I took Mabel for a walk a couple of days ago. She was bundled in her winter coat and tapping on her blanket as we rounded a familiar corner. Worship was playing and I was taking in the chilly fall air and her beautiful, delicate body.
A few steps later, I saw a man that I recognized. He rides his bike around town and often times we pass one another, going our separate ways. This day I said, "Hi there!"
He said, "Well hi! I haven't seen you in about a year..."
I'm not sure why it was monumental for me when he said those words. I'm not sure if I'll ever know why it made me so emotional. But immediately I teared up and went along my way. I thought to myself, "hmm. Me neither, sir. Me neither."
Because in all honesty, I feel like I haven't seen 'myself' in a year either. Not the self that I once was.
Some days I will literally look in the mirror and feel unrecognizable. And in that unknown, I'm still figuring out exactly who I am and what I'm doing. I know we all are, in a sense, but this transformation happened rapidly for me.
I once took pride in my weight loss, reaching goals, cooking for my family, homeschooling my children, teaching pilates, my marriage and even having healthy children.
Now, those things seem so trivial to me. They seem so un-important. Not that they are; there are just far more important things that are molding me these days.
Now I take pride in the number of dr. calls I can make in a day, balancing therapy and homeschooling, raising money for research, squeezing in 20 minutes on the treadmill and the friendships I'm making and maintaining along the way.
It's different. Oh what a year can do.
But it's been completely and totally worth it all. It's just amazing how one man-a stranger- could say something so profound to my life right now. I'm not sure that I'll ever forget it.
It's finally cold outside and the kids are laying around in blankets this morning. I'm finding it hard to get motivated to do school work because I just want them to be little and lay around in the warmth of our safe home. Candles burning inside and leaves falling outside.
In here, this all feels ok. It all feels normal.
Last fall and winter was a hard time. Rachel and Harper had just gotten here and there was a lot of sadness. However, in those cold months we found a fortress for our weary souls. We bathed ourselves in the comfort of this home and the comfort of each other. Last night, I looked around and the house felt very familiar to me. It felt like a time when I learned to be more selfless than I knew I could and a time before my world changed drastically.
Although hard and long, that time in this home was life changing. And to see where we all are now is remarkable. It gives me hope that we are going to find peace again, wrapped in warm sweatshirts and chinese food in this big white house full of children.
After all, that is really what it's about, right? It's all about loving one another and loving God. It's about learning the lessons that we are supposed to, no matter what the cost. It's about challenging each other and raising up children who will follow the Lord. It's about reaching out and reaching in. When I think back to this past year of my life, I feel like I got it right. I feel like we lived the way we were supposed to and that is what it's all about.
To know you are in the center of God's will for you is incredible and I am thankful that after a year that has come full circle, I can feel at peace with what the Lord has brought us through and where He has brought us to.
I'm in total awe of His goodness and mercy for me.
So far we are still scheduled for surgery on Friday, although we are unsure what time. Continue to pray for God's perfect timing and that Mabel will do well in surgery.
I'll be posting updates both here and on our facebook page "Raising Redheads Blog." If you haven't already, please scroll down and 'like' the page right here from my blog!!!
Thanks in advance for your encouragement and prayers.