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I have always wanted a big family.
On our first date Smokey asked me how many kids I wanted.
I said, "Ten!" then was shocked when while I waited for a disgusted snarl or a mouth wide open look of bewilderment, a slow smile that eventually adorned his whole face appeared.
I won't lie ... some days are hard, so very hard. However, in the midst of the hardest days a rainbow always appears.
Just the other day was one of those, "WHAT IN THE WORLD WAS I THINKING?! I CAN'T EVEN DRINK A CUP OF COFFEE WITHOUT SPILLING IT ALL OVER ME. HOW MANY HOUSEPLANTS HAVE I KILLED? WHAT ON EARTH MADE ME THINK I COULD RAISE ONE KID, LET ALONE SEVEN? SHOULDN'T THERE BE SOME SORT OF PARENTING DRESS REHEARSAL OR A TEST TO PASS BEFORE HAVING KIDS?" kind of days.
There was fighting, there were unfulfilled responsibilities, there were tears. During my temper tantrum (You know those words -plus plenty more- that ripped through my heart, swirled through my brain, and are now in quotes and all caps up there?) I was so *me* focused. I was so intent on my own shortcomings, shortcomings that I was absolutely certain were the reason my children didn't follow through with chores, were mean to each other, and were never ever going to succeed at anything. After flinging dirty laundry, a cup of coffee (that I didn't spill), and a little time with the Lord we all sort of just returned back to normal ... drifted back together with softened hearts. It was just a rough morning; One little infraction after another that made us all miserable.
Us all. Not just me. We are *all* sinners, falling short of the glory of God. I can teach my children, I can beg them, I can even command them to do what is right. Some times they will even obey. However, I'm not a stand in for Jesus and I'm certainly not their Holy Spirit.
With my eyes opened to truth and without allowing Satan to whisper lies into my ears, I was able to see and hear the beauty around me.
Abigail (my oldest) made Lucy (my second youngest) a card with handmade hand dyed confetti. Lucy kept carrying it around, showing everyone and saying, "My Abigail made for me!"
All of those years that I imagined having a family and what it would look like, I never imagined it would be so amazing watching the bond between two sisters, 12 years apart, grow. The feeling I get when my kids love on each other ... well, it's indescribable, let's just say that no houseplant (dead or alive) could make me feel the same.