myself together. REALLY!? I don’t remember being composed at all. I just told her that on the inside I wasn’t composed at all.
That’s when I realized. That’s what moms do. They stay strong on the outside even when their heart is breaking inside. Now, I know what my mom went through. Now, I know what my friends who are moms go through. It’s hard, it’s exhausting, but it’s worth it for the love that you receive in return.
This summer, so many people are going on vacation. As a family, we have already been on two beach trips. This past week, we were at the beach for a week. The weather was glorious, the food was delicious, the water was just right, and…..we had our children. As cute and adorable as they were playing in the sand and jumping in the pool, I have some tips for some of you that are going on vacation soon and have young children.
1. Find the darkest, deepest closet and put your pack n plays in there. One of our children was in a bathroom. Perfect. The other was in the middle of our room. He had such a hard time. We moved him into a closet with no light coming in anywhere, and he slept for thirteen hours a night.
2. Make sure the place you are staying has a washer and dryer. Then, only take three outfits. I packed for like a week straight. Seriously. Then, I get to the beach and I realized all I Needed was one bathing suit and rashguard, one Jon Jon, and one pair of pajamas. The rest of the time, all I needed was diapers. Babies, especially little boys can go without clothes for days. The only time they need clothes on is when their picture if being taken.
3. Bring a babysitter. Everyone wants a vacation, including Mom and Dad. If you bring a babysitter, then you can spend time with the kids when they are being so cute and adorable and fun. Then, the babysitter can spend time with them the rest of the time.
4. Don’t go on vacation if you have children 8 months apart. This one is most likely just for me.
Do any of you have any other tips you can think of for vacationing with kids? SHare them with me!
A friend of mine and I have been having an ongoing conversation over the past few months. Why are people so afraid of being honest? I think that the world would just be a better place if we were a little more honest and (gasp!) vulnerable to others. This friend and I have sent each other texts like “I don’t feel like folding the laundry….so I’m not.”
Moms are especially bad about this. When people ask me, “How are you today?” I always seem to answer, “I’m doing good.” Or something of that sort. When people ask me about how the babies are, I always say, “They’re so sweet.” or something of that sort. BUT THIS ISN’T TRUE. Of course, my babies ARE sweet and amazing and darling, but sometimes when someone asks me, “How are the babies doing?” I just wanna say, “Well, one has decided to not sleep through the night because his teeth hurt and the other has roid rage from being put on Prednisone.” Can you IMAGINE the looks I would get? When people ask me how I am, sometimes I just wanna say, “Well, I have two babies that are both crawling and into everything, plus they have stopped sleeping, and I teach 4th grade all day, and my allergies are horrible right now. Plus, it’s been raining out recess a lot.” But people don’t wanna hear that. They want to hear that I’m good and that my babies are the best.
Don’t get me wrong, my life is so so so good most of the time. I love my life all of the time. But sometimes it’s hard. And when it gets hard, I want to be able to say that it is hard and people not say, “Don’t wish this time away.” or “Enjoy them while they’re little.” I really do guys. But on days after I haven’t slept well in a while, sometimes I just say, “This. Is. Hard.” But I don’t. Except I do text my #realtalk friend every once in a while. She gets me.
Today, I told everyone I was “doing good!” when they asked, but then I came home and ate a pound of white chocolate covered pretzels. That’s real mom life guys.
I really didn’t mean for this post to be a true “Valentine’s Day” post, but it is something I have been thinking about for a while now. It just so happens that it also about love, so Happy Valentine’s Day y’all!
Ever since both of my boys were born, I have prayed for them. I have prayed for their health,their comfort, and even to help them sleep at night.(That one was kind of selfish, but you do what you gotta do.) At the beginning of the year, I began reading Jen Hatmaker’s for the love. It’s a great book. I recommend it if you’re a wife, a mom, or just a person. She talks about raising kids and what’s important to her. One thing that she says is that she wants her kids to “Love people.” That seems easy right? I started praying that my children would love people.
Then, the other day, this horrible thought hit me. How can my kids love people if I don’t show them what that is? For a few months, I have been praying to “love others like Jesus did.” However, my life didn’t look any different. So, this hit me pretty hard. How am I supposed to teach my kids to love others, when their mom isn’t doing a great job of it herself?
So, now, here I am. I am trying my best to love others like Jesus did. Unconditionally, no matter how unlovable they might seem. I am trying to love others who aren’t like me. Not just not like me, but REALLY not like me. I know that most of you parents out there in the world probably are reading this, thinking “Duh, Stacy. Anything you want your kid to do, you have to do it yourself.” but this thought has totally rocked my world. And my way of looking at people. So now, my prayer is “God help me love others so that my children will know how to love others.” It’s harder and much more fulfilling than it sounds.